First visit to Europe by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

by Wangdu on February 28, 2014 

With the support granted by the government of India and the Tibetan government, the Karmapa Foundation Europe (KFE) has the great pleasure and honour to announce the first visit to Europe by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

The visit will take place in Germany from 25th May until 9th June 2014.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS   (Last updated on April 24, 2014)

Below is a provisional itinerary for the 2014 European visit. Information about booking tickets and accommodation will soon be published on www.karmapa-deutschland.de
Please contact the individual locations/organisers for further details.

Kamalashila Institute

28th of May
Kamalashila Institute®
Arrival in Langenfeld / Eifel
16.00Welcoming the Gyalwang Karmapa to Kamalashila Institute®
(invitation only)
20.00Reception for official representatives of European Karma Kagyu organisations.
Application via online form is mandatory!
(invitation only)
29th of May
MayBitburger Event-Center Nürburgring
09.30Teaching: The short Ngöndro – Part I
11.00Teaching: The short Ngöndro – Part II
15.00Teaching: Guru Yoga Practice
30th of May
MayBitburger Event-Center Nürburgring
09.30Teaching: The Mahamudra Lineage Prayer – Part I
11.00Teaching: The Mahamudra Lineage Prayer – Part II
15.00Empowerment: The 84 Mahasiddhas
31st of May
Bitburger Event-Center Nürburgring
09.30Empowerment: Dorje Sempa
14.00Empowerment: Medicine Buddha
1st of JuneKamalashila Institute®
09.30Inauguration of Stupa (Invitation only)

Estrel Convention Center

5 June
19.30Public Talk: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern World. Heart-Advice for a Meaningful Life
6 June
09.00Visit to Bodhicharya Centre Berlin (invitation only)
14.30Teaching: Mind Training – Taming the Mind and Cultivating Loving Kindness
19.30Public Talk: Buddhism and the Environment – Living in Harmony with our Planet
7 June
14.30Public Talk: Changing the World from the Inside Out – Love and Compassion for a Globalised World
19.30Teaching: Developing Inner Peace – The Art of Meditation with Cultural Events
8 June
10.00Karma Pakshi Empowerment
14.00Young People meet The Karmapa:
The Future Is Now – Today’s Youth are the Hope for a Better Tomorrow

For more information about the schedule of events please visit the Kamalashila Institute’s page here.



Wonderful drawings dedicate to H.H. the 17th Karmapa

Source: 蓮中蕊 weibo

Inaugural Meeting of the Karma Kamtsang Directors of Publications

26th Feb, 2014 – Vajra Vidhya Institute, Varanasi.
For the purpose of establishing cooperation and unity between the publishing groups of the different Karma Kamtsang monasteries, His Holiness called a meeting of their leaders at Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche graced the conference with his presence, offering his full support and encouragement towards this important endeavour. As His Holiness explained, until now, the publishing groups of the different monasteries have been working hard within their own spheres, but because of a lack of communication between them, there have been some problems such as multiple printings of a common text, while more rare and important texts have been overlooked. Since the readership of Tibetan is relatively small, he expressed that it is important for the groups to come together to pool their resources, and share the responsibility for preserving the full Karma Kamtsang textual tradition and the Buddha’s teachings in general.
His Holiness pointed out that, of the three kinds of activity of a master – those of body, speech and mind – it is the speech activity which is principal. Why? Because it is through his or her speech that the Dharma can be preserved and remain accessible to future generations of students. For instance, if a great and scholarly master appears in the world but does not compose texts or offer teachings during their lifetime, within a few generations, it will be as if that guru had never appeared on the earth. And furthermore, if the writings and oral teachings of past and present great masters are not preserved, then likewise, we lose a great treasure.
In this vein, His Holiness wishes to publish this coming year the full compendium of the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa’s works, as well as an album describing his life. He also presented a list of texts from past lineage masters which would be important to publish soon. Furthermore, he expressed the importance of preserving the teachings of present lineage gurus as well, and recording their life stories.
Two important items that His Holiness introduced to this group are the need for a uniform design for all the books published by the monasteries, and the need to develop a more sophisticated computer program for correcting and preparing the texts for printing. With regards to design, the group discussed in some detail the different aspects of layout and cover design, acknowledging that though the styles used in the Western and Chinese traditions can helpfully inform the printing of Tibetan texts, it is nevertheless important to find a design that is particularly suited to the Tibetan language and readership. The layout needs to make the texts more accessible and also respect the correct forms of the written language.
His Holiness had clearly spent considerable time considering how the current computer program for imputting and correcting texts could be improved. He offered a detailed description of what a new program should look like and what functions it should perform. In fact, preliminary work on the program has begun, and His Holiness has named it Ketaka, after a certain jewel stone that was used in former times to purify water. The texts need to be cleansed of the impurities of spelling errors and such which cloud and confuse their meaning, and thus to become high quality reliable wellsprings of Dharma.
The assembled khenpos and publishing directors discussed with His Holiness many aspects of the work of publishing, from Tibetan punctuation rules to finances to long term vision. They participated with energy and interest, sharing their thoughts and experience. This was an inaugural event marking the beginning of a new stage of development of publications within the Karma Kamtsang mandala. As per His Holiness’s direction, the groups will continue to meet yearly and even more regularly at a local level.
His Holiness Participates in End-of-the-Year Mahakala Puja

On February 25th, His Holiness attended the first session of the annual Mahakala puja at Vajra Vidya. This puja is traditionally performed at the end of the lunar year to clear away obstacles before the new year begins. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Tulku Damchoe, eminent khenpos, monks, nuns and lay people all gathered to participate. This year we recited a new Mahakala text, composed by His Eminence Gyaltsab Rinpoche.

2014.2.26 噶瑪岡倉各寺院出版部執事首次會議  Inaugural Meeting of the Karma Kamtsang Directors of Publications



The Gyalwang Karmapa Confers Long Life Empowerment

22nd February, 2014. Samyeling (Majnukatilla) Delhi.
This chilly February morning found the Tibetan colony of Majnukatilla bedecked with flags and banners as people lined up early to get a good seat for the long life empowerment from the Gyalwang Karmapa. His Holiness first inaugurated the colony’s new community center, and then made his way to Samye Ling TCV school where more then two thousand people were waiting for the blessing and empowerment. The local head of the Tibetan community extended a whole-hearted welcome to His Holiness with speeches and a traditional offering of tea and rice.
His Holiness then bestowed the empowerment of Amitayus, expressing that our faith and good heart gave this meeting its auspicious meaning. Following the empowerment, he spoke at some length to the community members, giving them advice on many matters, from health to the Tibetan political cause. He stressed the importance of unity among Tibetans – that they shouldn’t allow the changing world situation to divide them, but should remember their cultural roots. Furthermore, he expressed that as the world becomes smaller it is becoming even more critical for us to remember to help each other in whatever small or big ways we can, and to rely on the strength of a good heart.

2014.2.22 法王噶瑪巴於西藏村傳授長壽佛灌頂 The Gyalwang Karmapa Confers Long Life Empowerment



Guru Vajradhara the 12th Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa visited His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

On the 21st of February 2014, Guru Vajradhara the 12th Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa visited His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa at the Hyatt Regent Hotel in Dehli after the 31st Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya and teachings in Dehli.



Title:  Buddha-Dharma-Sangha
Artist: 17th Gyalwang Karmapa
Language: Tibetan


Prajna (Wisdom )

Title: Prajna (Wisdom)
Artist: 17th Gyalwang Karmapa 
Language: Chinese 


Gyalwang Karmapa Offers Medicine Buddha Empowerment and Teachings to Tibetans and Himalayan Region People in Delhi

9 February 2014 – Buddha Jayanti Park, New Delhi
The sun shone in a clear blue sky as many from New Delhi’s Tibetan and Himalayan communities gathered in the lush grounds of the Buddha Jayanti Park.
In the crisp winter morning they followed winding pathways over green fields and small streams to cross the park—which was created in celebration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha’s Indian birth—towards a special outdoor arena, beside the park’s iconic golden Buddha statue. A stage was set with the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne, while a translucent red silk canopy floated in the gentle breeze overhead.
The Gyalwang Karmapa was once more requested by the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association to offer empowerment and teachings, in an annual gathering of Delhi’s Tibetan and Himalayan peoples that has taken place for the past 5 years.
On his arrival at the park the Gyalwang Karmapa was escorted through the grounds with traditional gyaling horns and clouds of fragrant incense, first pausing at the sacred golden Buddha statue to prostrate, kneel, and offer a white silk khata.
Lama Chosphel Zopa – who is President of the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association, former Member of the National Commission of Minorities and former Vice-Chairman of the National Commission of Scheduled Castes and Tribes of the Government of India – welcomed the Gyalwang Karmapa and explained that they had requested him to offer a Medicine Buddha empowerment, as well as to give a short introduction to the Buddha dharma.
“We’ve been Buddhists for generation after generation, so I’m not sure why you want me to introduce you to Buddhism!” the Gyalwang Karmapa joked to the largely Tibetan and Himalayan crowd, to laughter all around.
And yet, he then skillfully proceeded to teach those gathered how to deepen the natural faith and trust in the Buddha dharma that most present had enjoyed since their birth.
Speaking in Tibetan, his words were also translated into Hindi by Roshan Lal Negi for the benefit of all the Himalayan peoples present.
“Generally speaking, many Tibetan and Himalayan people have a strong foundation of faith, trust and belief in the Buddha dharma. This is very, very good, and gives you 50-60% of what you need. You already have a large part, and if you just add a few percent more through your own efforts to gain education, then you have the opportunity to become extremely strong practitioners,” he told those gathered.
He explained that they were already very fortunate to have this quality of faith and trust in the Buddha dharma, which is an important foundation—and yet, on its own, this is not enough.
“What’s left now is to study. We need to study how it is we should practice the dharma – if we do that, we can be 100% practitioners and our practice can be 100% fruitful.”
“Even though we’ve a long history of engagement with Buddhism and being followers of the Buddha, we’re not familiar with or adept at applying the essential points of Buddhism within our lives. This is quite sad.”
He observed that across the Himalayas there was traditionally a lack of emphasis on education—both in general terms, as well as in actual study of the Buddha dharma. And yet, in modern times schools were now opening up even in remote places.
“Young people can seize these opportunities for education,” he said. “But, we don’t just need education in general, but to also place emphasis on dharma study as well.”
The Gyalwang Karmapa then taught how faith and trust in the Buddha dharma have the power to lead our minds in a positive direction, and can spur us on through difficulties.
“Many of us here have escaped to India from Tibet, and if we look at the experience of escaping from Tibet we can find a very clear example of the power of faith. Our faith was an important condition that allowed us to arrive here. The path we had to cross to reach India from Tibet is fraught with difficulties. In order for us to be able to face those difficulties—and even to set out on the voyage—it was our faith that allowed us to do so. If we had wavered, lost our faith, lost heart, we could have not undertaken the journey. So this is a vivid example of where we can see the power of faith at work.”
He turned to his own decision to flee Tibet as a direct, personal example of the power of faith.
“By making the decision to come, I could recognize it would be beneficial. But if I were only using my brain to identify the risks and assess the potential dangers, this alone would not have given me the strength to come. We need to have faith in the benefits of something, and to have faith and trust that we’re going to be able to do it. We need faith to even start out, and along the way faith keeps us firm when obstacles arise.”
The Gyalwang Karmapa offered the Medicine Buddha empowerment, and skillfully conveyed the healing power of the Buddha’s blessings. He urged those gathered to take care of their own health, instructing them that with a healthy body and a healthy mind, happiness will naturally arise.
Finally, he expressed how happy he was that all the members of the Tibetan and Himalayan communities in Delhi had come together, like a large family.
“We’re united in that we’re human beings; we’re united in that we’re Buddhists; and we’re united in sharing a similar Himalayan background. My wish is that like a large family, we can share the good and the bad. When something positive happens, we can all share in that happiness. When difficulty arises for one of us then we can carry the burden of that suffering together. We can face all the difficulties that come like a family, together.”

2014.2.9 法王噶瑪巴為德里的藏人和喜馬拉雅民眾傳授藥師佛灌頂及開示 Gyalwang Karmapa Offers Medicine Buddha Empowerment and Teachings to Tibetans and Himalayan Region People in Delhi


Tsechu Lama Dance will be broadcast on Life TV in February

February 12-19

6:30-7:30 am (Indian Time) / 9:00-10:00 am  (Taiwan Time)

February 14-21

6:30-7:30 pm (Indian Time) / 9:00-10:00 pm (Taiwan Time)


The Gyalwang Karmapa visits Nyigma Monlam

Feb 5th, 2014 – Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya.
The Gyalwang Karmapa today visited the Mahabodhi temple where the anniversary of the 25th Nyingma Monlam was being celebrated. The sun was at last shining brilliantly lighting up the stupa grounds, where various groups gathered round ancient stone monuments and bodhi trees to chant prayers. While devotees gathered outside the inner sanctum of the temple, the Gyalwang Karmapa entered and offered a new shining gold robe to the sacred Buddha statue. He then led a procession of enthusiastic followers around the inner kora stopping at the thrones of Nyingma masters to offer katags and light butter lamps. On the south side was Khyentse Yangsi and Minling Khenchen Rinpoche, on the north Dudjom Yangsi, on the east Khenchen Pema Sherab, and on the west Namkha Drimed Rinpoche.
The Gyalwang Karmapa did four outer circumambulations with calm dignified steps, while a growing procession of monks, Himalayans, and Western lay devotees followed. Seeing his radiant face shining like a full moon made it a joyous occasion.

2014.2.5 法王噶瑪巴造訪第25屆寧瑪祈願法會 The Gyalwang Karmapa visits Nyigma Monlam http://kagyuoffice.org/the-gyalwang-karmapa-visits-nyigma-monlam/


The Gyalwang Karmapa Joins Bihar Chief Minister in Celebration of Bodh Mahotsava 2014.

Februrary 4, 2014 – Bodhgaya.
The Gyalwang Karmapa participated today in the opening of the Bodh Mahotsava 2014, a three-day cultural festival commemorating the 2,600th anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment here in Bodhgaya.
Chief minister of Bihar, Mr.Nitish Kumar welcomed His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa and salute tourists and pilgrims from all over the world who have successfully thwarted the designs of the saboteurs through their presence in a large number in the city of enlightenment.
Lauded the constant improvement in the Mahotsava format and the increasing level of participation of cultural troops from abroad to make it a truly international event.
Buddha Mahotsava, the much-awaited cultural event jointly organised by the tourism department of the state government and the district administration began on a positive note on Tuesday evening with the organizers offering the right mix of Indian and foreign cultural menu. The annual event that began in 1998 aims at promoting religious tourism and pilgrimage in the land of Buddha’s enlightenment.
This year the event coincides with Basant Panchami signaling the arrival of the moderate spring season. Spring season and Buddha teachings have at least one thing in common and that is moderation and absence of extremism in thought, action as well as environment.
Performing artists from Srilanka, Thailand, Tibetan, Bhutanese, Myanmar and South Korea made presentations of their popular culture on the state soon after the inaugural function.
The event held on the Kalachakra grounds attracted over 8,000 people, including representatives of various embassies, national delegates and local attendees.
Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, Dilgo Khentse Yangsi Rinpoche and Dudjom Rinpoche were present among other dignitaries.

2014.2.4 法王噶瑪巴與比爾省省長出席菩提慶典 The Gyalwang Karmapa Joins Bihar Chief Minister in Celebration of Bodh Mahotsava 2014.



The First Kagyu Monlam Animal Camp Declared a Great Success

February 3rd, 2014

During the first ever Kagyu Monlam Animal Camp, the team of volunteer vets and para-vets treated a total of 830 animals. An elephant, a beetle, rabbits, a camel, ducklings, dogs: many different types of sentient beings received treatment during the animal camp. From an injured beetle to a sick elephant - all received equal care and attention.  Many concerned people brought a total of 540 injured or sick animals to the experienced veterinary team for help. 

Goats: Thousands of goats live in and around Bodhgaya. During this winter, many were sick with a severe form of contagious pneumonia (lung infection) and were near death. Due to the efforts of the team, the goats were able to recover with treatment (antibiotics, intravenous fluids (glucose drip) and other medications).  A nearby Buddhist centre houses many goats who have been liberated from slaughter (Tsethar). These goats were similarly sick and the team travelled to the institute daily to give them treatments.

Cows and Buffalo:  Most families in Bodhgaya own at least a cow and a buffalo. Their milk feeds the family and their dung provides fuel for cooking. The loss of a single animal is devastating to marginal villagers who depend on her for survival. Similarly, buffalo are used to plough the fields and provide milk. The vet team treated a number of different conditions and saved many lives. 

Horses:  Horses are used to pull carts and transport people in and around Bodhgaya. Running on the hard bitumen roads creates massive stress on their legs and hooves. Many of these horses have chronic (old and ongoing) leg and joint problems causing pain and were treated during the camp. Two horses have been rescued from this life of suffering and released to live their remaining days on the Garchen ground. The first has lost the sight in one eye and the second has a crippled leg and was in great pain pulling a heavy cart all day. 

In addition, the team gave 301 anti-rabies vaccinations and neutered 253 stray dogs.
Another important part of their work was an educational outreach programme. Its first focus was on dog bite and rabies prevention:
·       Teaching the community of the importance of reducing the dog population to a healthy manageable size through sterilization programs and controlling rabies by vaccination all dogs.
·       Training children how to avoid being bitten by dogs and how to treat dog bites to prevent rabies infections.
·       Training children on the importance of compassionate care of animals and the interdependence of all life. 
The second focus was teaching villagers and children the proper care and husbandry of animals. 

There are many local myths about the care of goats, cows and other animals that are causing harm. For example, some villagers believe that giving fresh water to goats in winter causes diarrhoea. This leads to dehydration and disease rather than preventing it. A vital aspect of a vets work is teaching animal owners proper care and husbandry of the animals under their protection.

The third focus was preventing the capture and caging of wild birds. 

The Kagyu Monlam Animal Medical team expressed immense gratitude to His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Thinley Dorje for this opportunity to provide service in the holy land of Bodhgaya, to Drikung Gyaltsey Rinpoche for his guidance and inspiration, to the Bo Gangkar Rinpoche for his support, to the Kagyu Monlam Committee and to all the volunteers who worked long hours for the animals.

They have dedicated their efforts to the long life of His Holiness the Karmapa.

2014.2.2 The First Kagyu Monlam Animal Camp Declared a Great Success 噶舉大祈願法會首屆動物義診圓滿成功


Yellow Jambhala painted by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa


Mahamudra Arises Spontaneously


February 2nd, 2014 – Root Insititute
Root Institute is an oasis of peace and tranquillity, like a Pure Land  within the environmental chaos of Bodhgaya. HH Karmapa’s teaching after the Monlam at the Institute, established by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, has become an annual tradition, a special event eagerly awaited by his Western students. When His Holiness enters the cosy shrine room it feels like the Buddha has come home to his sitting room, in marked contrast to the vast space of the Monlam Pavilion which seats 10,000.
To create the right atmosphere, the Venerable Ani Sarah read Lama Zopa’s translation of Guru Rinpoche’s teaching on the benefits of making offerings to the Bodhgaya stupa, (and all stupas), a lengthy poetic treatise covering every possible object of offering and its incalculable benefits.
With this preparation, HH Karmapa  enters and offers a katag to the life-like photo of HH Dalai Lama resting on the throne. His own throne is garlanded in brilliant orange and gold marigolds.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche sits on a very low seat to his left, looking frail from a stroke he suffered some months ago. With determination born of pure devotion, he makes prostrations touching the ground with his entire body, stretching out his limbs as far as the human body can reach. The Karmapa protests several times, but Zopa Rinpoche offers his body, speech and mind to the Buddha, his hands shakily holding the mandala plate. After their heads touch, he offers the Karmapa a thangka.
HIs Holiness expresses his pleasure at meeting Venerable Zopa Rinpoche at Root Institute for the first time since he has become ill. He extends warm greetings to staff and sangha and a deep admiration for the wonderful work of Root Institute encompassing the noble vision of Zopa Rinpoche. ”I express my heartfelt appreciation and rejoice in particular in the area of Bodhgaya. There’s a lot of wonderful projects going on”.
I don’t have the ability to articulate the dharma or the experience of it. It’s not a matter of putting on a good show with body and speech. It’s mixing the dharma with one’s mind, taming one’s hardened mind, and diminishing mental afflictions.  We may appear to be a dharma person, but faced with adverse circumstances, it turns into another story. We can’t leave the dharma outside our everyday life. Its purpose is to diminish our afflictions. Under ideal circumstances, one can feel one is developing, but faced with adversity, our practice doesn’t always hold. We have to apply an antidote on a consistent basis.
We entertain our mental afflictions. Once we feed them they strengthen out of the feedback we give them. Leave them alone and let go. Then they will weaken. Letting go will make them more and more powerless.
Mahamudra texts say one must not pursue mental afflictions, but when they arise, one shouldn’t worry about it. For example, someone on a journey will see various scenery. One doesn’t have to stop seeing what one sees, nor does one have to be alarmed. The journey must go on. We tend to claim ownership of what is on the path.  Rather it is a journey of noticing mental afflictions, looking at their essential nature. Then mental afflictions will become powerless because they are not automatically equipped with the power to overwhelm us.  By feeding them, mental afflictions gain strength. Whatever is concocted like lies, must come to the surface. If one doesn’t entertain it, the mental afflictions will be defeated by themselves. We have to confront the afflictions with all means and methods and if we can weaken their power we can tame and even uproot them. All dharmas come to the same point. All the profound instructions aim to uproot our mental afflictions. It is important to understand this.
Our mental disease is an old disease that has been with us from beginning-less time. It’s difficult to rely on a doctor because the doctor cannot cure it completely. Sometimes we consider the Buddha to be a doctor who gives us the medicine. But if we don’t eat it or use it properly, good medicine is not enough. We are the patient. We need to take responsibility. Sometimes we feel very spiritual and think ‘ I must get some degree of realization, or spiritual power’; but in real life, things change. In real life situations, we become another person. That kind of dharma practice is not very useful. We must have the spiritual power to face emotions and obstacles. This is what makes a dharma practitioner, or authentic practitioner. Sometimes we need to use different kinds of methods. All kinds of methods were used by great masters in the past. These provide inspiration to understand how to control the emotions. But we really need to find a personal method, not just follow the methods of great masters in the past.
Dedicated consistent integration of the dharma into everyday life is the practical approach to dharma practice.
 The Karmapa’s talk began in Tibetan, jumped seamlessly into English, then returned to Tibetan. As it ended, His Holiness left the shrine room supporting Lama Zopa who was smiling and walking despite his disability. Starting with an initial reluctance to teach mahamudra, the Karmapa’s talk turned into spontaneous mahamudra, brilliantly encapsulating the essential moment of letting go and just doing it.

2014.2.1 法王噶瑪巴於魯特學院開示大手印面對煩惱的方法 Mahamudra Arises Spontaneously -  Root Institute


Gyalwang Karmapa’s Speech ( A Special Emphasis on Nuns 2014: A Retrospective)

February 2nd, 2014

First of all I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all the spiritual friends, scholars, and members of the monastic and lay communities who have come to this closing ceremony of the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering.

We have held this gathering over the course of two weeks, and for over one week I spoke both in the mornings and afternoons, so I feel that I have run out of anything to say. I don’t have anything in particular to say. It’s like grinding sand to extract oil.

However, the various nunneries have made the request that it would be good to have the opportunity to take the bhikshuni vow. We didn’t plan this—it’s not as if we said to them, “You do this, you make this request.” At first I didn’t know about it. When I first heard there was a request, I didn’t know what it was.

As I said the other day, whether the teachings of Buddhism are present or not depends upon whether the Dharma Vinaya is present or not, and that primarily comes down to whether the three foundational rituals of the Vinaya are practiced or not. Though I am merely a mediocre follower of the Buddha, I rejoice that you have had the resolve and confidence to make such a request in order that the root or basis of the teachings does not wane. So first I would like to thank them for having such an idea and such courage.

For many years, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that we need the complete fourfold community in Tibet and that it would thus be good if there were the lineage of the bhikshuni vow. He has put a lot of effort into this. Likewise the khenpos, acharyas, and geshes of all the different lineages have had many discussions on this subject. This is because it concerns the lifeblood or the foundation of the Buddha’s teachings, so everyone has taken great interest in this. It is not that there is no interest.

However, for one thing this issue is extremely important, and likewise the rules in the vinaya must be based on the words of the Buddha that even an arhat as great as a mountain is not allowed change them. Thus it has been difficult for everyone to come to a decision that does not contradict the three baskets of the Buddha’s teachings.

I myself have had the opportunity to go to several meetings to discuss the issue of reviving the lineage of the bhikshuni ordination. In those meetings, it has been discussed that there are three ways that the lineage of bhikshuni ordination could be revived. The first is that there is a way for the male bhikshu sangha on its own to confer the bhikshuni vows. This is because in the past many Tibetan scholars and great practitioners have given bhikshuni vows with the male sangha alone.

The second method is to confer the bhikshuni vow through the dual male and female sanghas. However, there is no bhikshuni community in Tibet, so for the bhikshuni sangha, bhikshunis from another tradition—primarily the Chinese Dharmaguptika tradition—would be invited. They would assemble along with a sangha of Tibetan bhikshus from the Mulasarvastivada tradition and confer the bhikshuni ordination. So this is the second option.

The third option is for a dual male and female sangha from another tradition— the Chinese Dharmaguptika tradition—to confer the vows. So that is another option.

But fundamentally there are only two options: conferring the vow with a single sangha or with a dual sangha, to put it in a nutshell.

But how shall I put this, many geshes have spoken at great length about this. In any case, many people think it would be good for there to be a lineage of the Mulasarvastivada bhikshuni vows because the Tibetan Vinaya is from the Mulasarvastivada tradition. Thus it would be good for any bhikshuni sangha or community of nuns to be from the Mulasarvastivada tradition. If we were all the same tradition, the teachings would not be divided into different parties. Since there there are these reasons and this benefit, many people express the opinion that it would be good to be from the same tradition.

I don’t think that this would present any particular difficulties. The reason is because if the ordination were conferred by the male sangha, it is hardly necessary to say that the lineage of the vow would be from the Mulasarvastivada, because the bhikshus themselves would give it. Even if the vows were conferred by a dual sangha, if the male sangha were from the Mulasarvastivada tradition, the lineage of the vow that the supplicants would receive at this time would be from the Mulasarvastivada tradition. The reason is because the actual vow is received from the sangha. In the dual ordination, there are two sanghas, the male and the female. Since there are two, the actual vow is received from the male sangha. This is extremely clear in the Buddha’s words as well as in the treatises of the Indian masters. Thus the lineage of the bhikshuni vow that is received in that situation is the Mulasarvastivada lineage. It would not be too bold to say that this is basically decided.

Thus it is probably not so that there would be no opportunity to revive the bhikshuni vow or the community of bhikshunis. There is an opportunity, and there is a way to do it. But like the English expression, there is a “right time.” We need the appropriate occasion—not too early and not too late. It’s like seasonal rains—too early is no good, too late is no good.

So for that reason I will keep this hope you have expressed to me in mind. I will ask His Holiness the Dalai for his advice and opinion. Also I will consult the senior lamas from the different lineages as well as the senior lamas of the Kagyu lineage and spiritual masters inside the Karma Kamtsang lineage, and when there are the wishes, aspirations, and support of all of them, I will do as much as I can so that the community of bhikshunis will be as undisputed, untarnished, and unexcelled as possible. I have said this before, and I say again today that it is my responsibility to do as much as I can for this. This is because I have the title of the Karmapa, so this is a task that I must undertake. So I will do as much as I can.

That is one topic. The other topic is that…

This Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering is something that has never occurred before in the many centuries of the precious Kagyu lineage. It’s OK to say that. But this did not happen because I have such great skills, such great compassion, or such great intelligence, as I said the other day. I’m speaking from my heart—I’m not just mouthing this words.  

I have the feeling that it is solely due to the compassion and aspirations of the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions, our Teacher the Buddha Shakyamuni, those with great compassion and concern for monastics and the community of bhikshunis such as the Noble Ananda, the forefathers of the Kagyu lineage, and the successive incarnations of the Karmapa, masters of our Karma Kamtsang lineage. They have not actually come here physically and spoken aloud, and we cannot see them. But they regard us from the invisible expanse, give us confidence through their compassion, and bless us with their aspirations. Because of this, this gathering has been virtuous in the beginning, middle, and end. There has been no internal or external discord or difficulty at all from the time it began until now.

One way that we can consider this is that if what you are doing is Dharmic, it is something that is worthy to be done, and it is clear that while doing it you have the support of the lamas, yidam deities, and Dharma protectors. For that reason, if we in the future are doing something that is truly Dharmic, it is important for us to do it with great confidence and accomplish it without procrastination. Once you have begun, you will have the support of the lamas, yidams, and Dharma protectors. I really believe this.

The reason is because in my life there have been many problems, I have encountered many difficulties, and I have had to make many big decisions. For example, when I first came here from Tibet, if I were to say the probability that I would actually escape from Tibet, it would be hard to say there was even a 1% chance. But because of the lamas, yidams, dakinis, and dharma protectors, or since my resolve or motivation was unmistaken, I was able to have confidence and take the first step. If I were to have used my own intelligence and discernment and thought about it, it would have been difficult to take even one step. It is through faith and belief alone that I came here. For that reason, looking at my own life I feel that we could say that it is faith and belief. Or else before we do any virtuous thing we ourselves need to give it value, find belief in it, and take a step. If we were to wait for someone else to place a value on it before we took a step, it would be very difficult.

So that is why we have been able to start this Winter Dharma Gathering, and this is really because of the compassion and kindness of the masters of the past and the lamas and spiritual friends who are currently alive, as well as of the khenpos, masters, teachers from the various shedras, and sangha members who have actually come here, of the various ladrangs and monasteries. All of them have enthusiastically supported this from the bottoms of their hearts. For example, when we were working the other day, the cushions had to be moved here and there, things carried from one side to the other. I’m not easy to satisfy, so everything had to be schlepped three or four times. And the people who did this were the khenpos and tulkus—the khenpos and tulkus all became porters. Normally a khenpo is someone who puts on airs, sitting on a throne and pointing out things to his students. But all the khenpos, teachers, and instructors who were here this year—you can’t say there were that high but you can’t say they were too low as they are the leaders of our monasteries—have given their support with their bodies, speech, and minds.

It was the same with the nuns from the various nunneries. At first it was uncertain how it would turn out and so I had to take the bold step and say we would hold this gathering. I had to impose this, because I was a bit apprehensive or worried about how would the nuns respond, how the debates would go, and how it would all turn out. But when we actually began the Winter Dharma Gathering, it was unlike any other. We have held the Kagyu Gunchö seventeen times, and you can’t say that this was any better or any worse than that. So it has turned out very well.

And it turning out well is due to the organizers of the Winter Dharma Gathering, especially the nuns. They all recognized this good fortune for what it is and combined all their efforts of body, speech, and mind into one, so it has been equally good on the outside and inside.It has been good in the beginning, middle, and end. I really ought to thank each of you individually, but we don’t either the time or the custom of doing that. Maybe that’s good—if I were to shake hands with each of you it would take several hours. Instead I would like to say thank you to all of you.

This year’s Winter Dharma Gathering is just a beginning, and the path ahead is very long. But some people say that once you have begun, fifty percent is done. The Kadampa spiritual friends said this—once you achieve a precious human body you are halfway down the path to buddhahood. To put it plainly, the path to buddhahood is extremely long, and achieving a precious human body means you have already reached halfway. It’s like that. Now that we have started this, we are halfway there. We’ve done fifty percent. Now we need to make efforts at the remaining fifty percent continuously without break and without flagging.

So for my own part I will continue to give my support and assistance, as I have said before. But impermanence is scary, isn’t it? We don’t know what will change. When I say “impermanence,” I’m not saying “death and impermanence.” Various changes occur. As the time and circumstances change, my own situation and position will change with them. There’s no certainty. For example, my mother’s younger sister died today. She had the hope of seeing me before she passed away, but that didn’t happen. Many things happen like this. So impermanence comes, but regardless of what happens, I will continue to offer my support.

Also monastic colleges have now been founded within our nunneries, and it is important that the instructors be of the highest quality. Similarly, it is very important that the curricula be well-designed.

Whatever work you do, whether worldly or Dharmic, you need the resources—not just financial but human as well. These are very important, so we can continue to offer opinions and have discussions of these. We can figure out what is best to do, and no matter how many nunneries there are we can establish centers for practice and study. This shouldn’t be just giving a name and saying “We have a retreat center and a monastic college.” They must live up to the name and be of high quality. I think it is critical that we bring this about.

I won’t speak too long. I’m holding everything up so I won’t speak too long.

Thus we have held this Winter Dharma Gathering that has been virtuous in the beginning, middle, and end. I would like to express my prayer that through whatever virtue there has been in this, may Buddhism in general may spread and flourish, may sentient beings may be happy, and especially may all sentient beings may achieve whatever temporary benefit and ultimate happiness they desire, just as all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas wish.

May all of the communities of Buddhist nuns in this world and especially the community of nuns in the Snow Land of Tibet grow and thrive, and may their study and practice increase like the waxing moon. I am making this dedication for my part, and ask you to make the same aspiration.

2014.2.2 Arya Kshema Closing  第一屆讖摩比丘尼辯經法會閉幕式