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A Day Moving from Empowerment to Intellectual Pursuit and Finally Song and Dance


December, 10, 2016 – Sherabling Monastery, Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh, India
Today’s events took place in the vast shrine hall of the new shedra (monastic college), which was inaugurated in 2015 and provides housing for 500 monks. In the center of the shrine hall, the Karmapa’s throne has been set before a radiant statue of the Buddha in preparation for the empowerment he will bestow today. The hall is bright with light that streams in through side windows and illuminates the thangkas of the Golden Garland hung on either side of the central aisle. Down this path His Holiness entered in a formal procession and took his seat in front of the altar specially set up for the empowerment. Here he preformed the preparations and then took his seat on the throne. After a formal mandala offering by Mingyur Rinpoche, the Karmapa began the empowerment, and finishing Read the rest of this article

Winter Debates End with an Historic Announcement and Great Gratitude

2016.03.10
10 March, 2016 -Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, India
This year the Winter Debates lasted for fifteen days and encompassed a wonderful variety of ways to train the mind and deepen understanding. In addition to daily meditation, there were traditional debates on the philosophical positions of the Vaibhashika and Sautrantika Schools as well as the yearly debates on Collected Topics, Types of Evidence, and Types of Minds. Papers were presented on Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation covering the second chapter on the spiritual friend up to the eighth chapter on refuge, and western-style discussions on two topics: 1) Can blind faith be considered faith? and 2) Are the Dharma and the secular world opposed or not?

Starting at 8 p.m. on March 9, the final debate went into late hours and began with the topic of what it Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Four: Engaging in True Dharma Practice

2016.02.19
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

Four-Armed Mahakala: Protector of the Marpa Kagyu

2016.02.05
5 and 6 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya,
By Friday morning, the beginning of the main practice, some noticeable changes had occurred at the pavillion. At 10.00pm the previous evening His Holiness the Karmapa had personally draped a golden silk robe over the Buddha statue. In addition, a gilded and decorated throne, higher and more ornate than the simple throne used on the first day, had been brought over from Tergar shrine room and now stood centre stage. A thangka of Four-Armed Mahakala hung over the offerings table which had been moved to the right of the Karmapa’s throne. The rows of maroon-clad monks and nuns had increased. Stretching out to either side behind the musicians and umzes, they now reached to the very edges of the pavillion. At their head sat the Vajra Master Gyaltsen Namgyal and Chief Khenpo Lobsang Nyima, both from Rumtek Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Continues Teaching, Announces Plans for Shedra Curriculum

2016.01.16i
January 16, 2016 -Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya, Bihar
Today’s teachings began with the sound of melodic chanting of the opening prayers; the nuns’ voices were led by a female chant master (umze). After the donations and offerings of white scarves by the lay sponsors, the Gyalwang Karmapa resumed the teachings on the 9th chapter of The Ornament of Liberation regarding relative bodhicitta. Picking up where he left off yesterday, he continued, “In terms of the methods for meditating on bodhicitta and the way to train and develop it, all of the texts on mind training are basically ways to meditate on bodhicitta, to train one’s mind in bodhicitta.” There is a text by the 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje, called The One Hundred Short Instructions. In it, he explained, there are two methods for developing bodhicitta: one is considering samsara in Read the rest of this article