32ND NAMO BUDDHA SEMINAR IN NEPAL
with Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
April 1-10, 2020 at Pal Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery, Namo Buddha, Nepal
KHENCHEN THRANGU RINPOCHE WILL TEACH ON:
Teaching subject: Clarifying the Natural State by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
Venue: Thrangu Monastery, Namo Buddha, Nepal
Seminar Schedule: 9:00 – 9:45 am Meditation 10:00 – 11:30 am Thrangu Rinpoche's Teaching 1:30 - 3:00 pm Tulku Damcho Rinpoche will teach: Subject to be announced 3:00 - 4:00 pm Tea Break 3:30 – 4:30 pm Mahakala puja (Namo Buddha monks – all are welcome) 4:30 – 5:30 pm Review of the teaching with Khenpo Choephel, translator and Chinese translator.
Seminar Fee: $100 USD or rupee equivalent
Note: All payment for accommodation and the seminar fee must be in cash in USD, Nepal rupees or other convertible currencies. We do not have any facility for credit cards or travelers checks.
There’s accommodation available at the Namo Buddha Monastery in the new and old guesthouses. All accommodation is double only and includes all meals. Meals are vegetarian.There’s alternative accommodations available in the nearby area. We will be posting an updated list of these soon.
New guesthouse – attached bathrooms: $30 a day each - double accommodation only
Old guesthouse – shared bathrooms - $20 a day each - double and triple
To book accommodation only contact Gloria Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org
INFORMATION ABOUT THRANGU TASHI YANGTSE MONASTERY, NAMO BUDDHA
Namo Buddha is one of the holiest sites and Buddhist pilgrimage places in Nepal because it the location where the Buddha, in a previous life as a prince, gave his body to a starving tigress and her cubs. The name in Tibetan given to Namo Buddha is “Takmo Loochen” translated as the generosity of giving the body to the tigress. Much of Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastic activity takes place there as it’s the location of the large temple, the monastic college, the branch school for approximately 180 young monks, the ngondro retreat center, the publishing committee, the yearly summer Tibetan language intensive, the free medical clinic, etc. plus two guesthouses.
Namo Buddha is about 1 ½ hours by vehicle from Kathmandu. Being surrounded by mountains and nature it’s a lovely and inspiring place of learning and meditation.
In April, 2019 the yearly Namo Buddha Seminar will be held there instead of Rinpoche’s school, Shree Managal Dvip in Boudha because the shrine hall at the school cannot comfortably seat the increasingly large numbers of people attending. It is hoped that there will be more numbers of our overseas centers in Hong Kong etc. As well, it is a clean, quiet and elevated atmosphere in contrast to the pollution and busyness of Boudha.
To see more about Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery and Namo Buddha visit our website link: http://namobuddha.org/index.html
When reaching the Kathmandu airport, there’s a pre-paid taxi service outside the “Arrivals” and also many taxis. As we cannot know the cost of taxis in April, make sure to use the pre-paid service. The cost is around 800 rupees ($8.00)Vans are also available if more than two with luggage. You can exchange currencies to rupees in the airport. Taxis to Namo Buddha will cost you approx. 3,000 to 3,500 rps. ($30-$35) for drop off. The drive is around 2 hours. We will try to have some buses go to Namo Buddha. Hopefully one from the Ngodp Guesthouse on April 13 in the morning. We will keep people posted about this.
On arrival, there’s a bank in the airport where you can exchange money into Nepalese Rupees. The rupee is currently approx. 105 rupees to the US dollar, 116 rupees to the Euro and 128 rupees to the English pound and 79 rupees to the Canadian dollar. That may change somewhat by spring 2017. 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 and also there’s many money exchanges. All convertible currencies can be exchanged. Traveller’s checks are a hassle these days. Do not bring them as no one uses or accepts them. Have some cash on hand and use the ATMs.
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.
There are communications shops everywhere that have wifi, fax and cheap international telephone service. You can also get a SIM card for your mobile at shops that sell them. One can also get 3G on a smart phone for internet.
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 is warming up and April to May is generally warm to hot but there can be rainy weather. Mid- June to end of September (generally) is rainy season and 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. Regarding travel to India & Thailand: many airlines fly to Delhi daily. There’s also direct flights to Calcutta and Mumbai. Currently there’s no direct flight to Varanasi. Bangkok, Thailand is a 3 hour flight from Kathmandu. Also there are direct flights to Lhasa, Chengdu (China) Bhutan and Hong Kong.
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 Sechen Monastery 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 the more expensive hotels)
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.
The conditions in Kathmandu are normal at this time (October 2016). Many tourists are arriving at this time. Conditions are difficult to predict but regardless the Kathmandu Valley and other places are nearly always safe for tourists. If there are any changes that make travel unsafe there will be a bulletin on this website.
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 as well as Korea Air and some others.. 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.
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 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. Currently there’s no direct flight to Varanasi. Bangkok, Thailand is a 3 hour flight from Kathmandu. Also there are direct flights to Lhasa, Chengdu (China) Bhutan and Hong Kong.
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