Here we see the Karmapa arriving at the Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre in Singapore, being welcomed by many local & foreign devotees. It is a rare opportunity to meet the Karmapa, who has been reincarnated so many times to help sentient beings. On this occasion (8-10-2006) he conducted the taking of the 3 Refuges as well as the Bodhisattva vow ceremonies. After a discourse on the meaning of the refuges & the why we must arouse our Bodhicitta (the resolution to seek Buddhahood) in fluent English, he began the Tibetan chanting, leading the devotees to repeat after him.When the chanting is over, all the devotees started to queue up in a typical Singaporean fashion to be blessed by the Karmapa. Each of the devotees, local & foreign alike have a little of their hair cut to symbolize the abandonment of defilements & doubt in the Triple Gems.Here we see the Karmapa sitting upon his throne to touch the head of every devotee as a way of blessing. It was tiring for him due to the large numbers of devotees, but the unwavering compassion for all beings is what drives this Bodhisattva on. I also witnessed that one lady brought her dog into the hall to be blessed by the Karmapa as well! But he did not turn her down because it was an animal, which shows his equanimity for all sentient beings is genuine.This is the new refuge card given to those who have taken refuge on this day. Although I have taken them before 9 years ago under this school, I decided to have them renewed again since the Karmapa is here in Singapore. So my Dharma name has been changed from Migyur Dorje (Unchangable Vajra) to Konchog Tendar (Flourishing Dharma). A joyous occasion it was! Over the next few days the Karmapa will conduct various initiation & empowerment ceremonies for deities like Red Chenrezig, Medicine Buddha & Amitayus Buddha. May all beings who have the good karma to be present, who accept & practice his teachings attain Enlightenment in one lifetime, sadhu.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Gyalwa Karmapa returns to S'pore
After a period of 7 years, HH the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje returns to Singapore to propagate the Dharma on 7-10-2006. For the uninitiated, he is the spiritual leader of the Kagyud school of Tibetan Buddhism, who is among the top most influential figures in Tibet. However, the Kagyuds have never been involved in the political rule of the Land of Snows, unlike the other schools like Gelugpa or Sakya. The Kagyud lineage focuses on the practice of Mahamudra meditation, which is descended from great yogis like Tilopa & Naropa from India, to Marpa, Milarepa & Gampopa in Tibet. It is also called the "Black Hat" school because all the Karmapas, from the first one (Dusum Khyenpa 1110-1193) to the current one, wear a ceremonial black hat as proof of their lineage. Some of you may know that at this time there are 2 Karmapas, the other one being Urgyen Trinley Dorje. Although there are disputes among the followers as to who is the true Karmapa, I believe that as long as they share the same devotion to teaching & compassion for all beings, both are worthy of the highest respect.