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Karmapa now allowed to visit Sikkim

Rumtek Monastery

HH Karmapa XVII is now at last going to be able to visit Sikkim, though not Rumtek. The problem will not be over until he is allowed to go there, but if he can at least see his followers in Sikkim a lot of people will be very happy.

17th Karmapa
17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Read about it here, though they all say much the same:

The Statesman: https://www.thestatesman.com/cities/mla … 14179.html

News18: https://www.news18.com/news/india/karma … 03391.html

Tribune India: http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himach … 66296.html

Phayul: http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=40306&t=1

Tibet Sun: https://www.tibetsun.com/news/2018/04/0 … sit-sikkim

The Northeast Today: https://thenortheasttoday.com/india-fin … ot-rumtek/

Disease is karmic – or not?

Jamgon Kongtrul

I’ve touched on this before, but just came across Jamgon Kongtrul’s list of four main types of disease:

  1. Imaginary, like demonic posession
  2. Suddenly occurring diseases (no long run-up)
  3. Serious diseases that shorten life
  4. Diseases dependent on past actions

Once again, karma is seen as one possible cause of disease, but there are plenty of other reasons for getting sick.

(See Jamgon Kongtrul’s “Treasury of Knowledge”, Book 6 Parts 1 & 2, p. 328

Happy Losar

Happy Losar 2018

Happy Losar (new year) of the Earth Dog, Feb 16 2018, to everyone near and far. (That’s in the three times and the ten directions, so to speak.)

I’m late with this! I just didn’t get time yesterday – sorry. But I did get round to tidying up the shrine. I’ve been polishing up some of the metalwork for the last week or two. And seeing as how new year has a “new start” feel about it, I did also manage to get round to some extra refuge and bodhisattva vow practice. So not all was lost!

Tidy shrine losar 2018
Tidy shrine losar 2018

Best wishes and hopes to everyone. Let’s have a good year!

Baudha stupa from the air

I came across this astonishing shot. Perhaps taken from a drone? I don’t know. The picture has been shared around, so I don’t know who may own it. (Contact me if you think it’s you!)

Baudha stupa at night from almost directly above
Baudha stupa at night from almost directly above

Chöd: exorcism? House blessing?

I performed the chöd “concise feast” in the dark, lower levels of a newly-bought house in Pontremoli, dating back a large but unknown number of centuries. Not known to be haunted, but the new owners do seem to like that the practice was done there!

The practice of chöd is not really an exorcism. Rather is it an acknowledgement of the karmic debts we owe to uncountable sentient beings who have cared for, worked for and died for us since beginningless time. We call them to the feast, where we offer ourselves to them. In that way they are satisfied and pacified.

The understanding is that “external” demons only get their power from our internal demons – willful stupidity, hatred, grasping, egotistical pride and jealousy. The demons dissolve as we recognize that inner and outer are two sides of the same magical show. Hence its occasional use as an exorcism.