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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

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

Birthday Celebrations for Mingyur Rinpoche

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30 November 2013 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

Gyalwang Karmapa today celebrated Mingyur Rinpoche’s 38th birthday by leading the monks of Tergar monastery in a dedicated long-life Tsedrup puja.

The sound of gyaling horns echoed down the stairwells from the roof of Tergar monastery, heralding the Gyalwang Karmapa’s arrival as he descended into the gompa below to lead the final session of the three-day puja. He joined around 300 monks as well as a small crowd of international devotees in the birthday long-life aspirations.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, abbot of Tergar Monastery and one of the highly respected lamas, entered an advanced meditation retreat two and a half years ago. After leaving behind a letter to his students around the world setting out his intentions, he disappeared alone into the Himalayas to follow the path of a solitary wandering yogi. He carried no provisions, and no fixed plans, as he set off to meditate alone in remote Himalayan caves and at sacred Read the rest of this article

Announcing the Ārya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Kagyu Nuns

This year following the Kagyu Monlam there will be the First Annual Ārya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Kagyu Nuns from January 20 to February 2, 2014. Arising out of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa’s desire to improve education for all Kagyu monastics in general and for nuns in particular, this gathering will bring nuns from seven different Kagyu nunneries together at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya for two weeks of teachings, classes, debate, and special pujas.

The gathering is named for Ārya Kshema, a bhikshuni from the time of the Buddha who was said by the Bhagavan himself to be the greatest of his nuns in terms of wisdom and confidence. Remembering her example will encourage contemporary nuns to pursue their training in education and meditation.

After an opening ceremony on January 20, there will be eight days of teachings, classes, and debates from January 21 to 28. During this period, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa will teach twice daily on Gampopa’s Ornament of Liberation. The nuns will also have daily classes on logic and debate every evening. On January 30, there will be a Special Ritual for the Nuns’ Dharma to Flourish composed by His Holiness the Karmapa. On January 31, there will be a Chöd Ritual “A String of Jewels” to celebrate the special Read the rest of this article

The 30th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo Day Eight

28th December – Bodhgaya.

Early morning, Tergar Monastery
4.45 am. From the Garchen a steady stream of spectral figures emerges on to the road. The monks and nuns are making their way to the Mahabodhi stupa, two kilometres away, for a special full-moon-day Vinaya sojong, scheduled to begin at 5.00 am. Laypeople are usually not allowed to be at this bi-monthly ritual of purification of downfalls and restoration of vows and precepts which only monks and nuns attend.

Mahayana Sojong at the Mahabodhi Stupa
The Gyalwang Karmapa gave the Mahayana Sojong vows, followed by a short talk on the importance of aspirations and dedications.

A short teaching by the Gyalwang Karmapa
During the previous seven days of the Monlam, the assembly has employed body, speech and mind to make aspirations for the benefit of all sentient beings and the Dharma. Now is the time to gather together the merit generated and dedicate it for all sentient beings that Read the rest of this article