Here in Phuket we are in the midst of an incredible retreat by luminary meditation teacher, scholar, Tibetan translator Alan Wallace. He graciously offers his teachings for free, so if you’d like to join us via podcast, go here and subscribe.
May all beings benefit!
In March of this year, I went to Sarnath, India, where Shakyamuni Buddha gave teachings for the very first time. While I was there I had the incredible good fortune to have a private meeting with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. My meeting was limited to 3 minutes, so I had time for one question and one photo. In answer to my question, he essentially reminded me that the best way to use this precious human birth is to practice taming the mind through meditation, and to use that training to develop compassion for all sentient beings.
One thing I love about Cambodia is its incredibly rich spiritual heritage. It’s one of the few places where you can get a felt sense of how the Hindu and Buddhist traditions mixed, merged and eventually diverged. Outside of Nepal, I have not come across another culture that has such a vast treasure of the intertwining of these rich heritages.
I spent a day recently at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, enjoying the cultural offerings.
Nepal Yoga Retreat and Pilgrimage, March 2015
Practice or learn yoga and meditation while visiting sacred sites throughought the Kathmandu Valley with masters of yoga and meditation.
Join us for a magical 10 days of practice and pilgrimage through the Kathmandu Valley. We will visit sacred Buddhist sites throughout the Kathmandu Valley and practice daily yoga asana, meditation and teachings from Tibetan Buddhist masters. This is an incredible and rare opportunity to study both yoga and Buddhist philosophy and go deeply into both practices with teacher experienced in both traditions while immersed in the culture that spawned the Buddha.
Click here for more information and a detailed itinerary.
Send me a message if you are interested to learn more about this amazing retreat. There are very few spaces available. This is an incredible opportunity to experience the sacred sites of this mysterious land with experienced guides. If you have ever wanted to visit Nepal but didn’t know how or where to start, this is your chance! Don’t miss this unique opportunity! Write to me if you have questions.
I’ll give this to you straight: don’t come to Sarnath looking for creature comforts. This is a sacred power spot, the place where the historical Buddha first turned the wheel of the Dharma, giving his first talk here at Deer Park. You come here for Dharma teachings, or pilgrimage.
My teacher Thrangu Rinpoche has a monastery here, and comes to give teachings every year. So, comfort or not, I come. Out of necessity, I’ve discovered a few secret spots– guesthouses and eateries–to nourish the body while absorbing the highest Vajrayana teachings to nourish the mind.
Here is the first installment in a series I’ll continue next week.
Shiva Guest House serves a nice thali if you let lovely Kalpana Sharma know a day beforehand. She also has several spacious guest rooms in her massive home that she rents for very reasonable fees. Don’t forget to check out her shop on the roof, where she sells handicrafts made by the disadvantaged girls she helps through her NGO. It’s also located a mere 4 minute walk from Vajra Vidya, so it’s very close to Rinpoche’s teachings, in case his guesthouse is full.
Contact details below.
Shiva Guest House
Sa.13/46 M-# Khajuhi, Sarnath, Varanasi 221007
Phone: +91 542 259 5760,
Mobile: 09 454 732 691
Blessed to be with a great being in this sacred place where the Buddha first taught the Dharma.
May all beings benefit
If ever you need a reminder on why to practice Dharma, Pema’s message of love is the only reminder you need. Enjoy.
Giving Our Best: A Retreat with Pema Chödrön on Practicing the Way of the Bodhisattva – Trailer from Shambhala Publications on Vimeo.