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Slow train coming

  The space is pervaded with green, with the chirping of birds and the sweet smell of pollen. We are in the countryside of Dordogne, and it would be difficult for anyone to find a more idyllic setting. In general, I try not to read the news, especially here, but whenever I do, that idyllic image is replaced by another one: the slow train, picking up speed downhill. The machine engineers are incompetent and instead of stopping it and repairing the faults with care, they keep on loading it with coal. Its lights are on in the darkness; they illuminate only the small patch in front, so the passengers could see the end, but only in a fashion.  Why are we in a such a hurry to destroy our civilisation? Do we have so much that we are bored with it? There was this boredom in the air before the epidemic in 2020. I had the feeling that people, especially the young ones, were waiting eagerly for something to happen. Anything. Just not that day after day boredom. They were trying to shake it off –

A pilgrimage to Dza Pagye Mani Rima - The 'Mani wall'of Dza Patrul Rinpoche

From our correspondent Kunga Gyaltsen

The great 19th century enlightened master Dza Patrul Rinpoche lived the life of a wandering yogi vagabond. He was born and lived in the high, remote grasslands of Dzachuka, Kham, which is in Northern Sichuan Province, and quite close to Nangchen. 

Throughout his life Patrul Rinpoche rejected any material gains, and whatever offerings he received he would immediately give back, give to the poor, or use to employ local poor people to carve mantras, sutras and shastras onto the large flat stones that are common in that area. The stones were then piled up and developed over time into a very long "Mani wall', which has survived until this day. The wall is called 'Dza Pagye Mani Rinma". 

Karma Thinley Rinpoche has long held the wish to make a pilgrimage to this holy site, but his ageing years make it difficult. It lies at an altitude of over 4,000 meters and involves a long journey, 6 hours by jeep, crossing a high pass of 4,700. Rinpoche's cousin Sremo Tsodi Bongsar together with Kunga made the journey and were able to make a circumambulation around the beautiful long wall of millions of flat stones, each carved with Dhama text. One turn around the Mani wall took over an hour, though local professionals can do it in 40 minutes. 

The location is in the beautiful high remote grasslands that are still home to many nomads. It must be still the same as when Patrul Rinpoche was wandering these mountains, meditating and teaching to his ever increasing numbers of disciples.

This is some of the original carved stone pieces from Patrul Rinpche's time, preserved in the Nyingmapa temple at the beginning of the wall. 

This is some of the original carved stone pieces from Patrul Rinpche's time, preserved in the Nyingmapa temple at the beginning of the wall. 

The wall is still growing, and we were able to sponsor the carving of mantras and prayers on Rinpoche's behalf. Kunga also requested the carving of many Medicine Buddha mantras for the long life of all our teachers and parents. 

Kunga Gyaltse and Tsodi Bongsar


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