NAMO BUDDHA SEMINAR IN NEPAL
with Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
April 2 – April 6, 2014
KHENCHEN THRANGU RINPOCHE WILL TEACH ON:
Subject: “To be Announced”
-Participants should make their own arrangements for accommodation. Below is information about Thrangu Monastery’s guesthouse, The Ngudrup Hotel where most participants from abroad stay and information about how to find other hotels in the area.
No pre-registration is necessary for the seminar.
Registration and fee payment will be on Tuesday, April 1st, at Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery (located close to the Boudha Stupa) A map with the seminar location will be available.
Seminar Fee: $50 US or rupee equivalent
-There will be CD’s available of the Namo Buddha teaching and also the teaching at the VVI in Sarnath but participants may record the teachings.
Seminar Schedule: 9:00 – 9:45 Silent Meditation 10:00 – 11:30 Teaching
There will be teachings in the afternoons by one of the main teachers of Thrangu Monastery. Teacher, subject and time will be announced.
Seminar Coordinator: Gloria Jones: Email
GENERAL INFORMATION ON KATHMANDU, NEPAL
ABOUT THE KATHMANDU VALLEY
The Kathmandu Valley is a major place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Around the city of Kathmandu are ancient Buddhist stupas such as the Great Boudhanath Stupa. The area surrounding the stupa which is known as “Boudha” has over sixty Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. There are many teachers and high lamas, either living in Boudha or visiting. Due to this, many students of Buddhism from all over the world come to stay here
to receive teachings. Some monasteries provide situations for study in Higher Buddhist Philosophy. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s main monastery known as Thrangu Tashi Choling is located in Boudha close to the Boudha Stupa. In the hills nearby Boudha, Phullahari Monastery, the seat of HE Jamgon Kongrul Rinpoche is located. In the area of Swayambunath, is the Swayambunath Stupa also known as “The Monkey
Temple”. Located on top of a hill, the whole hill itself is considered to be a self arisen stupa. According to legend, Lord Manjushri cut into the lake that was once the Kathmandu Valley and as the water was set free the hill rose up simultaneously. Thrangu Tara Abbey, Thrangu Rinpoche’s nunnery for Buddhist nuns is in Swayambu. There are many monasteries in the Swayambu area including Benchen Monastery, the home of Tenga Rinpoche and Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche. Among the many places of pilgrimage is Namo Buddha, one of the most important, where, in a previous life as a prince, the Buddha gave his body to a starving tigress and her cubs. At Namo Buddha, Thrangu Rinpoche has a temple, school for young monks, a college for Higher Buddhist Studies and other projects. Other pilgrimage sites include Pharping, a Guru Rinpoche place, many places where Milarepa and other yogis stayed and many Vajrayogini and Chakrasamvara places.
There is no longer civil war with the Maoists. It has been always been quite safe in the Kathmandu Valley and many other places. Many people have gone trekking with no problems. If there are any changes in the situation that make travel unsafe, they will be announced.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airlines fly from eastern USA and Europe through the Middle East, such as Etihad, Gulf Air, Quatar Air (then directly to Kathmandu- daily). Thai Airways flies from USA and into Kathmandu from Bangkok daily. Many airlines fly into Bangkok from Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. There’s a direct flight to Bangkok from New York and also from Los Angeles. From South America many people go through South Africa or to
Delhi via London (British Airways is one airline). There are many flights daily between Kathmandu and Delhi. Many airlines fly directly to Delhi from London, New York, and many points in Europe. From Canada, Singapore Air flies from Vancouver to Singapore/
Bangkok and Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong and Bangkok. When reaching the Kathmandu airport, there’s a pre-paid taxi service outside the “Arrivals” and also many taxis. You should not pay more than 400 rupees to go anywhere in Kathmandu or Boudha from the airport although due to the sometimes fuel shortages and petrol increase, the airport taxi may be more expensive these days.
THRANGU TASHI CHOLING MONASTERY
Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery is located very close to the Boudhanath Stupa. There is a map of the monasteries on a wall located on the other side of the Stupa from the main entrance into the stupa. There is a walking lane leading to the monastery from where the sign is located. The monastery is less than ½ block from there. See map
On arrival, there’s a bank in the airport where you can exchange money into Nepalese Rupees. The rupee is now approx. 98 rupees to the US dollar, 135 rupees to the Euro and 160 to the English pound and 93 rupees to the Canadian dollar. That may change somewhat by April. There are ATM machines everywhere where you can use your bank debit card or credit card. In Boudha, there’s an ATM machine near the stupa on the main road. Traveller’s checks are a hassle these days. It’s better to have some cash to have on hand and use the ATMs. All convertible currencies can be exchanged at the bank or money exchanges.
Entry visa can be obtained upon arrival at the airport. The cost is $30 for a one month visa or $100 for a three month multiple entry visa. One can get additional months, up to five months, at the immigration office. A 15 day transit visa is available. You can also get a visa from a Nepalese Embassy or Consulate in your country. This seems like a lot of trouble considering you can get it at the airport. To get the visa at the airport, you need one passport size photo and to fill out the available form. There is an instant photo place at the airport if you don’t have one. The visa regulations change from time to time but at the airport there is not much variation.
WHERE TO STAY IN BOUDHA
HOTEL NGUDRUP: Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery’s hotel in s private compound with garden The hotel has 25 nicely furnished rooms and one suite. All rooms have attached bathrooms, phones and wi-fi. Seven of the rooms have attached kitchenettes. There’s a meditation room, dining room/kitchen, roof top garden. Rates (includes breakfast): Single 900 ($10 approx) / Double 1280 ($15 approx) Deluxe 1000 rps. ($10), Double 1380 plus 10% service charge. Phone: (00977-1-) 491-6206 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Manager: Gene Kudirka. Reservations by e-mail and on the website: www.hotelngudrup
There are many other guesthouses in Boudha. Check on the internet. Google “hotels in Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal”.
Hyatt Regency Hotel– 5 star- a beautiful luxury hotel in Boudha in a huge compound with a view of the stupa, restaurants, health club, swimming pool. Rates depend on who you book with. Rates are better if booking through a travel agent.
RESTAURANTS IN BOUDHA
Next door to Thrangu Monastery is The Garden Café (clean and good food). In Boudha, around the stupa, there’s Flavours, Sakura Japanese Restaurant, The Stupa View (vegetarian), Galleria, Ariya, Tibet Restaurant and The Roadhouse Café. Attached to Rabsel Guesthouse (Sechen Monastery) is a restaurant that has good vegetarian food. And of course, there’s the Hyatt which has lovely restaurants with western prices. There are others but these are the ones I have eaten in and can recommend.
WEATHER AND CLOTHING
It depends on the season. Mid-November to end of February is the cold season where one would need warms clothing, warm jackets and long underwear (especially as many places are not heated). March to May is generally warm to hot but there can be rainy weather. End of May or mid June to end of September (generally) is rainy season but it’s mostly warm to hot. October is warm and it starts to cool down around end of October. Hiking boots and gear are unnecessary unless you plan to go trekking. I’ve heard that even for trekking, athletic shoes are better. There’s no snow in the Kathmandu Valley.
There are many pilgrimage places and other places of interest in the Kathmandu Valley. Outside the valley, are many places in the mountains for trekking. The northern areas have many monasteries as the people are primarily Buddhist. In the south are jungles, protected wild life parks, rivers for rafting. There are many travel agents and trekking agencies in Kathmandu.
Regarding travel to India & Thailand: many airlines fly to Delhi daily. There’s also direct flights to Calcutta and Mumbai. Air India & Buddha Air fly to Varanasi several times a week. Bangkok, Thailand is a 3 hour flight from Kathmandu. Also there’s direct flights to Lhasa, Bhutan and Hong Kong.
There are communications shops everywhere that have wireless e-mail, fax and cheap international telephone service.
Kathmandu has quite good medical facilities. There are several international clinics including CWIC Clinic with western doctors and facilities for lab tests and vaccines immunization. But there’s also many good labs and cheaper clinics for these facilities. What is exceptional in Kathmandu is the number of good doctors in alternative health care such as Homeopathy, Aryuveda. In Boudha itself there’s Tibetan Medicine, Chinese
Medicine (Fatima’s Healing Center) and Sechen Medical Clinic which is run by SechenMonastery and has many facilities including dentists, lab tests, a very good Homeopathic doctor (only Sunday), Tibetan doctor and doctors of western medicine. There’s an excellent eye hospital near Boudha called Tilganaga Eye Hospital. Kathmandu is also a good place to buy reading glasses. The Boudha main road has many places. Bring your prescription, in case.
Make sure that you are immunized against Hepatitus A and Tetanus shots are up to date. Malaria prophylactic is not recommended as it has many side effects. There is no malaria in Kathmandu.
All hotels and guesthouses have inexpensive laundry services (except 5*)
WHAT TO BRING & WHAT TO BUY HERE
- a small flashlight for power outages and walking at night
- medicines and vitamins that you take regularly. Nutrobiotic (grapefruit seed extract) tablets or liquid are good to prevent and cure stomach problems.
- Hand wipes or liquid hand cleaner. You can also buy these here.
One can buy almost everything in Kathmandu. There’s supermarkets, pharmacies, stationary stores, good places to buy eye glasses, watches, cameras etc. Dharma goods and handicrafts are everywhere, statues, thankas, brocade, bells & dorjes, drums and all ritual objects used in Tibetan Buddhism.
14TH VAJRA VIDYA SEMINAR - 2014
AT VAJRA VIDYA MONASTERY
SARNATH, INDIA March 5 - March 14TEACHING: “BUDDHA NATURE”
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