From the 25th till the 27th of August 2017 the venerable Sangter Rinpoche led in the Centre in Grabnik the 8th Kagyu Monlam Poland.
One month earlier, the chöpöns of Kagyu Monlam – chöpön Lama Ang Pasang from the Benchen Monastery and the chöpön Jigme from the Lekshe Ling Monastery – had started preparing richly ornamented tormas, which were later placed on the shrine among fruits, flowers and other offerings.
Umdze Chojung, whom we had an honor to have hosted two years before, led the chants. Many other lamas also participated in the whole ceremony: lamas from Benchen monastery in Kathmandu as well as Polish Lamas who, under the guidance of Rinpoches and lamas from Benchen, had completed three-year-retreat. This year thirteen Tibetan and thirteen European lamas joined us during Kagyu Monlam Poland.
Each day, the morning session began with sojong vows bestowed by Khenpo Gawa Nyima from Benchen monastery. On the first day, traditionally, a solemn procession with an image of His Holiness Karmapa took place. Sangter Rinpoche, together with other lamas, offered on the Karmapa’s throne mandala of Universe, as well as symbols of awakened Body, Speech, Mind, Qualities and Activities. Then, Polish lamas offered mandala to Sangter Rinpoche.
Similarly to previous years, Sangter Rinpoche gave an introductory speech. Rinpoche emphasized how much benefit prayers performed together bring and how precious are the efforts that the participants put into taking part in Kagyu Monlam. ‘You must have endured the difficulties of travelling, very often coming here from far distances’ – Rinpoche said. – ‘Maybe you are not pleased with your accommodation or you don’t like the food – ‘But remember: you have come here not for holidays! You have come here in order to express prayers of good wishes and practise generosity, together with fully ordained monks, Khenpo, lamas and other lay practitioners.
In this noble gathering, surely at least one person is a genuine Bodhisattva. Thanks to the power of pure samaya bonds among us and the fact that our minds merge during the prayers, everybody will benefit in the same way as the joint power of prayers of all of us together with Bodhisattvas and lamas.’
On the second day, during the forenoon session, Sangter Rinpoche bestowed empowerment of Thousand-Armed Chenrezig. In a very moving way Rinpoche told the story of Gelongma Palmo thanks to whom we have Nyungne practice.
On the third day, after the ‘Ceremony for all Gurus’ (Lama Chöpa) which included tsok, offering of auspicious substances, attributes and symbols took place. As every year, everybody received blessing multiplying all that is favourable – conditions and prosperity. Those who specially support our Centre represented all participants and were touched by pictures presenting particular wellbeing.
The same as each year, the third day ended with Chenrezig prayer and light offering ceremony (Marme Monlam). Traditionally, Rinpoche lit his candle first and then all could share the same fire. With lamps brightening the nightfall and chanting Karmapa Kyenno mantra, we walked around the temple and Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche's Stupa.
Additionally, during this year Kagyu Monlam, we had an opportunity to observe the progress in painting and gliding the stupa. Moreover, everybody had a chance to buy, during an auction, a right to personally put one of the golden stripes on the top of the stupa – of course, under the professional guidance of Joanna and Adam. All who did it where overwhelmed with joy. All the collected money was donated to finishing the stupa.
Again, we were privileged to pray together being led by our lamas as well as meet many of our old friends with whom we enjoyed the time, laughed and talked. The time was also a great opportunity to make acquaintances. All the common efforts of our Benchen community caused that again we experienced these beautiful and inspiring moments.
All the pictures are available in our Gallery.
See also a video: