The Power of Compassion: Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara Empowerment
Paris, France – June 5, 2016
On Sunday morning, the Karmapa spoke once more of the interconnectedness of all sentient beings and urged everyone to break out of their prison of ego-clinging through developing their compassion. His emphasis on compassion was evident once more in the afternoon, when he concluded his teachings in Paris with the empowerment of Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara, the meditation deity who embodies the compassion of all the buddhas.
At the end of the morning session, the Karmapa explained that this particular empowerment comes from the Nyingma tradition and is found in the Treasury of Precious Terma collected by the First Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye. In the Nyingma tradition, there are three categories of teachings: ka-ma, ter-ma, and dak-nang. This empowerment is a dak-nang, originating from the pure vision of a lama, in this case the mahasiddha Tsultrim Zangpo. Because of shortage of time, His Holiness said, he would give the empowerment as a jenang,establishing an auspicious connection between the recipients and the deity, and giving the deity’s blessing.
Throughout the teachings in the conference hall, a thangka of Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara had hung to the right of the Karmapa’s throne behind a pagoda shrine housing a statue of Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara. For the final session, the shrine had been newly decorated with fresh offerings and was concealed by a patterned silk screen. His Holiness would perform the preparatory and concluding rituals behind this screen, while the audience chanted Avalokiteshvara’s six-syllable mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum.
The ceremony began with a recitation of the Short Vajradhara Lineage Prayer, followed by a brief chanting of “Karmapa Khyenno” (Karmapa think of me).
After the Gyalwang Karmapa had completed the first section of the ritual, establishing the environment in which the ritual would take place, he gave a brief explanation.
The audience would receive a jenang empowerment of body, speech and mind of the Four-Armed Lord of the World, Avalokiteshvara. During the empowerment, as these blessings of Avalokiteshvara would be conveyed primarily through recitation of the six-syllable mantra, it was very important for participants to focus their minds on the mantra, he explained.
His Holiness then led everyone through the three separate sections of the empowerment. As part of the mind empowerment, His Holiness instructed the participants to meditate in the way he had described during the morning session, naturally resting their awareness on whatever was arising. For two minutes the audience sat quietly in meditation, and then the Karmapa continued the ritual.
The organisers of the Paris visit and teachings, headed by Lama Gyurme, offered a body speech and mind mandala for the long life of His Holiness, and the ceremony concluded with dedication prayers for the well-being of all sentient beings.
“That completes the empowerment of Avalokiteshvara,” the Karmapa announced, and then shared some final thoughts on what the practice of Avalokiteshvara entails.
In Buddhism, especially in the Mahayana, Chenrezig is the yidam deity or bodhisattva who symbolises compassion. For this reason, the practice of Chenrezig should not be confined to a shrine or meditation room. When you leave the meditation room, wherever you go, you should carry this practice with you at all times. Practicing compassion means that whenever you make a connection with another sentient being, you should never be separated from the thought of compassion or from compassionate action. That is the practice.
His Holiness brought his teachings to a joyful conclusion with a playful discussion of his hopes for the future. This is the third time that he has visited Europe, he said, and he hoped to be able to visit more countries in future. “This is just a beginning,” he promised.
He thanked everyone who had made the visit to France possible, especially Lama Gyurme, the organisers, and the people who had come to the teachings from near and far.
The Karmapa then performed the concluding rituals at the pagoda shrine, before returning to center stage. After everyone had sung the Dewachen Prayer, His Holiness took the microphone from Damien, the French translator. “I wanted to thank you all again,” he announced, “and I have the hope and prayer that I will see you all many times in the future.”
“Merci,” he said audibly, as he returned the microphone to Damien. The audience laughed in delight at his use of French. And so the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa concluded his first highly successful visit to France, and exited the conference hall, accompanied by long and laud applause.
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
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
afternoon of the 34th Kagyu Mönlam started slightly earlier than usual with a
Medicine Buddha tsok practice according to the Concise Ritual of
Offering to the Seven Tathagatas, compiled by the 6th Sharmapa. Tsok, in
the form of small bags of fruit, was distributed to each and every participant,
sangha and lay followers alike, and money offerings traditionally known in
Tibet as 'kunki' were also given to the sangha.
At the end of
the afternoon break, His Holiness Karmapa came onto the stage and the session
on the Appreciation of the Sponsors opened with the procession for the mandala
offering, led by the sponsors who then sat on the stage for the blessings that
would follow. Appreciation of the Sponsors is an opportunity to share and
dedicate virtue, and His Holiness spoke at some length on the importance of
generosity as a means for generating virtue, and on the equal indispensability
of the dedication of the virtue generated.
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