6th Germany Kagyu Monlam 2016

From August 19th to 21st 2016 the Karma Kagyu Community Germany held the 6th Kagyu Monlam Germany, organized under the guidance of Acharya Lama Sonam Ragbye and Acharya Lama Kelzang Wangdi in Kamalashila Institute®, which is the European Seat of His Holiness The XVII Karmapa. This year it was led by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, (the representative of His Holiness in Europe), During the weekend he also gave teachings on the Eight Verses on Mind Training by Geshe Langri Thangpa
According to the Karmapa's wish the Kagyu Monlam is an event for the entire Kagyu Sangha and all buddhists, no matter which organisation they belong to. In Buddhism it is assumed that the recitation of prayers in a group multiplies the effect of the prayers.

The Kagyu Monlam is one of the main activities of His Holiness The XVII. Karmapa.

In his message for the fourth Kagyu Monlam in Germany 2014 H.H. The Karmapa said:

“The primary condition for the Buddha to awaken to Buddhahood was his aspirational Bodhichitta of wishing that all sentient beings may become Buddhas – … Thus the state of Buddhahood has aspiration as its basis, and it is the result or potential of aspirations. For that reason I strongly believe that when we in our lives make great aspirations for all beings to have benefit and happiness, take on Bodhichitta, and engage in vast actions for that end, we ourselves can bring happiness and benefit to many beings, who are like Buddhas, and we can pull many beings out of the ocean of suffering. Thus I would like to ask you to take this Monlam as the cause of making as great aspirations and shouldering as much Bodhichitta as you can.”

Ordained Participants and Guests included:

  1. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
  2. Resident Lamas and Director of Kamalashila Institute:
    • Acharya lama Sonam Ragbye
    • Acharya lama Kelzang Wangdi
  3. Umdze Khenpo Chökyi from Karma Lekshe Ling, Kathmandu, Nepal
  4. Choepon Lama Sangye from Pachen Choling Monastery, Sikkim, India
  5. Lamas from Benchen Phuntsok Dargyeling, Kathmandu, Nepal:
    • Khenpo Sonam Gyurme
    • Dorje Lopon Tsultrim Rabten
    • Lama Gelek
    • Umdze Gyurme
  6. Khenpo Migmar from Karma Lekshe Ling, Kathmandu, Nepal
  7. Resident lamas of Retreat centres and regional centres of HH 17th Karmapa:
    • Lama Kunga Dorje from Halscheid Centre
    • Lama Dorji from Kopenhagen Centre, Denmark
    • Lama Dawa from Hamburg Centre
    • Getsunma Ani Kelzang from Bremen
    • Getsunma Tändsin T. Karuna from Aachen
    • Lay Lamas: Dorothea Nett, Reinhard Türck, Yesche Udo Regel

German culture also contributed with performances by an Apen Horn ensemble and a church choir from Mayen singing songs celebrating peace, the beauty of nature and ending with a beautiful irish blessing for everyone there.

The Lamas then sang the Sweet Melody of Joyful Aspiration, composed by H. H. XVII Karmapa and accompanied by drums, conch shells and cymbals. This was followed by Lamas chanting the Meditation and Recitation of Chenrezig (the Great Compassionate One) for All-Pervading Benefit of All Beings.

Everyone held a candle and sang the Lamp Prayer (Marme Monlam), singing in Tibetan and German and accompanied by piano.

All in all, there were about 90 participants - members of the KKG board, honorable guests and volunteers included. After three days of chanted and recited prayers the Marme Mönlam, took place outside at the stupa despite the cold and windy weather. It was open to neighbours and interested visitors from the surrounding area. In total, we counted about 200-250 people during the Marme Mönlam.

Apart from our regular system of shared work regarding dishwashing and cafeteria-services in the house, a lot of participants gave us a helping hand to get the enormous amount of work done, e.g.

  • Oral translation of the teachings
  • shuttles to airports and railway stations for the invited Lamas and guests,
  • special Lama service during the meals,
  • musical performances,
  • technical equipment and support, photos and recordings,
  • arrangements of furniture, chairs etc. during the Monlam (especially the Marme Mönlam)
  • shopping tours (e.g. for the Tsog Puja),
  • medical care
  • taking care of the guests

The organization and planning of the Mönlam, such as management, textual work (e.g. Lojong text, programmes and schedules), office work (e.g. registration), cleaning work, cooking, as well as the preparation of the Lhakhang and all other current work was done by the house staff and the resident Lamas.

Umdze Khenpo Chökyi, Choepon Lama Sangye and Choepon Phurpa Tsering from Pachen Choling Monastery in Sikkim, India arrived at Kamalashila Institute some weeks in advance and stayed there in order to do the necessary preparations for the Mönlam, such as Torma making, renovation works in the Lhakhang, (shrine hall).

This Monlam was dedicated to the longevity of H. H. Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje and all Masters and also to bring peace throughout the world.