Dharma Gyan Youth Pilgrimage to Parphing 

-Gabriel Dominik Koebler, TTP student from Germany

When the young students of RYI and Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche finally organised the pilgrimage, they had been talking about for months, they were lucky enough to have Lama Öser accompany them. He is one of the senior Lamas at Ka-Nying Monastery and his English is fluent. That didn’t stop him from asking me to translate for him when he started teaching about Padmasambhava though. After a few sentences, I failed to understand what he was saying, and he graciously switched to perfect English.  

During the Pilgrimage, we visited the huge Guru Rinpoche Statue inaugurated by Penor Rinpoche. Thanks to one of the students, we were admitted into the shrine room below the statue. The temple is silent and serene and carries the energy of Padmasambhava and the devotion of the artisans and craftsmen who created it. contains 1109 smaller golden statues of Padmasambhava, each illuminated by their own lamp. Lama Öser gave a touching discourse inside the temple, instructing us on how to make our pilgrimage meaningful and making use of Guru Rinpoche’s blessing to increase our own realisation and conscious awareness.  

After visiting another meditation cave, we went on the self-arising Tara, a naturally occurring stone image of Tara. Then we had lunch at the Monastery at the Asura cave, where we were greeted by the Lopön who had taught us at RYI just one year before. To everyone’s surprise, he was reassigned to become the caretaker of the Monastery at Parphing. 

The Pilgrimage was a beautiful end to the semester, and we hope to be able to organise similar events in the future as well. 

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