Month: May 2010

The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Artist

This lovely short film depicts His Holiness painting in the Chinese style. This video is from the Karmapaweb channel on Youtube.

His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa Discusses Torma Shapes and Colors

His Holiness Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, discusses the origins and diversity of torma shapes and colors for the film Torma: The Ancient Art of Tibetan Butter Sculpture. Filmed in Bodhgaya, India, in 2008-09 by cinematographers Ko Jung-Fa and Cynthia Chao.

The Torma Sculpting Tools are Carved from Special Bhutanese Wood

In this clip, Lama Gelek, the chopon from Mirik Monastery, is shown making a tool for sculpting butter tormas for the Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya. The wood he is using to carve the tool is called “geepshing” and comes from Bhutan. This special wood…

Making Wax Butter in Bodhgaya, Part 4

Monks and nuns worked hard to prepare the materials necessary for making butter sculptures for the International Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya, India. This footage was shot in 2008 by Ko Jung-Fa and Cynthia Chao and depicts the fourth stage in the laborious four-part process…

Making Wax Butter in Bodhgaya, Part 3

Monks and nuns worked hard to prepare the materials necessary for making butter sculptures for the International Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya, India. This footage was shot in 2008 by Ko Jung-Fa and depicts the third stage in the laborious four-part process of preparing wax…

Making Wax Butter in Bodhgaya, Part 2

After the mixture in the pans has completely cooled and hardened, monks and nuns scrape off fine shavings and knead thoroughly. (see video clip below)

Making Wax Butter in Bodhgaya, Part 1

Monks and nuns worked hard to prepare the materials necessary for making butter sculptures for the International Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya, India. This footage was shot in 2008 by Ko Jung-Fa and depicts the first stage in the laborious four-part process of preparing wax…

“Lama, Patron, Artist: The Great Situ Panchen” at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery

“Lama, Patron, Artist: The Great Situ Panchen,” on view March 13 through July 18 at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, offers a fresh approach to Tibetan painting by bringing to the foreground the remarkable life story of the great artist-scholar Situ Panchen Chokyi…

The Great Aspiration

My favorite part of the Kagyu Monlam daily program in Bodhgaya is when His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa puts on his Black Hat and recites the Monlam Chenmo, or the Great Aspiration. This is a profound prayer written by the 7th Karmapa, Chodrak Gyamtso….

Photo of Torma Offerings on the 15th night of Monlam Chenmo, Tibet 1921

Rare torma photo taken in Lhasa, 1921 by Rabden Lepcha (?)  from the collection of Sir Charles Bell. From the Tibet Album on the Pitt Rivers Museum Website–they have a fascinating stock of old photos taken in Tibet by Rabden Lepcha, Sir Charles Bell, Hugh…

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