Musical Notation, Divine InvocationTibetan musical scores consist of notations that symbolically represent the melodies, rhythm patterns, and instrumental arrangements. In harmony with chanting, visualizations, and hand gestures, music crucially guides ritual performances.
Twenty-nine year old Tibetan man, Orgyen Trinley Dorje – the 17th Karmapa – is currently on a two-month lecture tour of prestigious US universities, including Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Tickets for all events were immediately sold out. Who is this monk who, after visiting the headquarters of Google and Facebook, spoke about the need for a kinder internet culture? Why are so many people seeking his advice and inspiration in the 21st Century?
At first look, His Holiness The Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa is intimidating. Well built, self possessed, and with a keen glance, he walks more like a middle weight boxer than one of the most venerated religious figures in Tibetan Buddhism.
This clip shows the color palette used by one of the torma artists working in Bodhgaya on the Kagyu Monlam tormas.
“In honor of the Karmapa 900 celebration, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche will be recounting the biographies of the Karmapas throughout the year. Beginning with Dusum Khyenpa, Rinpoche transmits his deep devotion for each of the Karmapa reincarnations as he describes the events of their lives and their remarkable achievements.”
Listen to the teachings here:
Amchok Metok is the name of a particularly beautiful decoration that looks like a flower and is used on the large butter sculptures that grace the shrine during the International Kagyu Monlam. Metok means flower and Amchok perhaps refers to the region of Tibet where this type of flower grew. In this clip, Tibetan Buddhist nun artists introduce themselves and demonstrate a few techniques as they prepare the flower gyens out of wax butter for the Kagyu Monlam shrine. Filmed by Ko Jung-Fa and Cynthia Chao in Bodhgaya, India in 2008-2009.
The Gakyil gyen is similar to the Amchok Metok gyen. Gakyil means “joy swirl.” Below is a slideshow with more photos of both Amchok Metok and Gakyil.
Today at Gyuto Monastery the Gelukpa monks were preparing tormas for a special three day puja called Jang Kar that starts tomorrow. Their tormas are quite different from the Kagyu tradition’s tormas. See gallery below: