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Karmapa 900 Launches Year-Long Commemoration of Founder’s Birth: Karma Kagyu Lineage Looks to its Past with Gratitude, to its Future with Hope

December 8, 2010 – Bodhgaya | www.karmapa900.org

(December 8, Bodhgaya) One could say it was many months in the making. One could also say it was 900 years in the making. In either case, the opening ceremony of Karmapa 900, the yearlong celebration of the 900th birth anniversary of the First Karmapa, was a magnificent display of gratitude toward the past, and optimism for the future of the Karma Kagyu lineage.

The ceremony combined sacred song and dance by Indian classical musicians as well as traditional Tibetan performers, reflecting the commitment to preserving Tibetan culture as well as the deep respect for Indian culture that was expressed by His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who presided over the opening ceremony. However, as splendid as the performances were, the speeches were equally remarkable for their universal expression of trust placed in His Holiness the Karmapa as a spiritual leader for the 21st century, for the Tibetan people and for the world at large.

“We have the hope and we believe that there is an opportunity that the Seventeenth Karmapa will Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Leads Assembly in Dusum Khyenpa Guru Yoga

December 8, 2010 – Bodhgaya | www.karmapa900.org

(December 8, Bodhgaya) For the final session of the Karmapa 900 Opening Ceremony’s first day, the focus was firmly on the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, with three hours of Dusum Khyenpa Guru Yoga practice. His Holiness himself especially compiled the text used for the session, entitled Streaming Shower of Blessings. The blessings were showering indeed, as His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa, His Eminences Gyaltsab Rinpoche and Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche and other Karma Kagyu lineage holders led a gathering of bhikshus, bhikshunis and yogis of the Karma Kagyu lineage in a palpably powerful evening of intense practice.

Admission to the evening activity was open only to fully ordained monks and nuns and to those who have completed a three-year retreat. As their admission ‘ticket,’ those who qualified received a full-color photo of Dusum Khyenpa from the lineage thangka series from Palpung Monastery in Tibet. During the session, the assembly hall was a sea of saffron monastic robes ringed by lay practitioners, many in white cotton. The portico surrounding Tergar Read the rest of this article

Karmapa 900 Website Launch: December 7, 2010

December 5, 2010 | www.karmapa900.org

The official Karmapa 900 website is scheduled to go live at www.karmapa900.org on December 7, 2010. Karmapa 900 is the year-long commemoration of the 900th birth anniversary of the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa.

With the aim of allowing Dharma friends, disciples and well-wishers of the Karma Kagyu lineage around the world to connect with Karmapa 900 from afar, the site will offer up-to-date news on all Karmapa 900 events throughout the year, as well as full coverage of the opening ceremony scheduled for December 8 and 9, 2010, in Bodhgaya, India.

Along with a wealth of background material on Dusum Khyenpa and the Karmapa lineage, the site will also feature “Anniversary Poem,” a poem specially composed by His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa, and a message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama regarding Karmapa Read the rest of this article

Kagyur Transmission Concludes

November 2, 2010

On Tuesday 2nd November Kyabje Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche successfully concluded his transmission of the Tibetan collection of Buddhist sutras known as the Kagyur.

The transmission had taken almost two months and entailed reading 100 volumes of Buddhist scriptures. There were two sessions of the transmission held each day. The morning sessions usually began at 6.00am and afternoon sessions at 2.00pm. Sessions lasted on average three hours, but sometimes lasted four or even five hours.

In addition to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, those attending the transmission included Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, Rinpoches, Lamas and Nuns.

After the reading transmission concluded on the final morning , there was a closing ceremony, Monks from Tsurphu Labrang offered a mandala and long-life prayers to Sangye Nyenba Rinpoche, followed by general dedication prayers.

Traditional Tibetan tea and sweet saffron rice were served and everyone offered a khata to Rinpoche.

During the dedication prayers His Holiness spontaneously Read the rest of this article

Akshobhya Retreat 2010

November 27, 2010

This year’s retreat, under the guidance and supervision of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa, began on November 23rd at Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya. The retreat is part of the preparations for the Akshobhya Fire Ritual, and the Fire Ritual occurs on the penultimate evening of the annual Karma Kagyu Monlam Chenmo. The ritual takes place in the shrine room opposite His Holiness’ living quarters, on the roof of the temple at Tergar.

The retreat lasts for two weeks. This year there are sixteen retreatants, drawn from Kagyu communities worldwide and comprising three laypeople, five nuns and eight monks. On the first day the Gyalwang Karmapa conferred the Akshobhya empowerment (Tibetan: wang) on those taking part and gave the transmission (Tibetan: lüng). During the retreat he will give a daily teaching to the participants on the ritual’s significance.

The Akshobhya ritual is a very powerful purification practice done for the benefit of all sentient beings. It can liberate not only the practitioners themselves from the fear of an unfortunate rebirth, but other beings as well. The Buddha Akshobhya promised that the merit generated by reciting Read the rest of this article