17th Gyalwa Karmapa"Buddhism is a way of life through which we develop the qualities of our mind.
This way of life is very unusual, as it is a means to attain happiness without harming others.


Travel Log - In Nepal and India with lama Puntso

Monlam (wishes) - Throughout the years, if we take a good look, nothing looks more like a day at Kagyu monlam than another day at Kagyu monlam. The ingredients are the same:  obviously, it takes place on the grounds of Buddha’s enlightenment, the Mahabodhi Temple, arranged for the occasion.

Read more: # 13 Monlam (wishes)

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with lama Puntso

The Opening of the Eye of the Universe - After Lumbini and the Buddha’s birthplace, after Kushinagar and his parinirvana, here we are at Sarnath, the site of his first teaching: the four truths of the noble ones. What indeed happened?

Read more: # 12 The Opening of the Eye of the Universe

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with lama Puntso

And the Buddha is dead!  - It is the end of the day and we have arrived at Kushinagar, the site of the parinirvana and the cremation of the Buddha.  We have just enough time to pay homage to the reclining Buddha on his right flank.

Read more: # 11 And the Buddha is dead!

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with lama Puntso

And the Buddha Is Born!  - I’ll spare you the sixteen hours of bus travel from Kathmandu to Lumbini—the tire that needed changing, the axel-balancing, the road under construction—you get the idea. We arrived at 10:30 at night: all three buses of Lama Nyima’s pilgrimage group, in which I nabbed a spot. This morning we got up fairly early to head off to the Mayadevi Temple.

Read more: # 10 And the Buddha Is Born!

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with lama Puntso

The Retreat Concludes  - We are concluding the Nepali step at Sharminub with a selection of metaphors and photos of the Amitabha offering feast that closed the retreat.
Since I didn’t know what to share with you from all the teachings that have been given, I decided to pull out all of the metaphors that Khenpo Gyaltsen and Jigme Rinpoche used. Some are traditional while others are more original. Happy reading…

Read more: # 9 The Retreat Concludes

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with lama Puntso

Kaleidoscope  - Travel through the Photo Gallery

Read more: # 8 Kaleidoscope

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with Lama Puntso

A Place of Great Purity - As I explained earlier, behind Sharminub Monastery, there is a retreat center where a dozen fully-ordained (guelong) monks hand-picked by Shamar Rinpoche live. They spent ten years in retreat dedicating themselves to Mahamudra meditations from the sutra tradition.

Read more: # 7: A Place of Great Purity

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with lama Puntso

The Children of Sharminub - Sharminub monastery was created with the purpose of study and practice as well as preserving the monastic vows and the vinaya. Of course, these projects are underway, but an unintended function arose: an orphanage and a school for children.

Read more: # 6 The Children of Sharminub

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with Lama Puntso

Khenpo Gyaltsen : His Life- The day of my arrival at the monastery, I saw a monk with a shovel energetically digging at the foot of a stone staircase. He was preparing the soil for the visitors, so that it wouldn’t be dangerous to walk there. I recognize Khenpo Gyaltsen, the principal of the monastery.

Read more: # 5: Khenpo Gyaltsen : His Life

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with Lama Puntso

Day 2 : Mosaic- Jigmé Rinpoche continued his teaching.  He reviewed the nature of Buddha and on the meaning of the visualisation.  Then he spoke of the connection that we establish with the bodhisattvas during the practice by way of a particularly fitting metaphor.

Read more: # 4: Day 2 : Mosaic

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with Lama Puntso

First Day of Retreat - It’s eight-thirty. People arrive. Not only the one hundred and twenty from Nyima’s group but people who have come in small groups from different European countries. In all, there are nearly 200 of us (to be confirmed). The day before, we established the schedule: four sessions; two in the morning and two in the afternoon; the day begins at nine am and ends at five pm. It’s reasonable and leaves times for the rest (to each his own rest at various moments: some shop; some visit tourist sites; some practice…).

Read more: # 3: First Day of Retreat

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with Lama Puntso

Arrival at Sharminub: Between Earth and Sky - Upon my arrival at Sharminub Monastery, the size of the place (it’s big!), its beauty (dare I say elegance?), and its location between the hillside and the valley (between earth and sky?) immediately brought to mind Shamar Rinpoche. This place is a clear expression of him.

Read more: # 2: Between Earth and Sky

Travel Log - In Nepal and India with Lama Puntso

Retreat at Sharminub: The Invitation - “I would like to announce that I will be guiding a retreat of the 14th Shamar Rinpoche’s guru yoga at Sharminub from December third to tenth of this year, and I would like to invite you to come join me if you wish to and are able to. You can take part in the full retreat or come for only a part.” 

Read more: # 1: The Invitation

"On the road again". Lama Puntso hits the road again and once more brings us a digital travel log. We follow our photovoltaic pilgrim from Sharminub in Nepal—for a practice retreat with Lama Jigme Rinpoche—to Bodhgaya for the Kagyu Monlam, passing through Buddhist sacred sites in India in the footsteps of the Buddha. We invite you to find his (most likely) daily chronicle right here. Happy reading!

We will keep updating this article along the time of the travel...

Read more: Travel Log - Nepal and India with lama Puntso

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