His Holiness Karmapa gives teachings and empowerments in Harrogate and Manchester
Between July 9 and 12 His Holiness Karmapa transmitted empowerments and teachings in Harrogate and Manchester. The invitation had been issued by Kagyu Ling, the first Buddhist centre in Manchester, established in 1975 by Karma Thinley Rinpoche and Lama Jampa Thaye, a native of Bolton who is now one of the foremost teachers of Buddhism in the Western world.
On the morning of July 9 His Holiness and entourage drove to Harrogate for the empowerment of Milarepa, great yogi and founding father of the Karma Kagyu lineage. The venue for this exceptional event was the exquisite Old Swan Hotel, located near the centre of the old town of Harrogate. His Holiness transmitted the empowerment in the grand ballroom, which incidentally served as the main film location for the movie “Agatha”, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman.
While His Holiness was preparing for the empowerment, devotees started filing into the room, and by the time he had finished the preparations the ballroom was packed.
His Holiness started the empowerment with some explanations about the importance of the practice of Guru Yoga: “In general, the teacher is someone without whom we will never grow. Without having teachers, we will not know how to go about anything in life. Therefore, from our first teachers – our parents – until our last breath we constantly have to rely on teachers. Often, because of our karma, kleshas (afflictive emotions) and habitual patterns we are not able to recognise that fact, and therefore we often feel lost. The way of the bodhisattvas is skilful: even though the method of Guru Yoga is directed towards the spiritual teacher who shows us the nature of our mind, this practice can help us develop respect for all the teachers in our lives, both the obvious and the less obvious ones.”
He then proceeded with the empowerment and guided the audience through the various stages with profound and detailed explanations.