December 23, 2020
Karmapa in Dhagpo: days one and two (photos and report)
More than 3,000 students gathered to welcome Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, to Dhagpo Kagyu Ling, the European seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
The atmosphere was joyful and relaxed, just as it had been throughout Karmapa’s visit to the Europe Center in Germany earlier in the summer.
Karmapa started by expressing his appreciation to everyone for their efforts to be in Dhagpo. He spoke of the preciousness and rarity of a place like Dhagpo, where people can access authentic teachings of the Buddha dharma.
Human existence, Karmapa said, offers us a precious opportunity to develop the aspiration to gain full understanding. In this existence we become aware that, no matter how well-functioning our sensory faculties may be, right now we only understand a small fraction of reality. Therefore, it is important for us to develop the aspiration to awaken to full understanding.
Karmapa also emphasised the importance of practicing common sense and patience. Much of the path of a Bodhisattva, he said, is a “waiting game”. Yes, we do need to accumulate merit, but when awakening does happen, it often does so spontaneously. Therefore, we must continue to be patient, to regularly practice – but not to go “over the top”. There is no need for extremes.
Karmapa gave a teaching on the practice of taking Refuge, and how to develop Bodhicitta (enlightened mind).
On the second day, during the Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara) empowerment, he also conveyed the Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows, because they are naturally included.
During the empowerment, Karmapa explained the different steps of the visualisation, and the deeper meaning, and then gave detailed instructions to the students about what they should focus on during their meditation.
Everyone present was appreciative of this special opportunity to receive teachings and empowerments directly from Karmapa.