17th Gyalwa Karmapa"Buddhism is a way of life through which we develop the qualities of our mind.
This way of life is very unusual, as it is a means to attain happiness without harming others.

THE 17th GYALWA KARMAPA

Sharminub, November 22

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Discovering Karmapa’s Activity, Following Jigme Rinpoche’s Footsteps


Jigme Rinpoche and Khenpo Gyaltsen Zangpo Taking in the Work Done and Left to Do…

Following Shamar Rinpoche’s passing and in his role as general secretary to Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Jigme Rinpoche oversees the completion of Sharminub in Nepal. This means taking care of both the construction of buildings and the ongoing studies of the monastic teachers and education of the poor children taken in by the institution.


Sharminub Institute

Today, Rinpoche met with the team of monks under the direction of Khenpo Gyaltsen Zangpo who came from Kalimpong following the completion of their diplomas. Here, they continue their curriculum of study and practice while also dedicating their time to the children in need.

Rinpoche’s instructions to them sounded quite familiar to my ears…
To begin, Rinpoche warned them of the obstacles they may encounter, particularly those connected to the veil of knowledge. They will need to combine several ingredients in order to ensure that the knowledge they accumulated throughout the duration of their philosophy studies at Kalimpong shedra does not lead to new obscurations in their minds. The first is that of meditation practice, which prevents acquired knowledge from transforming into mental inflexibility.
Furthermore, it allows for the refinement of such knowledge and for its integration at a level beyond the intellectual, in the most profound part of one’s being.

Toward this end, Rinpoche counselled them to begin regularly carrying out the practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage’s principal yidams (Gyalwa Gyamtso, Korlo Demchok, Dorje Pakmo, etc.). They will practice together in the temple that houses Shamar Rinpoche’s reliquary stupa.


The Temple Housing Shamar Rinpoche’s Reliquary Stupa During Its Consecration by Lama Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Jigme Rinpoche emphasized the importance of learning gradually—of first studying the outer aspects of these practices (melodies, instruments, offerings, execution, etc.). However, though mastering the formal aspects allows one to accumulate certain merits, it is not sufficient for moving further forward. It is necessary to develop the different phases of accomplishment of these practices in regular practice.

Rinpoche continued by indicating that consistent meditation practice allows one to free the mind from its habitual patterns and rigidity and to open it to a new understanding. To do this, an individual also needs a good provision of merit. One acquires such merit by dedicating oneself to others. Thus, through their selfless commitment to helping the children gathered at Sharminub, they work not only for the children’s benefit but for their own.


Khenpo Gyaltsen Zangpo, Director of Sharminub’s Institute. Character Trait: Tireless Worker. After his workday, he spends his evenings sewing clothes for the children

Rinpoche concluded the meeting by explaining that, as monks, they have chosen to dedicate their lives to practicing the path toward enlightenment, and, as such, it is important to take care that their lives move in this direction. Experience has shown him that if we do not take care to always maintain the three aspects of study, meditation practice, and service for others, everything can come undone and we waste this invaluable opportunity of human life—whatever the level of spiritual accomplishment we may have attained.

Furthermore, Rinpoche added that applying these instructions is also what allows for blessing to take root in a place. After all, blessing is not something external so much as something instilled by the cumulative practice of individuals, and this is what will make this place blessed, according to Shamar Rinpoche’s wishes.

And then Rinpoche fell silent, and a long moment passed. He had said all there was to say.

Whether he is speaking in Tibetan or in English, in Asia or in Europe, to monks or to lay practitioners, Jigme Rinpoche’s instructions are the same for those who wish to progress toward enlightenment; they are quite simply the Buddha’s teaching.

Audrey Desserrieres

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