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How to Practice in the 21st Century: Advice from the Gyalwang Karmapa

2016-11-11
November 11-13, 2016 – New Delhi, India
The recent teachings given by the Gyalwang Karmapa in New Delhi focused on the deity known as Akshobhya or Mitrukpa in Tibetan (the Undisturbed). On the first two days, the Karmapa introduced the practice lineage of Akshobhya and told the history of how he became fully awakened. On the third day, he bestowed the empowerment. There were also opportunities for question and answers.

The Karmapa began by noting that there is a long history of Akshobhya practice in the Kagyu lineage. In particular, his practice is a central one for the Drukpa Kagyu tradition, whose masters have composed many texts about the practice. Turning to the story of Akshobhya, the Karmapa related that eons ago, he was a monk who asked the Buddha known as Immense Eyes, “What is the most important practice for someone on the path Read the rest of this article

The Ceremony to Introduce and Recognize Bokar Rinpoche’s Reincarnation

2015.01.21i
21 January 2015, Tergar Monastery Bodhgaya.
A crescendo of anticipation has built up to this most special day when Bokar Rinpoche’s reincarnation (yangsi) will be presented to the world. The day before, the Gyalwang Karmapa had announced:

    Tomorrow is the first day of twelfth Tibetan month so we’ll recite the smoke offering (sang) puja, Billowing Clouds of Amrita. Also tomorrow morning—and we’ve waited for this a long time, more than ten years—finally at 10am Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche will be introduced. At that time, we’ll recite the Prostrations and Offerings to the Sixteen Elders. This ceremony will be broadcast over a live webcast so that many disciples of Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche will be able to see it and participate.

In preparation for this momentous event, the Karmapa spent hours the evening before in the shrine Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Leads Chöd Puja: A String of Jewels

2015.01.15
15 January 2015 Tergar Monastery

In one of the key rituals of the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, and a particularly rare and precious opportunity for those gathered, the Gyalwang Karmapa led an extended day-long Chöd puja.

“There are both masculine and feminine Chöd practices,” he said in the lead up to the puja. “This Chöd practice was passed down from Machig Labdrön, so it’s a feminine practice, and I thought it would have particular meaning for us to do it during the nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering.”

Chöd is renowned as a practice lineage established by a woman, the enlightened female master Machig Labdrön, and female practitioners have traditionally excelled in the practice. However, the Gyalwang Karmapas have historically had a particularly close connection with Chöd practice, and are direct holders of the Read the rest of this article

In Praise of Bhikshunis: A Ritual for the Nuns’ Dharma to Flourish

2015.01.20i
20 January 2015, Tergar Monastery
During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, the Gyalwang Karmapa led a special ritual that he himself had composed, making powerful aspirations in support of all female practitioners and particularly for the flourishing of the nuns’ dharma.

Blending his voice with those of the female chantmasters, the Karmapa led the gathering through a recitation drawn from the ‘Sutra of Repaying Kindness, Great Skill in Means’, in praise of the qualities of nine exceptional Bhikshunis who were the direct disciples of the Buddha. “May we have the merit to uphold the teachings properly like the Buddha’s mother, the elder Bhikshuni Mahaprajapati Gautami,” the verse began.

    “May we be supreme among all with prajna and confidence like Bhikshuni Kshema,
    May we be supreme among all Read the rest of this article

The Lama Chöpa: Kagyu Monlam Celebrates the Gurus

2015.01.04i
4 January, 2015 Monlam Pavilion

Unseen by most of those who attend the Monlam, the Karmapa had worked into the early hours of the morning supervising preparations for the final day of Monlam prayers. Satisfied, that everything met his high standards, he had finally left the Monlam Pavilion at 2.00am.

When people arrived for Mahayana Sojong at 5.45am, the stage had been transformed yet again, into a multicultural, visually stunning celebration of the Buddhist Dharma, the Kagyu tradition and the Monlam itself.

The sixteen Chinese-style auspicious banners of the Arhats which had headed the Alms Procession the day before now lined the wings either side of the main stage, and the lowest tiers were brightened by bouquets of fresh flowers, huge chrysanthemum blooms in deep purples, whites and yellows. On the second tier, three low thrones Read the rest of this article