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.


Right now in New Delhi, the spring course of Thaye Dorje, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, is taking place at the  Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI).

The 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924–1981) founded KIBI; Shamar Rinpoche inaugurated the Institute in 1991 in the presence of Indian president Shri Ramaswamy Venkataraman. In a way, KIBI is Dhagpo's Indian counterpart. It houses a library and various Tibetan scholars or Western academics (sometimes former students of the institution) give teachings during the dry season.
Each year, hundreds of people from all over the world come together to attend this course led by Karmapa. The program is serious! Several khenpos (equivalent to a doctorate in the lineage's philosophy) present various subjects that make up the foundations of meditation practice.

Photo - Shamar Rinpoche the Indian President, Sri Ramaswamy Venkataraman, during the Inauguration of KIBI in 1990.

The program is serious! Several khenpos (equivalent to a doctorate in the lineage's philosophy) present various subjects that make up the foundations of meditation practice.

In addition, Gen Sempa Dorje, one of India's major scholars of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and one of Karmapa's principal teachers, introduces students to the teaching Focusing the Mind Close with Four Objects 1  ; Khenpo Chodrak discusses the three vehicles, and Khenpos Lobsang and Tsultrim offer a glimpse of the three baskets and the twelve links of interdependence. As for Karmapa, he continues his teaching on the Bodhicaryavatara 2, The Way of the Bodhisattva, which he began several years ago.

Photo - Professor Sempa Dorje

To open the course, Karmapa gave the Chenrezig empowerment yesterday. He seized the opportunity to talk about the prerequisites that allow us to use practice to evolve toward our intended goal: enlightenment.

He particularly emphasized the importance of having “a rhythm,” which he defined as a conduct, a practice, or even a form of discipline—something natural, spontaneous, and unaltered. This rhythm is necessary at three levels: that of individual liberation vows (which the refuge is part of), that of enlightened mind, and that of pure view.
Karmapa explained that if this rhythm is absent, the rituals or recitations we carry out are nothing more than pleasant or somewhat less pleasant sounds.
The rhythm of individual liberation is the wish to no longer remain in a state of confusion. We become Buddhist only by adopting this rhythm. Otherwise, we are simply human beings. He stressed the fact that repeatedly reciting the refuge does not constitute this rhythm in and of itself. The rhythm is a way of practicing.

Concerning enlightened mind, he emphasized the fact that it must be as spontaneous and unpredictable as a flush of anger. Anger does not need to be planned, it rears up and surprises everyone. He explained that enlightened mind must be as illogical and free of reference as anger, and that we should be equally as consumed by it and submerged in it.
Then, Karmapa addressed pure view by saying that it is about emptiness. It concerns the profound appreciation of all things. A full awareness free of judgment, an unaltered, natural, and spontaneous state—a different way of seeing things. He continued by saying that this is how the most ordinary things become extraordinary.

He then concluded the empowerment by highlighting the fact that his own position as a teacher is a temporary means for progressing toward the goal and that the question we should all be asking ourselves is: "To what degree do we really want to commit to practice?"

The second day, in his introduction to the fourth chapter of The Way of the Bodhisattva, Karmapa came back to the importance of the refuge:
“It is about being down to earth and recognizing what has always been there. This requires courage and calm. We are living in a constant conceptual world. We have courage, but this courage lacks clarity and we likewise lack calm. This is why we do not see the real potential of things. […] Reality is obvious, but as is so often the case, evidence is neither important, arresting, or impressive to our eyes. We often ignore and even criticize the evidence.
[…] We must understand the importance of meditation practice without getting carried away nor becoming fascinated. Fascination is often mistaken for devotion. This is how a whole bunch of useless things appear. Actually, meditation practice is a concept that helps us undo our concepts.”

If the fickle Internet connection allows for it, the coming sessions will be retransmitted directly from Karmapa's Facebook starting at 11:00 am (France time).

Audrey Desserrieres

1 - If you are interested, check out Dhagpo's program; this teaching is given regularly. 

2 - For those who live near Dhagpo, this teaching is transmitted on Tuesday evening and is open to all.

Photos : © karmapa.org – Spring Course 2013, Translator Course 2012 at KIBI, Manjushri Empowerment 2013.
link : https://www.facebook.com/pg/17th.Karmapa/photos/?tab=albums


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