On the eve of the 35th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo, the Gyalwang Karmapa held a two-hour teleconference with the Kagyu Monlam working team.
Having greeted everyone and wished them Losar Tashi Delek, His Holiness expressed his appreciation of the organisation of the Pre-Monlam teachings. Because he was unable to attend this year, he had been concerned that there might be problems but now felt that everything was going well. Because of advances in technology, he explained, he would be able to continue his teachings on Geshe Potowa’s Long Soliloquy on February 26 to March 1 via pre-recorded video. [In addition, there will be two video messages from His Holiness on March 3 and March 4].
He then gave detailed directions for the conduct of the upcoming Monlam, which included concessions because of the heat on what monks and nuns must wear and postponement of the afternoon session until 2.00pm. He explained that several prayers would have new melodies, and that, for the first time, nuns would work alongside monks as chant leaders.
Finally, the Karmapa emphasised that the Kagyu Monlam exists to preserve the Kagyu tradition and therefore should not be dependent on one person. The responsibility for preserving the tradition did not rest with him alone but with the monasteries and nunneries, and, ultimately, all those who call themselves followers of the Kagyu tradition.