Similarly, one cannot but be moved by visiting the Yarlung Valley in central Tibet.
Thanks Malcolm, would you say that pilgimage can be of particular benefit for Buddhists?
I'm interested in what you said about 'power places', what is the Buddhist understanding of what makes these places powerful?
Just as there are places in the body which have more functions that others, there are also places on the earth where there is more "function" than others.
Do you think that practicing in a power place is better, or could it also be a place to encounter obstacles/demons etc? Is it a good idea to meditate/practice in non-Buddhist spiritual centres/power places? e.g. some of the neolithic sites?
Practicing in ancient sacred sites has plusses and minuses. Sometimes local guardians in these places can be very heavy and strong, hard to placate. But the plus side is that one can have deeper experience. Also places where great siddhas have meditated have power. For example, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu stated to me personally in 1992 that if one does six days of good quality practice at Khandroling (located in Western Massachusetts) this is equivalent to doing six months of retreat in other places.
I know there are guardian and protector deities that we often see statues of in monasteries etc. are these particularly needed in the power places?
We have to distinguish between local guardians and Dharmapalas. Usually, some guardians one sees will be representations of powerful worldly Guardians like Nyenchen Thangla, the Tenma, and so on., as well as the four directional Kings and so on.