to the personal website of
is an author, Buddhist, cook, music lover, photographer &
"Pilgrimage as a
devotional exercise and a yoga is as old as Buddhism itself.
The...pilgrim may be intent on accumulating merit...or...may have
come...to pay homage at the power-places...Thus the physical exertion
and the sensual feast that is an integral part of pilgrimage...can
become the mode and the means of attaining the Buddha's enlightenment.
The rarity of the ...atmosphere...the sense of immense space and
isolation; the unpolluted purity of the environment; and the unfiltered
rays of the sun making a critical but undefined contribution: the body
and mind are transformed and cleansed...exertion stimulates the senses
to higher appreciation of light, sound and smell, and the sparseness of
human settlement gives a heightened awareness of the interdependent,
holistic qualities of nature...Nevertheless the most powerful places of
pilgrimage...are certainly the cave-sites...associated with Guru
Rinpoche...the pilgrim's destination is always a special point of the
earth's surface endowed with a powerful mystique...Circumambulation,
prostration, offering, recitation of mantra, and meditation are the
devotions performed by every pilgrim...Devotion is a necessary
condition for the fulfillment of the pilgrim's purpose."
Dowman The Power
Places Of Central Tibet Routledge &
Kegan Paul 1988 (Text &
"The faithful set out in hope of finding virtue and gaining merit.
Among Buddhists, they visit places where a spiritual master once spent
time meditating. His presence makes the place seem somehow blessed or
charged, as if there is some kind of electricity around it. Pilgrims
come to feel these mysterious vibrations. They try to share in the
visions of the master. Along their road, they undertake hardship with
no thought of material reward. Their every step, every movement,
becomes filled with a sense of spiritual progress...We Buddhists
believe that merit is accumulated when you take part in something
religious, with discipline and faith, because in doing so you shape a
proper attitude within. With the right attitude, any journey to a
sacred place becomes a pilgrimage."
H H The XIV Dailai Lama The Dalai
Lama on the Value of Pilgrimages Newsweek 23 April 2007
(Reprinted in Tibet Foundaton Newsletter Number 51 -
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