Webcast Announcement: Gyalwang Karmapa's Teaching - "The Art of Happiness"

His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa will give a teaching on Geshe Langri Thangpa’s Eight Verses of Training of the Mind and also confer Medicine Buddha Empowerment.

Live translation in English, Spanish, French, Polish and Chinese.

Webcast Link: http://kagyutv.org/

Indian Time

Teaching at the Foundation
for Universal Responsibility
November 22Teaching Session 1                  10:30 - 12:00 IST
Teaching Session 213:30 - 15:30 IST

November 23Teaching Session 3                  10:30 - 12:00 IST
Medicine Buddha Empowerment13:30 - 15:30 IST

Download Eight Verses of Training the Mind
German | Polish | Russian | Spanish
Vietnamese | Indonesia




In order to improve the nutrition of monks and nuns, last year His Holiness introduced a new bread at breakfast during the Monlam. He bought industrial mixers and ovens and set them up in the outdoorMonlam kitchen. Then he personally oversaw the production of wholemeal rolls, flavoured with nuts and raisins. Quite a change from traditional Tibetan white flour pagleb!

(Thanks to Hong Kong Kagyu Monlam for the photos)


Long Life Prayer for the 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche written by HH the 16th Karmapa

This long life prayer for the 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche was written by 
His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje in Rumtek.
May this bring great benefit!

Homage to the Guru!
From the expanse of primordial, pure Dharmakaya
effortless continuation of the body arises
to accomplish the buddha’s activity,
to benefit the ocean-like number of beings filling the space
and to clear away the two obscurations and their habitual tendencies.

From the space of unconditional truth,
you expose the essence of Buddha Dharma
in order to tame beings. Hence you are the sun that shines
and brightens the practice lineage.
Supreme Nirmanakaya, may you live long!

Your wisdom is even greater than that of Mikyo Dorje ;
the purity of holding the monastic vow is the same as that of the
Victorius Dharma Kirti ; 
when you bring up your devotees with great kindness,
you are like Dudul Dorje ;
being all three of them in one, your voice reaches above, below
and on earth like a thunder.
Whoever hears it, obtains auspicious, excellant wisdom.
Supreme Nirmanakaya, may you live long!

From the Sutras, Tantras and the all-inclusive ocean of phenomena,
Mandalas, the union of E-vam (wisdom and skillful means) and
the basis of the generation and the completion stages arise.
The inseparability of apperance and mind is Vajrasattva ;
being the embodiment of all these, and possessing all
the above qualities, you are the absolute Protector.
Supreme, sun-like Nirmanakaya, may you live long!

By the power of the truth of all Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas,
through the energy and ocean-like blessings of the Kagyu,
and due to the auspicious words of aspirations made by Gurus,
Yidams and Protectors,
may you, the incomparable sun-like Nirmanakaya, live long!


The Garchen Takes Shape

12 November, 2014, Bodhgaya
Preparations are under way to accommodate and feed the hundreds of monks who will arrive shortly for the annual Winter Debate and then be joined by hundreds more for the 32nd Kagyu Monlam.

This  afternoon, the Gyalwang Karmapa  inaugurated the pitching of the tents for this year’s garchen – an encampment which continues the tradition established by earlier Karmapas in Tibet.  The tents are located in the fields behind the Kagyu Monlam Pavilion, and have their own shower block and toilets.  Later, more tents will be erected in a separate area for the nuns who will join the monks for the Kagyu Monlam Prayer Festival and stay on for their own winter debate session in January 2015.

The  Karmapa personally  took charge of the proceedings,  working  enthusiastically  alongside  the small group of monks  who have come to Bodhgaya early specially in order to pitch the tents.

After six tents had been pitched, it was time for a short rest and a tea break, with cake and tea served at the work site. Then it was back to work until, as the light began to fade, the Karmapa called it a day, and returned to Tergar Monastery.

In a separate field, the kitchen tent is being erected. This huge bamboo structure, covered by blue tarpaulins,  is where the meals for thousands of monks and nuns will be cooked during the Kagyu Monlam.


Gyalwang Karmapa presents a copy of the Nag-gyal-phag-sum to Khöndong Ratna Vajra Rinpoche

Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
9  November, 2014

Khöndong Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, the elder son of Sakya Trizin, head of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, visited the Gyalwang Karmapa at Tergar Monastery this morning.

The Gyalwang Karmapa presented two gifts to Rinpoche, a statue of Amitayus Buddha, and a copy of  the Nag-gyal-phag-sum.  A limited edition of this rare  practice text was produced at the behest of the Gyalwang Karmapa for  the 31st Kagyu Monlam in 2012,  as part of the commemoration of the contribution of the Jamgon Kongtrul Lineage.

The author and compiler of this text was the Fifth Shamarpa, Kunchok Yenla. The original was printed in gold ink on black paper. The main subject of the text is a practice to the three protectors Mahakala, Gyalwa Gyatso and Dorje Phagmo, hence the name. As this text was in danger of being lost completely, the intention of the Gyalwang Karmapa was to preserve this precious text for future generations.


The Akshobhya Retreat Begins

Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

November 9, 2014

The purpose of the International Kagyu Monlam is to generate peace and well-being in the world, and each year the Akshobhya Buddha ritual cycle, culminating in a purification fire ritual [Tib. Jang Sek] on the penultimate evening of the Monlam, plays an important role in this. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa has commended this practice as particularly suitable during the 21st century because of the increase in negative forces worldwide, and integrated it into the Monlam.

Each year he gathers a group of dedicated practitioners to take part in a special, preparatory retreat, held in the small shrine room, opposite his living quarters on the roof of Tergar Monastery. The Karmapa joins in the retreat as much as his schedule allows, personally supervising the arrangements for the retreat and instructing the retreatants on the practice. Last year His Holiness extended  the Akshobhya retreat to forty days, and this year’s retreat also follows that pattern. The retreatants received the empowerments for the retreat on 8th November and the retreat proper began on the 9th November. It will finish on 18th December.  During this time, retreatants will complete six practice sessions daily, starting at 6.00 am each morning and extending until 8.30 pm, and recite the Akshobhya dharani mantra 100,000 times. They will also receive private teachings and instructions from the Gyalwang Karmapa each day.

The schedule for the retreat:

Session I      6:00–7:30 am

Session II 8:00–9:30 am

Session III        10:00–11:30 am

Session IV       1:30–3:00 pm

Session V 3:30–5:00 pm

Instructions    6:30–7:00 pm

Session VI       7:00–8:30 pm

This year’s  thirty-one retreatants – six nuns,  fifteen monks and ten laypeople –  are all required to keep strict Mahayana sojong vows during the retreat.  They stay together in a local guesthouse within walking distance of Tergar Monastery. Their meals, consisting of breakfast and lunch only, are prepared specially by a small team of cooks and eaten in the company of His Holiness.

Known as Mitrugpa in Tibetan [the one who never becomes disturbed by anger or aggression], Akshobhya Buddha is one of the five Dhyani Buddhas.  According to the story, there  was once a devout and sincere monk, who asked Lord Buddha, “What is the most important thing to do in order to attain enlightenment?” Lord Buddha answered, “Don’t get angry! Don’t let your mind be disturbed!” And so the monk made a vow: “From this moment on I will never get angry with anybody,” and henceforth he was known as Mitrugpa –and, eventually, attained buddhahood.

According to the Buddhist teachings the present age is one of degeneration when all beings in samsara – the cycle of existence – are in a state of continual suffering because of negative thoughts and actions. The Akshobhya  ritual is a very powerful purification practice done for the benefit of all sentient beings. It can liberate not only the practitioners themselves from the fear of an unfortunate rebirth, but other beings as well.  Akshobhya Buddha promised that the merit generated by reciting his long dharani mantra 100,000 times and making an image of him could be dedicated to both the living and the dead, assuring their release from lower states of existence and rebirth in spiritually fortunate circumstances.