Showing posts from December, 2013

The Seventeenth Karmapa In India (2013)

Inexpressible Gratitude: Reflections on the Akshobhya Retreat

December 29, 2013 Tergar Monastery

The first part of the Akshobhya retreat—recitation of the sadhana and collection of 100,000 or more of the dharani mantra — concluded on 28th December, 2013. Now the retreatants are offering  three and a half days of fire pujas during which they will chant a further 10,000 purification mantras.  The fire pujas begin at 5.00am, with pairs of retreatants working in together in a specially constructed gazebo on the roof of Tergar Shrine hall.  There are 16 fires in all. These fire rituals invoke the power of the peaceful not wrathful White Akshobhya and are offered for the purification of all sentient beings. On the first day, His Holiness acted as the vajra master, using a microphone and speaker to lead everyone through the ritual.
Speaking of their experiences during the six-week long retreat, the retreatants described it as an extraordinary, powerful and life-changing experience. 
They spoke of the great compassion the Gyalwang Karmapa had shown for thei…

Uma Debate

December 27, 2013
Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya, India
In the main shrine hall of Tergar Monastery, a large chair with a curving back covered in luminous white silk has been placed in front of the Buddha. His Holiness the Karmapa has taken his seat there to witness and participate in today’s debates on the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) view. The participants are senior monks and teachers from various monasteries, who have formed two groups, one of the defenders, seated behind a row of ornately painted tables, and the other of the questioners, who are gathered behind a standing microphone about fifteen feet away. Displayed on two screens flanking the Karmapa are digital clocks, counting down the split seconds of the fifty minutes for this debate. The debate is unhesitating, animated, and vigorous. In the midst of the intense exchanges, the Karmapa listens with complete attention, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a critical look. He raises his arms out, stopping the debate to challenge and cl…