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The Torch of True Meaning: Session Two


February 09, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India

A Summary

The Karmapa emphasized the importance of sustaining our commitments once we have received an empowerment and nurturing through practice the seeds it has planted. He also pointed out how we really do not know what the Buddha looked like as images of him came some 600 years after his parinirvana. He is also said to be inconceivable, but that might prevent us from establishing a heartfelt connection with him, and therefore, we meditate on the lama as inseparable from the Buddha.

The General Report

The Karmapa began his talk today by explaining the difference between the guru yoga that is a part of the mahamudra preliminaries and the Four Session Guru Yoga by the Eighth Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje. There are numerous guru yogas of various lengths in the Karma Kamtsang Read the rest of this article

The Torch of True Meaning: Session One


February 9, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India

This year sees the conclusion of a five-part teaching begun by the Karmapa on 31st December 2012, the year in which the Kagyu Monlam commemorated the Jamgon Kongtrul lineage, and hence the choice of this text by the First Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye. 

The text is a guide to the ngondro or preliminaries to the practice of Mahamudra in the Kagyu tradition.  First, come the common preliminary meditations—known as the four thoughts which turn the mind to Dharma, they are the precious human life; death and impermanence; karma, cause and effect; and the unsatisfactoriness of life in samsara. Then  come the special preliminary practices. At successive Monlams, His Holiness has completed giving instructions on the first three: Refuge and Prostration; Vajrasattva Practice; and Offering Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Introduces the Chakrasamvara Empowerment


February 6, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India
When the Karmapa discussed the special event of the Grand Empowerment of Chakrasamvara during the Winter Debates, he explained, “Usually I do not give many empowerments, only two or three a year, and a grand empowerment from the unexcelled yoga tantra I have only given once before in this lifetime. It was when Tenga Rinpoche was still with us, and he assisted me in giving the vase empowerment from this same Great Empowerment of Chakrasamvara.”

The Karmapa confessed, there were no plans to give this empowerment, but “This year the teachings from the Torch of True Meaning are on Guru Yoga and in conjunction with it, I had planned to teach the Four Session Guru Yoga. Then I newly received instructions from past lamas on the Four Session Guru Yoga, so I took the opportunity to publish the Read the rest of this article

Completing His Teachings, the Gyalwang Karmapa Speaks of the Chakrasamvara Empowerment


January 22, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
The Gyalwang Karmapa finished his teachings for the Winter Debates by giving a reading transmission of the last section of the Three Essential Points, which covered the supplementary instructions on view, meditation, and conduct. This part is long and very subtle so the Karmapa suggested that the translation be uploaded to the kagyuoffice.org site allowing everyone to read and contemplate it. Commenting on the two teachings from Tsembupa and Mitra Yogi, he said this year the teachings were mainly related to Avalokiteshvara and he hoped they had been helpful to people.

The Karmapa then spoke of the protector practice, composed by the Fifteenth Karmapa, Khakhyap Dorje, which will be performed for three days, beginning at 3am in the morning and lasting into the evening. In Tibet, the Karmapa Read the rest of this article

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