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6-Day Meditative Pilgrimage – March
From Saturday, 16. March 2019
To Thursday, 21. March 2019
Location : Main gompa

Holy sites to be visited

  • Mahabodhi Tree & Temple: where the Buddha manifested enlightenment

  • Vulture's Peak: where the Buddha taught the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras turning the 3rd wheel of Dharma 

  • Nalanda: it is said to be one of the earliest universities in the world, founded in the 5th century, where renowned Buddhist scholars such as Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti and Shantideva studied

  • Mahakala Cave: it is said the Buddha did ascetic practices here

  • Saptaparni Cave: where the first Buddhist Council took place

  • Gurupada Cave: where Mahakasiapa and other disciples of the Buddha meditated (very very beautiful place)


Making the most of our journey

At each site the group will be given important information about the site and led into different meditations and practices relevant to the place. During the first day of the course there will be a Dharma talk: Being a pilgrim versus being a tourist.

Pilgrimage needs faith. More faith, more happiness. Otherwise, we are just like tourists looking at ruins. Pilgrimage is not just going to holy places and taking pictures. We go to holy places for blessing, so it’s good to do practices at the different holy places.

Bodhgaya is not only the place where the Buddha showed the holy deed of achieving enlightenment under the bodhi tree but also where all the great pandits such as Nagarjuna and Asanga practiced and made so many prayers. Also many great enlightened beings and yogis from Tibet, China, Nepal and other countries came here and made many prayers to benefit us sentient beings so there would be unbelievable, unbelievable benefit for us to purify negative karma and accumulate merit as quickly as possible.

I think you are very fortunate to be able to come to Bodhgaya, where a thousand buddhas will descend, place their holy feet, display holy deeds, and achieve enlightenment. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha is the fourth of the thousand buddhas. The rest of the buddhas will descend here and will also display the twelve deeds, and the holy deed, achieving enlightenment.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche



Sat 16th – Mahabodhi Stupa
Main meditation topic: Qualities of Buddha, Dharma & Sangha
2:00pm Welcome to Meditative Pilgrimage, explanation of visits.
2:45pm Day Pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa/Dharma talk about Pilgrimage versus being a tourist
6:00pm Dinner 
7:00pm Night Pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa
Sun 17th – Vultures Peak & Nalanda University
Main meditation topic: Heart Sutra, emptiness
6:30am Pilgrimage to Vultures Peak (take away breakfast)
12:00pm Lunch at Rajgir
1:30pm Pilgrimage to Nalanda University
3:00pm Return to Root Institute
6:00pm Dinner 
Mon 18th – Mahakala Cave
Main meditation topic: Renunciation, Death & Impermanence
7:30am Breakfast
9:00am Pilgrimage to Mahakala
12:00pm Lunch at Mahakala (take away lunch)
2:30pm Return to Root Institute
6:00pm Dinner
Tue 19th – Saptaparni Cave
Main meditation topic: Bodhichitta
7:30am Breakfast
8:30am Pilgrimage to Saptaparni
12.00pm Lunch at Saptaparni (take away lunch)
3:00pm Return to Root Institute
6:00pm Dinner
Wed 20th – Bodhgaya Temples Tour
Main meditation topic: 4 Noble Truths
7:30am Breakfast
8:30am Bhutanese Temple, Zen Buddhist Meditation Centre, Giant Buddha Statue, Nyingma Temple
12:00pm Lunch at Root Institute
3:00pm Metta Buddharam Temple (Silver Temple), Tergar Monastery
6:00pm Dinner
Thu 21st – Gurupada Cave
Main meditation topic: Precious Human Rebirth, Love & Rejoicing
6:30am Pilgrimage to Gurupada (take away breakfast)
12:00pm Lunch at Gurupada (take away lunch from Root)
2:00pm Dedication prayers – end of pilgrimage
3:00pm Return to Root Institute
6:00pm Dinner


Note: This schedule is subject to change.


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