Niti Central: 17th Karmapa initiates spiritual practice for women

By NitiCentral Staff on October 26, 2012

The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is granting initiation and teachings on Chöd, a spiritual practice developed by a Tibetan yogini by the name of Machig Labdron. The historic Dharma transmission, is being conferred for the first time by His Holiness in response to a supplication made by Lama Tsultrim Allione, a Western Buddhist woman. She was ordained in 1970 as a Buddhist nun by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa.
Of the eight practice lineages of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Chöd is the only lineage established by a woman. The practice, first developed in the 11th century, is practiced by nearly all sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Dharma transmission is happening on October 28 and is reserved for serious practitioners. A long-life initiation will be offered to the general public at the Dorzong Institute on October 29. The historic event is being hosted at Dorzong Monastic Institute (Jangchub Jong) in Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh, by His Eminence the 8th Dorzong Rinpoche. Several hundred Buddhist nuns from around the Himalayas will attend the transmission in addition to disciples from dozens of different countries. Tara Mandala, a Vajrayana Buddhist organisation founded by Lama Tsultrim Allione has sponsored numerous delegations of nuns to attend this event.
“Since the time of the 3rd Karmapa who wrote the first commentary on Chöd, the Karmapas have maintained a close connection to this practice. I myself feel a deep bond with these teachings coming from Machig Labdrön. She is the perfect embodiment of wisdom and compassion and has inspired Buddhist practitioners for many centuries.  I am especially pleased that I can offer this encouragement and support to female practitioners from around the Himalayan region and the world, and pray that the good merit from this event generates peace,” the Karmapa said, expressing his feelings regarding the occasion.

Speaking about the value of Chöd in today’s world, Lama Tsultrim Allione said, “Prajnaparamita, the mother of all the Buddhas, is the personification of transcendent wisdom. She represents the feminine principle in Buddhist tradition, and is the basis of Machig Labdrön’s teachings. The Chöd practice, which seeks to feed rather than fight what appears to be the ‘enemy’, offers a much needed new paradigm for today’s world that promotes compassion and integration instead of polarisation.”
“His Holiness the Karmapa is uniquely suited to give this Dharma teaching and empowerment. Like previous incarnations of the Karmapa who also held the Chöd lineage, His Holiness has demonstrated an unconditional commitment to working for the well being of women, and agreed to our request to dedicate this event to women practitioners all around the world,” she added.
The Gyalwang Karmapas are the historical holders of the direct lineage of Chöd, which is based on the Indian Buddhist deity Prajnaparamita, the mother of all the Buddhas and the embodiment of wisdom.


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