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.


Le cours d’été : 25 ans et l’état de bouddha

When I discuss precise points of the Buddha's doctrine with Jigme Rinpoche or with passing scholars and we have to go into detail, there often comes a moment when this sentence—almost definitive—is pronounced: “In order to be sure, we have to ask Khenpo Chodrak Rinpoche.”

Read more: The Summer Course : Twenty-Five Years and Buddhahood

Lama Puntso begins another voyage: fifteen days in Kalimpong at the shedra (Buddhist University) of Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, for the celebrations of the third anniversary of Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche's parinirvana. We invite you to read his travel log, which he adds to regularly throughout his journey. A tale thousands of miles from Dhagpo, yet still close; the wealth of exchanges and connections that unite the practitioners from all horizons of the Karma Kagyu lineage. Are there really differences? Enjoy reading along on his blog!

Read more: Travel Log—Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Preparation - Karmapa Thaye Dorje is supposed to arrive today at 5 pm. This morning at breakfast, they announce that his arrival is delayed until tomorrow. However, benefactors, visitors, and still more monks arrive all throughout the day. Preparations intensify: tents go up (bamboo structure and fabric walls), tormas accumulate, every corner gets cleaned.

Read more: # 2: Preparation

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Sangha(s) - Life at the shedra is the life of a monastic university. The monks can come here starting at fifteen years old to follow a twelve-year long curriculum. After which they can become teachers here at the shedra or elsewhere. Therefore this place is a precious resource for the West as well, as some graduates already teach in Europe and the US.

Read more: # 3: Sangha(s)

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

The Arrival - There is surprisingly little to tell (either that or truly a lot). Thaye Dorje arrived around 8:15 pm.
Starting at 7:30, twenty drums, four incense-holders, gyalings, various victory banners, and other ornaments, parasols, and a plethora of monks and laypeople offering katas stand in rows from the entry to the shedra until the rows peter out, that is to say, several hundred meters further down the road in the darkness and beneath a rain of blessing.

Read more: # 4: The Arrival

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

In Between Times (Stories) - Today is a kind of limbo (another bardo!): we are in between Karmapa's arrival yesterday and the beginning of the ceremonies tomorrow. Obviously, the final preparations are becoming clearer: the temple was re-organized, a tent (metal and not bamboo structure; plastic and not fabric walls) went up, the flowers arrived, etc. Nonetheless, the gentle pressure one could feel yesterday has dissipated.

Read more: # 5: In Between Times (Stories)

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Sand Mandala - I cross paths with Nendo Rinpoche. He is one of the only holders of the knowledge of our lineage's rituals. We have already met at Dhagpo and at Bodhgaya. A short dialogue (...)

Read more: # 6: Sand Mandala

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Times and Recognition - Sunday, June 4th, preparatory rituals continue.  The sand mandala is not finished and the mandala makers are busy while we perform the ritual, finishing at the end of the morning. Just about three hours of puja (for those who are familiar with it:  we practiced the dakyé – visualization of oneself – and a tsok – a festive offering –  of Gyalwa Gyamtso).

Read more: # 7: Times and Recognition

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Considerations on drupcho (and its gastronomy) - A drupcho is a compassionate mechanism, an awakening process that dissipates obscuration and generates blessings. What is a drupcho? It is an intensive practice of a specific meditation deity over several days and in a group, in our case, Gyalwa Gyamtso, red Chenrezig.

Read more: # 8: Considerations on drupcho (and its gastronomy)

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Weariness to fundamental thoughts - Today the Gyalwa Karmapa did not lead the drupcho.  He came at the very beginning, walked around the mandala then went away.  Just the same, everything went as if he was there.  A little more intense and a little longer each day (the first day, we began at 8:00 then at 7:00, then 6:30 with the end of the day remaining at about 7:00 p.m.).

Read more: # 9: Weariness to fundamental thoughts

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Speed, fire and possible distraction - This time it started at 6 am (half an hour earlier than expected, luckily we were warned 10 minutes ahead of time). The Gyalwa Karmapa was not present, but Lodro Rabsel and Shabdrung Rinpoches arrived the day before and joined us for the ritual of course. And most importantly, the altar of the temple was decorated with the stupa of Shamarpa with its relics.

Read more: #10: Speed, fire and possible distraction

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

A pile of sacred sand and a publishing house - The morning is devoted to the conclusion ritual; it is the ritual Gyalwa Gyamtso accomplished daily, but without the slow melodies and read at a human speed. In the ritual, there is a phase called "self-empowerment".

Read more: #11: A pile of sacred sand and a publishing house

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Finally, the river The departure is scheduled at 9am, and it is after 10am that the procession begins to descend towards the river. Before that, the urn with the sand from the mandala is shepherded in great pomp (the words here are weak) to the truck, the first vehicle in the long convoy, after the police van with sirens blaring, followed by the car with the Karmapa then a dozen vehicles including two small dump trucks full of motley monks.

Read more: #12: Finally, the river

Commemorating Shamarpa's Parinirvana with Karmapa in Kalimpong

Education and transmissions The multitudes of competencies which roll out during the drupcho are the fruit of difficult training of preserving and passing down of knowledge which takes years.  Here are some of the Karmapa’s educational projects along with the links to the activity in France.

Read more: #13: Education and transmissions

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.