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


11 March, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

On December 28, 2016, in a historic letter sent to his Kagyu nunneries in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, the Karmapa officially announced that the actual process of establishing full ordination for nuns in the Karma Kamtsang tradition would begin. He stated that at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, on the auspicious day of the full moon in the Month of Miracles, (the first month in the Tibetan calendar, falling on March 12, 2107), the shramaneri (getsulma) vows would be conferred on those nuns wishing to take full ordination.

Following much deliberation, a path to full ordination was established. It was decided that the nuns would hold these shramaneri vows for a year, after which they will take the shikshamana (gelopma or training) vows from Dharmaguptaka nuns and keep 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

The Gyalwang Karmapa Visits the 28th Nyingma Monlam Chenmo


January 30, 2017 – Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
This morning the Gyalwang Karmapa traveled to the Mahabodhi Stupa to visit the Nyingma Monlam Chenmo, taking place from January 28 to February 6, 2017. Arriving for the first session, the Karmapa was received by Minling Khenchen Rinpoche, the current president of Nyingma Monlam Chenmo International Foundation. He accompanied the Karmapa as he made prayers and offerings inside the main temple and then greeted each of the lamas presiding over large groups of monks, nuns, and lay practitioners in all four directions.

In front of the main altar, stretched out before the Bodhi Tree and filled with offerings, the Karmapa stopped to offer a white silk scarf and admire the tormas, some of which depicted important Nyingma lamas, the main one being a powerful Read the rest of this article

Three Days of Intensive Mahakala Puja and India’s Republic Day Celebration


January 24 to 26, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
After the Karmapa’s talks on Mikyo Dorje’s text, the ordained sangha engaged for three days in the practice of the Extensive Text of the Activity of the Protector, compiled by the Fifteenth Karmapa, Khakhyap Dorje. Since it is of considerable length, the monks rose at 3am, gathered in the shrine hall at 3:30am, and chanted from early morning to the evening. In speaking of the practice, the Karmapa recalled, “In Tibet, the practice lasted seven days, beginning at 9 in the evening and continuing to 12 noon the next day, and then it started again. Sometimes you did not know if it were day or night.”

Taking an unusual step, the Karmapa appointed the khenpos as the chant masters, so they could learn this role. Khenpo Kelsang Nyima, Dean of the Rumtek Monastic College, became the Read the rest of this article