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Studying Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation and the Karmapa’s Closing Talk


February 4, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
In the main shrine hall, behind the Karmapa’s brocade-covered chair is an elegant folding screen, with scrolling leafy branches and luxurious flowers in muted golds, greens, and subtle orange playing over a resonant black background. Between the screen and the Karmapa is an altar holding statues of Marpa and Milarepa on the right and left with Gampopa in the middle. His text, the Ornament of Precious Liberation, is the focus of the discussions. A butter lamp is lit before him, its light illuminating the gold in the statues and highlighting the screen behind. Set wide to the right and left are two screens, which display quotations from the monks’ reports and the charts they have made to unpack the text and make relationships clear.

This has been the setting for the study of 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

The Three Essential Points, Day One


January 20, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
Today the Gyalwang Karmapa began a teaching based on the Three Essential Points, the next section from Mikyö Dorje’s One Hundred Short Instructions. The three points relate to the essence of practice for this life, for the time of death, and for the bardo.
This practice for developing compassion is related to Avalokiteshvara and was given by the great Mitra Yogi to Tropo Lotsawa. Mikyö Dorje’s text, however, does not give Mitra Yogi’s complete instruction, but only his verse on view, meditation, and conduct.

The root text divides into three sections or three types of explanation: the overview, the detailed explanation, and the conclusion (where we find Mitra Yogi’s verse). In the Eighth Karmapa’s instruction, this last section is explained extensively, especially the part Read the rest of this article

Direct Instructions on the Great Compassionate One, Day Three


January 19, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
Having finished explaining the creation phase, His Holiness turned to the completion phase. He read the passage from the text that speaks of three focuses for the practice of mahamudra: 1) staying undistracted like a soldier whirling his sword as he enters battle; 2) being skilled in abiding without altering like an elephant herder; and 3) sustaining freely like a bird taking off and returning to a ship.

The first example refers to a keenly aware mind that is also open to thought. The second refers to the fact that an elephant herder does not have to run around a lot, so it points to looking inward at the mind, letting cognitions dissipate, and relaxing. The third example is of a bird on a ship in the middle of the ocean. If the bird flies away, it will have no other place to land but the Read the rest of this article

Environmental Change, Spiritually and Practically Based

2016-09-29i
September 29, 2016 – Sidhbari, HP, India.
Today His Holiness The Gyalwang Karmapa met with young leaders, ages 22 to 30, from the Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship in the United States. They had been chosen for their potential as catalysts for practical change, centered in a spiritual world with sensitivity for the nature. These young people seek to create a future that is not driven by materialism and greed, but rooted in the spiritual values of interconnectedness, service, stewardship, and reverence for nature.
Their first question for His Holiness was asked by a young woman who had gone in a bicycle pilgrimage in several counties, including the US, Canada, and Iceland. She posed to His Holiness the key question that she had asked on her travels: When and how did you first become passionate about environmental issues?

The Read the rest of this article