Author: Karma Tsewang Gyurmey

Karma Kagyu Buddhist Monastic

35th Kagyu Monlam

So the monlam has begun! And, I’m not there, again.

It’d be crazy expensive for me to get there and back, and I really have no clue if I’d even be able to put that kind of money away before I’m just way too old and crippled (don’t forget I’m disabled and already have extreme difficulties getting around as it is) to make the trip and survive the rigours of the whole adventure.

Thankfully, there’s the internet and YouTube and the monlam team that’s organized and executed a tech savvy monlam yet again. I have already watched most of the first day of the monlam, some of it live before I went to sleep last night, and will finish up watching the first day of the teachings shortly. I may stay up tonight to watch today’s entire broadcast live. I’m not sure yet. I’ll see how today goes.

I was pleased that Mingyur Rinpoche gave a teaching. Rinpoche is quite amusing, as is somewhat expected. I have fond memories of Rinpoche’s sense of humour when I first encountered him in Toronto a decade or so ago when he’d given the major, many day long empowerment, transmission and teachings for Khorlo Demchok, along with a sadhana so one could actually practice!

If you want to watch the broadcast or saved teachings from this monlam, they are available on His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa’s YouTube channel. Please note that His Holiness is not presiding over monlam this year, as His Holiness is still in New York at KTD Monastery due to health related matters. You may also access the live feed of the Kagyu Monlam broadcast directly from His Holiness’ office’s web site.

Karmapa Khyenno.

 

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Losar Tashi Delek!

Welcome to the year of the Earth Dog.

Losar (new year) fell on Feb 16, 2018. I wish you a year of good health, few obstacles and abundant happiness.

Because of my health I was unable to travel to my monastery for Losar celebrations and ceremonies. I was fortunate enough to receive a short visit from my sons, but that’s pretty much the extent of my celebrations this year. If you celebrated, I hope you had a wonderful day.

Keep in mind that the first 15 days of the 1st month are very auspicious days for practice and discipline. It’s a great time to finally become vegetarian or vegan if you’ve been putting off making either of those commitments. Also, alcohol should definitely be avoided.

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What About Social Media?

I used to be very active on Facebook and twitter and other social media platforms. I have recently deactivated both my Facebook and twitter accounts. I found that the atmosphere was too negative, that there were far too many “dharma people” who spent far too much time looking for faults in other “dharma people” to “out” publicly. Doing things like this is in conflict with the Dharma, in fact. The Vinaya says that we shouldn’t point out the faults of others, especially if they are ordained. Unless one is a first bhumi Bodhisattva we simply don’t posses the view and wisdom to correctly perceive the actions and motivations of others. Period.

To be honest, my perception of the people and posts that led me to decide to leave those social media platforms behind is flawed. I am not a first bhumi Bodhisattva. So, it’s likely that I incorrectly perceived much, if not all, of what I read on those social media platforms. My point? I feel it’s better for those of us who are not residing on a bhumi to stay away from social media and spend more time on the cushion, which is what I intend to do. Want to connect with me socially? Come over for coffee.

However, because I really enjoy seeing photos of places I won’t be able to visit in this lifetime, I am still active on Instagram as ayycmonk. I am also a WeChat user, because that’s the app that my monastery’s community uses to communicate. If you’d like to add me as a contact on WeChat, try scanning the QR code image.

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