Vanaresi, the Ganges

By Matthieu Ricard on March 07, 2011

On the occasion of then Indian pilgrimage accomplished by Yangsi Khyentse Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and a group of monks, nuns and disciples, after visiting Sarnath, the place where the Buddha gave his first Teaching, the group went early morning on a boat to witness the sunrise upon the Ganges, on the banks of the Holy City of Vanare...

About vacuity

By Matthieu Ricard on March 02, 2011

On emptiness When Buddhism states that emptiness is the ultimate nature of things, it means that the things we see around us, the phenomena of our world lack any autonomous or permanent existence.  But emptiness is not at all a void, or the absence of phenomena, as early western commentators of Buddhism once thought.  Buddhism does not at a...

Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first teaching

By Matthieu Ricard on February 25, 2011

Sarnath is located in a dozen of kilometers of Varanaresi. It is there, in the Deer Park, that the Buddha delivered his first conferred his first teaching on the Four Noble Truths: the truth of the suffering, the truths of the causes of the suffering (the afflictive mental states and the fundamental ignorance), the truth of the possibility of...

The Great Stupa of Kesaria

By Matthieu Ricard on February 23, 2011

On the way between Kusinagar and Vaishali, we paid homage to the monumental ruins of Kesaria Stupa, (10 KM from Rampur Khajuria on National Highway 28, about three hours drive from Kusinagar, 120kms from Patna). According to some scholars, this is the place where Prince Gautama cut his hair to renounce the world, after leaving his palace...

Sankisya, the place where the Buddha came down from Tushita

By Matthieu Ricard on February 19, 2011

From Shravasti, our pilgrimage proceeded to the long journey to Sankisya (called Sankassa in the scriptures, or Sankasya) the place where the Buddha is said to have returned to earth, after preaching the Abhidhamma in Tushita Heaven and teaching his deceased mother. Until recently, Sankisya was rarely visited, since it lies in very remot...

The Dalai Lama Speaks on Science (2nd part)

By Matthieu Ricard on February 14, 2011

Over the past thirty years more and more scientists have been showing genuine interest in the Buddhist views of the mind and of its relation to the body. As a result some scientific institutions, in America and in Europe, have undertaken some research. This collaboration has two purposes: First, simply to expand our knowledge, not only a...

The Dalai Lama Speaks on Science (part 1)

By Matthieu Ricard on February 08, 2011

From November 20 to 23, at New Delhi in India, the XXIII meeting of the Mind and Life Institute gathering a remarkable array of contemplatives of the ancients Indian traditions (Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism) together with Indian and Western scientists, in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai-Lama, who had long aspired for such a meeting t...

Shravasti

By Matthieu Ricard on February 02, 2011

Shravasti, located approximately 175 kilometers from Lucknow, is the place where the Buddha spend the longest period of his life, including twenty-five rainy seasons retreats. It is said that this is also the place where he began to perform a series of miracles. The merchant Anathapindika, who was very devoted to the Buddha, as well as t...

Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha

By Matthieu Ricard on January 27, 2011

The pilgrimage led by Yangsi Khyentse Rinpoche and Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche began on December 9th at the birthplace of Buddha Shakyamuni, at Lumbini in Nepal. On 10th morning, the Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche Memorial Stupa dedicated to universal peace was consecrated by the Lamas and monks of Shechen monastery, together with a hundred monks of the...

The eight main Buddhist sacred places of India

By Matthieu Ricard on January 22, 2011

From December 9th to 26th, a group of pilgrims, led by Yangsi Khyentse Rinpoche and Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, visited the 8 major Buddhist sacred places of Nepal and India, to consecrate 8 Stupas that were built, one in each place, in fulfillment of the wishes of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991). About 60 monks and another 50 disciples from...