Rinpoche has told us that it is good to do different practices on pilgrimage, to make people’s lives very meaningful and very productive.
“Normally when people go on pilgrimage, they are just like tourists; maybe they take some pictures, and that’s it. They don’t use the places to collect merit or to meditate or to get some benefit for their minds. If it’s just like sightseeing, then it won’t be that much benefit.”
Rinpoche says that by doing pilgrimage, we receive blessings from the holy places where enlightened beings, great yogis and bodhisattvas have practiced. With the blessing entering our hearts, we are able to soften; our mind becomes subdued; and we are able to decrease the delusions. We are then able to develop bodhicitta (strong compassion) towards other sentient beings. And our guru devotion, renunciation, right view and understanding of emptiness, become stronger. Our mental continuum becomes Dharma. This is what pilgrimage does. As we’ve done in past years, we can dedicate all our efforts during the pilgrimage to world peace.
Rinpoche has also advised that when we see the Great Stupa in Boudhanath for the very first time, even from the airplane, we should make special strong prayers. “This stupa is so powerful that anybody who makes prayers to it has their wishes fulfilled. Whatever you pray for, it will succeed. So do your best prayer!”