For five days this year’s Monlam had been held at the Monlam Pavilion, two kilometers from Bodhgaya, so it felt strange on the sixth day to be in Bodhgaya, standing at the entrance to the Mahabodhi stupa grounds at five o’clock in the morning once more. Strange, but also very comfortable, like coming home. This ancient site radiates a pervasive feeling of sacredness, as if the broken stones themselves are a repository for two thousand years of devotion, hope, and trust in the way of the Buddha. Sitting under the bodhi tree, waiting for the Gyalwang Karmapa to arrive, people commented that they missed being at the stupa. However, for once, laypeople were able to sit where the novice monks and nuns would have been sitting, closer to the shrine, His Holiness and the bodhi tree, rather than crowded Read the rest of this article
On the evening of March third, the Monlam stage with its huge altar was transformed by the presence of four tall pillars arrayed across the front of the stage. In deep brown decorated in gold filigree, topped by lotus flowers, they supported the four animals—a tiger, garuda, vulture, and snow lion—that appeared to Milarepa in his famous dream. The four represent the main disciples of Marpa the Translator, through whom the Kamtshang lineage flows. In front of the stage, the rows of seats in the Pavilion are filled right up to the back while three screens on either side bring into the evening darkness the radiant and warm colors of the stage.
This is the setting for tonight’s play based on the life of the Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi (1206-1283). Written by the Gyalwang Karmapa in a contemporary idiom, the drama focuses on three events: the arrival of Orgyenpa (1230-1312), who would hold the Karma Pakshi’s lineage; the meeting of these two great lamas; and finally, Orgyenpa’s meeting and recognizing the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339). During the time of the Read the rest of this article
The main events today centred around the Kangyur, the Tibetan collection of sutras or the written record of the words of the Buddha. This is covered in a separate feature.
Novice monks and nuns did not go to the Mahabodhi stupa. The Mahayana sojong vows at the Monlam Pavilion were given by Khenpo Dönyö. While the Kangyur procession was under way at the stupa, those at the pavilion recited the Menlha (Medicine Buddha ritual).
Session Three: Prayers for the well-being of Tibet
The current troubles in Tibet mean that this year’s Monlam prayers for the well-being of Tibet have taken on an urgency and great significance. Each year, His Holiness unfailingly Read the rest of this article
Each person must find his or her own path. Nonetheless, seek guidance from wise and compassionate people and listen to them earnestly. This will help you find the best way to proceed – now and in the future.
- Karmapa on Guidance
All traditions, whether religious or secular, have developed to benefit human society. In the event that a tradition or system becomes harmful, there’s no need to insist on following it.
- Karmapa on Tradition
Human beings are the most intelligent and resourceful species on earth. If we use our intelligence to cause more suffering, rather than to bring some real benefit to others and ourselves, we are no better than beasts.
- Karmapa on Intelligence
Just to simply relax and rest in your own natural state is all that you need to do. When you give yourself that opportunity, you’ll find that presence extends to the other parts of your life.
- Karmapa on Meditation
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