Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message on the occasion of Losar, and the birth of the Year of the Male Metal Rat:
Dear dharma friends
Losar is an annual holiday that takes place at the end of the lunar year cycle. Many Asian countries celebrate it after their yearly harvest of crops, herding of animals and other hard work of all kinds.
Any message that suggests that we do away with merriment on this occasion, or any other occasion, might seem grim, or that it is somehow spoiling the fun. It might give the impression that we are being asked to renounce cheer because of some occurrence of misfortune. When a religion or religious practice is advocated to replace an occasion of cheer, it may make the mood even more dull!
I hope that such an atmosphere won’t be induced when I ask of you, dear dharma friends, to practice instead of celebrating this annual festivity. No doubt there will be many fellow practitioners for whom ‘Losar’ is not part of their culture. Yet, over the course of time, having developed a connection with the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, many feel an association with the Asian sentiment of Losar. Therefore, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some thoughts on this occasion.
Celebrations of any kind are supposed to be enjoyable. However, when something – or anything – is forced upon us, resisting emotions seem to rise. It’s difficult to force someone to enjoy themselves, of course. Often in societies, trying to force joy seems to be one of the many causes of anxiety or dukkha. The intention may be noble, but the means are somewhat lacking in skill. The practice of the Buddha dharma, however, is supposed to be that skilful means.
Every moment of our life is celebratable. No matter how mundane an activity may seem, whether it is washing dishes, pruning trees, or walking, each and every moment is a celebration. No matter how important an activity may seem, whether it is discovering medical breakthroughs, governing a nation, parenting children or teaching students, each and every moment is a celebration. The precious practice of the Buddha dharma is the means by which our aspiration to witness these moments may be fulfilled.
The more we try to develop a relationship with the practice of the Buddha dharma, the smoother and more graceful it will be to go with the flow of change, to live with impermanence.
Then there is no need to force joy on ourselves. Then, every day is a Losar.
What should I do in face of corona virus? This is a very difficult time we face and to take all the precautions is needed. If you have dharma pills you should take them, if you don’t have Centre has them you can always come and get it. wearing blessed items around our neck, and to recite the 1000 arm chenrigzig mantra
I guess it depends wether if there is a (A)invasion of whatever kind of insects or (B)Just some passer by. If it’s A then best call a pest control and after that accumulate merits like life release or pujas dedicated for the insects.
If it’s B then try the kindest way to let them out of your home.
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message for dharma centres and practitioners around the world, concerning the outbreak of the coronavirus.
At present, a large number of people in the world find themselves in a situation in which there is serious danger to their lives.
For this reason, I appeal to all practitioners and devotees to pray one-pointedly to the noble Chenresig, and accumulate the fasting practice of Nyungne. This will be of benefit here and now, as well as in future lives.
I recommend that everyone stays at home and joins the practice sessions at a fixed time via live video streaming. As this coronavirus disease is contagious, large gatherings of people would be very dangerous. This way we can still accumulate positive potentials and cleanse defilements.
I request monasteries and dharma centres in the different regions to make arrangements for this practice as per your particular time zone.
In general, the many and various kinds of obstacles that we face, such as natural disasters, wars, infectious diseases, and famines that keep occurring are the infallible consequence of our collective and individual karmas.
Nevertheless, because of our lack of deep conviction about this, we tend to deny the causality of our actions and their results when we encounter difficult challenges. Whatever one’s religious orientation, one may also mistakenly assume that one’s supreme spiritual reference is biased in compassion. Or, we may consider all of the problems we face as the result of bad policies in our societal systems, or erroneous scientific views or other negative developments. We tend to become angry with all of that, leading us to feel distraught. Some even become insane, while others commit suicide. This is wrong.
In general, this all happens as a result of not being able to come to terms with the fact that, no matter how frequently we experience joy and happiness in this world, the suffering of birth, ageing, illness, and death come side by side, just as the body and its shadow walk together.
Whatever suffering occurs, it is important to identify its root. In the Buddha’s teachings, there is the system of tracing the origin of our suffering in our karma and afflicting emotions. However, tracing the origin alone is not sufficient. It is necessary to endeavour to develop confidence in the interdependence of causes and conditions and the courage to own up to one’s karmic results.
There are instructions, which I support, that say that one needs to do away with the habit of doing nothing other than tracing. For this reason, I appeal to all to consider the excellent teaching that all sentient beings have been one’s parents, and hold firmly to the fact that the cycle of birth, ageing, illness, and death is the nature of dependent arising.
By regarding all karmic effects as mere perceptions of the mind, avoid the extreme views of permanence and negation, and practice again and again.
Engage in the six sessions practice of day and night, be heedful to sustain yourselves on white food, and spend your time doing practices such as Nyungne, or similar practices. From my side as well, I am praying to the teacher and to the Three Jewels.
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message concerning the wildfires in Australia and floods in Indonesia:
Dear dharma friends
The devastation caused by the Australian bushfires is almost unimaginable. Lives are being lost. Millions of hectares of land lie in ashes. And thousands of people have lost their homes and livelihoods. With the fires spreading every day, it is challenging to see where there is hope.
From a Buddhist perspective, one of the four seals states that all compounded things are impermanent. Everything is in constant flux. In the midst of such a disaster, when no end seems in sight, when we reflect on the nature of impermanence, we understand that there will be an end. There must be an end.
When impermanence strikes, whether it is the Australian bushfires, or the Jakarta floods in which at least 43 people have lost their lives, it can cause a great deal of suffering. Nevertheless, greater suffering can arise when we can see no end in sight, when we believe that our suffering will never end. When we are sick, when we go through emotional or financial difficulties, it is the idea that our current condition will somehow last forever that is the cause of our greatest anxiety. Again, when we reflect on the nature of impermanence, we understand that nothing lasts forever.
Therefore, as we send our prayers and compassion to the people of Australia, and Indonesia, let us continue to meditate on the impermanent nature of life. In this impermanence, may we find the hope that we seek.
With compassion Thaye Dorje His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message of condolence concerning the fatal factory fire in New Delhi, India, this morning:
Dear dharma friends
At least 43 lives were lost in a factory fire in Delhi, which broke out about 5am this morning.
All of the victims of this tragedy were men, most of whom were sleeping in the factory preparing for labour. Some would be waking up to make toys for the festive season ahead. Some would be waking up to make jackets and other clothes. But none of them would wake again in this life.
None of us know what is around the corner. None of us know when impermanence will strike. One moment, we are laughing with our loved ones, and the next moment, we may be struck by sickness or death. These phenomena are not to be feared, for they are inevitable aspects of living in a conditioned world. Everything that rises must fall. While death and impermanence are not to be feared, they are to be understood.
When we really understand the nature of impermanence, we experience every moment in good health as a precious gift. Every smile and laugh shared with a loved one is a treasured moment. Every day is an opportunity, a responsibility, for loving kindness and benefiting other sentient beings.
Therefore, let us waste no time. Let us pray for all of the victims, the injured, and their loved ones. Let us meditate on the nature of impermanence and live each moment with the deep understanding that everything in this conditioned world is subject to change. Let us use this moment, this day, for compassion and wisdom.
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message concerning the discovery of 39 bodies in a lorry in the UK:
Dear dharma friends
I learned the upsetting news that 39 people were discovered dead in a lorry in the UK.
While the circumstances around this incident are still unclear, and efforts are being made to identify the bodies, what is without doubt is that each of the victims were people who had others who cared for them: friends, family and other loved ones.
As we pray for those who passed away in this and other tragedies around the world, let us remember that behind every headline, behind every story, are communities of sentient beings, sentient beings like you and me – all with innate qualities of wisdom and compassion.