The Sheep Year Lapchi Pilgrimage

hhIn this auspicious year of the Sheep, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang led two hundred pilgrims from all over the world up to the sacred Lapchi-Gang valley, high in the Himalayas, near the traditional border Tibetan border (4000m-5000m). His Holiness was received by H.E. Thritsab Rinpoche, most Ven. Nupa Rinpoche, most Ven. Drupon Dundup Palden, Tulkus and disciples from overseas.


His Holiness and close entourage went up by helicopter from Kathmandu, whilst many  of the pilgrims, monks, nuns and lay people, took buses from Rinchenling Monastery to Lamabagar and then trekked for two or three days up and down the beautiful, strenuous mountain trails, along slippery bamboo galleries perched high above rushing mountain torrents and precipitous passes. Our kind guides told us that not long ago, before the new road was built, it used to take them at least seven days on foot from Rinchenling.

lapchi4The snow was still quite heavy at the end of March and so the main Bhumtsok Chenpo, the "One Hundred Thousand Mantra Recitation" in celebration of Jetsun Milarepa and Chakrasamvara, was held for five days at Nyen-Yön (Nepalese: Godawari), in a narrow forested gorge just below the entrance to the Lapchi Valley. We all slept in tents in the woods, and there was a generous kitchen installed on the other side of the river.

lapchi6The main sacred site at Nyen-Yön is a large shallow cave that has emerged on the side of the cliff, marvellously taking the form of the left ear, or "nyen-yön" of Chakrasamvara. At the same time it is a celebration of Tibet's great singing yogin, Milarepa, for he is usually portrayed holding his left hand to his left ear while singing his inspirational Vajra Songs. Indeed, Lapchi is the sacred mountain of both the deity and the yogin's "Speech" aspect, whereas Kailash is their "Body" aspect, and Tsari is their "Mind" aspect. At Nyen-Yön, there is a small hermitage where His Holiness had previously spent several months in retreat, and during the Bhumtsok his throne was placed right inside the ear, whilst all the disciples gathered around.
lapchi1His Holiness shared brief life story of most Ven. Nupa Rinpoche and thank Rinpoche for making this program possible for the pilgrimage. His Holiness also thanked most Ven. Drupon Dundup Palden for leading the retreatants in Lapchi for a long time and benefiting for many beings.
Within five days, the collective mantra recitation had reached far beyong the required number, and so Chetsang Rinpoche decided that it was time to go up to the valley of Lapchi-Gang itself, for a couple of days, to explore the numerous caves and sacred sites. Again some went by helicopter while others went on foot. The snow was still deep and the air at night was glacial, as it streamed off the high snowy peaks.lapchi002
Altogether it was a wonderful pilgrimage, and in the end offered Mandala offering to His Holiness by H.E. Thritsab Rinpoche, most Ven. Nupa Rinpoche, most Ven. Drupon Dundup Palden Rinpoche, most Ven. Rabzang Rinpoche, and many other leading lamas, drupöns and yogins of the Drikung Kagyu Order, the Lapchi Association and all for His Holiness compassionately coming to Lapchi for the Bumtsok.
The Birth of Buddha
Buddha's Renunciation
In Search of Truth
Turning the Wheel of Dharma
Buddha's Parinirvana
Buddha's Teachings

The Four Noble Truth
Dharma Practice

What is the Mind?
Loving Kindness and Compassion

What is Vajrayana?
Why Practice Vajrayana?
Authentic Vajrayana
Levels of Vajrayana
Attachment and Vajrayana
What to Meditate On
Sitting in Meditation
Preparing for Meditation
The Meditation Session
A Meditation Schedule

The Kagyu Lineage
Meaning of Hung Symbol
Meaning of Drikung
Life Story of Achi
The Three Protectors