At His Holiness’ request, this year’s Winter Debate Session includes a five-day conference entirely devoted to the vinaya, or monastic discipline. In preparation for the event, in the fall of this year, each of the Kagyu monasteries had sent delegates to Dharamsala for a period of intense vinaya study under His Holiness’ direct guidance. Today and over the next four days, those khenpos will be taking turns making presentations and leading question-and-answer sessions devoted to particular issues related to the vinaya.

His Holiness attended each of the day’s four sessions, taking an active role in fielding questions and monitoring the lively discussions. Thrangu Rinpoche was also in attendance, lending his voice to clarify a number of complex questions that arose.

The first day was devoted to the topic of how monastic ordination is conferred. Tomorrow’s discussions will be entirely devoted to the question of bhikshuni ordination, or full ordination for women.