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The Blessings of the Lamas and This Precious Human Life Day 2: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

2014.11.29
29 November, 2014 Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
In Session One, the text had spoken of the four ways in which students can serve the Lama. Today’s section began with examples of disciples who showed great devotion towards their Lamas and the benefits derived from this.

Jetsun Milarepa faced great hardship; he lived like a beggar in an isolated place with no one to share in either his happiness or his sorrows. However, as Dusum Khyenpa said, if you remember the qualities of the Lamas and supplicate them with great fervour, the power of the devotion and strength of the blessings is uninterrupted. For that reason Milarepa was able to stay in a remote place, in spite of all difficulties. “It’s like having an iron-rod of devotion in your heart,” explained the Karmapa.

Gyalwa Gotsangpa was another example of great devotion. He practised extremely hard in a cave in a cliff-face for twelve years, and made the commitment that the cave, the cliff and the person should become one. People could hear the echo of his supplications on the Read the rest of this article

Developing Inner Peace


Estrel Convention Center,Berlin
7th June, 2014

The programme this evening included a reflection on developing inner peace by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and three performances from very different musical genres.

The evening began with a performance of four pieces by the celebrated Chinese dissident, Liao Yiwu. He spent four years in prison, where he was tortured and physically abused. He was finally able to escape to the West in 2011 and now lives in Berlin.

Liao used a combination of vocals, bamboo flute, wooden abacus and metal bowl-shaped temple bells to improvise. The first and last pieces were interpretations of the 17th Karmapa’s ‘Sweet Melody of Joyful Aspiration’, a long poem which His Holiness composed during his escape from Tibet to India. The first piece was a wordless composition called ‘The Song of Hope’. Liao combined the chanting and howling of ‘Ho’ associated with Chinese religious ritual, while strumming the beads of a wooden abacus, which he held like a guitar, and was accompanied by Marcus Hagerman on the cello. The second piece, called ‘The Seesaw of Breathing’ began with a melodious solo on the bamboo Read the rest of this article

Buddhism and the Environment: Living in Harmony with the Planet


June 6, 2014, the Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany

Lively conversations in the Estrel Convention Hall subsided as the Karmapa entered and walked onto the stage, his red and golden robes blending perfectly with the rich hues of the immense images of the Buddha and Guru Rinpoche arrayed behind him.

The Karmapa began his talk on the environment, one of his major interests, by saying that it is the “biggest challenge,” the essential question for the 21st century.

In the past, he said, he has talked a lot about the environment, about protecting forests, animals, and plants, and about how our motivation shapes the way we relate to the natural world around us. He has taken a personal interest in the environment, studying it and expressing his ideas about what needs to be done at conferences. He has also engaged in various activities, such as planting trees, protecting wild animals, encouraging people to be vegetarian, and especially, supporting Khoryug (“Environment” in Tibetan). [Please insert here the web address: www.khoryug.info], an umbrella organization of fifty-five monasteries and nunneries, which belong not only to the Read the rest of this article

The Empowerment of the Eighty-Four Mahasiddhas

2014.05.30
May 30, 2014, afternoon

On the morning of the 30th, a double-tiered shrine was set up next to the Karmapa’s throne. On the top level, the central focus was the image of a deep blue Vajradhara (Dorjechang),surrounded by the powerful eighty-four mahasiddhas. It is flanked by two vases with their curving spouts and peacock feathers. Infront of Vajradhara is placed a metal mandala plate with heaped rice and next to it, a glistening long life vase. On the level below are the seven traditional offering bowls, one of which has a tall sculpted torma, an offering of nourishment, which is decorated with two circular flower ornaments in red and blue. All these blessed objects on the shrine are the basis for a vast mental offering that fills space.

This empowerment of the eighty-four mahasiddhas is the first one the Karmapa will give in Europe. The siddha, or accomplished masters’ tradition, is a lay one that includes both men and women. They were the great meditators of India, whose lineage comes into the Kagyu school through Tilopa, who Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits Tilokpur Nunnery

2014.05.05
May 5th-7th, Tilokpur

The Gyalwang Karmapa arrived at Drubten Pemo Jalpay Gatsal, 40 kilometers from Gyuto monastery, a new nunnery set among fields of wheat and flowering trees in the foothills of the Himalayas for a three day visit. The nearby Karma Drubgyu Thargay Ling is one of the oldest Kagyu nunnery outside of Tibet and has grown to such a size that new facilities were created to accommodate the large number of female practitioners. Great efforts have been made to give nuns a place to practice the dharma, hear the instructions and do the trainings; that they have these wonderful opportunities – where they may not have in the past – is a sign that the teachings of the Buddha are flourishing.

On his arrival, he first consecrated the new Mahakala shrine room set above the temple. After the welcoming ceremony with offerings of ceremonial tea and rice, the Karmapa then presided over a Mahakala puja for the nuns and other international students Read the rest of this article