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2nd Arya Kshema

In Praise of Bhikshunis: A Ritual for the Nuns’ Dharma to Flourish

During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, the Gyalwang Karmapa led a special ritual that he himself had composed, making powerful aspirations in support of all female practitioners and particularly for the flourishing of the nuns’ dharma.

Blending his voice with those of the female chantmasters, the Karmapa led the gathering through a recitation drawn from the ‘Sutra of Repaying Kindness, Great Skill in Means’, in praise of the qualities of nine exceptional Bhikshunis who were the direct disciples of the Buddha. “May we have the merit to uphold the teachings properly like the Buddha’s mother, the elder Bhikshuni Mahaprajapati Gautami,” the verse began.

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Gyalwang Karmapa Opens Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering

This week the historical Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for nuns began at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. The annual gathering brings together Karma Kagyu nuns in a program focused on advanced training in philosophy and debate.

“When we initiated this Winter Dharma Gathering for nuns the primary aim was to strengthen the education within Kagyu nunneries,” the Gyalwang Karmapa said. “Another aim was that the nuns would be able to take responsibility not just for activities within their own nunneries, but also take wider responsibility for upholding the teachings.”

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Teachings from Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation

During the first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Nuns last year, the Karmapa began teachings on The Jewel Ornament of Liberation (literally, The Ornament of Precious Liberation). This is the most important treatise written by Gampopa the Physician (Sgam po Lha rje, 1079–1153), for it combines the instructions of two great rivers—the kadampa and mahamudra lineages. All kagyu practitioners should value, take an interest in, and study this text. The Karmapa said that he himself considers it very important.

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