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The Four Noble Truths: How to Turn Suffering into Happiness (Podcast Episode #011)


Today’s podcast episode comes from the Gyalwang Karmapa’s first visit to Paris, France, and is a beautiful teaching on the Four Noble Truths.

This was the very first teaching that the historical Buddha gave and as such it is essential to Buddhists of all traditions, and practitioners of every level. The Karmapa teaches on all of the Noble Truths and discusses how we can overcome different types of suffering.

This episode is two sessions combined into one audio track and thus there is also two question and answer portions where students in the audience ask His Holiness about the refugee crisis in Europe, developing renunciation, and Read the rest of this article

The Importance of Nurturing Our Love and Compassion

October 5, 2016 – Suja, Himachal Pradesh, India
The Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to be the chief guest ta the Suja School’s celebration of this special day known as Tibet Our Country. Begun in the 1990s, it is a major event for the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) schools, which honors and supports the preservation of Tibet’s rich and unique culture with a variety of programs and activities that culminate on this day. The students performed traditional music and dance and presented their poetry on the topic of love and compassion, which was the focus of the day.

From the center of the stage, His Holiness spoke to those who had gathered, recalling that he had visited the school many times and that they had a deep relationship. Turning to the theme for the day, the Karmapa noted that scientists state compassion Read the rest of this article

Celebrating Dharma Connections

August 18, 2016 – Gurgaon, India
The last afternoon of the Heart Sutra teachings saw a celebration of the entire seminar. The hundreds of low meditation tables in the hall had been set with a plate of the famous Taiwanese pineapple cake and a cup of renowned high mountain tea, both of which had been brought from Taiwan to India.

After His Holiness entered the hall and took his seat on the stage, the event began with twenty people taking three minutes each to share their experience of the seminar. Standing near the stage where the Karmapa sat in a high backed chair, and facing hundreds of people, they passed the microphone from one to the other and spoke of how they had been touched by the Karmapa’s presence, by his teaching so clearly and directly in Mandarin, and by the profound words of the sutra. Some people cried and the Read the rest of this article

The Nature of Everything Is Emptiness
August 17, 2016 – Gurgaon.
This afternoon the Karmapa continued to examine some of the points that he had talked about in the morning, when he focused on the lines of the sutra: “Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. Emptiness is none other than form; form is none other than emptiness.” Continuing from here, the sutra names the other four skandhas:

    Likewise sensation, perception, formation, and consciousness are empty.

When Avalokiteshvara explained emptiness, he started with the five skandhas: form, sensation, perception, formation, and consciousness. Using modern terms, we can classify these into two categories: matter, the first skandha of form, and mind (or psychology), the remaining four. All phenomena fall into the categories of these five skandhas. In our daily lives, we focus on material things and Read the rest of this article

The Heart Sutra Session Two: Causes and Conditions

16 August, 2016 – Hyatt Regency Gurgaon,
The session began with an invocation to Incense Cloud Buddha, whose golden image beamed down from the screen above the stage. This is the traditional Chinese way to begin all teachings, because when Incense Cloud Buddha lights his incense all the buddhas are summoned to listen to the teaching. Another feature of these study sessions is the recitation of the Heart Sutra in Chinese, sung to a particular musical style known as the Ocean’s Wave: a rolling, rhythmic chant, with descant and alto harmonies, peaceful and soft like the motion of gentle waves on the surface of the ocean.

Previously, in the opening session, the Karmapa had delineated the eight sections of the sutra and commented on the first three: the prologue, the time and the retinue. He now moved on to explore the section on the Read the rest of this article