I am in Washington, D.C. attending the Kalachakra for World Peace, and I am thrilled to be here (and not just because I’m out of New York and the summer heat -- Washington promises to be even more humid). I’m happy to be a participant in this powerful practice because it is completely devoted to peace. I’m here with friends – dharma buds – and we will join several thousand other participants for ten days of meditation and contemplation on compassion; the event culminates in a vow to devote all efforts to the good of all sentient beings.
Here's a link to the website: www.kalachakra2011.com
And here is an excerpt from the website:
The Kalachakra for World Peace
For the first time, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will confer the ancient and profoundly meaningful ritual Kalachakra for World Peace in the capital of the United States, Washington, DC. The Kalachakra, open to all who wish to participate, has the power to benefit all beings on this planet. The Capital Area Tibetan Association welcomes you to join in this historic event, offered with the heartfelt motivation to inspire harmonious relationships and abiding peace in our hearts and in our world.
The Kalachakra Tantra teachings date back to the time of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni (approximately 6th century BCE), who transmitted them to the king of the semi-mythical land of Shambhala . The purpose was to help the king and his 96 lieutenants unite Shambhala’s subjects against possible foreign invasion. Thus began the tradition of associating the Kalachakra teachings with the promotion of world peace and with large audiences. Since that time, the Kalachakra Initiation has been given by an unbroken succession of great masters, including revered figures such as Lama Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, and continuing directly to the present Dalai Lama, who has offered this great ceremony to hundreds of thousands of eager participants around the world.
Participants in the Kalachakra are generally divided into two categories: observers (the vast majority); and participants. While the latter commit to personal disciplines, involving daily practice, observers are welcome simply to watch the ritual, absorb what they wish of the teachings, and receive the blessing. All are welcome, each being free to accept this rich, sacred offering at the level he or she finds most comfortable.
Besides the preparatory teachings, the event includes a three-day empowerment process in which audience members visualize the Vajra Master (in this case HH the Dalai Lama) as the Kalachakra deity, and themselves reborn as his spiritual children. There follows the taking of Bodhisattva vows, along with a series of visualizations marking the rites of passage involved in attaining spiritual maturity.
Among the event’s most inspiring visual experiences is the making of the exquisite, colorful sand mandala by the monks of His Holiness’s personal monastery, Namgyal. This detailed work of sacred art, executed with utmost precision and related prayers, is a symbolic representation of the Kalachakra deity, his palace, and 721 surrounding deities. The Dalai Lama himself recalls that when, at the age of 18, he first saw the mandala, “I almost lost my balance just from looking at it...I was so moved that I choked with emotion.” It is supremely auspicious that in this time of demanding national and global challenges, His Holiness is conferring the Kalachakra empowerment in a location where local decisions affect multitudes around the world. All who are striving for inner growth and who wish to be part of furthering world peace are welcome.
For scholarly and detailed discussions of the Kalachakra, its history and its meaning, please enjoy looking at the website of our distinguished sponsors, Snow Lion Publications, with over 30 years of dedication to the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism.
About Kalachakra 2011
Beginning on July 6, 2011, the 76th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Kalachakra for World Peace will be offered in the heart of the US capital, Washington, DC. His Holiness will offer this great ritual empowerment, including preparatory teachings, from July 6 through 16.
The Capital Area Tibetan Association (CATA), along with the greater Tibetan community, Mongolians, Kalmyks, and the peoples of the Himalyan regions, join in acting on behalf of Buddhists throughout North America and the world. Together, we realize that the Kalachakra offers an unparalleled way to amplify the profound, unshakable commitment of His Holiness to values such as love, compassion, wisdom and interfaith harmony.
In addition, we humbly want to offer our work on this great event as an expression of gratitude to the people of the United States, our host country, and to all those in the Western Hemisphere and around the world who have so kindly supported the preservation of Tibet’s rich culture, spiritual heritage, and distinctive identity for many years now. We deeply appreciate how your kind and generous commitments has enabled Tibet’s unique spiritual wisdom-heritage to survive, spread and take root in all parts of our world.
The Kalachakra for World Peace 2011 will unfold in a world capital where local actions deeply and globally affect the lives of so many. It will provide a rare chance to act in powerful spiritual harmony as part of a huge group dedicated to invoking the power of great wisdom and compassion, so urgently needed in today’s world.
Highly accomplished spiritual practitioners from many traditions respect and honor the ancient ritual of the Kalachakra, first offered by Shakyamuni Buddha in India. Those who are devoted to achieving world peace can join like-minded others in an event made sacred by the moral force of our common motivation to benefit all.
As you can imagine, the expenses of holding such a long event in the center of a major city are formidable. We deeply appreciate any help you can offer. Your sponsorships and your donations, from the large to the small, will help us set ticket prices as low as possible so they are affordable to the largest number of people.
Together, we will gather to raise a living mandala, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the center, to teach us, guide us, inspire us, and bless us. Our beautiful and spacious venue will hold many comfortably, and we invite you to join us in seeing a great hall filled with devoted attendees, notable for their commitment to achieving kindness, wisdom and peace in our world, the antidotes so deeply needed to overcome forces of divisiveness.
You, by attending, will be the very instrument through which the great mandala of the Kalachakra for World Peace 2011 arises. Please join us in this noble gathering.
Information is provided throughout this website, and we welcome your interest and your questions, so feel welcome to contact us.
President of The Capital Area Tibetan Association
Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The Office of Tibet
Co-Chairs of the Kalachakra for World Peace 2011