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

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Dhagpo's Institute in spring

As a precaution, Dhagpo closed to the public on March 14 and canceled all courses through the end of April. Since then, the center has reorganized its functioning in order to continue the activities essential for community life and support people connected to Dhagpo in their practice and study.

INITIAL URGENT TASKS 

Notify Course Participants

The forsythia are in bloom

During the first days following closing the center, the welcome center team set to contacting all the people registered for upcoming courses to let them know that they had been canceled. Many phone calls were made. E-mails were sent and even snail mail for the non-digital course participants.

Once the welcome center had notified all the necessary people, accounting took the next step of reimbursing all down payments. Some individuals chose to transform their down payment into a donation to Dhagpo.

We thank them for their generosity.


Organizing Daily Life in Confinement 

Beginning on March 14, only the twenty people who live at Dhagpo as part of its community project remained at the center. Their first project was to get together and establish various hygiene and security protocols to avoid any possible propagation of the virus within the community.

There were many questions and subjects to discuss. How could they guarantee that the people leaving the center to get food and medicine wouldn’t infect other members of the community if they got sick? How could they ensure the safety of the older members of the community who are also part of the at-risk group? How could they have mealtimes while respecting strict hygiene rules and security distances? How could they safely share common areas like bathrooms, workspaces, and practice spaces?

Every couple and family has had to ask themselves these questions, but doing so in a community of twenty people--where each person has their own vision of personal hygiene and safety--allowing each person to share their point of view, and coming to a common agreement, naturally takes more time.

 ensure the safety of the older members of the community who are also part of the at-risk group respecting strict hygiene rules and security distances

Once the hygiene and safety protocols were in place, the group reorganized the center’s daily activities so that the residents take turns with the different tasks: cooking, dishes, maintaining the altars in the Institute and the temple, cleaning bathrooms, and gardening.

To stay in shape, they agreed on a daily session of Qi Gong in the open air in front of the Institute.

 


SUPPORTING THE PRACTICE OF OTHERS IN CONFINEMENT 

The center’s daily rituals have continued during confinement

Naturally, the center’s daily rituals have continued during confinement.

Supporting the practice of those in confinement was important to the resident, so they tested various solutions for online practice. Daily Green Tara and Chenrezig practice are shared live on Dhagpo’s Youtube channel and on the video-conference software Zoom.

Several KTTs, such The Tibetan Buddhist Space in Paris and Dhagpo Oleron, have also used Zoom to continue weekly group practices. Other centers have used WhatsApp groups or Facebook pages to stay in contact and share news.

At Dhagpo, the translation, web, and communication departments took on the task of making the various video and audio recordings that Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, has shared available in French and Spanish.


SUPPORTING LOCAL CENTERS IN THEIR STUDIES

The teaching tours planned for March and April in the local centers--KTTs and Dharma groups--were canceled.

The lamas who support these groups are currently contacting the centers in the regions they coordinate and finding out what they need.

...on the video-conference software Zoom.

Some Dharma groups, like the one in Saintes, have already organized video conferences to replace the cancelled programs. The teaching on mind training--very useful for transforming difficulties we encounter on the path--was transmitted live.

Other KTTs preferred to get support with their studies of Karmapa’s most recent teaching on impermanence and change. Dhagpo La Rochelle and Dhagpo Poitiers organized study sessions facilitated by a lama on Zoom.

 

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GREATER STUDY AND MEDITATION 

Given the general situation, all of Jigme Rinpoche’s travel has been cancelled for the time being. He too is sheltering at home. He is in good health. While he continues taking care of his responsibilities from home, he is also taking advantage of the lull in his busy schedule to rest and devote most of his time to practice.

Practitioners at Dhagpo, like many local centers, are likewise using this time to go into retreat or semi-retreat following the advice Karmapa gave in his address on January 29.

Some are focusing on meditation practice, training in calm abiding meditation or remaining in Chenrezig’s presence.
Others are reviewing teachings given earlier this year, such as Gateway to Knowledge by Mipham Rinpoche or The Abhidharmakosha by Vasubandhu.

In his message on March 7, Karmapa encouraged all lamas, sangha members, and lay practitioners to continuously contemplate the four seals. In his message on January 29, he invited practitioners to consider the fact that the cycle of birth, old age, sickness, and death is the natural state of dependent arising.

Study and contemplation of the teachings, such as the Four Truths of the Noble Ones, the Four Common Preliminary Thoughts, karma, and dependent arising, can also be useful.

 An Opportunity for Greater Study and Meditation  Karmapa encouraged all lamas, sangha members, and lay practitioners to continuously contemplate the four seals.

All situations, particularly difficult ones offer us the opportunity to deepen our observation and understanding of the world’s functioning and that of beings. This knowledge allows us to progress on the path of liberation from suffering and its causes. It likewise allows us to take care of others by helping them, in turn liberate themselves from suffering.

May we all see this situation as an opportunity to practice the four Dharmas of Gampopa:

 
Grant your blessing so that my mind may become one with the Dharma.
Grant your blessing so that Dharma may progress along the path.
Grant your blessing so that the path may clarify confusion.
Grant your blessing so that confusion may dawn as wisdom.

Dhagpo Kagyu Ling - Landrevie - 24290 Saint-Léon sur Vézère - France - 0033 5 53 50 70 75 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.