2012/10/29

H.H. Karmapa on cultivating compassion




Q: Where do you see the main problems of today’s world and human society and how do you think Buddhism can help to solve these problems?


Today, on this planet, with its ever-growing society of different nations, there are many conflicts. We cannot clearly identify all the particular reasons for each of these conflicts. However, we can recognize some common causes that generally lead to these conflicts:

Our actions are often governed by self-interest. And they are motivated by materialistic desires. The more we give in to these cravings the more conflicts arise.

If we were able to minimize our self-interest and our egoistic thinking and instead develop an attitude of altruism, of loving kindness and compassion – an attitude of genuine respect for the well being of others – then we can reduce conflict and we can develop peace.

This training is the very heart of the Buddhist way. We all can learn these techniques and experience the benefits of these exercises. This is one of the contributions that Buddhism can give to our world of today.



H.H. Karmapa's relationship to H.H. the Dalai Lama




Q: What is your relationship to His Holiness the Dalai Lama?

In respect to the Dharma it is the relationship of master and deciple. Also in other respects we have a close relationship – we are friends – we support each other. So we are connected both through the Dharma and through a worldly friendship.


What is the mission of the Karmapa in this life time?




Q: What is the mission of the Karmapa in this life time?

The mission of the 17th Karmapa in this 21 century is mainly Dharma activity. However, the Dharma must change in order to suit the time and the needs of society and its people. It's essence will be Buddha Dharma - but I may give it a new external shape. I will update its expression so it can most effectively benefit the people of the 21st century. That is my misson.  



DORZONG MONASTERY CONDUCTS CEREMONY FOR LONG LIFE OF GYALWANG KARMAPA AS CHÖD TRANSMISSION DRAWS TO CLOSE


29th October – Dorzong Monastery, Gopalpur.


Several thousand people converged on Dorzong Monastic Institute today to hold a long-life ceremony for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. In attendance were deeply devoted Rinpoches, Togdens, Khenpos, monks and nuns from across the Himalayan region, as well as international disciples from over a dozen countries. Following the long-life puja offered to him by Dorzong Monastic Institute, the Gyalwang Karmapa conferred the Amitayus long-life empowerment on all those assembled.
The long-life ceremonies mark the conclusion of the Gyalwang Karmapa's five-day visit to Dorzong Monastic Institute. Three of those days were dedicated to empowerment and teachings on the practice of Chöd, organized by Tara Mandala and requested by Lama Tsultrim Allione and Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo.
Dorzong Monastic Institute was founded by His Eminence the 8th Dorzong Rinpoche, who noted: "Along with the previous and present Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche of Tashi Jong, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa was one of my outstanding root gurus. I am extremely pleased to be able to host His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who is also my root guru."
On the second day of the Chöd transmission, the audience also had the rare privilege of receiving a Dharma discourse by His Eminence Dorzong Rinpoche. In his profound teachings, Rinpoche explored the distinction between the oft-misunderstood terms, samsara and nirvana. He stated, "The only difference between samsara and nirvana is whether or not we recognize the true nature of our mind."
His Holiness the Karmapa commented: "These teachings have been provided primarily for female practitioners. Although there is no gender in the Dharma—since the Dharma has to do with working with the mind, and the mind is neither male nor female, the Chöd teachings come to us from a female lineage, through Machig Labdron, a person who applied herself to the practice of Dharma in the form of a woman's body. She can thus serve as an inspiration and empowering example to women wanting to practice the Dharma."
He explained that he was offering the Chöd empowerment and teachings, "to further inspire and help women re-connect with their confidence."
Tibetan Children Village School of Gopalpur performed cultural programs after the empowerment.

2012.10.29 鐸宗佛學院為法王噶瑪巴舉行長壽法會 Dorzong Monastic Institute conducts a long-life ceremony for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa

2012/10/28

Advice for Young Practitioners ~ Interview by Karmapa Youth



The KYC met with HH Karmapa on October 28th, 2012 at Dorzong Rinpoche’s Jangchub Jong monastery outside of Dharamsala. The Karmapa had just concluded a three-day empowerment and teaching on Chöd practice at the monastic institute. This program was initially requested by the abbot of the Tara Mandala center in Colorado, Lama Tsultrim Allione.

The monsoon had just ended, making the way for ample sunshine and cool, comfortable weather in the wooded foothills of the Himalayas. It was suggested that we conduct the interview outdoors, and Karmapa’s poise and humor, and clarity resulted in an exceptional interview.

Although this video interview has been posted online, we felt that these teachings should be more accessible to the global community. Since this may inspire those who wish to learn more about the Dharma and HH Karmapa’s views on common concerns for practitioners, we have transcribed and edited the interview.

The KYC interview with Karmapa was orally translated by Mitra Tyler Dewar, and transcribed and edited by Casey Kemp.





KYC: What Tibetan Buddhist teaching do you think is the most beneficial and appropriate for young people in the modern world?

HH Karmapa: That’s a very tough question. Certainly young people these days, in terms of finding peace, stability, and a meaningful sense of self, face a lot of challenges relating to things that are happening in the outer world, such as new challenges relating with technology. So it is really a big question in terms of what specific teaching would benefit the situation the most. But in general, there is a very vast and extensive presentation of mind in Tibetan Buddhist teachings and very vast and extensive presentations of how we go about developing peace in our minds, and how we go about having a meaningful relationship with our sense of self. Since that is the focus of Tibetan Buddhist teachings, I think there is definitely a lot of material there that will be relevant to young people and to the challenges they face. But in terms of what specific body of teachings speak best to their situation and most immediately, that is a very big question.

In general if you are looking at the question from the perspective of formal practice and not having a lot of time to engage in that, and if you want to be a serious dharma practitioner, then the main thing is that you need to put real effort into prioritizing dharma practice in your schedule.

But apart from that, if you want to do just a little spiritual practice throughout the course of each day, then I think some Shamatha meditation would be helpful. This is because throughout the course of any given day we allow our minds to become wound up very tight, our minds become very heavy and busy. So Shamatha practice, allowing our mind to rest at ease in a calm and relaxed state will help loosen this heaviness and bring more spaciousness into our minds, into our sense of being. That would be beneficial.

But really the matter goes deeper than that when we think about the long term. In regards to a short term way to practice, we might just devote some time each day in that manner, but when we look at it from the long term perspective, then we need to bring this sense of peace and spaciousness into all the activities of our lives so that Dharma practice isn’t something we’re just doing for one hour a day, but we are actually able to bring this sense of peace and spaciousness to our work, to our studies, to our environment that we find ourselves in every day. We are able to bring it into our emotional life as well as the emotional challenges we face. So, that’s the bigger question: In the long term how do we bring our minds to a state where it is never moving from that peace or moving from that state of calm and spaciousness? If we manage to shift our perspective so that we are considering that question then I think that would be of greater benefit.

KYC: Most of us cannot or do not want to become monks or yogis in a cave. How can we bring our work and family life onto the path and make a positive contribution to society?

HH Karmapa: So in general when we look at the communities that are devoted to practicing the Dharma, there are two basic types of community: there is the monastic community and the community of householders. Both of these communities are the same in that both communities want to practice the Dharma and need to practice the Dharma. But of course they have different lifestyles and different ways of going about doing that. So the monastic community’s emphasis is to place all of our focus constantly on the activities of hearing, contemplating, and meditating, and to the greatest degree possible we relinquish all other activities outside the immediate framework of hearing, contemplating, and meditating. Alternatively, the householder lifestyle involves doing some worldly activities that are directly connected to being a householder while also doing some activities that are connected to practicing the Dharma. So, from a certain perspective we can say that practicing the Dharma in a householder context is more challenging than being a monastic because there are some aspects of the Dharma that are difficult to reconcile with worldly life. It’s difficult to manage to bring these two groups of activities into complete harmony with one another. So from that perspective householders have an extra challenge that monastics do not have.

But at the same time, the Buddha taught the Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings and was bearing all sentient beings in mind when he taught and from among these sentient beings, most of them were lay householders as opposed to monastics. So the possibilities are certainly there for lay householders to have a very meaningful practice life.

In particular, if we can manage to focus on the Dharma as householders and mix the Dharma with our day-to-day activities, then in some cases our relationship with the Dharma can be very powerful and meaningful. This is because of the quality householders have in that their lives are seen in an immediate way. They see directly the problems of the world and challenges of the world and thus experience the world in an immediate way. They have a very rich experience of reality as it is in the world. Monastic practitioners are a bit separate from what’s going on in the world so to speak. They keep themselves at more of a distance from the activities and movements of society so there are some realities that they don’t have as clear an access to on an experiential level. They might have an understanding of what is going on but without the direct experience in the same way that householders do. For that reason, if householders are able to mix the Dharma with their day-to-day experience then it is possible that their Dharma practice can bring beneficial and effective results.

KYC: Some students have a great passion for art, music, or sports. How can they use these as part of their spiritual path instead of a distraction?

HH Karmapa: There are many ways in which we can use the same outer activity. The full picture of that action will depend on the attitude you bring to it as well as whether or not you know how to do it properly. Also, depending on how we think about the action that we are engaged in, it will have a different meaning for us. For example, someone who doesn’t know how to practice Chöd might be able to pick up a damaru and bell and play them correctly, but they will have a different meaning in mind than someone who does know how to practice Chöd who picks up a bell and damaru and plays them. It’s the same thing with playing sports, playing music, or creating art. There is the outer aspect to the action but then there’s the inner attitude and way of thinking that you bring to that action. That way of thinking is going to change the way the action affects you.

If we can give things like music, sports, and art an extra meaning so that they are not just outward oriented activities, then I think it is possible for these to become an extension of our Dharma practice. For example, for one who wants to create art, from a mundane perspective, you could just have an outward motivation of making something beautiful or making something new and innovative. But from the point of view of practice, you could go further than that and have some type of connection with the inner beauty of mind and wanting to bring that forward as an extension of your practice of making art. So, bringing our inner world to bear on the things we do in our outer world can be very transformative.

KYC: The West emphasizes individuality and freedom, and some have a problem with the concept of authority. This can make it difficult to understand the role of the lama and to develop devotion. How can we in the West better understand this?

HH Karmapa: One thing that comes up when we look at this question is the difference between eastern and western cultures regarding relationships to teachers or the concept of authority, individuality, and individual freedom. Actually I very much appreciate the way westerners talk about individuality and the importance of individual freedom and individual rights. I am a big fan of those concepts and I think that they are important. But on the other hand, we also need to be aware of the context in which individual freedoms can flourish in a healthy way. That context is that of interdependence. Individuality and individual freedom is important but we have to remember that those things take place in the broader context of an interdependent world. So the question becomes how do we balance these two things: our individual freedom and the greater interdependent world?

Basically, we have to figure out a way to set a limit to our individual freedom or acknowledge the fact that our individual freedom does have limits. The meaning of individual freedom isn’t simply that we do whatever we want and even if we didn’t internally acknowledge this limit ourselves, we would come up against that limit in a practical way in the world. So, this is a great question that we have to contemplate: how to balance these two principals?

In terms of relying on a teacher or a guru, the important point to understand is that this is a relationship that we enter into voluntarily and we have full control over choosing what type of relationship we enter into with our guru and the way in which we want to rely on a person as a teacher. There is no instance in Buddhism of a teacher forcing someone to become their student and then forcing them to do things. If there is, that is certainly not the correct Buddhist understanding of how to rely on a teacher. One voluntarily enters into a student-teacher relationship. One also voluntarily chooses what type of relationship that is going to be and how to rely on someone as a teacher. The student has to agree to the ground rules before anything starts happening, so it is basically their own choice.

For example, there are some people who are very adventurous and like to go to dangerous places. Other people might be surprised at the choices they make and say, “I would never do that”, but the person who goes to those dangerous places is making their own decision and we have to respect that to make that choice is their own individual freedom. So, when we enter into a relationship with a teacher, we are entering out of our own free will.

The other important thing to acknowledge is that even if we offer our whole being, our body, speech, and mind to the teacher, if the teacher gives us an instruction that we aren’t capable of fulfilling, then it is ok for us to just say that we are incapable of doing that. There is nothing barring us from responding in that way. So with a teacher there is never really a sense of being forced to do something. But the main question that we have to contemplate further is how do we exercise individual freedom in an interdependent world.

The other thing that should be noted about having a teacher-student relationship in Buddhism is that there are different levels of teachers and along with that, there are different kinds of relationships that we enter into. For example, if we are studying English and we’ve committed to studying with someone as our English teacher, then it is appropriate for them to be concerned with matters that are related to studies of the English language. We would expect that. If they heard us using an incorrect grammatical construction, then it would be appropriate for them to correct us on this. But we would consider it inappropriate, a violation of boundaries, if they then started telling us who we should marry or where we should live because that doesn’t have anything to do with why we are relying on them as a teacher.

In the same way with Dharma, in the general sense of having a Buddhist teacher as a spiritual friend, it’s appropriate for us to expect that teacher to give us advice about our spiritual practice and things connected in an immediate way to our spiritual practice, but we wouldn’t expect our teacher to go beyond that and say you should marry this person or you should live in this or that place and so on. However, when we get to the level of a Vajrayana teacher-student relationship, then we are getting to a higher level of teacher and we are voluntarily entering into a relationship where anything the teacher says to us we are going to receive with respect and give it consideration. But that is also something that depends on our own mental capacity and our own interests. There is also no type of encouragement that we should enter into the highest levels of teacher-student relationships right from the very beginning.

KYC: Many western practitioners associate love and relationships as a hindrance to practice. This can become a source of conflict for those who desire intimacy but do not wish to create obstacles to their practice. In what way should we view personal relationships in relation to our practice?

HH Karmapa: So before, we discussed a healthy notion of boundaries in our relationships with our spiritual teacher and we talked about how if something was connected in an immediate way with a spiritual practice then our teacher would have an appropriate avenue to give advice to us about that topic. So, for example, if you ask a teacher about the appropriateness of having a relationship with a certain person specifically in regards to your spiritual practice and the effect your relationship would have on your practice then, since it is very connected to your spiritual practice, it would be appropriate for your teacher to give advice on that if they were requested to. In the same way, when we are entering into relationships as spiritual practitioners, it’s appropriate for us to be concerned about the effect that relationship has on our spiritual practice.

In particular, we can actually see our romantic relationships themselves as a spiritual practice. We don’t have to view them as two separate things. In fact, if we can practice the Dharma well, we will be able to be a source of true love but if we can’t practice the Dharma well, then we won’t be able to give any genuine love at all. Therefore, our romantic relationships are actually a genuine practice of the Dharma and they don’t need to be viewed as separate from the Dharma whatsoever because relationships are in essence a relationship between two minds. Whether it is a romantic relationship or family relationship, everything happens in terms of working with our minds and the way we respond to events and other minds. So it is a mind-to-mind relationship that we are working with.

We can try our best to practice a relationship as a Dharma practice, as a practice of understanding our mind better and of working with our minds. But sometimes even if we try our best we still fail and the relationship doesn’t work. Nevertheless, if we approach it as a practitioner, then we must view the relationship as a spiritual training. We must not view our relationship as separate from the Dharma. As a spiritual practitioner, if we view our relationship as separate from the Dharma, then that is a strange situation to be in, because then what relevance is the relationship to you? We also don’t need to be free from attachment. Some people think that they might be going against Buddhist teachings if they are in a relationship because the relationship is about attachment, but we don’t have to be free from attachment from the beginning. We can slowly work on freeing ourselves from attachment.

The important point to underscore here is that it is freedom from attachment that produces true love. Often what we think is that if there is no attachment then there can’t be any love. In order for there to be love, there has to be attachment. That’s the logical formula that we set for ourselves. But from the Buddhist perspective, if we free ourselves from attachment, that’s the only way we will be able to provide true love. So therefore the Buddhist practice and the spiritual exercise that we bring to relationships is to gradually free ourselves from mundane attachment and to offer true love. If we are able to do this as an authentic Dharma practitioner, then our relationships will go well and even though they might not always work out, then we will be able to say that we had a relationship in which we did not harm the other person and that was beneficial for both people.


English translation is included


https://karmapayouth.wordpress.com/hhk-interview-transcript/

DAY THREE OF CHÖD TEACHINGS: "SEEING OURSELVES AS PART OF OTHERS"


28th October – Dorzong Monastery, Gopalpur.



For the third consecutive day, around a thousand disciples of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa made their way from the surrounding valley and mountainsides back to Dorzong Monastic Institute. Sited on a hilltop and nestled amidst pristine forest as far as the eye can see, the exquisitely painted main shrine hall of Dorzong Institute offers an ideal setting for this historical Dharma transmission by His Holiness on Chöd practice. The skilled hand of the 8th Dru-gu Choegyal Rinpoche, a highly accomplished artist, was everywhere in sight both in the elaborately painted main shrine hall and throughout the institute's grounds.
The first topic for today's session was a history lesson. Recounting key events from the remarkable life of Machig Labdron, the Gyalwang Karmapa stated that Machig Labdron was taught by her mother to read, and gained so extraordinary a level of proficiency that she used to read the 8,000-verse Prajnaparamita Sutra twice a day. His Holiness the Karmapa noted that the fact that it was her mother who taught her was particularly striking to him, as even today, in the area of Tibet where he was born, it was rare for women to be taught to read. Gyalwang Karmapa recollected that his own father had created a stir in the area by teaching all of his own children to read, including the girls. His Holiness said that his sister—who is now present with him in India and was in fact attending the teaching—also excelled as a young girl at reading Tibetan.
As the Gyalwang Karmapa detailed Machig Labdron's spiritual accomplishments, he made it clear that hers was a tradition of direct experience of Prajnaparamita. Although she had many male disciples as well as female, His Holiness observed that her Dharma system was extremely beneficial for women.
As he resumed the commentary on the 8th Gyalwang Karmapa's instructions for seven-day retreat, His Holiness turned to the practice of offering the body (Sanskrit: dehad?na; Tibetan: lüjin), which is the meditation theme for the sixth day of the weeklong retreat.
From time to time, His Holiness switched into English to clarify a point or elaborate on the translation. Throughout the three days, the humorous interplay between the English translator, Tyler Dewar, and His Holiness has served as an expression of the joy shared by lama and audience.
Cautioning that until one has attained the bodhisattva's bhumis, one is not literally enjoined to offer one's body, the Gyalwang Karmapa described an occasion from a past life of Buddha Shakyamuni, when he cut off his head and offered it to someone who had asked for it. The Gyalwang Karmapa then laughingly interjected that if we say someone first cut off his own head and then gave it, the wording of this just sounds wrong.
Widening the scope of what might initially be understood as lüjin, His Holiness stressed that in this practice we train ourselves in giving everything—including the merit and karmic fruits that come from giving. Doing so, he explained, helps us cut our clinging to self.
Sharing with the audience his personal vision of this practice, His Holiness described it as letting go and extending to see ourselves as part of all sentient beings. "What we take to be us and what we take to be others are not two separate things," he said. "Our body, speech and mind and the body, speech and mind of other sentient beings are not two separate things."
Chöd practice prepares us to transform our relationship to the five psycho-physical aggregates that ordinarily form the basis of what we think of as "I." When we do the practice fully, he explained, these five aggregates that were previously the focus of our self-fixation are no longer seen as "I" or "mine." As such, the result of successful Chöd practice is to sever the self-fixation that is the root of all our suffering.
As the 8th Gyalwang Karmapa's description of the seven week retreat drew to a close, so too did these three extraordinary days of empowerment and teachings by the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. The final day of the retreat, like the final portion of the session, is devoted to dedication of merit. We dedicate in order to ensure that our practice takes us in the direction we want to go, His Holiness explained. Surely no one in the audience at that moment wished to go anywhere at all, as both organizers and His Holiness uttered many warm words of thanks. Thus drew to a close this historical occasion, when His Holiness the 17th Karmapa for the first time in this lifetime transmitted a practice in which the Gyalwang Karmapa has been an important lineage holder for 14 lifetimes.

2012.10.28  法王噶瑪巴施身法課程第三天 Chod Teaching Day 3

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Comments on Lama Tsultrim and the 2012 Chöd Empowerment, Sponsored by Tara Mandala(Tara Mandala)




Jangchub Jong, Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
October 28, 2012


“The main condition for all of these teachings and for the Empowerment of C
höd to have taken place was at the request of Lama Tsultrim Allione. Lama Tsultrim had a very strong connection with the previous Karmapa, the 16th Karmapa, and all of you know about this and know about her so I don't need to say a lot, but since I have been given the name of the 17th Karmapa, she felt a wish to reconnect with Karmapa through making a Dharma connection with me. She has had a great devotion toward the teachings of Chöd for a long time. She has been doing a lot of work to preserve and maintain the continuity of the teachings and practice of Chöd, and she has a very pure heart motivation in doing this, which I deeply rejoice in.

I genuinely hope to be able to support the work that she does in this regard in a continuing way in the future, and from a personal perspective I feel grateful to her because this was my first opportunity to confer the empowerment of Chöd, so I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity and I wouldn't have had this opportunity if it were not for her request, and therefore I'd like to extend a special note of gratitude to her and say thank you.

So from the time I was young, I had a great interest in the practice of Chöd. I felt a connection with it like it was a karmic connection, but I did not have the opportunity to practice Chöd and I never had the opportunity to confer the Chöd Empowerment. They did the ritual of Chöd in Tsurphu Monastery every year but I did not attend this, and in fact this Chöd Empowerment was the first time I even saw the Empowerment text, so I'm very happy that this opportunity has come to pass.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to Tara Mandala for all of the work they did to organize and have these teachings happen here as well as all of the sponsors that have made this teaching gathering possible."


-- His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmpa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Jangchub Jong, Himachial Predesh, Kangra Valley, India, October 28, 2012







His Eminence Dorzong Rinpoche comments on Lama Tsultrim and the 2012 ChödEmpowerment with His Holiness 17th Karmapa

"In particular, here with us we have Ani Tenzin Palmo and Lama Tsultrim Allione who are two great m
asters from the West and it is wonderful that you have access to them. I think that it would be good for you to further rely on them as masters and receive their oral instructions. Whatever context you practice Chöd in, it shouldn't just stay in your mouth but it should arrive in your heart and transform it. I'd like to make the aspiration prayer that in whatever way you practice Chöd that you be free from obstacles to your practice and whatever you intend to accomplish with your practice you will accomplish without hindrances."

-- His Eminence Dorzong Rinpoche, Jangchub Jong, Himachial Predesh, Kangra Valley, India, October 28, 2012


H.H. 17th Karmapa




2012/10/27

GYALWANG KARMAPA CONFERS CHOD TEACHING


27th October – Dorzong Monastery, Gopalpur.


With the morning light streaming in to the assembly hall from the east, the Gyalwang Karmapa offered teachings in the morning, while in the afternoon, at the special request of His Holiness, the audience had the privilege of receiving teachings on Chöd from His Eminence the 8th Dorzong Rinpoche.
His Holiness opened the day with a discussion of the qualities that make disciples worthy recipients of the Dharma. He then resumed the explication of the 8th Gyalwang Karmapa's guiding instructions for seven-day Chöd retreat. During the second day of the retreat outlined by Mikyo Dorje, the focus is on compassion. In that context, His Holiness explored the distinction between immeasurable compassion and great compassion, while underscoring the need to train in both. Immeasurable compassion refers to the immeasurable number of sentient beings, whereas the greatness of great compassion refers to the fact that not a single being is left out. As such, the focal point is different, the Gyalwang Karmapa explained.
We may cultivate compassion for all beings on this planet, and this would be a form of immeasurable compassion, since there are numberless humans, animals and other sentient beings on this earth. With great compassion, there is a quality of absolute inclusiveness, such that it expands outward to any world where beings have a mind and therefore experience pain and wish for happiness. When we are training in great compassion, we must guard against becoming indifferent to the suffering of any other being. For example, His Holiness observed that we might pass a cage with many chickens crammed into it on the way to slaughter without connecting from the heart with their suffering. If we train first in the mind of definite emergence or "renunciation," we are effectively training ourselves in compassion for ourselves and developing our ability to genuinely empathize and connect with others who are suffering. To that end, the Gyalwang Karmapa recommended to begin meditating on compassion with specific objects, rather than a nameless, faceless mass of "all sentient beings." His Holiness particularly stressed the importance of cultivating compassion, because it is the presence of unbearable compassion that makes the "swift path" of tantra swift.
On the third day of the Chöd retreat, the object of meditation is refuge. His Holiness cautioned against confusing "taking refuge" with "going for refuge." Taking refuge in the sense of pleading and supplicating with an impoverished attitude is not the point. Rather, we go to refuge in order to bolster our desire and commitment to achieve Buddhahood. As such, the Gyalwang Karmapa explained that when we go for refuge, we should understand that we are going to the state of the objects of refuge. The fourth and fifth days of the Chöd retreat are devoted to bodhichitta and the mind that relinquishes body and possessions alike, or tong sem.
To a packed assembly hall, in the second afternoon session His Eminence Dorzong Rinpoche offered a masterful overview of the historical transmission of Chöd in the various lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche went on to cut to the essence of Chod practice, relating it to the nature of mind and the distinction between samsara and nirvana. As Rinpoche taught, he drew on quotes from masters ranging from the great Indian logician Dignaga to Tsangpa Gyare, the founder of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage in which Rinpoche himself is an important lineage holder.
Many audience members commented on the combination of profundity and clarity that marked Rinpoche's presentation. His excavation of the difference between samsara and nirvana was particularly striking to many. "When we become free of conceptual elaborations, that is nirvana," Rinpoche stated. "As long as we are apprehending a difference between subject and object, that is samsara."

2012.10.27 法王噶瑪巴施身法課程第二天 Chod teaching day 2

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.

2012/10/26

GYALWANG KARMAPA CONFERS CHOD WANG FOR FIRST TIME


26th October – Dorzong Monastery, Gopalpur.


Today His Holiness commenced a historical three-days of Chod teachings, conferring the empowerment for the first time ever. Hosted by His Eminence the 8th Dorzong Rinpoche at his institute in the Kangra Valley near Dharamsala, the Dharma transmission drew an international audience of practitioners from several dozen countries, as well as nuns from across the Himalayans.
  "I have been enthusiastic about the Chod practice from a young age, but have had few opportunities to do formal sadhana practice, and this is the very first time I am giving the empowerment, and am very pleased to have the opportunity to do so today."
The empowerment that His Holiness conferred in the morning was based on the Opening the Door to Space text by the 3rd Gyalwang Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje. Following the main portion of the visualization-based initiation, His Holiness offered a torma empowerment to the event's hosts His Eminence the 8th Dorzong Rinpoche and Chogyal Rinpoche, followed by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Lama Tsultrim Allione, who had initially requested the Chod empowerment from His Holiness and whose Tara Mandala organization sponsored the event. 
In the afternoon session, the Gyalwang Karmapa commenced teaching based on a Guiding Instruction text by the 8th Gyalwang Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje, which outlines (among other things) a weeklong Chod retreat. As an entry point into understanding the practice of Chod, His Holiness discussed Chod—a Tibetan verb that means to cut or sever—in terms of what is to be cut and what does the cutting. Otherwise, there is the danger that we leave Chod practice at the level of mere ritual. What we aim to cut with Chod practice, he explained, are the four Maras and in particular the Mara of self-grasping or fixation. What we cut this with is the prajna or wisdom that realizes essencelessness, or lack of self.
  After the initial introduction, His Holiness turned to the topic of renunciation, or "definite emergence"—the clear understanding that all samsara, or cyclic existence, is suffering in nature, and the wish to definitely emerge from that. The Gyalwang Karmapa cautioned against assuming samsara is something external and separate from us. Samsara includes not only the world around us, but also exists within us and is produced by our own troubled emotional state. Addressing the largely Western audience, His Holiness noted that there is a tendency to confuse subtle forms of suffering with pleasure. As a result, we end up exerting ourselves greatly, chasing more suffering. Quoting the 8th Gyalwang Karmapa, His Holiness stated that all authentic independence is happiness, while all lack of freedom is suffering. He went on to explain that this authentic independence is something to be cultivated and an attitude that can be developed, focusing on freedom from karmic cause and effect and emotional disturbances.
  Although outer conditions have a minor part to play, they cannot secure our happiness. For that, he said, we must look within.

2012.10.26 法王噶瑪巴首次傳授施身法  HHK confers Chod teachings, conferring the empowerment for the first time

JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY TARA MANDALA AND KARMAPA OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION


26th October – Dorzong Monastery, Dharamsala.


His Holiness the Karmapa initiates a historic transmission, mainly for female practitioners
(26 October, 2012, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh) In an unprecedented three-day event, His Holiness the 17thKarmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is granting initiation and teachings on Chöd. A spiritual practice developed by Machig Labdron, a Tibetan yogini in the 11th century, Chöd is practiced by nearly all sects of Tibetan Buddhism to this day. Approximately 1,000 people from across the Himalayan region and around the world are here to attend this historic Dharma transmission, which is being conferred for the first time by His Holiness in response to a supplication made by a western Buddhist woman, Lama Tsultrim Allione, on behalf of all women practitioners. Lama Tsultrim was ordained in 1970 as a Buddhist nun by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, and later pursued the path as a lay practitioner.
The teachings and empowerment are taking place through 28 October and hosted at Dorzong Monastic Institute (Jangchub Jong) in Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh, by His Eminence the 8th Dorzong Rinpoche, a highly respected senior lineage holder within the Drugpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dharma transmission is reserved for serious practitioners, while a long-life initiation to be offered to the general public on 29 October at Dorzong Institute. Apart from several hundred Buddhist nuns from around the Himalayas, the event has attracted disciples from dozens of different countries.
Expressing his delight regarding the occasion, His Holiness the Karmapa said: "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 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, embodiment of wisdom. Of the eight practice lineages of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Chöd is the only lineage established by a woman. In that spirit, Tara Mandala, a Vajrayana Buddhist organization that focuses on the Chöd lineage, based in Colorado, U.S.A. and founded by Lama Tsultrim Allione, sponsored numerous delegations of nuns from across the Himalayas to attend this event.
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 polarization."
Lama Tsultrim went on to say: "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."
Contact: Kunzang Chungyalpa 09609872866 Contact: Lama Tsultrim Allione tsultrimallione@gmail.com
Indescribable, inconceivable and inexpressible Prajnaparamita is unborn and unceasing – the very nature of space. She is the realm of your own self-cognizing primordial wisdom. I pray homage to the Mother of the Buddhas of the past, present and future.

JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY TARA MANDALA AND KARMAPA OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION(taramandala)


His Holiness the Karmapa initiates a historic transmission, mainly for female practitioners 

(26 October, 2012, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh) In an unprecedented three-day event, His Holiness the 17thKarmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is granting initiation and teachings on Chöd. A spiritual practice developed by Machig Labdron, a Tibetan yogini in the 11th century, Chöd is practiced by nearly all sects of Tibetan Buddhism to this day. Approximately 1,000 people from across the Himalayan region and around the world are here to attend this historic Dharma transmission, which is being conferred for the first time by His Holiness in response to a supplication made by a western Buddhist woman, Lama Tsultrim Allione, on behalf of all women practitioners. Lama Tsultrim was ordained in 1970 as a Buddhist nun by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, and later pursued the path as a lay practitioner.

The teachings and empowerment are taking place through 28 October and hosted at Dorzong Monastic Institute (Jangchub Jong) in Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh, by His Eminence the 8th Dorzong Rinpoche, a highly respected senior lineage holder within the Drugpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dharma transmission is reserved for serious practitioners, while a long-life initiation to be offered to the general public on 29 October at Dorzong  Institute. Apart from several hundred Buddhist nuns from around the Himalayas, the event has attracted disciples from dozens of different countries.

 Expressing his delight regarding the occasion, His Holiness the Karmapa said: “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 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, embodiment of wisdom. Of the eight practice lineages of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Chöd is the only lineage established by a woman. In that spirit, Tara Mandala, a Vajrayana Buddhist organization that focuses on the Chöd lineage, based in Colorado, U.S.A. and founded by Lama Tsultrim Allione, sponsored numerous delegations of nuns from across the Himalayas to attend this event.

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 polarization.”

Lama Tsultrim went on to say: “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.”