Travel

Pilgrimage has long been a part of global Buddhist practice
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    Buddha On The Rio Grande Paid Member

    For centuries, the northern stretch of the Rio Grande has lured religious seekers to its stark, awesome landscape. And as the people—among them Pueblo Indians, Spanish Catholics, and now a growing population of American and Asian Buddhists—have settled in, the region has marked their practices with its indelible stamp. Guest editor: Michael HaederleImage: The canyon of the Rio Grande near Toas, circa 1911. Photo by H. F. Robinson, courtesy of the Museum of New Mexico.  More »
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    Earth Treasure Vases Paid Member

    In 1990, I made a pilgrimage in Nepal to meet Cushok Mangtong, the Charok Rinpoche, a 106-year-old lama who lived in a mountain cave 15,000 feet above sea level. As my companions and I trekked over many days to his retreat, I decided to talk to him about what was happening to the earth, and ask him his advice about a world that was rapidly becoming dangerously poisoned. More »
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    Buddhism in the Baca Grande Paid Member

    On a glorious July morning in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a crowd made its way through crystalline air along a dirt road festooned with prayer flags towards the Tashi Gomang Stupa. Carmelite monks walked alongside devotees of a local ashram, Buddhist practitioners of various lineages among local farmers and ranchers, New Agers and the merely curious. For weeks Tibetan lamas had been gathering to prepare for this day, the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, when the forty-one-foot-high stupa would be consecrated. Above the stupa and to the east rose the fourteen thousand-foot-high snow peaks of the Sangres, to the west the view stretched forty miles across the San Luis Valley to the San Juan mountain range. To the south, towering over the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, rose Mount Blanca, known as Sis-na-jin to the Navajo and to the Hopi, the Sacred Mountain of the East. Visiting Tibetans remarked on how much the scenery reminded them of their own homeland. More »
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    Reading the Mountain Paid Member

    I take a level course along a steep north-facing slope, the bag of acorns tied to my belt slapping against my outer thigh. Every three strides, I jam the shovel down through ash, open a crack in the brown loam, and push in an acorn. Then I press the soil down with my boot and walk on. Someday, I imagine, these slopes will be forested in fire-resistant oaks and a new chapter in the ecological history of Lama Mountain will begin. I switchback up to the ridgeline, planting the entire hillside in an hour. Then I head north to repeat the process on another ridge. More »
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    From the Roof of the World to the Land of Enchantment: The Tibet-Pueblo Connection Paid Member

    “When the iron bird flies, the dharma will come to the land of the red man.”—Eighth-century prophecy by PadmasambhavaIn the incongruous atmosphere of the Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, an extraordinary encounter took place in 1979. During the Dalai Lama’s first visit to North America, he met with three Hopi elders. The spiritual leaders spoke in their native languages. Delegation head Grandfather David’s first words to the Dalai Lama were: “Welcome home.” The Dalai Lama laughed, noting the striking resemblance of the turquoise around Grandfather David’s neck to that of his homeland. He replied: “And where did you get your turquoise?” More »
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    A Native Son of Spanish New Mexico Paid Member

    Roshi Bernard Tetsugen Glassman stands with an attendant before the zendo altar, exuding massive concentration under the burden of heavy formal robes in the heat of an Albuquerque summer. As scores of guests crowded into Hidden Mountain Zen Center for the Buddha Eye Opening dedication ceremony look on, he slowly drops a pinch of incense into a burner. It bursts into a fragrant cloud. Then the new Zen center’s abbot, Sensei Alfred Jitsudo Ancheta, a native New Mexican, takes his dharma brother’s place at the altar to perform a memorial service for their late teacher, Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi. Ancheta executes the ritual movements with exquisite care. “Right here now as this river-mountain-sky-desert-swamp-ocean Roshi!” he declares. “Why don’t we see your body here in this zendo?” More »