Karmapa Public Course Has Started
March 17, 2015
The Karmapa Public Course-2015 has commenced and is off to a successful start with over 350 people attending the teachings and a day of rich introductions to the various topics of the program.
In the morning session, Professor Sempa Dorje, who will be teaching on the history of the Buddha’s life and Buddhist sites, welcomed participants and gave an outline of the program. Professor also highlighted the importance of turning our minds to the dharma and engaging in practice, and encouraged us to not waste our time, and therefore our lives. He spoke of the importance of remembering the preciousness and impermanence of human life as a means of motivating ourselves to practice so we don’t waste our life with distractions. He also spoke of the importance of seeing the guru as the source of primordial wisdom and developing devotion in order to receive blessings from the guru.
In the afternoon session, HH Gyalwa Karmapa granted Refuge and Bodhisattva vows and gave a Vajrasattva empowerment. During his opening speech, His Holiness spoke of the appropriateness of practicing Vajrasattva at the beginning of the program in order to create a favorable and solid foundation for cultivating virtuous deeds. His Holiness said that through the practice of Vajrasattva we accumulate merit and wisdom, which are the two most important ingredients in achieving perfect enlightenment. His Holiness spoke of how rich in blessings practices such as Vajrasattva are because they evolved directly out of the understanding of enlightened beings. His Holiness also highlighted the preciousness of our time and encouraged us to practice and not waste our time by letting our minds be idle. An edited version of His Holiness’ teaching can be found here >>.
In the evening session, Lama Jampa Thaye gave a succinct historical introduction to the 5th Shamarpa, Konchog Yenlag’s “Seven points of Mind Training”, and covered the first two of the seven points of mind training. He stated that the teachings of the Lojong are a Mahayana teaching that are a set of short practical instructions originally developed for laypeople. He said that the basic premise of the whole text can be summarized as “we should stop cherishing ourselves and should instead cherish others”.