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Why Take Refuge? The Karmapa Continues His Commentary on The Torch of Certainty

The Torch of Certainty, Session 1

Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya, India
January 3, 2014

On the first day of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s talks on The Torch of Certainty by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, the side areas of the Pavilion are overflowing with lay followers, while the center is filled with the ordained Sangha. The maroon and gold of their robes is reflected above in the three levels of pleated material that run in a fluttering row from the front to back of the hall along the huge arch of the roof. The large crowd faces the Pavilion stage, where at the very top of its long and broad flight of stairs, the image of Tibet’s Mt. Kailash forms the backdrop for a large statue of a golden Buddha. Beneath him is a life-like statue of the 1st Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, and a flight downward from him is another throne with a statue of the 16th Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje, and finally, at the base, the simple and beautiful throne of the present Karmapa, flanked by thrones for Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsap Rinpoche, along with rows of tulkus and khenpos.

Before the Karmapa begins these two days of teachings, he Read the rest of this article

Uma Debate

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December 27, 2013
Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya, India
In the main shrine hall of Tergar Monastery, a large chair with a curving back covered in luminous white silk has been placed in front of the Buddha. His Holiness the Karmapa has taken his seat there to witness and participate in today’s debates on the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) view. The participants are senior monks and teachers from various monasteries, who have formed two groups, one of the defenders, seated behind a row of ornately painted tables, and the other of the questioners, who are gathered behind a standing microphone about fifteen feet away. Displayed on two screens flanking the Karmapa are digital clocks, counting down the split seconds of the fifty minutes for this debate.

The debate is unhesitating, animated, and vigorous. In the midst of the intense exchanges, the Karmapa listens with complete attention, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a critical look. He raises his arms out, stopping the debate to challenge and clarify. The usual protocol of great deference is Read the rest of this article

Anniversary of Dusum Khyenpa

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5 December 2013 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

On the anniversary of the parinirvana of the great First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa led several special celebratory events in the holy place of Bodhgaya.

After continuing the scheduled Kagyu Gunchö program in the morning, in the afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa gave a detailed teaching on the sacred spiritual biography or namthar of Dusum Khyenpa, followed in the evening by a special Feast Offering Puja.

The great master known as Dusum Khyenpa, or ‘the knower of the three times’, was renowned for his ability to clearly see the past, present and future. He was the wellspring of the Karma Kamtsang lineage, and the first in the string of lives of the seventeen Karmapas, following one after another like beads on a mala.

Teaching to a gompa packed full with monks, nuns and a growing crowd of international students, the Gyalwang Karmapa began by observing that only recently have people begun to give greater importance to the anniversary of Dusum Read the rest of this article

17th Kagyu Gunchoe Begins – Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches Daily During The Annual Winter Debates

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3 December, 2013 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya.

The 17th Kagyu Gunchoe – Winter Debates began this year on December 3rd  at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, India. The daily schedule includes debates during the morning and in the afternoon, the Karmapa’s teaching on a text by the Eighth Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje, called The One Hundred Short Instructions. Throughout his presentation, the Karmapa emphasized the importance of balancing study with practice, of tempering intellectual pursuit with realization arising from experience. In the Tibetan tradition, debating is an integral part of intellectual and experiential training. Its purpose is to probe an individual’s knowledge of Dharma, to remove doubts, and to elucidate what is not clear. Debating helps to ensure that understanding does not stay at the level of words, but goes deeper into the meaning. It also allows a great number of topics to be explored in a short time and to be retained more easily.

From 3rd December the Gyalwang Karmapa will teach daily Read the rest of this article

Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche Inaugurates New Rumtek Retreat Centre

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24 November, 2013 – Martam Sikkim.

On Lhabab Düchen, the 24th November, 2013, Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche led the prayers and blessing ceremonies to inaugurate Drub De Yid Wong Sam Ten Ling, the new Dharma Chakra Centre retreat centre at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. He also offered prayers during the installation of the Ganjera on the retreat centre roof top and inaugurated its new shrine room. Thousands of people from the nearby villages and towns of Martam, Song, Khamdong, Rumtek, Sajong and Gangtok gathered at Martam to celebrate this auspicious occasion. The chief guest was the Hon. Justice of the Sikkim High Court, Mr Sonam Wangdi.

The new retreat centre is named after the retreat centre at Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet, the principal seat of the 900-year-old Karmapa lineage. His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje chose this name for the retreat centre he established near Rumtek. In keeping with this tradition, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje decided that the Read the rest of this article