NEWS & CURRENT ACTIVITES

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His Holiness Visits the Royal Bhutanese Monastery

Before returning to Tergar Monastery, His Holiness visited the Royal Bhutanese Monastery in order to check on progress in making the Kagyu Monlam torma (butter sculptures).

This year a film crew from US is making a documentary about the unique Tibetan tradition of butter sculptures, so His Holiness drew the word ‘torma’ with brush and ink in Tibetan calligraphic style for them. Read more

Updated Information on the Akshobhya Retreat

Friday 19th December, 2008

Following some changes, the retreat began on Friday 19th December, a day later than originally planned, and will last for fifteen days, concluding on 2nd January 2009. There are 16 monks, drawn from all the Kagyu monasteries, in retreat. The retreat is a preparation for the Akshobhya Ritual to be held on the 9th and 10th January 2009, during the 26th Kagyu Monlam. This year’s ritual will be especially dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the typhoon which hit Burma, the March disturbances and demonstrations in Tibet, the Sichuan earthquake in China, and the November terrorist attack on Mumbai (Bombay). Read more

Gyalwang Karmapa begins teaching on Madhyamika

Monday 15th December, 2008

Each year, during the Karma Gunchoe, the Gyalwang Karmapa gives a dharma teaching. Although strictly part of the Karma Gunchoe and not part of Kagyu Monlam, many of the Kagyu Monlam staff as well as lay students of His Holiness and pilgrims attend these teachings. Consequently, for the first time, simultaneous translation into Chinese and English has been made available this year.

The teaching will be based primarily on The Lion’s Roar which Destroys Confusion, a text written by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje

In the first session, the Gyalwang Karmapa began by emphasizing the importance of motivation and intention these days, since modern methods of transport had made travel so much easier than in the past and great determination and perseverance were no longer necessary. Without correct motivation and intention, there would be no real benefit in travelling to Bodh Gaya on pilgrimage or to receive teachings. Further, it was important to concentrate on the great fortune of being able to be here rather than on any difficulties we might have experienced or be experiencing, and use the opportunity fully to carry out the twin dharma Read the rest of this article

A Logo for the Environment (29th December, 2007)

Transcript: An Explanation of the Kagyu Monlam logo by the Gyalwang Karmapa December 29, 2007

On December 29, 2007, His Holiness talked movingly about protecting the environment in a speech in Bodhgaya:

“There is a new logo for the Monlam this year, and I would like to explain it.

“Throughout my life I have always felt that the outer natural elements and my own mind are close. I have a special connection with the four elements. I am not being superstitious and saying I can talk to the elements, but sometimes it feels that way.


A new logo of the Kagyu Monlam designed by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

“Ever since the human race first appeared on this earth, we have used this earth heavily. It is said that ninety-nine percent of the resources and so on in this world come from the natural environment. We are using the earth until she is used up. The earth has given us immeasurable benefit, but what have we done for the earth in return? We always Read the rest of this article

An Interview and Discussion with HH Gyalwang Karmapa on the Great Kagyu Monlam Aspiration

December 13, 2007: Interview with His Holiness

The Gyalwang Karmapa kindly gave the following interview at Tergar Monastery on 13th December, at the 25th Great Monlam Aspiration of the Glorious Unequaled Kagyu Sangha (Pal Nyammay Kagyupay Sangha Monlam Chenmo).

Q : Your Holiness, please could you explain the meaning of the word monlam?

GK : From the perspective of mind, the meaning of monlam can be explained in several ways. From the perspective of the individual it means having the profound wish [or aspiration] to bring happiness and well-being to others and simultaneously enhance our own root of virtue, dedicating that merit for the benefit of all sentient beings. That type of [wish-fulfilling] dream is monlam.

Q : What is its importance?

GK : Generally speaking, all major developments in human culture have come about as the result of hope and a clear vision. From the Buddhist point of view, our ultimate goal is to attain parinirvana; in this process, the role of aspiration is fundamental and threefold. At the beginning it is like the seed, in the middle it is like water and Read the rest of this article