The revered Tibetan Buddhist meditation master, His Holiness The Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, was known as a living embodiment of boundless compassion. After he left Tibet, he created several meditation practices for Western students. Simple yet powerful, these visualizations allow us to explore our own innate connection to the brilliant sanity and compassion of all the Buddhas -- and to begin manifesting that sanity and compassion in our everyday lives.
Instructions for beginning the practices are available on the Internet in most of the major European languages, and we provide links to them on this page. We also offer a brief introduction to Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the Sixteenth Karmapa who, joining together his deep insight into our Western minds and his profound understanding of the Dharma, gave us these practices and invited us to join our minds with his.
The Karmapas of Tibet
The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje
"One's innate nature, uncorrupted by conceptual mind, Is the body of the guru, the play of self-existing space."
-- "The Songs of Rangjung Rikpe Dorje"
Simple Meditations for Western Students
"The following meditations
can be used without any
preparation. No specific preconditions have to be met. They
come from a direct transmission lineage and are a gift to us
Westerners. You can practice them alone, although it is
better to do them in a group."
-- Diamond Way Buddhist Centers
The main practice given by H. H. Karmapa to his Western students is the Guru Yoga Meditation of the 16th Karmapa. One can begin this practice immediately, or one can begin with one of the simpler practices, the Rainbow Light Meditation or the Meditation on Light and Breath. Meditations for children are available as well.
Guru Yoga Meditation
of the 16th Karmapa
Basic Meditation of the Karma Kagyu Lineage
The Sixteenth Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje
"Now out of space
in front of us, condenses the golden, transparent form of the 16th Karmapa -
a radiant field of energy and light. He wears the Black Crown, the shape of
which can awaken mind's deepest awareness and his face is golden and mild. His
eyes see us clearly, he knows us and wishes us everything good. Expressing the
state of compassion and wisdom inseparable, of bliss and space, his crossed
hands hold a dorje and bell at his heart. Seated in the Dorje position, he is
surrounded by masses of light."
-- Guru Yoga Meditation of the 16th Karmapa
Guru Yoga is known as the axle of vehicle that takes us to enlightenment. Most Tibetan Buddhists do Guru Yoga practice every day at the beginning of their meditation. The practice fosters perception of one's own mind as indivisible from the nature of the Guru's mind. In this simplified form of the practice, the guru (lama) is His Holiness The Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.
It is said that the benefits of doing this practice are immeasurable. Lama Ole Nydhal, who was entrusted by Karmapa with bringing this practice to Western people, sums it up like this: "I know of no more effective meditation."
Simple Light Meditations
"At the heart-level in the center of our chest, now appears a tiny rainbow light. Gradually it expands through our body, totally filling it and dissolving all diseases and obstacles on its way. When we can stay with this awareness, our body shines like a lamp and light streams in all directions, filling space. It dissolves the suffering of beings everywhere and the world now shines with great meaning and joy. All are in a pure land, full of limitless possibilities. Everything is self-liberating. We emanate this light as long as it feels natural. "