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During the reading week, at the end of October, we went to Tibet. Our group of four people visited a few monasteries: Tashilhungpo in Shigatse, Kumbum in Gyantse, Drepung and Sera in Lhasa, as well as Jokhang Temple, where one of the oldest Buddha statues is preserved, and Potala, the former residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
During the journey, the sense of appreciation and respect towards Tibetan people was growing in me. Even today the Tibetans are maintaining their Dharma practice. In Lhasa, every morning and every evening they are doing circumambulations around the Jokhang Temple (Barkor) and around the old part of the city (Lingkor, which takes about 2 or 3 hours). But it is not just the fact that they are doing this that is so remarkable, it is the way they are doing it! How sincere they are, how they appreciate their Dharma legacy and how happy they are in their practice.
I really think that we are so lucky here at RYI: we have the access to studying and practicing the Dharma. And Tibetans are also living here, also doing khora around Boudha Stupa every morning and every evening. Now I hope I can appreciate better that here in Kathmandu we have a precious opportunity to learn and speak Tibetan. It happens that when something is easily available, we don’t really appreciate it and we only start to develop a real interest when it is difficult to get!
~Evgeny from Russia