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The Miracle Month’s Full Moon: Offerings to the Gurus and to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

2016.02.22iii
22 January, 2016 -The Monlam Pavilion
On this very special morning of the full moon in the Miracle Month, the first of the Tibetan New Year, the Gyalwang Karmapa visited the Mahabodhi Stupa in the early morning to offer a lucent, golden set of robes to the Buddha and ten alms bowls filled with a variety of fruits and jars of honey. Creating an auspicious connection, he gave ordination to some twenty-one people in the inner shrine chamber of the stupa. Walking back out the central aisle, lined with people offering katas and flowers, the Karmapa circled around the stupa to the backside where lamas were performing a puja under the Bodhi Tree. He sat on a throne under its spreading canopy to join in the chanting, dedicated for the spread of the Buddha’s teachings throughout the world.

The Karmapa then returned to the Pavilion to lead Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits Monlam Soup Kitchen

2016.02.20
20 February, 2016 -All India Bikkhu Sangha and Shakya Muni College
On the day before the Monlam officially started, the Gyalwang Karmapa made time in his busy schedule to visit the Akong Tulku Memorial Soup Kitchen—even taking a few minutes to help chop vegetables. The soup kitchen operates during the Kagyu Monlam each year, and offers nutritious hot meals and kindness to hundreds of Bodhgaya residents. This year, in addition to serving lunch five days in Bodhgaya, the soup kitchen delivered food and supplies to three nearby villages.

The idea for the soup kitchen came about eleven years ago, when a group of Akong Tulku Rinpoche’s students from Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland came together to the Kagyu Monlam. Many in the group had never been to India, and they were saddened by the suffering they saw among the beggars and impoverished people Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Three: Now Is the Time to Practice and How We Avoid It

2016.02.18i
18 February, 2016 -The Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India
Recapitulating the essential message of the previous days, the Gyalwang Karmapa began his talk emphasizing the importance of recalling impermanence and death. Doing so, he said, allows us not to be attached to the things of this life and mired in thoughts about it. He then continued reading from Potowa’s text:

    You do not know when you will die, so resolve not to procrastinate about practicing the Dharma. Nothing else will help at the time of death, so be determined that you will not have attachment for anything.

To illustrate what this might feel like, Potowa gives the example of a person being led to their execution. If along the way stunning jewels and gold were spread out before them, what interest would they have? We alone will face death, and knowing this, we should not be Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session One: The Art of Listening to the Dharma

2016.02.16i
16 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
On the first day of the 33rd Kagyu Monlam, a long queue of white-clothed lay people led by lamas and rinpoches sponsored the mandala offering – heaps of red coral proffered on a burnished gold mandala plate. The assembly of monks in gold and maroon at the front, with rows of lay people in white at the back turned the entire Pavilion into an artistic design; more significantly, it also revived the tradition of white cotton, symbolic of purity for Hindu pilgrims in India. Uniformity in the assembly reminded everyone we were there for one purpose: to listen to the dharma.

After welcoming their Eminences, Goshir Gyaltsap and Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Kagyu masters and sponsors, ordained and lay people the Karmapa began his teaching on one of 3 great forefathers of the Kadampa lineage. As well Read the rest of this article

Renewing Hope for Many, the Gyalwang Karmapa Concludes the Third Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering

2016.02.03i
February 3rd 2016- Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
The Third Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering was brought to a close. The nuns began by chanting the opening prayers in Sanskrit, the sacred language of ancient India. Behind His Holiness the Karmapa was a thangka of a standing Avalokiteshvara, holding a lotus flower in his left hand and raising his right hand, from which emanated an image of Ananda, a disciple and cousin of the Buddha. The nuns sang praises to the Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, Ananda, and Mahaprajapati Gautami, the step-mother of the Buddha, who raised and cared for the Buddha after his mother passed away seven days after he was born. It was Mahaprajapati Gautami who first beseeched the Buddha to allow women to enter the sangha. After the Buddha initially declined—as the Karmapa explained earlier during the Arya Kshema Read the rest of this article