On Firday the 26th of June we celebrated the 35th Birthday of His Holiness, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. It was a beautiful, hot and sunny day in London and there was a festive and enjoyable atmosphere in the centre. Everyone played their part and worked together to contribute to this special day.
On Wednesday and Thursday we met for an hour in the evening to practice chanting. Friday consisted of three sessions of chanting, Karmapa Chenno and shinay meditation as well as an evening Chenrezig. Included in the chanting was Calling the Guru from Afar, the Long Life Prayer for the Karmapa and the King of Aspirations.
Ira baked the most delicious chocolate vegan cake, which was beautifully decorated. As well as this, Lara and Ira made some delicious ice coffee and chai tea that cooled us down before Chenrezig in the evening:
Persis picked some beautiful flowers from the allotment. These were offerings for the shrine as well as some edible blossoms for the Karmapa's cake:
Grace and Sarah went shopping for offerings (with masks!) on Thursday and then Grace worked with Lama Zangmo to create the beautiful special shrine for this day:
Simon did extremely well with the tech side of things, and so all flowed smoothly on that end:
Marco and Emese cooked and baked us a delicious lunch and puddings, that we ate with doors and windows wide open to try and cool us down in the kitchen! And everyone helped to clean up after so that we were ready for our 2pm start.
Lara and Sarah cleaned up the shrine room, and Lara took some excellent photographs during the practices.
Lama led and guided us through the preparation and day, always with a lovely warm smile.
So in the end, despite the heat, there was a lovely feeling of team work, and we all felt the benefits of group energy, from those inside the centre and everyone who joined online, for such a special day. It was nice to know that our prayers were one of many around the world, from India to America, to Tibet, to every corner of the world where the Kagyu lineage is based. Knowing that all of us were chanting for His Holiness's long life and good health at the same time was very moving and powerful. May this be a cause for His Holiness to turn the Dharma wheel without any obstacles.