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Archive for January, 2009

lama1

we received many requests to post the audio of the speech given at the conclusion of “living the dharma” teachings by lama jinpa, the spanish translator. we, at blog central, like to thank you all for watching, reading, scrolling, requesting and commenting. sarva mangalam!

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For several years His Holiness Karmapa has been concerned to implement changes in Buddhist monasteries all over the world to address the environmental crisis. This year he brought out a booklet to be distributed to all the monasteries. (There are 350 million Buddhists on the planet, according to the pamphlet.) It is entitled Environmental Guidelines and breaks down the problem into 5 categories: forest protection, water protection, wildlife protection, waste management and addressing climate change.

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On the last two days of the teaching, His Holiness Karmapa mainly answered questions, because he had received the ‘blessing of Bodh Gaya’ – a cold and cough. He explained the meaning of Karmapa Chenno.

The meaning of karma is action or activity. So Karmapa is one who does the activity of the buddhas. At the age of sixteen Dusum Khyenpa had a vision that 1000 dakinis made a Black Hat and offered it to the Karmapa. He was enthroned as one who does the activity of all buddhas and bodhisattvas.
Karmapa does not have to be one individual. It is the name of all vajra masters who do the activity of the Buddha. Buddha said that when the dharma is near extinction, he would come and bring out the positive, light side of people’s nature.
Chenno means know me, remember me. We don’t have to say it aloud. We can say it from the heart.

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His Holiness Karmapa’s sister, Chyamsin-la, offered the mandala to request the teaching, placing it on a shrine filled with miniature flags from each country in the world.

Here are some excerpts from His Holiness’ talk which clarified many misconceptions about dharma practice, attachment, and love; and also revealed the gentleness, warmth and humour of his charismatic personality.

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His Holiness Karmapa seemed to be at the peak of his power when he concluded the Monlam, speaking with confidence to the entire assembly of monks and lay people. ‘Thank you to the sponsors, Gyaltsap Rinpoche and others. I express my heartfelt gratitude. You have done great aspirations and prayers for all in this great sacred place, so thank you all.’ He also thanked the volunteers who worked for the Monlam.

Recapping the results of the past year, he remarked that many of the monasteries had made their assemblies free from meat; and regarding the environment, ‘people are making attempts to do projects’.

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During the Monlam, His Holiness Karmapa gave us some fascinating insights concealed inside the main teachings, so I collected some and strung them together like pearls to share with you.

The Buddha designated 16 Arhats who would live until the Buddha Maitreya comes and appear as monks to protect the dharma. During the 11th century Atisha made a practice of the 16 Arhats according to the Kriya Yoga Tantra system.

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from the White Tara Empowerment on January 09, photos by Karma Norbu

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gates

main_gate two new gates were designed this year: the main gate is designed by an american architect. prayer flags hung underneath the eaves are said to possess very powerful purification mantras this year. the other gate is much smaller in scale but nonetheless carries great depth. it’s a small open wall with laminated prayers spinning on metal hooks that convey aspiration prayers in many languages. designed to be read by pilgrims who circumambulate the stupa each day, these prayers are a very modest sample of the many that were received and selected.
prayer-wall1
-analog girl

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shrine_offeringthis year, the korean nuns and lay people were in charge of setting the offering shrine at the stupa. the colorful and crisp offerings combined with the meticulous arrangement of candies and other miscellaneous treats are a visual feast.
– analog girl

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Whoever hears it (the mantra), whether people or animals, will be liberated from samsara and all its sufferings. In the Kagyu there is a sutra called the Purification of all the Obscurations of Karma. There is another one in Chinese which totally liberates all sufferings of obscurations.

The Buddha taught about Akshobhya in a sutra and described Akshobhya’s pure land. When he Buddha was seated surrounded by many monks and bodhisattvas, Shariputra asked the Buddha to teach. The Buddha said in a thousand worlds away from here, in the east, there is the pure land of Akshobhya. Everybody in that land is performing the bodhisttva’s actions and have all generated the bodhicitta. How did that pure land happen?

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For several years, His Holiness Karmapa has been reading the life story of Milarepa at the Monlam and commenting on it. Here are some of the remarks I jotted down from the teachings given here and there.

Some great masters didn’t do much study outwardly but they received experiential teachings. They understood what to practice by direct understanding. They can give teachings through their body language. This is the lineage of experience, of realization. We must understand and practice that instruction through our master. We can receive the experience of the nature of the mind through devotion to the Lama; or we can conceptually understand it and practice it. We have to study the biographies of the great masters of the past. One great Nyingmapa Lama said, ‘When the great disturbances come, only Shantideva (Guide to the Bodhsattva’s Way of Life) and the songs of Milarepa help.
Are we following them or are we a disgrace to them?

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I requested Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who takes care of Rumtek Monastery and lives at Ralang in Sikkim, to offer a statement about the Monlam.

Gyaltsap Rinpoche


‘The many obstacles we have had in the Kagyu Lineage can be removed by our prayers during the Kagyu Monlam.’

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