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Archive for December, 2010

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photos taken by Karma Lekcho, Karma Norbu, Pema Orser Dorje, Mr. Liao, Liao Kakee

May we perceive His Holiness teaching around the world this new year just as we have perceived him teaching here in Bodhgaya. Happy new year to all of you.

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by Marianna Rydvald

In the early 1970s I was painting in an art studio in the south of Sweden. A North American medicine man came for a visit and gave me an owl feather and said: “the owl will speak with you”!

I received the owl feather and contemplated its meaning. Friends from Oxford had invited me to journey with them to Findhorn, Scotland. I sold a painting to a hospital and went with my youngest daughter to Findhorn.

In Findhorn I saw many owls and was reminded of the medicine man. As we left Findhorn a friend in the car said, “There is a Tibetan temple around here.” I pleaded with them to go there. Many people had gathered at the Tibetan center and they told us that His Holiness the 16th Karmapa was
arriving the next day. I had already been to India with my daughter and met precious teachers. We found a place for the night at Samye Ling. In the evening I went for a walk in the forest, and an owl came swooping down to where I was standing.

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photos taken by Karma Lekcho, Karma Norbu, Pema Orser Dorje, Mr. Liao, Liao Kakee

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Paris, 1977

Mainly because of having just inherited a superb Citroen DS (same model as the French President’s), I got to drive HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in Paris, a city he did not know. One day, he wanted, as he often did, to go and buy birds. We were told that these were sometimes reincarnations of his previous disciples, with the mixed karma of being reborn an animal but an animal nevertheless close to the Buddha. I took him to the famous Quai de Mégisseries, with its row of bird shops but he quickly perused all of them without interest. We left and he started directing me, “Left here, now right…” into completely unknown territory. After some ten minutes, I assumed he was having a huge joke at my expense (he had a wonderful sense of humour), as there was no way he could have any idea of the layout of Paris. My tangible anxiety at being totally lost changed briefly to relief and a sense of triumph when he said “Left” and I could see the street sign saying it was a cul-de-sac: joke over. Delighted, he got out of the car and walked straight into the pet shop at the end of the street and directly to the birds he wanted. Back in the car, with the birds on board and seeing me completely lost, His Holiness directed me skilfully home to where he was staying. I simply marvelled. Better than SatNav? Of course – who wouldn’t want a SatNav with the Karmapa’s beautiful voice and protective presence?

Ken Holmes,
Director of Studies,
Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery.

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Alms Round

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photos taken by Karma Lekcho, Karma Norbu, Pema Orser Dorje, Mr. Liao, Liao Kakee

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by Linda Lewis

On the first visit of His Holiness Karmapa to Boulder, Colorado he gave us all a Vajra Yogini initiation and blessing in the main shrine room of 1111 Pearl Street, going between the spaces of hippies to touch us with his hand and implements, including the little head of my infant son Waylon.

On his second visit, I believe in 1976, my toddler son fell in love with His Holiness, wanting to go again and again to the place where he was staying on Mapleton Hill, which we called the “wedding cake house”.  My son would say repeatedly, “I want to go to see the big man with the big hat in the big house!”

On His Holiness Karmapa’s last visit to Boulder, I believe in 1980, there was to be a children’s blessing in the main shrine Room.  My son was now 6 years old.  His father had fallen asleep and, although he had said he wanted us to wake him up, he was unspeakably angry when we did so.  There was a domestic “scene” and Waylon and I were delayed.  I was really afraid we had missed the ceremony but felt inclined to go late, rather than to wallow in domestic misery.

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Michele Martin has written an extensive report on the tormas and other offerings at the 28th Kagyu Monlam, posted on kagyumonlam.org. Please click on the image below to open that article.

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