Lamp Offering Ceremony
January 31, 2014
H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa and a group of devotees offered 1000 lamps at KIBI this evening, on the last day of 2014, with noble aspiration prayers for the welfare of all sentient beings in 2015 and especially for the swift return of Shamarpa. H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa also gave his New Year greetings to all KIBI meditation participants.
Here are impessions of Tokpa Korlo, one of the participants and a great photographer:
“As the winter retreat here in KIBI comes to a close, and with the celebration of the new year, a candle offering ceremony – as is now tradition, covers the steps of KIBI in the warm glow of candlelight. Karmapa leads the offering prayers, along with Professor Sempa Dorje — the sun has just set and the courtyard is still duskily light by the final light of the day, casting shadows on the marble and concrete, as the candlelight brings forth smiling faces beaming out of the dark. Once the ceremony is over, His Holiness bids us all a happy new year, thanking everyone for their diligence, patience and commitment — and while the air is quite cool, I feel a sense of warmth and belonging in the air as everyone feels quite blessed and lucky to be here at this moment. This has been a challenging and intense week and we have all emerged on the other side victorious; together, closer, united once again.
Once the official ceremony is completed, the candles are left lit, and the courtyard is full of people as they casually stroll about, stopping to chat with one another, to take a group photo or two in the candlelight, or simply standing back and enjoying a moment of contentment, watching the scene pass by. I find these moments in KIBI to be the greatest treasure; watching people’s happy faces as stories are exchanged, memories made, and new and old friends from all over the world finding each other — with the energy and intensity of the program temporarily lifted and put on hold to simply enjoy the evening air, and the fact that we are all here together.
I have been extremely fortunate to be here this past week, to partake in the retreat on some level – while also being able to shoot the event, and to share my experiences with you all. I am beyond impressed with the way Dupsing Rinpoche and Khenpo Ngedon have led the course, and as always, having Karmapa come and practice with us is such an amazing treat. His presence is such a huge inspiration to us all, and he has always been so gracious and generous with his time. While we have all been cold, sick, tired and worn down, this has been an experience of growth and practice that is truly a jewel of opportunity — as this is my second year following this retreat. I plan to be here again as many times as I am able, not to miss an instant, for these are the moments that shape our lives”.