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Showing posts from March, 2012

THE GYALWANG KARMAPA GAVE A TALK AT THE ROOT INSTITUTE

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14 March, Bodhgaya
I am very happy to be at the Root Institute once again and I am delighted to see everyone come here to listen to the dharma with such faith and devotion. I have come to the Root Institute many times and every time I get a very warm welcome and I would like to thank you all very much for this. I did not make any particular preparations for what I am going to say today, nor am I quite sure what I should say to you, but perhaps I will share my feelings about the Kadampa Lineage. When we talk about the Kadampa Lineage, we are referring to the lineage of those who are able to engage in the entire thought of the Buddha, and all of the Buddha's speech without leaving anything out and to bring all of that onto the path to enlightenment. And this is a particular feature of the Kadampa lineage. So within their presentation of the Buddha's teachings, their discussion of the three types of individuals, and so forth, what I think is most important for our time is the …

Flower arrangement by HH the 17th Karmapa

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Special features of the 29th Kagyu International Monlam: at the Monlam Pavilion




The flower arrangements

Spectacular bouquets of large red and yellow roses and huge white chrysanthemums line either side of the central staircase on the Monlam stage. Specially prepared by a group of Taiwanese women, the bouquets are based on an original flower arrangement created by the Gyalwang Karmapa himself.  His Holiness has been a frequent visitor to their backstage work-area, not just watching but enthusiastically joining in with the flower arranging whilst chatting away with them in Chinese.  The flowers themselves, though mainly artificial, are of the highest quality and convincingly lifelike. Arrangements of fresh flowers decorate the tables of His Holiness, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsap Rinpoche.
The base of the stage is cloaked by pots of foliage plants – also artificial.
http://www.kagyumonlam.org/english/news/Report/Report_20120308_4.html

THE 29TH KAGYU MONLAM: DAY EIGHT

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8 March, 2012 Bodhgaya LONG LIFE CEREMONY FOR THE TWO LORDS OF REFUGE, TAI SITU RINPOCHE AND GOSHIR GYALTSAP RINPOCHE
On March 8, the Gyalwang Karmapa and the sangha gathered to offer a long life ceremony celebrating two of his heart sons, the Twelfth Tai Situ Rinpoche and the Twelfth Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche. As the dawn begins to color the edge of the sky, a huge crowd has filled the Monlam Pavilion and a special excitement runs through the air. Today will be the culmination of the eight days of prayers for peace in the world and in the hearts of all beings. Through the long life ceremony this morning, the merit of this year's gathering is especially dedicated to the long lives of these two great lamas. The Gyalwang Karmapa has explained that what is positive in this life and throughout all our lives comes from our teachers, our spiritual friends. It is of utmost importance that they keep guiding us and awaken us from the sleep of our ignorance. We have protection and guidance …

THE ALMS PROCESSION

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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 m…

THE 29TH KAGYU MONLAM: DAY SEVEN

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7 March, 2012 Bodhgaya SOJONG AND THE ALMS PROCESSION
5.30am and at the Monlam Pavilion, H.E.Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was giving the Mahayana sojong vows. Meanwhile, at Tergar Monastery 500 metres away,  there was noisy bustle as laypeople arrived with their food offerings to find a good place on the circuit for the alms procession.
THE AKSHOBHYA RITUAL AT THE MONLAM PAVILION
After the alms procession, and the Twenty Branch Monlam, the  main focus of the day's prayers at  the Monlam Pavilion was the Akshobhya Ritual. Usually only ordained sangha  are involved in these prayers, although laypeople  attend the sessions.  Monks and nuns  performed  the  Akshobhya Self-Visualization,  the  Akshobhya Mandala Ritual, and the Reading the Akshobhya Sutra. The theme of purification concluded with the recitation of the Dharani Sutra.
THE AKSHOBHYA PURIFICATION RITUAL AND FIRE CEREMONY
This year, the Akshobhya retreatants have returned to offer the Akshobhya Purification Ritual every evening…

THE KANGYUR PROCESSION AT THE MAHABODHI STUPA

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For five days this year's Monlam had been held at the Monlam Pavilion, two kilometers from Bodhgaya, so it felt strange on the sixth day to be in Bodhgaya, standing at the entrance to the Mahabodhi stupa grounds at five o'clock in the morning once more.  Strange, but also very comfortable, like coming home. This ancient site radiates a pervasive feeling of sacredness, as if the broken stones themselves are a repository for two thousand years of devotion, hope, and trust in the way of the Buddha. Sitting under the bodhi tree, waiting for the Gyalwang Karmapa to arrive, people commented that they missed being at the stupa. However, for once, laypeople were able to sit where the novice monks and nuns would have been sitting, closer to the shrine, His Holiness and the bodhi tree, rather than crowded into the margins, hidden behind monuments, or perched precariously on the grass banks.  Perhaps they had forgotten the advantages of the pavilion, where everyone is included and can h…