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The Karmapa Unfolds His Thoughts about the Bhikshuni Vows


March 15, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
On the full moon day, the Tibetan 15th (March 12, 2107), there was a ceremony to celebrate the nuns who took the shramaneri vows at the Mahabodhi Stupa. The Karmapa reprised his talk there, as he wished to say more about his thinking on issues related to full ordination for nuns.

“As I have mentioned before, in Tibetan history during the time of the Dharma king Trisong Deutsen when the first ordained Sanghas were established, there were six or seven princes who went forth and the monastic community was established. Previous to this, we can probably say that there were monastics in Tibet, as monks from China and India stayed at Samye; however, there were probably no Tibetans who were ordained before then, though this needs more research. That said, it is clear that when the first Sangha was Read the rest of this article

Never Giving Up on Sentient Beings


March 14, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
After a day off for the holiday of Holi, the Karmapa returned to teaching chapter ten on the “Precepts for Generating Aspiring Bodhicitta” from Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation. The Karmapa focused on the five precepts of aspirational bodhichitta. One of these precepts, never mentally abandoning sentient beings, is the means of guaranteeing that our bodhicitta does not get lost. The Karmapa noted that our achieving the qualities of the Buddha comes down to whether or not we have given up on sentient beings.

This section also treats the causes for losing aspirational bodhicitta. For instance, if our aim is incompatible with the Mahayana, then we will lose aspirational bodhicitta. To counter this, we must have the wish to benefit others and the wish for great Read the rest of this article

History in the Making: The First Step Toward Full Ordination for Tibetan Buddhist Nuns


11 March, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

At the Mahabodhi Stupa, it is the morning of the first full moon in the Tibetan year. In the shade of the Bodhi Tree, nineteen nuns sit near the Vajra Seat, site of the Buddha’s enlightenment. On the path to full ordination, eighteen took the shramaneri vows in the same place the day before, and one remains to take them on this auspicious fifteenth day of the Month of Miracles.

Soon the Karmapa arrives at the main gate, and led by a senior nun carrying a long incense holder and wearing the yellow cockade hat, he walked straight down the red carpet leading into the main temple and its famous statue of the meditating Buddha. Inside, the Karmapa offered shimmering golden robes to the Buddha along with alms bowls full of jars of honey and fruits.

The procession then moved outside and around the great Read the rest of this article

The Second Day of Losar: The Great Seating Ceremony


28 February, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
On the second day of Losar, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa acknowledged all those who share the responsibility, happiness and burden of his Office of Administration, the Tsurphu Labrang, and those who work in organising the extensive Kagyu Monlam. This ceremony, known also as the Row Ceremony because everyone is seated in rows in front of the Karmapa, was a part of the Tsurphu Monastery Losar tradition. It was a blend of a lavish Tibetan style banquet and a carefully executed monastic ceremony.

On the screen, the sky with rushing clouds covered the main wall, creating an impression that this great gathering was being held under the open skies of Tibet and a huge white decorated ram’s head placed in the center, signified auspiciousness for the next year.

The decoration of the Pavilion was much Read the rest of this article

The Torch of True Meaning: Session Two


February 09, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India

A Summary

The Karmapa emphasized the importance of sustaining our commitments once we have received an empowerment and nurturing through practice the seeds it has planted. He also pointed out how we really do not know what the Buddha looked like as images of him came some 600 years after his parinirvana. He is also said to be inconceivable, but that might prevent us from establishing a heartfelt connection with him, and therefore, we meditate on the lama as inseparable from the Buddha.

The General Report

The Karmapa began his talk today by explaining the difference between the guru yoga that is a part of the mahamudra preliminaries and the Four Session Guru Yoga by the Eighth Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje. There are numerous guru yogas of various lengths in the Karma Kamtsang Read the rest of this article