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The 33rd Monlam Begins in Bodhgaya: For the Sake of World Peace and the Happiness of All Sentient Beings

2016.02.16
16 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion
Before dawn, thousands of nuns, monks and laypeople filed through the security checks into the Monlam Pavillion for the first day of the 33rd International Kagyu Monlam. All those who walked along the road passed under a simple welcome gate. Made from cloth and plywood mounted on a wooden frame and painted in a pinkish sandstone colour, the gate is designed to be a fusion of temple traditions rather than one particular style. Below its lintel, multi-coloured prayer flags display the dhayani mantra of Akshobhya Buddha, which has the power to purify all those who pass beneath. A large sign declares “Welcome” in Tibetan.

While people were gathering in the pavillion, HE Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche visited the Mahabodhi Stupa in order to make offerings to the Golden Buddha on behalf of the Karmapa, to create Read the rest of this article

In Kingston, Karmapa Offers Refuge to those Seeking Refuge

2015.04.18 Kingston 2(April 18, 2015 – Kingston, New York) Many of the 1,500 attending the afternoon teachings today had been waiting a long time to gather all the causes and conditions to be able to receive the precious refuge vow from His Holiness the Karmapa on their home soil. After a morning session in which His Holiness had given just the sort of teaching needed to prepare their minds to receive the vows, they returned enthusiastically to the auditorium, their much-longed-for opportunity finally at hand.

Before he conferred the refuge vow itself, His Holiness first continued the explanation begun in the morning, drawing a distinction between simply going for refuge, and actually taking the Read the rest of this article

Generating Bodhichitta— Day 7 and 8: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

2014.12.07i
7- 8, December, 2014
The Gyalwang Karmapa began as usual with the command: Please arouse Bodhichitta and listen to the teaching.

Having covered the common preliminary meditations which form the basis for all further Dharma practice in previous sessions, on Sunday [Day 7] the section on the actual practice of arousing bodhichitta began.

The text explains that you should develop aspirational bodhichitta then take the Bodhisattva vows with engaged bodhichitta. But first come detailed instructions on several meditations to prepare the mind. The whole text is an extended Guru Yoga, and, thus, at each stage there is a supplication to the Guru for his blessings in order to accomplish the practice.

Initially, so that your being becomes more malleable, you practise shamatha meditation in an isolated place and develop meditative Read the rest of this article

Konchok Chidü Empowerment

20140105

Monlam Pavilion

January 5, 2014

Long before the crowds arrived on day three for the empowerment of the Embodiment of the Three Jewels, or Konchok Chidü, at 6.15am the Gyalwang Karmapa was already in the Monlam Pavilion, seated on stage, quietly conducting the preparatory rituals.

By 8am the Pavilion was once more filled to capacity, this time with the slow chant of Guru Rinpoche’s mantra—Om Ah Hung Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung—resounding throughout the hall, while the Gyalwang Karmapa concluded the extensive preparations.

After taking a short break he returned to the Pavilion to start the empowerment proper, the gyaling horns that heralded his arrival harmonising effortlessly with the mantra-filled hall.

As the Gyalwang Karmapa set the boundaries for the mandala of the empowerment, the Monlam Pavilion was Read the rest of this article

Taking the Vow of Refuge

The Torch of Certainty, Session 3

 

Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya, India

January 4, 2014

 

The slow chant of ‘Karmapa Khyenno’ resounded throughout the Monlam Pavilion, signaling a start to the second day of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s teachings on the Torch of Certainty. Soon the sound of gyaling horns could be heard over the chanting as the Gyalwang Karmapa arrived.

After he made three prostrations to the golden Buddha on the stage, the rest of the sangha followed suit. As ten thousand monks, nuns and laypeople prostrated in perfect synchronicity to the rhythm of a small drum, the visual effect was a reminder of the unity of the sangha, and their single shared purpose in coming together to hear the dharma.

Ten thousand voices then united as one in supplication to the Kagyu lineage masters; in a moment of perfect unity, perfect stillness, the entire gathering offered a mandala to the Gyalwang Karmapa, chanting with a single voice.

The Gyalwang Karmapa urged the packed hall to listen single-pointedly, with utter non-distractedness and not to miss even a single word Read the rest of this article