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Dedicating the Roots of Virtue: Closing Ceremony for 33rd Kagyu Monlam

22 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion
With over 10,000 participants chanting dedications and waving white khatas, the 33rd Kagyu Monlam came to a close today.

During his special address in the final session of the day, the Karmapa began by sharing the statistics of this year’s Monlam. Attendees included 4,600 members of the sangha and 6,100 lay people, representing 55 different countries. Of these, 1,600 served as volunteers. The Karmapa pointed out there were monastics from all four major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, including 320 Nyingma, 33 Sakya, 26 Gelugpa, and 4 Rime (non-sectarian) practitioners.

“We call this the Kagyu Monlam, but during the Monlam we primarily recite the teachings of the Buddha and Indian masters, and the Tibetan masters from all traditions,” the Karmapa said. “This helps us create pure vision of all the Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Meets with Kagyu Monlam Members

21 February, 2016 -Tergar Monastery Shrine Room
The Gyalwang Karmapa met with the members of the Kagyu Monlam today, shared his appreciation for their support, and offered a short teaching and gift.

The members began gathering on Tergar lawn shortly after lunch. Close to 1,400 people became members of the Monlam this year, so the lawn was filled with people eager for their audience with the Karmapa. Once inside the shrine room, everyone sat close together, waiting quietly for the Karmapa to arrive, meditating or reciting mantras. Some closed their eyes—a moment of quiet and rest after many days of prayers and activity.

At 3pm the Karmapa arrived. After taking his seat, he gave a short address to the members, which was translated into both English and Chinese. First, he expressed his view that the Monlam and all the events this Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits Monlam Soup Kitchen

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 Four: Engaging in True Dharma Practice

19 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
The Gyalwang Karmapa concluded the teachings for this 33rd Kagyu Monlam today, continuing his explanation of Geshe Potowa’s Long Soliloquy of Mind Training. In particular, the Karmapa spoke about how to incorporate the dharma into our beings, and how to examine and develop confidence in a spiritual friend. After his explanation of Potowa’s text, the Karmapa gave three reading empowerments. He also discussed plans relating to next year’s Akshobhya retreat—which will be practiced by nuns from the Karma Kagyu nunneries—and for the Torch of True Meaning pre-Monlam teachings on guru yoga.

The Karmapa began the teaching today by reading and discussing a paragraph from Potowa’s soliloquy, which included the following lines:

    “When you truly remember from your heart that you will die, Read the rest of this article

H.H. Gyalwang Karmapa Meets the Press

15 February,2016 -Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya
The Tara Shrine Room was transformed into a conference room with a large chair for the Gyalwang Karmapa placed in front of the shrine and a table holding eight microphones, laid like flowers across the front. Facing him were rows of reporters, twenty in all, who had come to attend this joint press conference, covering both the ceremony commemorating the 16th Karmapa on February 14th, the day before, and the 33rd Kagyu Monlam which will begin on February 16th, the day after.

Changdzo Karma Chungyalpa gave the reporters some background information and read the important message from the Chief Minister of Sikkim, which underlined the close historical connection of the Karmapas with Sikkim.

The first question asked about the Karmapa’s activities in relation to the environment. He responded that Read the rest of this article