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Showing posts from January, 2016

The Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches on Developing Confidence in the Power of Confession

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January 31, 2016-Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, IndiaDuring the 18th day of teaching at the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, the Gyalwang Karmapa taught on the practice of purifying misdeeds, based on The Ornament of Precious Liberation by Gampopa. In particular, the Karmapa focused today on developing the confidence that it is possible to purify all our misdeeds through the practice of confession.“Here it’s quite possible that we have a doubt,” the Karmapa said. “The reason is that up until now we have done innumerable misdeeds, so how is it that just one little confession in this life can actually purify all of our misdeeds? If we do not have complete confidence in the antidote of confession, then it has less power to purify our misdeeds.”In response to this, the Karmapa mentioned a commentary explaining that the Buddha taught about both misdeeds and the possibility of purifying them. So it doesn’t make sense to believe one of these but not the other. “If we believe the wor…

The Gyalwang Karmapa Discusses the Power of Remorse for Purification

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January 30th, 2016 –Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya, Bihar, India

The Sutra Teaching the Four Qualities speaks of the Four Powers in the following way:Maitreya! If bodhisattva mahasattvas have found these four things they will overcome evils that have been committed and established. What are these four? They are (1) the power of the thorough application of total remorse, (2) the power of thoroughly applying the remedy, (3) the power of renouncing harmful acts, and (4) the power of the support.Today, His Holiness the Karmapa continued the teachings from yesterday’s topic on confessing one’s misdeeds, specifically focusing on two of the Four Powers. Reading through the transmission of Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation, which today covered the first power of remorse and its three divisions, the Karmapa took up the question asked in the text, “How do we stimulate the power of remorse?” In sum there are three ways: by considering the pointlessness of one’s wrongs, by considering fear, an…

The Seven-Branch Prayer Embodies the Essence of Practice; New Emanations of Tseringma

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January 29, 2016-Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
[This report has two sections: a briefer account of the morning’s teachings followed by a lightly edited transcript.]After three days of Karma Pakshi and Tseringma practice, the Gyalwang Karmapa recommenced his teachings on the Ornament of Precious Liberation. He began with a reading transmission from the Seventh Topic, the Ceremony, and within this, the Preparation, which has six parts. Today the Karmapa covered its first part, Making Offerings.“The key points of all practices is to gather the accumulations and purify misdeeds and obscurations,” he stated. “There is no practice that is not included within these two.” “Gathering the accumulations,” he continued, “means gathering all the favorable conditions for developing the path within our beings. Purifying misdeeds and obscurations means clearing away the conditions that counteract developing the path within.”If one added prostrations at the beginning, the six parts of the s…

The Nuns Engage in the Practice of Karma Pakshi and the Five Tseringma

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January 26, 2016-Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya, Bihar, IndiaToday the shrine in the main hall at Tergar Monastery was again transformed, this time for three days (January 26–28) of practicing the Karma Pakshi Guru Yoga in the morning and in the afternoon, the offering ritual to the Five Tseringma (Long Life Sisters). In the new setting, which the Karmapa had arranged the night before, two shrines filled the central space of the shrine stage. On the right was a long, embroidered thangka of Karma Pakshi, flanked in brilliant white scarves, which brought alive the rich colors in the image of this Second Karmapa along with his yidam deity and main disciples. Two large tormas (offering sculptures) were set beneath it, and the lower one had a skull cup and butter lamps on either side. The final row held beautifully embossed gold and silver offering bowls, their generous size filled with the traditional substances.On the left was displayed a lovely thangka of Tseringma, painted in the spacious …

The Gyalwang Karmapa Presides over White Tara Puja, “Bestowing all Siddhis”

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January 24th 2016-Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya, BiharToday His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa presided over a White Tara puja in the main shrine hall of Tergar Monastery. The hall was decorated with garlands of marigolds, strings of their yellow and orange flowers hung from the door of the main entrance and on each of the sixteen pillars of the traditional Tibetan style monastery. Bouquets of white lilies and red roses lined the front of the stage. The Karmapa took his seat on the high, golden throne, this time on the main stage, where space was also made for a three dimensional mandala. On its top tier was a gold statue of White Tara, the Goddess of Long Life. A miniature parasol, one of the eight auspicious symbols, floated above the statue. To the left of Tara was a torma sculpture created to represent her, and to the right of the gold statue, was another torma dedicated to the 21 Taras. Gold and silver mandalas were set in the four directions and in between them were offering bowls f…

The Gyalwang Karmapa Discusses Nuns’ Ordination; Teaches on Bodhisattva Vow

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January 22, 2016-Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India


During the eighth day of teaching at the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, the Gyalwang Karmapa discussed questions related to giving bhikshuni ordination to nuns. He also continued his teaching on rousing bodhichitta through taking the bodhisattva vow, based on chapter nine of the Ornament of Precious Liberation by Gampopa.The Karmapa began by congratulating the nuns in attendance for the confidence and enthusiasm they have developed since the first Arya Kshema Gathering. “As I look out, I see that you’ve all gained confidence and self-esteem, knowing that you are capable of doing things and taking action,” the Karmapa said. “I see this in your expressions and I am very happy…. No matter what we are doing, if we first of all do not have confidence in ourselves, it is difficult to get anything done no matter what it might be, whether in the Dharma or in worldly activities.” The Karmapa added, “I think it is important to reco…

The Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches on Two Traditions of Taking Bodhisattva Vows and How We Actually Receive Them

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January 21, 2016- Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
[The Gyalwang Karmapa’s recent talks have been detailed and extensively researched, so it was decided to make a version available that resembles a lightly edited transcript for those who wish to read the longer report, which follows this summary for those who prefer brevity.]The Gyalwang Karmapa continued his explanation of the rituals for rousing bodhichitta in the two lineages, one stemming from Manjushri and the other from Maitreya. Some scholars, the Karmapa noted, say that the traditions differ not only in their rituals but also in actuality, because they understand Manjushri’s lineage to belong to the Middle Way school and Maitreya’s to the Mind Only school. Other scholars do not agree with these attributions.After a long discussion of the pros and cons, the Karmapa summarized the view of his Karma Kamtsang tradition that the ritual for generating bodhichitta. There is a danger, he cautioned, in labelling the two traditi…