Category Archives: Pilgrimage

Nangzhig: Largest Yungdrung Bön Monastery in Tibet

Nangzhig Monastery edit

Nangzhig Monastery’s formal name is Nangzhig Gyaltsen Puntsok Ling, Marvelous Land of the Buddha’s Teachings which Destroys Appearances.  It is also known as Nangzhig Tashi Yungdrung Ling, Land of the Auspicious Yungdrung which Destroys Appearances.  It is located in the Amdo Ngawa region and is the largest Yungdrung Bön monastery in Tibet.  The monastery was founded by Yönten Gyaltsen in 1108.  Similar to many other monasteries, Nangzhig Monastery was destroyed during the cultural revolution that began in 1959 and many of its religious articles were hidden away.  In 1980 when the People’s Republic of China began to allow more religious practice, reconstruction and reinstallment of religious artifacts was organized by Gya ‘Ob Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

Nangzhig monastery complex cropped

The monastery complex is quite extensive and includes multiple temples, multiple dormitories for monks and living quarters for senior lamas, and three large chortens among other structures.   During large festivals, the monastery has the capacity to house two thousand monks.

Nangzhig students

Nangzhig Monastery has both a dialectic college and a meditation college.  There are approximately a thousand monks living there and more than two hundred new students arrive each year.  Being a major center for learning and educational exchange in Tibet, the monastery has multiple copies of the Bön canon and over two thousand blocks for printing the texts.  Monks attending the dialectic college must attend classes and debate every day except Sunday and during retreats.  Once the students of the dialectic college have completed ten years of study and successfully passed their final examinations, they receive the degree of Geshe, which is similar to a doctorate of philosophy and religion.  Monks attending the meditation college must complete a three-year retreat based upon the A Tri teachings.

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Homage to Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché!

Homage to Tonpa Shenrap painted on rock

“I prostrate to Shenrap Nampar Gyalwa, the Precious Wish-fulfilling Jewel!”

The 15th day of the 1st lunar month has traditionally been the day for Bönpos to celebrate the human birth of Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché, founder of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition. In 2019, this date coincides with February 19th on the Western calendar.

However, in recent times, the scholar and Yungdrung Bön master H. E. Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche has discovered through his research that the actual date is the 15th day of the 12th lunar month. See previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2019/01/19/passing-beyond-worldly-existence/

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The Lama Returns

His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen returns to Menri Monastery August 13, 2017. Photo credit: Unknown

Sacred Signs

Handprint in stone of the one known as the Second Buddha, the 1st Menri Trizen, Nyamme Sherab Gyaltsen. Photo credit: Unknown

Sacred Gathering

Monks during a festival at Triten Norbutse Monastery near Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo credit Andrzej Nieckula

Offering the Mandala of the Entire Universe

Mandala offering during a special ceremony at Nangzhig Monastery in Tibet. Photo credit: Unknown

Gangru Gön Dargyé Monastery: The Flourishing Monastery Upon a Hill

Gangru Gon Dargye in Tibet, founded in 1310. Photo credit: Unknown

 

Pilgrimage: Tardé Miyo Samten Bön Ling Monastery

Tarde Miyo Samten Bon Ling Monastery in Kham, Tibet. Photo credit: Unknown

The Yungdrung Bön monastery of Tarde Miyo Samten Bön Ling is located in Derge County near the Yangtze River in the Kham region of Tibet.  The Land of Blissful Liberation and Unshakeable Bön Meditation was founded by Kunga Namgyal and, although the founding date is uncertain, the history of the monastery records seventeen subsequent generations to the present.  Although the monastery was destroyed during the cultural revolution that began in 1959, beginning in the 1980’s it was rebuilt by the senior monks.  The mountain directly behind the monastery is called Tsang Chen and is believed to be the home of the local deity.

Those in attendance at the 5th Conference on Upholding and Preserving the Bon Teachings. Photo credit: Unknown

In 2016, the monastery hosted the 5th Conference on Upholding and Preserving the Teachings of the Yungdrung Bön.  A number of prominent Yungdrung Bön scholars gave presentations at the conference and there were also rituals and ceremonies to mark the special occasion.

Chortens before the Tarde Miyo Samten Ling Monastery in Kham, Tibet. Photo credit: Unknown

 

Doorway to Zhang Zhung

The Six-peaked Doorway into Zhang Zhung. On the right, is the meditation cave of Drenpa Namkha. On the left, is the meditation cave of his son, Tsewang Rikdzin. Photo credit: Unknown.

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