Bülach’s city hall was filled to the brim with over two thousand Tibetans and westerners who came this morning to receive the empowerment of Avalokiteshvara from the Gyalwang Karmapa, who is considered an emanation of this deity embodying the compassion of all the buddhas. The sound of six-syllable mantra filled the air while the Karmapa performed the preparations in a curtained area of the stage. He then came to take his seat on the central throne, to the left of which hung an impressive image of Avalokiteshvara.
The ceremony began with the Praises to the Buddha, the request to teach, purification, and creating a protected space for the empowerment. After everyone took refuge and generated bodhicitta, and a mandala was offered, the Karmapa spoke about the empowerment itself. The source of the lineage for this the Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara, he explained, is the mahasiddha Tsultrim Zangpo from Nari, who is said to have lived hundreds of years. Among the many different types of empowerments, this is the one of transformative primordial awareness.
We should be taking the empowerment, he said, in order to engage in the practice of Avalokiteshvara, which is a practice focused on compassion since he represents or embodies the compassion of all the buddhas. When we engage in the practice Avalokiteshvara, we are practicing great compassion. How to understand great compassion? We wish, “May all living beings be free of suffering,” or “How wonderful it would be if all creatures were released from misery!” or “I will liberate all beings from suffering.” Great compassion is the wholehearted, powerful wish to free all living beings from their suffering.
“In order to generate compassion for other beings,” the Karmapa counseled, “it is important first to generate compassion for ourselves. Renunciation and compassion are like two sides of the same coin: renunciation—letting go of samsara and its suffering—is how we create benefit for ourselves, and compassion—the wish to free others from samsaric suffering—is how we benefit others.”
Bodhisattvas skillfully rely on instructions for practice. “Usually we think of ourselves when we think of being free of suffering and wishing for happiness,” the Karmapa noted. “In their wisdom, bodhisattvas think of others, knowing that just as one desires well being and happiness, so do others, and thus the bodhisattva’s compassion expands. Their skill in means is wondrous.”
“Usually when a real empowerment is given,” the Karmapa continued, “the one bestowing it has the true meaning or significance of the empowerment in their heart-mind and they convey this to those receiving the initiation.” Today, however, there was not enough time, so the empowerment would bring a blessing and create a good connection.
The words of the empowerment were profound and moving. For the empowerment related to the body, people became a radiant Avalokiteshvara who arose out of emptiness; for speech, compassion arose while not moving from the awareness of emptiness; and for wisdom, mind was never separate from the nature of mahamudra.
After an offering of thanksgiving and dedication, the Karmapa made a few remarks on the practice and form of Avalokiteshvara. If our practice goes well, he explained, we will know because our compassion will increase. In speaking of form, he said that at first he thought he knew the manifestations of Avalokiteshvara well, the two-armed, the four-armed, the eight-armed, the thousand-armed, and so forth, but there are over one hundred forms—so many that it can be confusing. When he thought about it, however, he concluded that the thousand-armed form was the best. Why? It is difficult to help one living being and fulfill their wishes, he commented, and when one wants to help a vast number, the symbolism of the thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara is more appropriate. The multiplicity of his arms suggests a dynamic and vast motivation to help all living beings.
The Karmapa added that while we are meditating on ourselves as Avalokiteshvara, the practice does not only involve taking on his form, but becoming the embodiment of the compassion of all the buddhas. We maintain this state, he said, through what is known as “the pride of the deity.” When we hold this kind of compassion in our mind, it would be strange to get angry or to be jealous, so this particular type of superior pride can be helpful in diminishing our afflictions.
“Meditating in a deity should inspire us and increase our mind’s capacity,” he remarked. “We should not think that there is some powerful being out there in front of us, but rather that we are connecting with a particular power or quality and ‘downloading’ this into our midstream.” With this encouragement to practice Avalokiteshvara and deepen our compassion, the Karmapa concluded the empowerment.
December 28, 2016, in a historic letter sent to his Kagyu nunneries in India,
Nepal, and Bhutan, the Karmapa officially announced that the actual process of
establishing full ordination for nuns in the Karma Kamtsang tradition would
begin. He stated that at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodh Gaya,
on the auspicious day of the full moon in the Month of Miracles, (the first
month in the Tibetan calendar, falling on March 12, 2107), the shramaneri (getsulma)
vows would be conferred on those nuns wishing to take full ordination. Following
much deliberation, a path to full ordination was established. It was decided
that the nuns would hold these shramaneri vows for a year, after which they
will take the shikshamana (gelopmaor training) vows from Dharmaguptaka
nuns and keep them for two winters or two summers. Finally, they will receive
the bhikshuni (gelongmaor full ordination) vows with the
participation of nuns from the Dharmaguptaka tra…
Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
many preparations are underway for the Getsulma (novice) ordination to be held
during this 4th Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering. The Karmapa plans to hold
the ordination on the auspicious full moon day of Chötrul Duchen, the historic
day that marks fifteen days after Losar and commemorates the time when the
Buddha performed a different miracle each day to instill devotion. As the
Karmapa mentioned during the first day of the Arya Kshema, this year initiates
the historic path to the process of full ordination, which will occur in stages
over several years. This is a well-thought process that grants nuns the
opportunity to practice the authentic vinaya path. They will take the Getsulma
vows in the tradition of a strictly observant tradition of Mahayana Vinaya
nuns, thus garnering respect for their sangha and demonstrating their life-long
commitment to their vows. Since there is no lineage for fully ordained nuns in
Dear Dharma Brothers and Sisters,
As all of you know by now, on the 21 of March, 2017, at 9am Indian time His
Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa introduced Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche
Yangsi in the Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya. Rinpoche is a four years old boy but
from time to time I see him as an old man. It is hard to believe he is that
I am very sorry at the moment I am very busy. I will later let you know details
about the search and how we found Yangsi Rinpoche and provide you with photos
and video clips for you to enjoy.
Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche instructed us to wait for His Holiness’ advice
to Yangsi Rinpoche how to further proceed from here.
Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche could not come to this occasion of His
Holiness’ introducing Tenga Rinoche’s Yangsi since he has a schedule in Bhutan
that was arranged long time ago. As you all know Bhutan is a remote area and in
order to join teachings and initiations elderly people have to be ca…
SE Report GANGTOK,
March 16: A delegation of monks from various monasteries
of Sikkim staged a sit-in protest outside the BJP national headquarters in New
Delhi today demanding the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to be allowed to visit
and bless the people of Sikkim.
The delegation led by Denjong Lhadey chanted slogans
demanding and also submitted a memorandum with the demand to the Prime Minister’s
Office through senior officials.
The memorandum reiterates the Denjong Lhadey’s
demand to urgently send the Buddhist spiritual leader to Sikkim. The monks on
dharna outside the BJP office were also detained by Delhi police at Mandir Marg
police station and later released, informs a press release.
In November of 2015, during the 6th Khoryug Conference, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa set the aspiration that all Khoryug monasteries and nunneries should develop practical skills and knowledge for disaster preparedness and response. He later explained that “We were all affected greatly by the earthquake in Nepal and wanted to know how we could help so that in the future we are not just taken by fear but prepared to be useful and deal skillfully with the situation.…
Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
the second half of his teachings this morning, the Karmapa shared his research
into the history of nuns and their status. He began by explaining the
background of the name “Arya Kshema,” given to the Winter Dharma Gathering. He
noted that among the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, there were his eight
greatest male monastic disciples, known for their prajna (supreme wisdom) or
miracles and so forth. Likewise, there were female master disciples who were
greatest at miracles or known for their prajna and other outstanding qualities.
Arya Kshema is one of these and she is described in theSutra of the Wise and
greatest in wisdom and confidence, so the Winter Dharma Gathering is named
after her. “In
giving this name,” the Karmapa explained, “we are also following the saying,
‘Later disciples should practice the example of past masters.’ Previously,
during the time of the Buddha Shakyamuni, there were woman arhats, bhikshu…
the third year in succession, the Taiwan Health Corps has been working with
Kagyu nuns during the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering. Twenty-one
nuns from eight nunneries—Ralang, Tilokpur and Palpung Yeshe Rabgye Ling in
India, Karma Leksheyling, Tara Abbey, Osel Karma Thekchöling and Samten
Ling in Nepal, and Drubde Palmo Chökyi Dingkhang in Bhutan– have
successfully completed a nine-day training in basic health care. Dr
Jeffrey Chen, CEO of the Taiwanese based NGO Taiwan Health Corps, first
responded to a request from the Gyalwang Karmapa to develop initiatives to
improve the health and healthcare of nuns more than three years ago. This year
he has returned for a third time with a team of six health professionals to
provide basic training for a new batch of nuns. The team comprises Professor
Kuo Su Chen, a specialist in Women’s Health, Dr Chin Min Yi, a doctor of
traditional Chinese medicine, Dr Wei Cheng Chou, urologist and surgeon, Hsin-Yu
For the Gyalwang Karmapa, the Tibetan New Year began in the
first hours of the day, as he met in the Tergar Monastery shrine hall with
tulkus, khenpos, and masters from various monasteries and received their
khatas. In return he gave them his blessing and a traditional bright red cord.
The monks recited prayers for peace in the world and the flourishing of the
teachings as well as the very long life of the Karmapa. Afterward the entire
monastic and lay Sangha gathered at 4:30 am in the Monlam Pavilion for a
special long-life practice based on theThree
Roots Combined, calledA
Life-Force Indestructible like a Vajra. The practice was led by the
Karmapa’s heart son, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who had bestowed this empowerment the
previous day. In February of 2016 the Karmapa had also given this empowerment,
and at the time commented on its importance for his Kamtsang Kagyu lineage. The
short lineage is traced back to a text based on the pure visions of th…
Pavilion — Bodh Gaya, Bihar
break, after the smoke offering Massing Clouds of Amrita had
ended on Sunday morning, the stage needed to be cleared and rearranged in order
for Gyaltsab Rinpoche to bestow the Red Crown ceremony and the Long
Life Empowerment of the Three Roots Combined. His Holiness the 17th Karmapa
personally took charge of arranging Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s throne with great
respect and care; he had received the Empowerment of the Three Roots
Combined from Gyaltsab Rinpoche when he bestowed the Treasury
of Precious Terma, or Rinchen Terdzo empowerments some
throne was placed directly in front of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s high throne. To
the right, on an elegant golden table covered with brocade, sat a delicately
wrought silver pavilion.
At last the
stage was set, the gyalings blew, and the sangha returned from the break to
take their seats. After several minutes, the Gyalwang Karmapa led an elderly