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Birthday Celebrations for Mingyur Rinpoche

20131130 Mingyur R's birthday
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

Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches Daily During The Annual Winter Debates

11th December – Bodhgaya.

From 23 November to 11 December the Gyalwang Karmapa taught daily during the annual winter Kagyu Gunchoe Debates at Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya. Over this three-week period he offered the reading transmission and teachings on a text by the Eighth Karmapa Mikyö Dorje, called One Hundred Short Instructions (Tri-thung Gyatsa). “I like this text very much,” he commented on the first day of the teachings, adding that in Tibet he used to read it aloud to others as a hobby or to pass the time.

The Gyalwang Karmapa taught primarily to an audience of Khenpos and monks participating in the winter debates, however, simultaneous translations into English and Chinese were offered, and many international students also attended. The number of international students grew day by day, until the gompa quickly reached capacity.

The Eighth Karmapa’s text One Hundred Short Instructions is divided into chapters covering a broad range of topics, arranged according to the path the Read the rest of this article

The Alms Procession

This year, for the first time, the ceremony was not held at the Mahabodhi stupa but transferred to Tergar Monastery and the Monlam Pavilion. It was also brought forward to six o’clock in the morning. The procession replicates the alms round from the time of Lord Buddha, a tradition which survives still today in some countries.  Buddhist monks and nuns set out each morning with their bowls to collect whatever food is given them by the villagers or townspeople.

By 5.15am the first laypeople had already begun lining up along the route, guided by Kagyu Monlam volunteers, easily recognized by their emerald green volunteer vests. The alms round is conducted in silence so people were encouraged to chant the refuge prayer.  After Mahayana sojong at the Monlam Pavilion, the monks and nuns gathered in the shrine room at Tergar Monastery and the round could begin.  A monk bearing incense headed the procession. He was followed by H.E. Gyaltsap Rinpoche, Khenpo Dönyö and Ringu Tulku bearing metal staffs Read the rest of this article