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The Gyalwang Karmapa Commences Kagyu Gunchö Teachings

2014.12.01
28 November, 2014, Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya.
The Gyalwang Karmapa entered the shrine room of Tergar Monastery, preceded by incense bearers and monks playing gyalins. Hundreds of monks from Karma Kagyu shedras were waiting with great anticipation for the first session of his teachings during this the 18th Gunchö. Joining them were many international lay students who sat to the back and sides of the hall.

Once the Karmapa was seated, the Venerable Choje Lama Phuntsok, founder of the Gunchö in 1997, made the mandala offering to request the teachings. This year’s winter debate session has been organised by his shedra, Karma Lekshey Ling, in Nepal. A few minutes later, the Gyalwang Karmapa, in his opening remarks, thanked Lama Phuntsok warmly for his hard work and commended his devotion to the teachings.

The Karmapa also mentioned the inter-shedra debate competition judges, who represent four different traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Inviting them was a symbol of the respect and importance he and the Karma Kagyu hold for all Read the rest of this article

The Eighteenth Kagyu Gunchö is Under Way

2014.11.28
26 November, 2014, Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
Each winter, monks from Kagyu shedras [monastic universities] across India and Nepal gather together under the guidance of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to engage in a month of intensive study and vigorous debate. This annual event is called the Gunchö, a Tibetan word which means ‘winter dharma’. This is its eighteenth year. The 2014 Gunchö was inaugurated by the Karmapa on the 20th November, before he left for his teaching programme in Delhi, and will continue until 17th December. The eight shedras participating in the debate competition this year are: Karma Shri Nalanda Institute from the Karmapa’s seat in Rumtek; Lungrik Jampal Ling from Situ Rinpoche’s Sherab Ling Monastery; Rigpe Dorje Institute from Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche’s monastery in Lava; Vajra Vidya Institute, from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery in Sarnath; Lekshey Ling, Chöje Lama Phuntsok’s Shedra in Nepal; Thösam Norling Gatsal, Bokar Rinpoche’s shedra; Tergar Ösel Ling from Mingyur Rinpoche’s monastery; and Read the rest of this article

The Karmapa Visits the Bodhicharya Center

2014.06.06i
June 5, 2014 Berlin, Germany

On this sunny morning, the Karmapa and his entourage drove down Kintzigstrasse in the former East Berlin to pay a visit to the Bodhicarya center, founded by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. The wood fence lining the street outside the center is decorated with colorful drawings of the eight auspicious symbols, which lead up to the main gate. Its doors are opened wide to reveal a vista of the countryside hidden in this corner of Berlin. Winding paths lined with grasses and flowers wend their way past red brick, single-story buildings to the tall meditation hall at the back of the property. On top are special rooms for the Karmapa including a balcony with a view of the gardens and the surrounding area.

The architect Inka Drohn tells the history of this place:

“The land is protected as an historical site because it testifies to the shift from rural to urban architecture. The surrounding buildings are tall with many stories, but these are very small buildings, collected like a loose settlement with a lot of Read the rest of this article

Karmapa Arrives in Berlin on First European Tour

2014.06.04
4 June, 2014 – Berlin

Tibetan Buddhist leader, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, arrives today in Berlin on his first European visit. The Karmapa will meet this week with members of the Jewish community in Berlin, and visit the Holocaust Museum and the Berlin Wall. On a stop in Cologne, he was specially invited by the Archdiocese of Cologne to address faculty and students at the Katholische Fachhochshule NRW and was offered a private tour of the Cologne Cathedral.

Although this is only the Karmapa’s third trip outside his dramatic escape from Tibet to India, he enjoys a wide following in the West, where his message of social responsibility and environmental sustainability has been warmly embraced. At the age of 29, he is the head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage, one of the largest schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The five-day visit to Berlin marks the second stage of this Tibetan Buddhist leader’s European visit, centred on Germany. From 5-8 June, the Karmapa will be teaching daily to a sold-out hall at Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Imparts the Essence of Milarepa’s Life Story

2014.04.06

April 4, 2014 – New Delhi, India
The International Buddhist Confederation invited the Gyalwang Karmapa to give a day of teachings on Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi, in the lovely and intimate theater of the Sri Sathya Sai International Center. On the stage, a painting of Milarepa hung behind the Karmapa’s chair, flanked by bouquets of lush white flowers. After a welcome by Lochen Tulku, the well-known Buddhist singer, Vidya Rao, sang the Heart Sutra in Sanskrit, the Buddha’s words arising and sinking back into silence, evoking the ancient link of Buddhism and the land of India.

In the beginning, the Karmapa emphasized that since it would be difficult for us to imitate the life style of Milarepa, we can emulate Milarepa’s great qualities of complete renunciation, a sincere motivation, and great determination. We should not leave Milarepa’s life example on the page of a book, but incorporate it in our lives, making it present in our own experience.

Engaging a more scholarly discussion of the dates for Read the rest of this article