The Arya Kshema Winter Gathering for Nuns Begins in Bodhgaya
Shrine Hall, Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
this first day of the 4th Arya Kshema Winter Gathering, the Karmapa welcomed
560 nuns from nine different shedras (scholastic colleges) and their teachers,
along with large groups of nuns from Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and China as well
as a few from the West plus the community of laywomen. From March 6 to 18, the
shedra nuns will be participating in the thirteen days of teachings, debate,
and ritual ceremonies.
Karmapa noted that there are two special aspects to this year’s event. First of
all, the nuns from seven shedras will be competing for the first time. The
judges will be three Geshemas, nuns who have recently passed all the exams
after years of intense study of the major treatises and received the equivalent
of the Geshe degree from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Karmapa remarked that
having these brilliant nuns as judges indicates our respect for them and also
inspires other nuns to attain the highest level of excellence.
after years of research and discussion, the Karmapa related, we will start the
historic path to full ordination for nuns in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
This year Dharmagupta nuns from Nan Lin Nunnery in Lantou on the west coast of
Taiwan will assist in giving the Getsulma (novice) vows which will be held for
one year. Afterward the Gelopma (special vows), which are held for two winters
or two summers, will be given, and finally the full ordination of the Gelongma
vows. The Karmapa emphasized the importance of following a graduated path and
going carefully step-by-step to build a strong foundation.
Karmapa then returned to Gampopa’sOrnament
of Precious Liberationpicking
up where he had stopped last year—the section on the ceremony for taking the
bodhisattva’s vow from the ninth chapter on the “Proper Adoption of
Bodhichitta.” He reminded his listeners that there are two lineages for taking
the vows: one passes from Manjushri through Nagarjuna and the other from
Maitreya through Asanga. The first one is usually associated with the Middle
Way school and the second with the Mind Only school. The Karmapa stated,
however, that this implies a hierarchy with the Middle Way being considered
superior, so it is better to refer to the two as the lineage of the profound
view and the lineage of vast conduct.
ceremony for lineage of the profound view is further divided into two: a
ceremony in the presence of a guru and not. When, as King Amba Manjushri was
taking the vows, he did so in a ceremony without a guru. This is described here
inthe Ornament of Precious
Liberationas it is
in Atisha’sLamp for the Path of
Enlightenment. However, the scriptures on the bodhisattva vehicle
state that it should not be too easy to take these vows. We should exert
ourselves in searching for a guru, and if we are not successful, we can take
the vows in a ceremony without one. Further, we may have found an authentic
teacher, but in order to serve them, there may be a danger to one’s life or
vows of chase conduct. Since this is the same as not finding a guru, in this
situation we can also take the vows without a lama.
again to King Amba, the Karmapa explained that the king had made offerings to
the Buddha called Melody of Thunder for many years. When it came time to
dedicate the merit, the king had wanted to do so for the sake of achieving the
level of a sravaka or pratyekabuddha arhat. Then a voice from the sky
encouraged him, “You must dedicate the merit to achieving buddhahood.”
Following this advice, King Amba gave rise to genuine bodhichitta. The words he
spoke, or the ceremony he performed, are found in the sutra calledEstablishing the Pure Realm
of Manjushri, which is part of the Ratnakutra sutras. This is the
ceremony we can do when not finding a guru.
of whether the ceremony is with or without a lama, we must first train our
minds in aspirational bodhicitta so that it is not mere words, but comes from
the depth of our heart. This is the actual basis for taking the vows. At a
minimum, for one week beforehand, we should train our minds in bodhichitta
through the pith instructions on cause and effect or in the practice of
exchanging ourselves for others or the equality of self and other. Of course,
it would be difficult to generate authentic bodhichitta in one week, but at
least this training will create imprints in our mind. On the other hand, if we
cannot say for sure what bodhichitta is, if it remains some intellectual
fabrication and we merely repeat the words of the ceremony, it would be
difficult to say that we have truly received the vow.
Kadampa spiritual friend Potowa explained the stages of the practice. First we
meditate to recognize that all living beings are our mothers and then feel
gratitude to them for their kindness. This can bring about great love, and from
this, comes great compassion. Then we can find the extraordinary intention that
leads to the generation of bodhichitta.
Kadampa master Netsulpa said the only way to bring perfect benefit to others
and ourselves is to achieve buddhahood. As long as we remain in samsara, we
cannot even accomplish our own aims to say nothing of benefitting others.
Shravakas and pratyekabuddhas are able to partially accomplish their own aims,
but they are unable to benefit others. Achieving full awakening, which comes
about due to bodhichitta, is the only way that we can spontaneously benefit
both self and others.
causal chain leading to bodhichitta travels back through compassion to loving
kindness, to gratitude for others’ kindness and to recognizing that they have
been our mothers. This, in turn, depends on entering the view of the transitory
collections, meaning that one has the view of a self (that longs to benefit
others). This is said to be the tathagatas’ love. Geshe Sharwa’s explanation is
basically the same as this sequence of causes, though he phrased it
rousing bodhichitta comes out of various causes and conditions, not just a
single cause, and it is important to train our mind in these and develop
bodhichitta in stages. Whether we are discussing Nagarjuna’s tradition of the
profound view or Asanga’s tradition of vast conduct, the necessity of first
training our mind remains the same.
Karmapa then gave a reading transmission up to the third point, Taking the
Special Form of Refuge. Afterward, he turned to speak about issues related directly
to the nun’s gathering. It is said that our greatly compassionate teacher,
Shakyamuni Buddha sacrificed one third of his lifespan so that the teachings
would flourish and remain a long time. Some 2,600 years have gone by since he
passed away, and until now, the teachings have remained continuous in the
world, bringing great benefit and happiness to many beings. Included in the
third of his lifespan that the Buddha sacrificed for the teachings are the
teachings for the nuns, or those with a female body, so they could practice the
three trainings or the three vows.
we know this is based on theDharma
BlazeAspiration,which is actually from a sutra taught
by the Buddha called,the
Sutra of the Essence of the Moon. This was not translated into
Tibetan, but Atisha quoted from it in hisCompendium
of the Sutrasand his
citation included theDharma
Blaze Aspiration. At the end of this aspiration, there are two
lines: “May my retinue flourish” and “May my retinue be respected.” The
Tibetan, however, simply says, “My retinue,” and it is not clear what this
Sutra of the Essence of the Moonwas
fully translated into Chinese during the sixth century.
this version, we findthe
Dharma Blaze Aspirationand
also an explanation of “my retinue” as indicating the four types of retinue (bdag
‘khor rnam bzhi). The aspiration states, “May my retinue be
respected through the power of bringing into the proper view those who had
previously held the wrong views of the extremists.”Retinuehere refers to the four types of
retinue: the fully ordained monks and nuns as well as the laymen and laywomen.
In brief, there are two groups of monastics and two groups of householders. The
Buddha was making the aspiration that by the power of his declaring words of
truth, may his four types of retinue flourish. This alone shows us clearly that
the Buddha had the aspiration or hope that the community of fully ordained nuns
is sometimes said in Tibetan groups or in Buddhist centers that if women become
nuns, it will harm the teachings. The same thing is also said about instituting
the gelongma vows. However, if these steps would really harm the Dharma, the
Buddha would not have wished for the nuns to flourish. If we think about these
matters, we have to consider them in a spacious and broad-minded way.
Karmapa closed out the morning with advice to the nuns on how to compete in
debate without falling prey to worldly aversion and attachment. He suggested
they remember that debate is for blending the Dharma with their mind. It is
also good to relax a little bit to make their minds peaceful. The Karmapa
offered his hopes and prayers that the Arya Kshema Winter Gathering would be
virtuous in the beginning, the middle, and the end. The assembly then recited
the Third Karmapa’sAspiration
of Mahamudra, a profound text on the nature of mind, which, in its
focus on the ultimate nature, parallelsthe
at the beginning of the teachings. Both texts describe and celebrate the
perfection of wisdom embodied by women.
During his first visit to the UK from May 17 to 28, 2017, the Karmapa, a prominent Tibetan Buddhist leader, joined former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Rowan Williams together with scientists, scholars and cultural figures for a dialogue on the environment hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet and Inspire Dialogue Foundation.
The round table discussion, held on May 24, 2017, was intended to bring together perspectives “between disciplines and generations” as the beginning of an ongoing exchange, according to Lord Williams, Master of Magdalen College and a noted poet and theologian. It involved figures from the arts and sciences, including Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London; James Thornton, the founding CEO of ClientEarth; Dame Fiona Reynolds, former Director-General of the National Trust; Dr Bhaskar Vira, Director, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute; Tracey Seaward, film producer …
May 29, 2017 - The 17th Karmapa, one of Tibet’s leading Buddhist figures arrived in Toronto yesterday on his first visit to Canada. Known for his concerns about current global issues as well as for his spiritual leadership, the 31-year-old Karmapa will engage in a wide range of religious activities and will speak on environmental and social responsibility at various universities.
During his month long trip to Canada, the Karmapa will travel to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. In doing so, he is following in the footsteps of his predecessor the 16th Karmapa, who travelled extensively throughout the country and was instrumental in introducing Canadians to Buddhism in the 1970s.
Head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is the 17th holder of a 900-year old lineage. Born in a nomadic family in eastern Tibet, he made headline news in 2000 with his dramatic escape to India, where he now lives near the Dalai Lama. The 17th …
Worshipped as a living god, will the 17th Karmapa Lama also inherit the Dalai Lama’s imagery of divinity and celebrity? By MARTIN REGG COHNOntario Politics Columnist Tues., May 30, 2017
It is not his destiny to be the next Dalai Lama. For he is already reincarnated as the 17th Karmapa Lama.
Yet he may one day succeed his 81-year-old teacher and protector.
Revered since age 7 as spiritual leader of a 1,000-year-old branch of Tibetan Buddhism, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is making his first trip to Canada this week at the age of 31.
Meeting Ontario politicians Tuesday before sitting down for an interview, the Karmapa padded around Queen’s Park in a pair of brown hiking shoes peeking out from under his simple maroon robes. A picture of youthful wisdom with his direct gaze, towering above other monks at six feet tall, he may yet emerge as the public face of Tibetan Buddhism
Worshipped as a living god and the Buddha of Compassion, will he also inherit the Dalai Lama’s imagery of divinity and celebrity?
Transforming Disturbing Emotions: Dialogue of the Three Major Traditions of Buddhism Date: Thursday, June 1st, 9:30AM – 12:00PM Place: University of Toronto, Convocation Hall (MAP) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp9TaET_SNw
How to Apply Ancient Wisdom in Modern Times In these two sessions, His Holiness will discuss the basic nature of mind and the methods of obtaining happiness through listening to and contemplating the teachings of the Buddha, and then meditating according to the teachings. Date: Friday, June 2nd, 9:30-11:30AM, 2:00-4:30PM Place:The Enercare Centre, Hall D (MAP) Video: How to Apply Ancient Wisdom in Modern Times 1…
May 31, 2017– In the morning after his arrival, at 9:00AM, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje arrived at Karma Sonam Dargye Ling– a Tibetan Buddhist centre under the direction of Lama Tenzin Dakpa. This was a visit of great significance, as the centre was first established in 1976 by the venerable Lama Namsel Rinpoche under the request of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.
Upon arrival, His Holiness was ushered into the main shrine hall and seated on the highest throne, on which he proceeded to receive a body-speech-mind offering from the sangha. The yellow rice and tea ceremony followed in sequence for the welcome ceremony. Shortly after tea was served, the current resident teacher of Karma Sonam Dargye Ling, Lama Tenzin Dakpa, rose to speak.
Lama Tenzin referenced the founder of this centre, Lama Namsel Rinpoche, as one of the first Canadian resident lamas to request for His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to visit Canada. …
Thursday, 01 June 2017 16:04Lavania Saraf, Tibet Post International
London, UK — "Free from concretizing the eight worldly concerns, we train our mind in the illusion-like outlook that sees things as not real," the 17th Karmapa said during his first trip to the UK, Through training our mind, "our compassion and patience increase and our minds open up."
The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was received with anticipation and delight on his first visit to the United Kingdom on May 17th, 2017. His arrival in central London was received by numeral devotees and included a special reception with traditional English afternoon tea.
The visit had been highly anticipated by Karmapa himself, especially due to the strong dharmic connection between the United Kingdom and the Karmapa lineage, believed to be established earlier by the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. On May 18th, Karmapa visited the British Museum where some of the most crucial documents and artifacts in the his…
After a very successful visit to the United Kingdom, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, arrived early afternoon for his first ever visit to Canada. He was welcomed at the Toronto airport by members of the Karma Kagyu Association of Canada (KKAC) and numerous devotees, who displayed a colorful bilingual banner with the KKAC insignia, ¨Karmapa, Welcome to Canada.¨ As he walked slowly past a long line of devotees offering white katas, the Karmapa smiled warmly at everyone.
Still looking delighted, he arrived at his hotel where an official reception followed that included over one hundred guests. Dungse Lama Pema began with a welcome speech thanking His Holiness for accepting the invitation to come to Canada, and his staff members for working so hard to make this visit possible. Lama Tenzin Dakpa and several members of the legislature followed with short speeches to express their joy and gratitude. A welcoming Tibetan ceremony was…
In his first ever visit to Canada, the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism paid a visit to the Ontario Legislative Assembly and attended the fifth anniversary of Tibet Day at the invitation of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, Canada at the provincial parliament on May 30, 2017.
Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje also met with five members of the legislative assembly and thanked them for their support for Tibet and Tibetans settled in Ontario area, and urged the officials to continue their support towards Tibetans in Canada.
Mr. Sonam Langkar, the President of the Toronto Tibetan Association, along with members of the local Tibetan community attended the event.
Karmapa and his entourage toured the legislative assembly building following the gathering, and as part of the Tibet Day celebration, the organizers with the help from local Tibetans prepared traditional Tibetan cuisine.