Archive for May, 2010

The Sultanganj Buddha, Birmingham

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Sultanganj Buddha

Sultanganj Buddha

The Sultanganj Buddha is the largest complete bronze figure of its kind in the world. It was found in the North Indian town of Sultanganj, Bhagalpur district, Bihar. The statue has been dated by archaelogists at between 500 to 700 AD. It is 223 centimeters high and 1 meter wide, and weighs about 500kgs. It is a splendid example of the renowned Gupta sculptural style which itself had been shaped by European and Persian influences that came to India through the trade routes with Rome and West Asia. It was cast using the lost wax technique, in which a solid core of clay is overlaid with wax. The sculptor models the fine details in the wax coating. (more…)

Saga Dawa Düchen – Green Tara mantras for the New London Buddhist Centre

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
Buddha statue in Bodh Gaya, india

Buddha statue in Bodh Gaya, india

Today is “Saga Dawa Düchen”, the full moon day in May on which the birth, enlightenment and passing into Parinirvana of the Buddha is celebrated in Tibetan Buddhism.

“Saga Dawa” is the entire fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, which usually begins in May and ends in June. The seventh day of Saga Dawa is the date of the historical Buddha’s birth. However, the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and entry into Parinirvana at his death are observed together on the 15th day of Saga Dawa, called Saga Dawa Düchen. This is the single most important holiday in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. (more…)

Prajñāparamitā – the nature of mind is clear light

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010


Prajñāparamitā - the female embodiment of wisdom

The mind is devoid of mind,

For the nature of mind is clear light.

– Buddha, “Eight Thousand Verse Prajñāparamitā”

Lama Gendun Rinpoche’s advice on Prostrations

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Lama Gendun Rinpoche (1918-1997) was the meditation master and the spiritual leader of the Four Dhagpos. He spent over thirty years of his life in solitary retreat in Tibet and India. Lama Gendun Rinpoche was one of the last great masters of the old generation of Tibetan Lamas. Everything he taught, had been experienced first hand during his numerous retreats in caves in the Himalayas and in India. He represented the quintessence of the fully realized yogi and the perfectly pure monk. It is said that he practiced prostrations every day of his life, even in his 70s.

Prostrations are done in connection with the first of the Four Foundational Practices (Tib. Ngondro): “Taking Refuge and Developing the Enlightened Attitude.” We hope that these teachings are inspiring for those who are doing this practice. Please note that the information here is not a substitute for the full oral explanations on the practice, which can be received from experienced friends in your nearest Karma Kagyu Diamond Way Buddhist Centre. (more…)

Padmasambhava on Cause and Effect

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Guru Rinpoche in Karma Guen

Statue of Guru Rinpoche in Karma Guen, Spain

Although my view is higher than the sky,

My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour.

Padmasambhava “Guru Rinpoche”

Interview with Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche III from 1988

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

The following text is the transcript of an interview with the Third Jamgon Kongtrul in the USA in 1988 which was published in the journal “Material For Thought”, issue number 12.

A Conversation with Jamgön Kongtrül Rinpoche, October 21, 1988

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Lodro Chokyi Senge, the third Jamgön Kongtrül, was born in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1954, in accord with the predictions of the second Kongtrül Rinpoche. During his childhood he was recognized and enthroned by the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa and later taken to safety to be educated in his monastery in Sikkim. The Karmapa, head of the Kagyü lineage — which follows the traditions of Milarepa — raised him as one of his four “heart sons.” These four individuals direct the study and practice within the 39 centers established throughout the world during the Karmapa’s lifetime.

In continuing the Buddhist tradition, Jamgön Kongtrül, Rinpoche, is currently building two major centers. Rigpe Dorje, a center for study and meditation, is being established at Sarnath, India, where Buddha first taught. Pullahari, located on the southern slopes of the Himalayas in Nepal, will serve as a three-year retreat facility.

Jamgön Kongtrül, Rinpoche, visited Far West Institute in October of 1988, at which time conversations ranged from the difficulties of bringing an ancient tradition to the Western world to the nature of mind and of meditation.

Several members of Far West participated in the following discussion. Replies were given through a translator. (more…)

New Book: “The Karmapa Prophecies” by Sylvia Wong

Monday, May 17th, 2010

This excellent new book is an extensive study revolving around the current controversy over the recognition of the 17th Karmapa.

Karmapa Prophecies by Sylvia Wong

Karmapa Prophecies by Sylvia Wong


In 1981, the revered 16th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, passed away. His death set in motion a process to identify his reincarnated successor that originated 900 years ago with the 1st Karmapa who was the first Tibetan Buddhist master ever to reincarnate.

Since the early 1990s, the identification of the 17th Karmapa has been mired in controversy; causing a schism in the Karma Kagyu sect. two competing factions within the sect have recognized different candidates.

To help sort out the competing claims, Sylvia Wong believes that an unbiased voice can be found in the past – namely, in the prophetic words of previous Karmapas. Not only does she offer the Karmapas’ words, but using a combination of accurate translations, sound interpretation, proper historical research, and investigative reporting, she also marshals new evidence and analysis to show that those predictions have come true in our time.

In addition, the author corrects recent publications’ linguistic and historical errors that contribute to the Karmapa controversy. She believes that an accurate account of Karma Kagyu history ought to be of equal importance to both (more…)

Lama Ole Nydahl – The Nature of Reality

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Einstein said “If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism”. Cutting-edge science and the ancient wisdom of Buddhism have come together to reveal that our true essence is space and joy. In this video Lama Ole Nydhal briefly explains why the science of elementary particles is important to everyday life and what consciousness has to do with science.