In this marvelous temple, KTD, before the Buddha, and under the blessing of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, we have experienced two important events. On one hand, we have received the Chenrezig Initiation from Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, and on the other hand, 14 participants have taken Refuge in the Three Jewels.
Around 9 am, the Gompa’s doors opened; as we entered, we found an altar dedicated to the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig. Before his image, surrounded by water offerings, lights, perfumes and flowers, was Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, profoundly focused, making the arrangements for the initiation of the practice of the Great Compassionate One.
At 10 am, Rinpoche asked that those that desired to take refuge in the Three Jewels approach him. He began by explaining the importance of taking this step. He emphasized the significance of going for Refuge, how it has been transmitted and received in an unbroken line since the moment the Buddha gave Refuge until our day, and how this transmission passes directly from the Lama’s mind to his disciple.
As the Refuge Ceremony continued, Rinpoche’s voice became more profound, connecting intimately with those taking Refuge, with the Monastic community, and the rest of the retreatants. When the Refuge Ceremony concluded, joy permeated the Gompa as the initiation began.
Rinpoche started the Empowerment of the Great and Noble Compassionate One, Chenrezig, also known as Avalokitesvara, offering precise instructions for each of the sections that comprise the ceremony. Without qualms of time or effort, he made sure that each participant understood the historical context of the Chenrezig practice, the personal advantages we receive when we make this practice, and the way in which we follow each step during the Initiation, with the structure and benefits it renders to innumerable beings.
We felt the Great Compassionate, Avalokitesvara deeply in our minds as each one of us received Rinpoche’s blessing from his hands and we offered him a khata as a representation of our open and grateful mind. Meanwhile, we chanted the mantra of the Great and Noble Compassionate, “OM MANI PADME HUM”.
After the Initiation, we followed with a session to review the Tibetan text of the Sadhana. At the end of the day, we had a Chenrezig practice session guided by Lama Karma Drodhul. Just before this session, the sky was filled with an auspicious sign: we were able to see four rainbows over the KTD Monastery, seat of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, two from the East and two from the West.
“May the causes of virtue that arise from this activity, and those from past present and future benefit all begins”.