Walking Pilgrimage

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gaelic
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Walking Pilgrimage

Post by gaelic » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:43 pm

Hello! I just wanted to ask, I know in Tibet people make walking pilgrimage to various sacred places, I was wondering if this is something that can be done in the west as well, and if it has any benefit to the pilgrim, like for example senting out walking with the intention of going to say the Stupa at Gampo Abbey, or another stupa, etc. I'm not saying I or anyone else is going to do that, but I just was curious. Thank you!

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Aemilius
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Re: Walking Pilgrimage

Post by Aemilius » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:25 am

I have heard of a few pilgrimages of that kind that took place in Europe and America in the 1970's and 1980's, can't find much details about them any more. Here is one anyway: Three Steps One Bow
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma7/3steps.html


There is an organisation for buddhist bicycle pilgrimages called Dharma Wheels:
https://ssl.dharmawheels.org/wp/
svaha
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kirtu
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Re: Walking Pilgrimage

Post by kirtu » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:11 pm

gaelic wrote:Hello! I just wanted to ask, I know in Tibet people make walking pilgrimage to various sacred places, I was wondering if this is something that can be done in the west as well, and if it has any benefit to the pilgrim, like for example senting out walking with the intention of going to say the Stupa at Gampo Abbey, or another stupa, etc. I'm not saying I or anyone else is going to do that, but I just was curious. Thank you!
The distances in the west are vast and the density of pilgrimage sites is very low. So there is little chance of a walking pilgrimage, at least not of ordinary people. There have been a few walking pilgrimages by monks from the Chinese Buddhist and Theravadin traditions though as well as the peace pilgrimages conducted by Nipponzan Myohoji monks.

In Europe you could do a train pilgrimage of the stupas. With the now increasingly interconnected bike paths, you could also do a bike pilgrimage there. But the distances there are also vast and there are only a few stupas, temples and monasteries to visit.

However, I just realized that you could do a walking tour of Buddhist sites in NYC, SF, Seattle, Boston/MA and possibly Chicago, central Colorado and Washington DC.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Arnoud
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Re: Walking Pilgrimage

Post by Arnoud » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:44 pm

You can do the Christian pilgrimages and imagine/realize the Mary shrines are Tara. The Camina is one I would like to do.

Silent Bob
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Re: Walking Pilgrimage

Post by Silent Bob » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:43 pm

http://www.tricycle.com/special-section ... e?page=0,0

There are other stupas in the area that aren't mentioned in the article, though I personally wouldn't try doing a walking tour over the highways of northern New Mexico because of inattentive and/or drunk drivers. It's quite a beautiful area though, and a pilgrimage by auto over several days could still be very memorable.
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"

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saraswati
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Re: Walking Pilgrimage

Post by saraswati » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:53 pm

I think the distances in Europe are more doable than the USA.

There is a very interesting Buddhist pilgrimage that takes place every year in France, see http://www.dharmayatra.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. I keep hoping I will have time to join this sometime.

Pilgrimage or tudong is very common amongst Theravada monks and nuns, and I keep hearing about monastics associated with the Forest Sangha going on tudong between the various monasteries in the UK. They often request lay people to join them to provide support.

And my Zen friends recently did a 5 day pilgrimage from Lindisfarne to Throssel Hole (England) which I hear was great.
Let yourself become that space that welcomes any experience without judgement.
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kirtu
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Re: Walking Pilgrimage

Post by kirtu » Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:19 pm

saraswati wrote:There is a very interesting Buddhist pilgrimage that takes place every year in France, see http://www.dharmayatra.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. I keep hoping I will have time to join this sometime.
Unfortunately the route isn't given (there is probably not a fixed route anyway). This is more a meditation pilgrimage which is still a very good thing. Pilgrimage is vital to cementing the Buddhadharma in the West. In order to establish a pilgrimage route, one needs sactified destinations to proceed to the acquire blessings. There are still very few of these sites in Europe and certainly in the US.

My Sakya lama took us on a pilgrimage (by car caravan) to Buddhist temples in the Washington DC area about a decade ago. So this is possible in specific locations. But outside of concentrations of sites in a dense metropolitan area, the distances between sites in the US are vast and the climate is often forbidding.
Pilgrimage or tudong is very common amongst Theravada monks and nuns, and I keep hearing about monastics associated with the Forest Sangha going on tudong between the various monasteries ....
Pilgrimage between monasteries, temples and stupas or other holy sites is what I think of as pilgrimage.

Another reason to do pilgrimage is to create a field of merit and blessing for people not on the pilgrimage.
And my Zen friends recently did a 5 day pilgrimage from Lindisfarne to Throssel Hole (England) which I hear was great.
Why did they choose these destinations? What distances were involved?

Maybe we can lay out pilgrimage courses to help spark interest?

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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saraswati
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Re: Walking Pilgrimage

Post by saraswati » Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:57 pm

kirtu wrote: Unfortunately the route isn't given (there is probably not a fixed route anyway). This is more a meditation pilgrimage which is still a very good thing. Pilgrimage is vital to cementing the Buddhadharma in the West. In order to establish a pilgrimage route, one needs sanctified destinations to proceed to the acquire blessings. There are still very few of these sites in Europe and certainly in the US.
You are right, these seem to be mostly about meditation on the way than getting to a holy site, though I recall that initially these were between Buddhist centres - but affiliated to the Vipassana approach. I recall that in one year at least it incorporated Plum Village, which is Thich Nhat Hanh's base in France.

Pilgrimage or tudong is very common amongst Theravada monks and nuns, and I keep hearing about monastics associated with the Forest Sangha going on tudong between the various monasteries ....
Pilgrimage between monasteries, temples and stupas or other holy sites is what I think of as pilgrimage.
I've just remembered a beautiful book by Ajahn Amaro about a Tudong in England, see http://forestsanghapublications.org/ass ... _North.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .
Another reason to do pilgrimage is to create a field of merit and blessing for people not on the pilgrimage.
I think this is the emphasis of the Tudongs I know of - hence they involve walking rather than driving, and encouraging generosity amongst people met on the way.
And my Zen friends recently did a 5 day pilgrimage from Lindisfarne to Throssel Hole (England) which I hear was great.
Why did they choose these destinations? What distances were involved?
Lindisfarne is a Christian medieval centre for pilgrimage located on Holy Island, (you may have heard of the Lindisfarne Gospel illustrations) and even now St Cuthbert's way is a beautiful long-distance walking route that pilgrims have used for hundreds of years. And Throssel Hole is the name of the Zen Monastery which is a 100 miles from Lindisfarne and where my friend goes to very often. I don't remember how many days it took, but there was a mix of walking and driving. I think it was a joint Christian/Buddhist pilgrimage, and the travel together gave the pilgrims excellent opportunities to talk.

I apologise if all this is veering away from DharmaWheel - specific traditions!

:focus:
Maybe we can lay out pilgrimage courses to help spark interest?
A great idea!




Kirt[/quote]
Let yourself become that space that welcomes any experience without judgement.
- Tsoknyi Rinpoche

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