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Come here and bring them over
Kathmandu valley is certainly richly packed with holy places, and even the Boudhanath area alone, full of monasteries, lamas and holy objects as it is, would be a good destination for a potential pilgrim.
If you’re anything like me, though, your family members (and many of your friends) might not be typical Buddhist pilgrims at all. They might not want to tour the four great places associated with Buddha’s life, or attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings, or even go to your local Buddhist center. However, if you are here, they might want to see how you’re doing—and, of course, tour around a little bit (how often do they go to Asia in general or Nepal in particular?) Don’t miss on that chance to hook them to something virtuous!
Many of the objects in the Kathmandu valley have the reputation of “liberation upon seeing”. Tibetan Buddhists believe that seeing a holy stupa—or even a sticker with a mantra, for that matter—leaves a powerful imprint in the mind: something that would exponentially expand, helping one to develop greater levels of compassion and wisdom.
As students in this Dharma-rich environment, we are constantly surrounded by these objects of power. Anyone coming to visit us would inevitably be also subject to that influence, without having to show any interest in the Dharma per se. After all, we all appreciate the qualities of kindness, so between showing your family the studies have made you more patient and kind and subjecting them to the enlightening influence of the Dharma environment, we can bring them some good!
~ Lobsang Tenpa from Russia