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Songs of the Kagyu Fathers: A Special Ganachakra Blessing

2016.02.17i
17 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
Every three years HH the 17th Karmapa offers a reward to those who have completed the 400,000 long ngondro or traditional foundation practices: refuge recitations and prostrations, the Vajrasattva 100 syllable mantra of purification, the Mandala offering of the universe and Guru Yoga. Each of these practices prepares the ground for receiving advanced yidam practices and Mahamudra on the Vajrayana path. Refuge and prostrations to the Mahamudra lineage focuses the mind on the Kagyu lineage masters; recitation of the Vajrasattva mantra cleanses negativity; the Mandala offering accumulates merit; and through Guru Yoga we receive the blessings of the lineage through the three gates of body, speech and mind.

At 7 pm the Karmapa walked in casually and re-arranged the 1000 international practitioners who 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

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Two: Death is certain, so resolve to practice the Dharma.

2016.02.17
17 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of the Dagpo Kagyu is the confluence of two great streams: the practice of Mahamudra from Milarepa and the Six Yogas of Naropa, and the mind training tradition received from Jowo Atisha and transmitted through the Kadampa masters. Both streams were united in Lord Gampopa. Mind training is the necessary foundation for the practice of Mahamudra, the Karmapa explained, which is why he chose to teach from the Kadampa masters as much as possible during the main Monlam. This year’s text—also called The Long Soliloquy of Mind Training—was too long to be taught in one year, so he would continue the teaching at next year’s Monlam.

Geshe Potowa Rinchen Sal spent seven years serving Dromtönpa, the principal student of Atisha and founder of the Kadampa tradition, and received the oral Read the rest of this article

Torch of True Meaning

2016.02.12
Session One
Offering the Mandala: Extracting the Essence

12 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya,
To open the Mandala offering practice, the Karmapa emphasized the essential meaning of the word ‘mandala’. We say ‘mandala’ but it is a Sanskrit word not Tibetan, he explained. The word means ‘centre and edges’ or ‘centre and surroundings’, or ‘the primary and the edges’.

    The centre is the essence. The meaning of mandala is that we are extracting the essence. In the secret mantra it’s said the essence is the natural fundamental wisdom. That’s what we need to extract. Beginners need to accomplish it gradually through the path.
    Mandala is a method for us to extract the essence, the ultimate unified fundamental wisdom. We repeatedly make offerings to the gurus. We have Read the rest of this article

Mahakala Puja: Burning the Tor-Gya

2016.02.07
7 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The Gutor Chenmo concluded on the twenty-ninth day of the twelfth Tibetan month, the penultimate day of the Tibetan year, and the day in each Tibetan month which is allocated for Dharmapala practice.

The morning followed the usual pattern of Chakrasamvara self-visualisation followed by torma offerings to Four-armed Mahakala. After lunch everyone gathered back in the pavillion for the concluding rituals of the Gutor. A murmur of surprised delight ran through the auditorium when people spotted that nine-year-old Bokar Rinpoche Yangsi had arrived and taken his seat on stage in the front row. (Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche were not present because they were leading the lama retreat for the accomplishment of the Practice of Amitayus the Three Roots Combined, in preparation for the Read the rest of this article