KC16 raised “Lungta” prayer flags, or wind horse flags, and recited a long life smoke puja composed by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa on Friday, October 30, 2020.
This upcoming lunar year – the year of the ox – is an obstacle year for HHK17. Therefore, beginning today, October 24, 2020, Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche and KC16 Lamas will preform Tara feast offering puja on every 10th of the lunar month, Mahakala feast offering puja on every 29th of lunar month and recite Amitayus sutra every day to clear away obstacles for HHK17 for this particular year.
In a recent post, we learned that one of the main practices of the 16th Karmapa was Tara, but did you know that White Tara was His Holiness the 16th Karmapa’s’ yidam? We practice Tara for three main reasons: She is powerful, her blessings are fast, and she is immeasurably kind.
White Tara is practiced by all four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and is the main deity of other Buddhist practitioners and scholars, including the great master Atisha. She played an important role helping Buddhism flourish once again in Tibet, following some great obstacles, when Atisha was invited to Tibet to reestablish the teachings. Wondering whether he should go or not, Atisha supplicated the White Tara statue in Bodhgaya. She appeared to him in a pure vision and said his journey would be a complete success, that it would benefit many sentient beings, but it would lessen the years of his life.
Due to his great bodhicitta, Atisha went ahead to Tibet and, as prophesied by Tara, accomplished the enormous task of revitalizing and reforming the teachings, and founding Kadampa Buddhism. With good reason, Tara has since been one of the four main yidams of the Kadampa lineage.
Tara is also an important deity in the Kagyu lineage that began when Milarepa’s student Gampopa integrated the Mahamudra teachings of Milarepa with the Kadampa teachings of Atisha, including the practice of Tara. Green Tara symbolizes the fearless and compassionate energy of our mind’s true nature and the resolve to dispel suffering and fear, while White Tara is associated with longevity and healing practice.
KC16 will join Nalandabodhi International for its fifth annual Tara Drupchen to be held online from September 24 to 27, 2020, offering prayers and smoke pujas in Tibetan.
As a precursor to the Tara Drupchen, please enjoy this special audio file of Tara practice in Tibetan recorded in the shrine room at KC16:
We hope you will join us for the Drupchen! The event is free and everyone is welcome to participate by joining practices online, making prayer requests, aspirations, and offerings, and choosing to #gokind in thought, word, and deed. For information and registration please email: email@example.com.
Last week, soil samples from deep within the land at KC16 were taken as the next step for our engineers and architects to move forward with foundation plans. The contractors gave us the surplus soil, which Drupon Rinpoche and the Lamas on site have been using to construct small Guru Rinpoche statues from the blessed land. They say the soil is so good that nothing extra was needed to hold it together or be strong enough to create the statues. Due to the blessings of the land as the Parinirvana site of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, and being blessed by the 17th Karmapa, this earth is saturated with blessings!
Blessed earth and gold statues Abundance of Guru Rinpoche statues!
Reminder! KC16 is co-hosting Tara Drupchen with Nalandabodhi International/Nalandabodhi Seattle and Nalanda West from September 24-27. The Tara Drupchen will be especially dedicated to overcoming the current pandemic, to all beings suffering directly or indirectly from it, and to dispelling fear in our world. For registration information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of Karmapa Center 16, we wish you a very happy summer, the season in which both the 16th and 17th Karmapa were born. In honor of their summertime births, we would like to share a special prayer by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, “Toward the Supreme Illumination.” It’s our aspiration that His words fill your every breath and your every step of every day.
Kindness is contagious in the very best sense of the word. It spreads warmth and joy, inspires generosity towards others and helps us open to our own innate kindness. You can help spread kindness across the globe this summer and the possibility for others to connect with His Holiness by:
• Sharing our posts on social media with the hashtag #GoKind
• Submitting your images and videos of kindness to the KC16 bot via: m.me/KarmapaCenter16
The Karmapa Center 16 thanks you and the worldwide Sangha for all your support — no matter the form or action it has taken and continues to manifest.
This lunar month is the time when we celebrate Saga Dawa, the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of the Shakyamuni Buddha.
It is also a somber time for many, as we grapple with the death of black American citizen George Floyd, which sparked protest in cities across the United States for two weeks. This, combined with COVID-19 ever present in our lives globally, has left many feeling afraid, angry and disillusioned.
During his life, the Shakyamuni Buddha foretold a prophecy, found in the Samadhi Raja Sūtra, which can give us courage for our lives now:
Two thousand years after I have passed,
The teachings will arise in the land of the red-faced men.
They will become disciples of Avalokita.
In that degenerate time for dharma,
The bodhisattva, Lion’s Roar,
Will appear and be known as Karmapa.
He will attain the samādhi empowerment and tame beings,
Establishing them in well-being through sight, hearing, recollection, and touch.
And so it is, just as the Shakyamuni Buddha predicted. We have had the great good fortune to encounter His Holiness the 16th Karmapa’s teachings on love, kindness and compassion in this life — just when we and the world need them them the most.
Today we share with you Liberation Upon Seeing, produced by the Karmapa Picture Project. May all beings viewing these images of His Holiness be liberated instantly! Click on the photo below to view the video.
In the forward to the book Dharma King, a quote by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa speaks to the relevance of this video — with its collection of images of the 16th Karmapa’s life — and its immeasurable benefit to us now:
[The 16th Gyalwang Karmapa] seldom gave Dharma teachings through words, but taught intensively through physical gestures and tamed beings through his mere presence… one of his major activities was to liberate all those who saw him, as he did when donning the Black Crown, so there is undoubtedly great value in any visual connection made with him.
Following the example of His Holiness — by embodying loving-kindness and acting thoughtfully — we too can work to help others. It is said that any good deed performed during the month of Saga Dawa is multiplied as many as one hundred million times, so it is an especially auspicious time to perform positive actions!
One simple action to help create more widespread kindness and offer a chance for others to connect with His Holiness through images would be to:
• Share our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #GoKind
• Submit your acts of kindness to the KC16 bot via: m.me/KarmapaCenter16
With deepest appreciation to all who continue to support The Karmapa Center 16 in all its endeavors.
Click on the photo below to view the video Liberation upon Seeing. Karmapa Khyenno!
This week we’re fortunate to share Prayers for the Pandemic to Subside, the seven days of live-streamed prayers and teachings given by His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s, one week of prayers to help us and everyone struggling with the coronavirus.
He kindly reminds us to consider our holistic health: “So when we are confronted by such great impermanence as now, we must do what we can not to panic and instead look inside ourselves.”
His Holiness the 17th Karmapa also shared “A Prayer for Pacifying the Fear of the Disease” by Thangtong Gyalpo, which is said to have stopped an epidemic at the great monastery of the Glorious Sakya tradition. It became renowned as the vajra speech radiating cloud-like blessings. Please join us in reciting this prayer. May its abundant blessings be with us always!
We welcome you to continue to share your photos and videos of kind actions with the KC16 Messenger Bot here: m.me/karmapacenter16 or using the #GoKind hashtag on social media platforms. Now more than ever is the time to radiate kindness!
Thank you to everyone who continues to follow, share and contribute to The Karmapa Center 16 Stupa Project in any capacity. Please don’t be hesitant to reach out to us if we may be of any assistance.
His Holiness the 17th Karmapa conducting puja at The Karmapa Center 16 in May 2015. Photo by Scott Pownall.
“Karmapa” literally means “He who engages in Enlightened Activity” or “the one who carries out buddha-activity.” For more than eight centuries, the Karmapa lineage has done just that — spontaneously and compassionately taken action to benefit beings, in whatever way conditions permitted.
In honor of the vast positive activity of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, we’re inviting each of you to take part in One Million Positive Actions to benefit others particularly in this collectively difficult time. It could be anything, such as virtually helping a friend, donating food to those in need, thanking a neighbor who is a health care worker, posting an uplifting sign in your window facing outwards, planting a tree, or sowing seeds in a garden, etc. While in seclusion, there are still many opportunities for us to be kind — and we can make it creative and fun!
At KC16, for the benefit of the entire world in general, and Illinois specifically, the Lamas offered a special fire puja at the conclusion of a week practice. This fire puja called, “The Victorious Drum of the Clouds of Mahabrahma” was composed by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. Reciting prayers and mantras and performing sadhana practices is said to pacify illness.
To support this kindness effort, today we’re launching a simple Facebook Messenger chatbot designed to widely share positive actions anyone can do from home, and we’d love for you to join us by contributing a photo or video of your kind action!
Contributing to the One Million Positive Actions campaign is easy: just share a photo or video of your kind action at m.me/karmapacenter16 or on social media with the hashtag #GoKind.
Each action you share will be part of the Karmapa Center 16 social media campaign — galvanizing others through your positive action, while showcasing our collective impact on a map (coming soon!).
Thank you for continuing to share this effort with your networks. See you next week.
“The 16th Gyalwang Karmapa seldom gave Dharma teachings through words but taught intensively through physical gestures and tamed beings through his mere presence. One of his major activities was to liberate all those who saw him … so there is undoubtedly great value in any visual connection made with him.”*
— His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa
During this difficult time of the global coronavirus pandemic, we can find solace and inspiration by seeing images, watching videos, and perhaps recalling one’s own experience of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa. His spontaneous and joyous actions benefited beings wherever and in whatever way conditions permitted, despite any obstacles.
We are pleased to present a way to visually connect with the 16th Karmapa by sharing photographs and videos about him. Contemplating his life and the lives of other lineage masters can benefit our mind stream and help us find the courage to open our hearts as we move through distressing times. When we benefit ourselves in this way, we are better equipped to support others both directly and indirectly.
We hope these offerings about His Holiness are indeed uplifting and an inspiration for yourself, your family, friends, colleagues and communities. We will soon include new ways to share acts of kindness so that those positive actions may ripple outward to be felt far and wide.
This week’s video features James Gimian, who first became involved with Buddhism in 1972, as a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Two years later, he held a lead role during His Holiness the 16th Karmapa’s first visit to the United States for the ten day Dharma Festival in San Francisco, in 1974. In the video interview Mr. Gimian, who is the publisher of Mindful Magazine, describes how His Holiness was a vital catalyst for introducing Buddhism to the West by facilitating “the diaspora of the teachings coming to the west.”
Knowing that His Holiness was instrumental in the blossoming of Buddhism in Western culture, Mr. Gimian also recognizes how the Stupa in Wadsworth, in the Heartland of America, will serve as “ground zero for the dharma becoming deeply rooted in North American soil.”
The story of His Holiness’ positive influences on those who cared for him at the end of his life in Illinois, reminds us of the power we all have to make a difference in the lives of others and vice versa. It made us think with tremendous gratitude and prayers for the safety of the millions of brave and selfless pandemic healthcare workers around the world. We can also follow His Holiness’ example and express gratitude, kindness, joy, generosity, and compassion in our everyday interactions regardless of challenging circumstances. We can be the positive change we all long for.
We give great thanks to everyone who has generously donated to help bring this vision to fruition by supporting our campaign for the Stupa. While the campaign will continue through June, we understand that making a donation is not possible for many at this time. Should you be able to give or feel moved to support the campaign at any point, your gift will be gratefully received.
We wish you all good health and well being, and look forward to sharing more about His Holiness with you next week.
*Excerpted from Dharma King: The Life of the 16th Karmapa in Images
During this time of the global pandemic of coronavirus, when anxiety and fear are rampant, we are fortunate to be able to connect with the dharma, with our genuine heart of goodness and our wish to benefit beings—no matter what. We have the opportunity to be mindful and aware of our actions, how they affect ourselves and others, and to kindly help stop the spread of the virus (see the CDC page).
We are even more fortunate that we are able to connect with the presence of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, to then slow down and move through the world with aware kindness in a spacious, relaxed state.
Ani Pema Chödrön* was a close student of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and in the attached, inspiring video interview (16 minutes), she recalls being in the presence of His Holiness: “It was like he dwelled in this timeless, present state, and you were just drawn right into that.” She shares the impact he had on her life and those of countless others. She also highlights why building the stupa at KC16 is so important to the world.
Many of you realize the importance of the stupa project — in just two weeks, since our official kick off on March 1st, we’ve raised 129,000 USD from 190 donors! We’ve had the support of over 750 social media shares, with nearly 200 followers watching the campaign and actively getting the word out. We are building more momentum by the moment.
With a joyous heart, we offer great thanks to everyone for your kindness, generosity and support of our cause. Please continue to widely share our campaign with others as that is a huge contribution in itself.
We hope this week’s KC16 Parinirvana Stupa crowdfunding campaign update, featuring Ani Pema Chödrön, will be of great benefit. See you next week with another update and very special video story celebrating the great life and teachings of His Holiness!
*Ani Pema Chödrön is an American Tibetan Buddhist. She is an ordained nun, former acharya of Shambhala Buddhism and disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She has written several dozen books and audiobooks, and is principal teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada.