The Three Essential Points, Day Two, Part I: The Accumulation of Merit
January 21, 2107 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
Yesterday, the Karmapa covered the first two of the three points, and today he discussed the third, the essential point of the Bardo. The root verse states:
Recognize that this is the bardo. Transform the outer, inner, and secret And do the yoga of emptiness and compassion. The wise thus take rebirth.
Commenting on the first line, the Karmapa said it referred to seeing all the appearances of this life, all that arises as the objects of our senses, as the delusive appearances of the bardo. We need to recognize this bardo as actually being the bardo. If we can meditate like this in a stable way, when we are born into the bardo, we will have the feeling, “Oh, I’ve been born in the bardo,” and be able to recognize its appearances for what they are.
In order to do this, the Karmapa explained, it is important to be able to recognize that we are dreaming when we dream. To develop this ability, from sunrise onward, we can maintain alertness and the mindfulness of all daytime appearances as dream-like. Secondly, as we go to sleep, we can pray to our special yidam deity and our lama to grant their blessing that we enter into lucid dreaming and that we will be able to change the dream appearances as well. Through praying, we create an impetus that will carry us through to our goal.
Then we visualize ourselves as Khasarpani, following the description from yesterday, and in our throat at the middle of a red four-petaled lotus is a red OM (or a red AH). Holding our mind on this or gazing on it steadily as we fall asleep will help to recognize that we are dreaming.
The second line of the root verse states, “Transform the outer, inner, and secret.” The Karmapa clarified that after recognizing that we are dreaming, we see all appearances of objects not as ordinary but transformed into pure appearances. Here “outer” refers to the vessel of the world; “inner” to its contents, living beings; and “secret” to meditating on the nature of mind—seeing that all impure appearances come forth while having no true nature. In brief we come to recognize that we are dreaming and then become able to transform its appearances. The external world turns into a pure land; the inner living beings become yidam deities; and in the secret transformation, all the impure appearances of the outer and inner arise yet have no inherent nature. If we can do this, we will be able to transform the bardo appearances as well.
For the time of death, the Karmapa advised, we should make the powerful aspiration that we will be able to create these three types of transformation (outer, inner, and secret) and then take rebirth as we wish. It is only after recognizing our dreams that we engage in the actual practice of the bardo recognizing, as in the dream practice, that these appearances to our mind are the delusive appearances of the bardo. Likewise, we also make a firm resolve to recognize bardo appearances, and this will create a positive dynamic for it to actually happen.
The final two lines of the root verse read: “And do the yoga of emptiness and compassion. / The wise thus take rebirth.” The antidote for taking an uncertain rebirth is to take rebirth with knowledge or skill. If we wish to be reborn in a pure land, we should do the practice of transference as described yesterday as the practice for the time of death. On the other hand, if we would like to take rebirth in this world as a human, we need to search for our parents. Usually when a bardo being is search for parents, they feel attraction for the father and aversion to the mother, or visa versa, and this is what causes us to be conceived in a new existence. Actually, seeing them as ordinary way is the condition for the arising of aversion and hared.
But here, the Karmapa explained, instead of being moved by attachment or aversion, we should rest in an equipoise they cannot affect or disturb. To counter attachment, we see that the object we cling to is not established by nature; to counter aversion, we feel compassion for those we dislike and pray they will be freed of suffering and know happiness. In sum we block attachment and aversion, meditate on Avalokiteshvara, see our parents as Avalokiteshvara in union with his consort, and intentionally take rebirth. By practicing the yoga of emptiness and compassion, instead of taking an ordinary rebirth through aversion and attachment, we see that all ordinary appearances are not established by nature. With this the Karmapa concluded the Karmapa his talk on the bardo.
This topic was followed by the root verse on view, meditation, and action:
The key point of the view is recognizing whatever appears. The key point of meditation is being undistracted in that. The key point of conduct is experiencing mindfulness. This is the great siddha’s advice.
Looking at the first line, the Karmapa commented that all the phenomena that are appearing to us are ultimately not established or, one could say, not established as they appear to us. Recognizing this and gaining certainty about it is the key point of the view. The key point of meditation is resting without distraction on the meaning we have comprehended. The key point of conduct is recollecting that all possible appearances, all of samsara and nirvana, are the same in flavor—appearance-emptiness inseparable—and benefitting living beings as bodhisattvas do.
The last line, “This is the great siddhas’ advice,” states that these are the key instructions of the great Mitra Yogi himself. The Karmapa explained here that the first verse of the root text, the brief overview, was from Mitra Yogi and the others were the detailed explanation of this verse provided by Tropu Lotsawa.
The Karmapa concluded the section on practice by reading the summarizing paragraph:
There is no fault for anyone at all—whether monastic or lay, whether they uphold the precepts of the three vows or not—to practice this liturgy, which has been praised as having tremendous benefits. These instructions given by Mitra Yogi to Trolo that are presented here, are pith instructions in gathering merit, which has been called the greatest method for achieving the form kayas of a buddha.
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…
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…
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
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
2017Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya,
welcoming everyone for the second day of the 4th Arya Kshema, the Karmapa
continued with the discussion of the ceremony of the bodhisattva vows from
Gampopa’sOrnament of Precious
Liberation. Having completed the discussion of the tradition of the
profound view, that of Manjushri to Nagarjuna, he elaborated upon the tradition
of vast conduct, the tradition passed down from Maitreya to Asanga and known as
Master Serlingpa’s tradition.
Karmapa delineated the two parts of this tradition: aspiration of the
bodhicitta vow and engagement of the bodhicitta vow. He focused on the actual
ceremony of the aspiration of bodhicitta and explained that before the aspirant
takes the vow, he or she must contemplate whether they are ready to receive the
vow. The Karmapa explained that the bodhisattva is like a hero, though these
days we see movie stars as being heroes. A bodhisattva is similar to a hero
because a bodhisattva is someone who h…