It seems we have amazing scenic drive karma! Our trip from Boise, ID to Portland, OR was breathtaking to say the least. Our GPS took us on a route through the countryside on a minor highway through hills and valleys. During the last leg of the drive, we drove parallel to the Columbia River as the sun was setting, bringing out amazing colors in the water and valley. The journey was a long one, about 7 hours, and we were happy to arrive. We spent the first few days with Prajal Vajracharya, a Nepalese Buddhist Priest who is the lineage holder of a sacred Buddhist Dance.
On Friday we drove over to Maitripa College to begin set up. I had never been there before, and was very happy to meet Yangsi Rinpoche. We had lunch with him, and was very happy to find out that he is very tall like me. All of the lamas I have met are quite small compared to me (I am 6’7″), and so I always found myself leaning way down to pay my respects. To be in the presence of Yangsi Rinpoche, a lama who stood as tall as me, was very exciting and novel!
The altar room at Mairipa College is absolutely beautiful. Their altar has exquisite statues, and the sky blue background gave a feeling of being in a pure land!
From the moment we stepped in the door, we were greeted with warmth and kindness. The volunteers were very helpful and hard working, and set up the most beautiful altar I have seen in my travels with the Relic Tour. They definitely know how to set up an altar!
Lama Zopa Rinpoche was at Maitripa College a few weeks before, to give teachings and empowerments. Having the Relics displayed made the energy even more powerful. During the Relics exhibition, Yangsi Rinpoche and his students did Chod practice in a corner of the room. During the practice, and even after, the energy was quite tangible. Very powerful stuff going on!
People first offered a bath to Baby Buddha, symbolic of their own and all sentient beings’ purification. At the same time, the bath is an offering to ones guru. After this, they circumambulated around a beautiful sand mandala, made only a few weeks prior. It was Chenrezig Buddha’s Mandala.
I want to take this opportunity to share an image I took during the Relic Tour event in Guadalajara, Mexico. I really like this image:
During the weekend, a major heat wave was blazing outside. We were very fortunate to be indoors in air conditioning! The event brought in a small but steady stream of people, most people taking refuge from the heat in the river or inside air conditioned houses. Many animals came to receive blessings, including several dogs and cats, a parrot and two snakes!
More pictures of the event:
It was a very beautiful event. The fact that we were right below FPMT International Office was great, as we were able to meet some people who work there. During the take down of the exhibition on Sunday evening, I stepped outside to get something in the van, and noticed many crows surrounding the building. They were everywhere; on telephone wires and on top of buildings. In Buddhism, this is considered to be very auspicious. Many thanks to all who made the event possible!
I leave you with some images from my collection:
“In every atom are Buddha fields numberless as atoms,
Each field is filled with Buddhas beyond conception,
And each Buddha is surrounded by myriad Bodhisattvas;
To all these dwellers in sublime ways I turn my attention”
-From ‘The King of Prayers’
OM AH HUM