Sacred Buddhist Pilgrimage
The Dzogchen Lineage Sangha 2008 Pilgrimage
A Unique Opportunity to Make Offerings
A Pilgrimage to Holy Buddhist Sites
This year our kind teacher Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche and twelve of his students from the Dzogchen Shri Singha Sangha are going to Asia on a Buddhist pilgrimage. Our sangha will visit various holy places in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Although we are unable to bring everyone along, you are invited to participate in this pilgrimage by making a generous offering. In this way, all of us can create the similar good karma of making offerings.
The purpose of this pilgrimage is to create positive conditions for world peace and to ensure the success of the Dzogchen Lineage 6-Month Internship Program. This is a great opportunity for everyone involved to practice generosity by offering at the holy places of the Buddha, the Dzogchen Lineage Masters, and the Dakinis.
The Sacred Sites of India
In India, we will first journey to the foothills of the Himalayas to visit Dharamsala, Bir and Dehradun to make Sangha offerings at several major headquarter monasteries in the Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug and Nyingma traditions. Dharamsala is also the home of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. Near Rewalsar we will visit Tso Pema, the famous lake where Padmasambhava created a miraculous display. At Silvatsal we will visit an ancient charnel ground where over 80 enlightened mahasiddhas gathered. From here we will visit our Dzogchen Retreat Center in Dehradun, India. During this and upcoming monastic visits, we look forward to meeting many holy lamas, monks and nuns.
“Oh renounced ones, after my passing there are these four places which sons and daughters of good family who possess faith should visit and recollect for as long as they live. What are the four? The places where, as pilgrims, they will say: ‘Here the Buddha took birth. Here the Buddha attained complete enlightenment. Here the Buddha turned the Dharma wheel with twelve aspects. Here the Buddha attained parinirvana. Oh renounced ones, this should be told to those who come to these places after my passing, and who sincerely circumambulate and perform prostrations to my stupa in these places.”
— The Buddha
from the Sutra of Ksudrakavastu
Some of the sacred sites throughout India we’ll visit are the sites marking important events in the life of Buddha Shakyamuni. These sites include the place of the Buddha’s enlightenment, Bodh Gaya; the Naranja River, where Buddha meditated for six years;
Deer Park in Varanasi, the site of the Buddha’s first teaching; Kushinagar, the site of Buddha’s parinirvana, and Vulture’s Peak, where Buddha taught the Prajnaparamita Sutras. In the same area, we will also visit the site of the ancient great Buddhist University of Nalanda.
Walking Holy Ground in Nepal
In Nepal we will visit the three holy stupas of Boudhanath, Swayambhunath and Namo Buddha. It is said that visiting these three stupas and making offerings creates an immeasurable amount of merit and all virtuous aspirations will be fulfilled. Then we are off to Pharping and the Holy caves of Padmasambhava’s life including Vajrakilaya Cave and Asura Cave. In the lush area of Godawari, we will visit the Dakini and Vajrayogini holy places as well as our Dzogchen Shri Singha Retreat Institute. In Kathmandu we will visit many Buddhist temples and Shiva’s holy place. Two additional special sites commemorating the life of the Buddha are also in Nepal. We will make a special trip to visit the Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini and the Shakya City, Kapilavastu, where he lived until age 29.
Higher Ground in Bhutan
Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche will also travel to Paro, Bhutan and will visit the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, a holy place of wrathful Padmasambhava.
Pilgrimage as Practice
During this trip we will pray and make offerings together. We aspire to create a blog and send emails to our Sangha so that you can pray at the same time that we are at each of the holy stations of the tour.
A United Sangha with a United Purpose
The purpose of collecting these funds is to make offerings as a united Sangha. We want to include all Sangha in this activity. We aspire to make an offering at every sacred place, monastery and to every holy lama we meet. We’d like to offer as much as possible. In particular Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche stated that, “With sincere and pure bodhicitta intention, I would like all of us to make a light offering of 100,000 candles at Bodh Gaya, Boudhanath and Lumbini for the benefit of a successful Dzogchen Lineage Internship program and to firmly establish the Dzogchen Lineage in the modern world.”
How you can Participate
If you are able to participate it would be very auspicious to give $10 or more. Money will be handled by the Dzogchen Pilgrimage Committee which is Susie Croxton (chair), Chris Carelli (treasurer), Sveta Mergalieva, Hazlitt Krog (secretary), Betsi Drayman, Justin Armour, Padma Wongmo Tso and Kunchok Lama (tour manager).
You can donate money at Sunday practice and one person can forward the money to Susie Croxton or you can mail your checks directly to Susie. Write checks payable to Susie Croxton and mail before February 10th to this mailing address:
Attn: Susie Croxton
10307 SE 99th Drive
Happy Valley, OR 97086-7230
If you have questions, you can contact us at:
503-459-8356 – Susie’s cell
For more information about the Dzogchen Lineage Internship, please visit the Internship page.