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Showing posts from December, 2009

27TH KAGYU MONLAM: DAY EIGHT - KAGYU MONLAM COMES TO A ROUSING CONCLUSION

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December 31, 2009 - Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya The tremendous efforts undertaken by organizers seeking to fulfill His Holiness’ vast vision for this year’s monlam came to their fullest fruition today, as the 27th Kagyu Monlam drew to a joyful close. From early morning until the deep chill of the night, thousands of disciples who had gathered from all corners of the planet spent the final day of 2009 in the presence of His Holiness. During the first session of the day, students were able to receive Mahayana sojong vows directly from His Holiness, who began by reminding students of the great purpose of taking such vows. The day included many special events, including two sessions devoted to Guru Puja (lama chöpa) practice using the exquisite text that His Holiness himself compiled. In his customarily inclusive fashion, Gyalwang Karmapa drew on guru puja texts from multiple traditions in his preparation of this new Offering to the Gurus text, published by KTD Publications. During th…

27TH KAGYU MONLAM: DAY SEVEN - STRETCHING INTO THE DEEP PAST AND THE DISTANT FUTURE

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December 30, 2009 - Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya By inviting and embracing attendees from all over the world, providing translation into nine languages and sending out a live webcast viewed by people all over the globe, and by generating aspirations that encompass other worlds as well, the Kagyu Monlam has truly expanded to fill all space. On its seventh day, the scope of the Kagyu Monlam also stretched to fill time, with activities to protect the environment as well as to honor the Kagyur, or the canon of Buddha’s teachings. As such, the day’s focus spanned from 2,500 ago in India when the Buddha first taught, to a distant future that monlam participants actively seek to create, so that our heirs to this planet may still find it a viable and welcoming home. As part of the morning’s focus on the Kagyur itself, Gyalwang Karmapa and the other Kagyu lineages holders led a solemn and stately procession of bhikshus and bhikshunis (gelongs and gelongmas) to carry the 108 volumes of the c…

27TH KAGYU MONLAM: DAY SIX - MILAREPA EMPOWERMENT, GANACHAKRA & TALK ON "POSITIVE POLITICS"

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December 29, 2009 - Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya The sixth day of the 27th Kagyu Monlam offered students numerous ways to continue connecting to Milarepa and the Kagyu practice lineage. In the morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa conferred a Milarepa Empowerment to a massive gathering, including to such holders of Milarepa’s illustrious lineage as: His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche, His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche, His Eminence Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, Bhayoe Rinpoche, Khenpo Lodoe Dhonyoe, Drupon Dechen Rinpoche and Drikung Gyese Rinpoche. Also among those fortunate enough to receive such an empowerment, directly from the Gyalwang Karmapa, was the entire troup of actors who will be performing the drama on The Life of Milarepacomposed by His Holiness, to be staged at the conclusion of the Monlam. Continuing the day’s celebration of Milarepa’s life and practice heritage, in the evening His Holiness led a Milarepa Ganachakra gathering, at Terga…

27TH KAGYU MONLAM: DAY FIVE - KARMAPA COMPLETES THE ORAL TRANSMISSION OF MILAREPA’S BIOGRAPHY

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December 28, 2009 - Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya The recitation of the Twenty-Branch Monlam, that which provides the structure for the prayers recited during the Kagyu Monlam, is a powerful means by which we can deepen our relationship with Buddha Shakyamuni. By reciting these prayers, we prepare a place for Buddha; invite, greet and offer ablution to him; and we praise, make offerings and requests to him. To do these things beneath the Tree, where Buddha himself was enlightened, exponentially intensifies our daily encounters with Buddha. Today, His Holiness completed a long project which is intented to enhance his disciples’ connection to the great Tibetan master Milarepa. His Holiness has given the oral transmission of the entire life story of Milarepa, page after page, year after year, for three consecutive years. Today that story drew to a close; but in coming days, the Gyalwang Karmapa will further extend the process of deepening students’ engagement with Milarepa by offering …

Gyalwang Karmapa concludes his teaching on The Life of Milarepa

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December 28, 2009, Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya, report by Jo Gibson, photos taken by Karma Norbu, Pema Orser Dorje

The second session of the Monlam, saw the successful completion of Gyalwang Karmapa’s four year reading transmission of and commentary on The Life of Milarepa.
His Holiness  read the concluding part of Chapter Nine which describes  the miraculous and auspicious signs witnessed during the time between Milarepa’s  death and the conclusion of the funeral rites, a  testimony to his attainment of the supreme liberation, and his having passed intothe crystal clarity of the Dharmakaya.  Milarepa  had completed his activities. Rechung  declares: He caused the teachings of the Buddha to blaze forth like bright sunshine. Furthermore: He will serve sentient beings till the end of samsara throughout cosmic space
In  his commentary on the text,  Gyalwang  Karmapa lauded  Jetsun Milarepa as one of the greatest, yogis of Tibet, an exemplary dharma practitioner whom we should follow. His Hol…

27TH KAGYU MONLAM: DAY FOUR - KARMAPA TEACHES ON HOW TO USE ADVERSE CONDITIONS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

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December 27, 2009 - Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya As the 27th Kagyu Monlam reaches its half-way mark, thousands of disciples spent the day offering their voices, hearts and minds to generate vast aspirations for the well-being of the world. Along with those who traveled from over 52 countries to attend in person, many more have been able to participate this year from their homes, since this year’s Kagyu Monlam is being webcast live atkagyumonlam.tv with prayers and teachings transmitted in eight languages, including English, French, German, Polish and Russian. Today Gyalwang Karmapa brought his reading of the life story of Milarepa to the moment of Milarepa’s passing into nirvana. He then gave advice on how to use adverse conditions for spiritual growth. Taking the example of a common situation faced by foreigners attending Monlam in Bodhgaya—physical ailments and sickness—His Holiness indicated several ways to make such problems fruitful for our Dharma practice. For one, we can use…

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teaching on The Life of Milarepa

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December 27, 2009, Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya, report by Michele Martin, photos taken by Karma Lekcho, Karma Norbu, Pema Orser Dorje


Before teaching, His Holiness recited his prayers, and at the end held his palms together in front of his bowed head for a long time. He then continued to read from the Ninth Chapter of Milarepa’s life story, which covers the last deed of Milarepa, his passing into nirvana.
Knowing that he would be dying soon, Milarepa called his disciples to him and taught them for some days.  During this time, many miraculous appearances filled the sky–parasols, banners, and a rain of flowers, all in five clear colors. Some saw the gods and dakinis who had come to listen. He encouraged his students to follow his teachings as closely as they could and sang a song of blessing for those who had given him provisions. The verses included:
        May I meet again in the Buddha’s Pure Land        All those who saw or heard me,        Those who remember my story,        Those wh…