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A Royal Welcome for HH Sakya Trizin

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18 December, 2014 Bodhgaya
The arrival of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin at Tergar monastery on December 18th, 2014 marked an historic re-connection between the Karmapa lineage and the Sakya Trizin. Previously the 16th Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje, nurtured the young Sakya heir when he first came to India, for which HH Sakya Trizin later expressed his gratitude in a letter.

For over an hour an estimated one thousand people stood patiently holding ceremonial scarves and incense as they lined both sides of the one kilometre road that leads to Tergar. The Karmapa had sent his own black Audi to Patna to collect HH Sakya Trizin and his two sons, Khondung Vajra Ratna Rinpoche and Khondung Gyana Vajra. As the car approached Tergar Monastery, a procession befitting royalty escorted it. Monks and lamas bedecked in dazzling orange and red brocade played horns, blew the conch, beat ceremonial drums and held victory banners aloft. A monk walked beside the car, holding high the golden parasol. The car cleared the gates through banks of juniper smoke and Read the rest of this article

There is Not a Moment to Lose Day 3: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

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1 December, 2014
This chapter Vast and Profound Light: Instructions on the Two Types of Bodhichitta began with the fundamental importance of Guru Yoga on the path to enlightenment, followed by instructions on the first of the four meditation topics which form the common preliminary practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Their purpose is to ‘turn the mind to dharma’, and the first topic is the precious human life.

In yesterday’s discourse, the 17th Karmapa explained how a human life in and of itself is not necessarily a precious human life. Many people face obstacles or lack the conditions needed for practising dharma. Indeed, it is a rare achievement to attain a precious human life, like a blind sea turtle who struggles to the surface once in a hundred years and yet manages to put his head through a yoke floating on the ocean swell.

Having established the difficulty of gaining a precious human body with all the ‘leisures’ and ‘resources’ that are needed in order to practise the dharma, the text now reflects on how easy it Read the rest of this article

The Blessings of the Lamas and This Precious Human Life Day 2: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

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29 November, 2014 Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
In Session One, the text had spoken of the four ways in which students can serve the Lama. Today’s section began with examples of disciples who showed great devotion towards their Lamas and the benefits derived from this.

Jetsun Milarepa faced great hardship; he lived like a beggar in an isolated place with no one to share in either his happiness or his sorrows. However, as Dusum Khyenpa said, if you remember the qualities of the Lamas and supplicate them with great fervour, the power of the devotion and strength of the blessings is uninterrupted. For that reason Milarepa was able to stay in a remote place, in spite of all difficulties. “It’s like having an iron-rod of devotion in your heart,” explained the Karmapa.

Gyalwa Gotsangpa was another example of great devotion. He practised extremely hard in a cave in a cliff-face for twelve years, and made the commitment that the cave, the cliff and the person should become one. People could hear the echo of his supplications on the Read the rest of this article

Kindness and Love, a teaching by the Karmapa upon his visit to the Suja School.

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25th Sept, 2014. TCV Suja School.
On the morning of September 24th, His Holiness and entourage travelled to the Tibetan Children’s Village at Suja, 57 kms from Gyuto Monastery, near the Tibetan Settlement of Bir. On the way, they stopped to greet community leaders and people who had gathered on the roadside to welcome His Holiness at both Tashi Jong and Sherab Ling. Upon arriving at the Suja TCV school, His Holiness was welcomed with deep respect by the school’s Director, and the children, teachers and many others who lined the road. That morning, the children performed for him the play of Milarepa.

After lunch, groups of students engaged with the “Tibet Our Country” program presented His Holiness with their projects about Tibetan culture. His Holiness later expressed his appreciation for the presentations.

The next day, at their request, His Holiness addressed the students and staff of the large community. He focused on the value of respect, kindness, and love. As he pointed out, all beings have Read the rest of this article

Developing Inner Peace


Estrel Convention Center,Berlin
7th June, 2014

The programme this evening included a reflection on developing inner peace by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and three performances from very different musical genres.

The evening began with a performance of four pieces by the celebrated Chinese dissident, Liao Yiwu. He spent four years in prison, where he was tortured and physically abused. He was finally able to escape to the West in 2011 and now lives in Berlin.

Liao used a combination of vocals, bamboo flute, wooden abacus and metal bowl-shaped temple bells to improvise. The first and last pieces were interpretations of the 17th Karmapa’s ‘Sweet Melody of Joyful Aspiration’, a long poem which His Holiness composed during his escape from Tibet to India. The first piece was a wordless composition called ‘The Song of Hope’. Liao combined the chanting and howling of ‘Ho’ associated with Chinese religious ritual, while strumming the beads of a wooden abacus, which he held like a guitar, and was accompanied by Marcus Hagerman on the cello. The second piece, called ‘The Seesaw of Breathing’ began with a melodious solo on the bamboo Read the rest of this article