During His Holiness Karmapa’s visit, it was heard that His Holiness would like to join the daily ritual for one afternoon. A plan was made to arrange for this puja on Tuesday afternoon.
Like many plans, this one underwent some changes.
The original idea was for his Holiness to do the daily protector ritual in the special protector shrine room near the front of the monastery.
The special shrine, with a magnificent statue of the main Karma Kagyu protector Mahakala, is beautifully appointed but quite small. And once a throne for his Holiness had been placed within the room, it rapidly became clear that the room would be too small to fit more than 6 to 8 participants.
While this preparation work was going on, monks, nuns, and lamas waited anxiously outside the door to the small Mahakala shrine, wondering if they would have to sit on the Monastery’s front porch in order to participate.
His Holiness was consulted, and word came down that the afternoon Mahakala Puja would be relocated to the large main shrine room.
His Holiness was an active participant, playing the bell and drum and acting as the ritual master. The fullness of heart and being was experienced by all. Our guru provided us with a lesson in patience and cooperation, ending with a communal celebration of faith.
— Lama Kathy Wesley, text and photos