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Offerings to the Sangha: the Alms Procession and the 16 Arhats

21 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of almsgiving dates back to the beginnings of Buddhism, 2500 years ago. At that time monks and nuns were not allowed to keep or prepare food and were therefore completely dependent on whatever they were offered to eat by the local community. Each morning they would go from door to door and collect food. By offering food to the Sangha, laypeople not only showed their respect to the spiritual values that the Sangha symbolized, but were able to accumulate merit both by the action of generosity towards the Sangha and also by sharing in the merit which the monks and nuns generated through their spiritual practice.

In some Buddhist countries, the custom of the alms round has survived to this day, but in Tibet, because monasteries were supported by the local communities, it was no longer Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Discusses the Power of Remorse for Purification

January 30th, 2016 –Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya, Bihar, India
The Sutra Teaching the Four Qualities speaks of the Four Powers in the following way:

    Maitreya! If bodhisattva mahasattvas have found these four things they will overcome evils that have been committed and established. What are these four? They are (1) the power of the thorough application of total remorse, (2) the power of thoroughly applying the remedy, (3) the power of renouncing harmful acts, and (4) the power of the support.

Today, His Holiness the Karmapa continued the teachings from yesterday’s topic on confessing one’s misdeeds, specifically focusing on two of the Four Powers. Reading through the transmission of Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation, which today covered the first power of remorse and its three divisions, the Karmapa took up the question Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Begins His Winter Activity in Bodhgaya

January 1, 2016 – Bodhgaya,Bihar.
His Holiness left Tergar Monastery in the early morning to begin the western New Year by offering his homage at the Mahabodhi Temple, marking the place where the Buddha attained full awakening. The Gyalwang Karmapa was welcomed to the sacred site by Mr. N.T. Dorje, Secretary of the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee, and the Head Monk-in-Charge the Venerable Bande.

The Gyalwang Karmapa passed under the first gate, covered in beautiful flowers, and descended the long steps on the path to the main temple. Along both sides stood disciples holding white offering scarves and colorful blossoms to brighten his passage and receive his blessing. Once inside the shrine, His Holiness offered to the radiant Buddha statue, golden robes along with heaping bowls of fruit and generous arrangements of flowers. After Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Makes Historic Announcement on Restoring Nuns’ Ordination

24 January 2015,Tergar Monastery

During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering the Gyalwang Karmapa made the historical announcement that, beginning next year, he would take concrete steps towards restoring nuns’ vows in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Beginning with the restoration of the novice ‘getsulma’ and training ‘shikshamana’ nun’s vows next year, which will be conferred with the assistance of a special contingent of nuns from the Dharmagupta tradition, this will then lay the necessary framework leading to ‘gelongma’ or ‘bhikshuni’ full nun’s vows in the future.

“The biggest event during next year’s Third Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering will be reinstituting the novice and training vows for nuns within the Tibetan tradition,” he said. “This will be a historical event.”

“Many Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Opens Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering

8 January 2015 Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

This week the historical Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for nuns began at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. The annual gathering brings together Karma Kagyu nuns in a program focused on advanced training in philosophy and debate.

“When we initiated this Winter Dharma Gathering for nuns the primary aim was to strengthen the education within Kagyu nunneries,” the Gyalwang Karmapa said. “Another aim was that the nuns would be able to take responsibility not just for activities within their own nunneries, but also take wider responsibility for upholding the teachings.”

“Monks and nuns are the same in being able to uphold the Buddha’s teachings, and have the same responsibility to do so,” he continued. “However there has been a period when nuns have not really had the Read the rest of this article