20 December, 2014 Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
At the request of the Kagyu Monlam Committee, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa is kindly bestowing a special series of initiations, the twenty-four peaceful deities of “Knowing One Frees All”(Chig shes Kun drol), composed by the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje (1556–1603). Though the Karmapa has given a great number of individual empowerments, this is the first occasion in this lifetime that he has bestowed such a series of initiations. This special program from December 20 to 25 is given in commemoration of the First Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, who passed away twenty-five years ago, and of the Second Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, who passed away ten years ago.What follows below is some background information for “Knowing One Frees All”―its traditions, structure, and the present Karmapa’s connection to it.
Depending on the capacity and inclinations of beings, the Buddha taught various types of dharma, which can be subsumed into two categories, the sutras and the tantras. The key difference Read the rest of this article
12 November, 2014, Bodhgaya
The Gyalwang Karmapa has often quipped that the word ‘Karmapa’ is somewhat equivalent in meaning to “Action Man”. He is now recognised as a leader who ‘does’ as well as ‘says’, and repeatedly urges his followers to transform their Buddhist beliefs into action.
“Because our lives are interdependent, we carry the responsibility for ourselves, for the welfare of our family and friends, and for all living beings in the world. Interdependence is not just a philosophy: it’s a way of life,” he has said.
This morning, reflecting his advice that we should all take individual responsibility for protecting the environment, he met with an enthusiastic group of children from the local Bodhi Tree School and joined them in cleaning the local area.
The school is currently leading a campaign in conjunction with students from Magadh University to clean up the environment. The Karmapa has a long-standing connection with the Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation, a non-profit organisation Read the rest of this article
Estrel Convention Centre, Berlin
7.30pm, 5th June, 2014
A crowded hall greeted the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, when he arrived shortly after 7.30pm this evening to deliver his first public address here in Berlin at the Estrel Convention Center. A few minutes earlier, Ringu Tulku, the 17th Karmapa’s Representative in Europe, had taken the stage in order to quieten the excited hubbub in the hall. For the majority of European disciples awaiting his arrival, this was their first opportunity to see him in the flesh. Only twenty-eight years old, Ogyen Trinley Dorje heads the 900 year old Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and is already viewed as an authoritative spiritual leader for the 21st century.
The Karmapa’s first ever trip to Europe coincides with Sagadawa, the holiest month in the Tibetan calendar, when Buddhists commemorate and honour the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. As Buddha’s birthday fell on 5th June this year in some traditions, Ringu Tulku reminded everyone that the first day of the teaching in Berlin was particularly auspicious. Tibetans believe that the merit of any good deeds that you perform during this month is Read the rest of this article
On the morning of the 30th, a double-tiered shrine was set up next to the Karmapa’s throne. On the top level, the central focus was the image of a deep blue Vajradhara (Dorjechang),surrounded by the powerful eighty-four mahasiddhas. It is flanked by two vases with their curving spouts and peacock feathers. Infront of Vajradhara is placed a metal mandala plate with heaped rice and next to it, a glistening long life vase. On the level below are the seven traditional offering bowls, one of which has a tall sculpted torma, an offering of nourishment, which is decorated with two circular flower ornaments in red and blue. All these blessed objects on the shrine are the basis for a vast mental offering that fills space.
This empowerment of the eighty-four mahasiddhas is the first one the Karmapa will give in Europe. The siddha, or accomplished masters’ tradition, is a lay one that includes both men and women. They were the great meditators of India, whose lineage comes into the Kagyu school through Tilopa, who Read the rest of this article
Returning today to his temporary residence at Gyuto Monastery, close to Dharamsala, the Gyalwang Karmapa successfully ended a period travel in North India where gave many teachings and led various dharma activities, including at some of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world.
Beginning in November 2013 he taught students in Delhi at the request of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and then later presided over the 5th annual Khoryug conference on environmental protection. Moving across to Bodhgaya he then took up residence at Tergar Monastery for over 2 months, where he first led the 17th annual Kagyu Gunchö debates for monks, including daily teachings for several weeks.
For an intense two weeks in early January 2014, still in Bodhgaya, he next led over 10,000 people through the 31st Kagyu Monlam Chenmo, including giving two sets of teachings, and personally performed in an unforgettable Guru Rinpoche lama Read the rest of this article