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2nd Arya Kshema

Gyalwang Karmapa Makes Historic Announcement on Restoring Nuns’ Ordination

During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering the Gyalwang Karmapa made the historical announcement that, beginning next year, he would take concrete steps towards restoring nuns’ vows in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Beginning with the restoration of the novice ‘getsulma’ and training ‘shikshamana’ nun’s vows next year, which will be conferred with the assistance of a special contingent of nuns from the Dharmagupta tradition, this will then lay the necessary framework leading to ‘gelongma’ or ‘bhikshuni’ full nun’s vows in the future.

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Successful Conclusion of the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering

After two-and-a-half weeks of daily teachings from the Gyalwang Karmapa, intensive debate training for the participating nuns, and a variety of other dharma activities, the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering successfully concluded.

“We’ve had a long string of dharma activities here in Bodhgaya,” the Gyalwang Karmapa said during the closing ceremony, “starting with the Kagyu monks’ Guncho, the Kagyu Monlam, and now the nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering. They have all gone very well, and this is because everyone here worked together as one. We can all take joy in this.”

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The Nuns Prove Themselves in Debate

For the final event of the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, the Tergar shrine hall has been set up with tables for the defenders, set across the center aisle in front of the Karmapa’s throne, and with a microphone for the challengers who will stand two thirds of the way back towards the shrine door. This is to keep the challengers, who can get quite enthusiastic as a group, at a certain distance from the defenders.

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Nuns Train to be Health Workers

During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Gathering, instead of attending the teachings and debates, a group of 28 nuns have been following a special programme. Drawn from seven nunneries–Ralang and Tilokpur in India, Karma Leksheyling, Tara Abbey, Osel Karma Thekchöling and Samten Ling in Nepal and Drubde Palmo Chökyi Dingkhang in Bhutan– the nuns spent eight days studying basic heaIthcare and how to respond to medical emergencies.

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Gyalwang Karmapa Leads Chöd Puja: A String of Jewels

In one of the key rituals of the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, and a particularly rare and precious opportunity for those gathered, the Gyalwang Karmapa led an extended day-long Chöd puja.

“There are both masculine and feminine Chöd practices,” he said in the lead up to the puja. “This Chöd practice was passed down from Machig Labdrön, so it’s a feminine practice, and I thought it would have particular meaning for us to do it during the nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering.”

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