Sangha Sevaka meeting with Gyalwang Karmapa December 20th, 2012

December 20th, 2012

The inner Monlam

2012.12.20 Sangha Sevaka meeting with Gyalwang Karmapa 法王噶瑪巴接見發心菩薩開示

In a keynote address to the 200 plus people who form the Kagyu Monlam's support team, the Gyalwang Karmapa emphasized the spirit of the Monlam. It was an unusual  and moving acknowledgement to the dedicated helpers who form the backbone of this thriving event; and a prelude to the 30th Monlam starting on the 21st December.

The Monlam helpers (Sangha Sevakas) wearing blue uniforms, sat in tidy rows sorted according to the services they provided: food, environment, cleaning, storage, registration, technical support, seating, translation, donations, health care and publicity; and clapped as the Karmapa walked in. He sat down with customary dignity and gave a transmission for the Chenresig prayer before sharing  his thoughts.

The real Monlam is whatever substantially occurs within one's mind. Participate with an open relaxed outlook. It should be stress-free, without the seriousness of worldly activities. Make your mind more spacious and expansive than ever. There is an opportunity for the play of the mind to occur. Look at it in this way.
Don't be completely caught up by the symbolic appearance of the Monlam but be tuned into its essential purpose. No matter how elaborately we create the Monlam, its essence lies within the mind and heart. Generate the proper attitude.
He acknowledged the Monlam had grown significantly in scope and size, with many coming from abroad, and declared  this has added to the majesty of the Monlam.

Your support has become indispensable and an added ornament to the Monlam. So with that in mind I would like to  express my genuine appreciation.
The first Kagyu Monlam began 500 years ago in Tibet during the time of the 7th Karmapa. Kalu Rinpoche revived the Kagyu Monlam in India in the early 1980s and Bokar Rinpoche enabled it to flourish after Kalu Rinpoche passed away in 1989.

Since his arrival in India, the Karmapa's presence in Bodhgaya has caused the Monlam to expand, each year increasing and refining his activity. This year he has been seen walking between Tergar temple and the Monlam site, frequently working manually to participate in the new site from the ground up. He continued:

By passing on noble aspiration and loving kindness from one person to another continuously to this day, it can be said that you now have access to the warm blessings of the lineage masters of the Monlam. That itself provides a significant context. Now you can access the warm blessings and compassion of the masters and you also have the opportunity to expand it outwards to others.
The main purpose is to remember the great kindness of the Buddha; secondly to benefit beings. When we practice the conduct of the Monlam in the sacred place of Bodhgaya with one unified voice,  if we make the aspiration for the peace and happiness of the world with genuine motivation and participate in the Monlam activities, it creates a very precious opportunity. The program is designed to enable us to engage in pure and wholesome dharmic activities. It should give rise to strength and confidence in our hearts, and engender more similar activities.

In closing, the Karmapa high-lighted the theme of the 30th Monlam and gave an extraordinary present from the lineage of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye.

This year the special theme is the commemoration of Jamgon Kongtrul, in particular the third. It has been 20 years since he passed away. In the spirit of remembering the lineage masters, I'd like to give you a token - a photo of the handprints of the first Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye. In our tradition it is very significant to receive the hand and footprint of such a greatly realised master. It is equal to the presence of the great master. It is much more than having just a photo.
A photo from the museum and one that is handed down is very different. We are the keepers of the lineage. In modern terms, we have the original copyright. Normally one would have to request it at least three times. And only then is it given.
In the absence of the physical presence of the precious lama, this would be an important substitute for the lama. And whatever transmissions you have not received, in the presence of the hand or footprint, you could receive them. So this is given in the spirit that you are always embraced and protected by the compassionate blessings of the lama. And it is also given with my prayers for the fulfilment of your wishes and for your present and future well-being.
Once more I would like to express my thanks for your willingness to support the Kagyu Monlam. Thank you very, very, very much.


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