Outer and inner journeys

Because our region of India is rich in the heritage of Buddhism – with many holy places where the Buddha and his disciples resided, meditated, and taught – Root Institute offers an array of pilgrimages to these sites throughout our spiritual season.

Our pilgrimages are designed to facilitate an "inner spiritual journey" – with opportunities to practice, connect, and revive one's inspiration from places in the outer environment blessed through the realisations of accomplished beings over millenia.

The beauty of such pilgrimages is that everything is organised for you; free of practical hassles, you can relax and enjoy the time and space to receive blessings and inspiration from holy places with the company and support of warm-hearted, like-minded people.

As Lama Zopa Rinpoche, explains:

Normally when people go on pilgrimage, they are just like tourists; maybe they take some pictures, and that's it. They don't use the places to collect merit or to meditate or to get some benefit for their minds. If it's just like sightseeing, then it won't be that much benefit.

The point is to use the pilgrimage to purify our mind and collect as extensive merit as possible. By doing pilgrimage, we receive blessings from the holy places where enlightened beings, great yogis, and bodhisattvas, have practiced.

Root ​Institute's biennial fundraising pilgrimages

Just once every two years we will set off on a spiritual adventure, tracing the steps of the Buddha on an extended pilgrimage ending at Root Institute and the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodhgaya.

These pilgrimages, like this year's inaugural Pilgrimage Celebrating Root Institute's 30th Anniversary [PDF], are led by an experienced meditation leader integrating practices advised by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of FPMT, and raise money and awareness ​for​ Root Institute for Wisdom Culture.

We are now welcoming advance bookings for​ our 2020 Fundraising Pilgrimage to Buddha’s Sites.

Upcoming pilgrimages

Guidelines of behaviour in a Dharma environment

Root Institute is a delightful, semi-monastic meditation centre.

To maintain a conducive, spiritually harmonious atmosphere for inner reflection and meditation, we kindly ask all our students, guests and visitors to observe the following guidelines:

  • Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.

  • Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.

  • Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.

  • Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no romantic holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.

  • Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, you can smoke outside the gates.

  • Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the meditation hall (gompa) and dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.

  • Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts, or tight and revealing clothing.

  • Couples: can stay in the same room for two weeks or less under the celibacy policy.

Please be aware:

  • * The Bihar state government has passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties! Please ensure that you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.

  • Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden.