Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches in Sarnath on Keeping our Dharma Practice Pure
27 February 2015 – Varja Vidya Institute, Sarnath
As dawn broke in Sarnath on 27 February, the skies opened and an auspicious light rain began to shower, several peals of thunder ruffling the early morning stillness. By 9am the skies had cleared and the sun shone brightly down on the crowd gathered in the lush gardens of the Vajra Vidya Institute, eagerly waiting to enter the shrine hall.
Although he had not planned to teach in Sarnath, the previous evening the Gyalwang Karmapa had spontaneously announced he would give a talk the following morning. This came as a surprise gift for the large, international group gathered at Vajra Vidya Institute for the annual two-week teaching seminar with Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, many of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s own students and devotees among them.
The Karmapa began by joking with the gathering that since he had spoken so much and given so many teachings already this year, he felt he hadn’t much left to say. Nonetheless, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and the Vajra Vidya khenpos had requested him to teach, so he was happy the opportunity had arisen.
He first spoke on the importance of keeping our Dharma practice and motivation pure and not using the Dharma for worldly benefits.
“We hope to take care of the affairs of this life and practice the Dharma together,” he began, “but if we practice the Dharma we can’t focus on this life. If we focus on this life we can’t practice the Dharma. This is a difficult situation. But it’s also one we made up for ourselves—it’s not one in actuality.
“For example, often we do our Dharma practice in order to become more prosperous, more popular, or have a better life. We use the Dharma for this, but it’s difficult because the greater our prosperity the more we’re deceived by it. The goodness of our lives deceives us. It distracts us. It makes it difficult for us to turn our minds to the Dharma.
“If a person was able to enjoy the good things and pleasant objects of the senses in this life and exercise control over them, then this would not necessarily be harmful for our practice—we’d be able to increase prosperity and still practice the Dharma. But for most of us, the more prosperous we get in this life the more we are deceived, and the more harmful this is for us.”
The Karmapa emphasized the importance of working to train our own minds, which is the entire essence of practicing the Dharma.
“When we talk about practicing the Dharma we talk about spiritual freedom, which means having control of our mind. It’s difficult to say that development or improvement in external material things is something that harms our spiritual freedom. But what happens is that as the amount of external things increases, this functions as a condition for us to develop greed and creates a difficulty. It blocks our ability to exercise spiritual freedom.”
Next the Karmapa told the gathering that this year the Four-Session Guru Yoga had become quite popular, and he’d received repeated requests for the oral transmission. Describing the guru yoga text by the eighth Karmapa Mikyo Dorje as one of the most sacred, with the strongest blessings, he said it was very important for individuals who uphold the tradition to practice the Four-Session Guru Yoga. Because it was popular, he felt it would also be beneficial to give the oral transmission once more, which to the delight of those gathered he then proceeded to offer again.
“I’ve given instructions on how to practice the Four-Session Guru Yoga twice this year already. But since it’s a practice where you visualize yourself as Vajrayogini, then you need to have an empowerment before doing the practice,” he cautioned. “You should receive the empowerment of Vajrayogini or Vajravarahi—at least the vase empowerment, if not all four— and if you’ve not received these then you should at least have the empowerment of Chakrasamvara.”
In response to yet more requests, the Gyalwang Karmapa then offered the oral transmission of the long ngöndro text on the four special preliminaries, called the Chariot that Traverses the Noble Path.
“All the different versions of this text are really the same,” he clarified, “but there are a few slight differences in the end during the guru yoga practice – in length, and in the supplication to the lineage. In actuality there’s no difference, just slight variations in the words.”
The Karmapa finished by reflecting how deeply happy he was that he’d been able to make an extensive long life offering to Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche the previous day.
“There is Vajra Vidya Institute and all other monasteries and Dharma centres under the direction of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche,” the Karmapa said, “and if they’re all able to gather their energies together and dedicate them for the benefit of the teachings, I think this will be very beneficial.
“The first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, said we should think of practice as being the best of all offerings, but this is not definitely so. There are occasions when making material offerings is best, or offering service to the guru is best, or when offering practice is best. If we all contribute and do primarily what the lama asks us to do, I believe we will be able to accomplish things very beneficial for beings and the teachings. We’ve made a good interdependent connection for this to happen.”
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.