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3rd Arya Kshema

The Gyalwang Karmapa Continues Teaching, Announces Plans for Shedra Curriculum

Today’s teachings began with the sound of melodic chanting of the opening prayers; the nuns’ voices were led by a female chant master (umze). After the donations and offerings of white scarves by the lay sponsors, the Gyalwang Karmapa resumed the teachings on the 9th chapter of The Ornament of Liberation regarding relative bodhicitta. Picking up where he left off yesterday, he continued, “In terms of the methods for meditating on bodhicitta and the way to train and develop it, all of the texts on mind training are basically ways to meditate on bodhicitta, to train one’s mind in bodhicitta.” There is a text by the 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje, called The One Hundred Short Instructions. In it, he explained, there are two methods for developing bodhicitta: one is considering samsara in general, and the other is considering individual sentient beings. To illustrate the first one, His Holiness referenced a verse by Nagarjuna saying that just as the earth, water, fire, wind, and just as the grasses and forests are the basis for sentient beings’ enjoyments, so too may I be the basis for all of their happiness and benefit.

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The Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches on Bodhichitta and Discusses Bhikshuni Ordination Plans

During the second day of the Third Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued his teaching on Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation, describing the causes for arousing bodhichitta. He also discussed the issue of the nun’s ordination, indicating that although he had hoped to initiate the process of giving bhikshuni ordination this year, it had to be postponed for a variety of reasons.

The teaching today was focused on the four causes of arousing bodhichitta presented in the Levels of the Bodhisattva by Asanga. The first cause of arousing bodhichitta is seeing or hearing of the powers of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. The Karmapa explained that for this reason, studying the life stories of buddhas and bodhisattvas of the past is important.

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The Gyalwang Karmapa Opens the Third Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering

On a warm and sunny day, unusual for this time of year, the Third Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering began with the Gyalwang Karmapa entering the main shrine hall at Tergar Monastery and offering three prostrations to its golden Buddha and to the life-like statue of the Sixteenth Karmapa resting on a throne on front. The hall itself was filled with over 410 nuns attending from nine nunneries in Nepal, India, and Bhutan. The sides of the hall were lined with observers including many nuns and lay women from all over the world. The webcast in English, Chinese, and Spanish made this morning’s session available to more than two thousand listeners.

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