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Land of Sherpas Tengboche Monastery (Nepal)

Solo Khumbu – “lotus valley” – known to the world because of the highest mountains of the world Everest (or Sagarmatha or Chomolungma) are located in its headwaters 8848 m, Lhotse 8516 m, Cho Oyu 8201 m. First, only professional climbers had access to these magnificent ice giants. But after the first ascent of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the tourist development of this region began.

Trekking in Nepal

The people living here are Sherpas, people from Eastern Tibet. In the 16th century, they began to settle these high-altitude valleys, passing high-mountain passes that now separate Tibet and Nepal. In the discovered manuscripts – tertones – hidden by Guru Rinpoche in this valley in the 8th century, it is said that this valley is sacred and will give shelter to Tibetans in difficult times. Guru Rinpoche meditated here in the Akar-phug cave, located above the village of Khumzhung. After his meditations, Solo Khumbu cleansed herself of evil spirits and became a sacred valley — biyul — a place that is wonderful both for practitioners and for living good people.

The sherpas turned out to be very receptive to the people, with the help of the development fund and with the direct participation of Hillary, they created this valley almost like Switzerland! Visitors from all over the world are met by unusually clean high-altitude shelters at an altitude of up to 5,100 m (!), Called here loggias, with Wi-Fi, restaurants, solar panels. The region is developing constantly. Small power stations are being built, farms, they have created a center for growing medicinal plants. All this takes place under the guidance of the spiritual mentor Tengboche Rinpoche Lama. For the inhabitants of the valley, he is also a spiritual teacher, and an adviser in matters of education and health, he takes an active part in the lives of children who had one of their parents killed while working on expeditions. The Nepalese government rewarded Lama four times for his successful efforts to develop the region and Nepal as a whole.

The Tengboche Monastery was founded in 1916 on the site where Lama Sangwa Dorje left his marks in stone during meditation. Sangwa Dorje said that a temple would be built here. Then one day, it was in 1914, a lama from the village of Khumzhung named Chatang Chotar (also called Lama Gulu) went to Rongbuk Monastery, located on the Tibetan side near Everest. There he received teachings from the lama Navang Tenzing Norbu. At the conclusion of all the pooj and ceremonies, Lama Tenzing Norbu said that Chatang Chotar should establish a monastery in Solo Khumbu at the site of the Sangwa Dorje trail. Anxious monk wondered how he could find the money to build such a monastery ?! In response to his thoughts, Tenzing Norbu said that in one of his incarnations, Chatang Chotar was the father of Sangwa Dorje, so he may not worry, this good karma will help find the necessary funds. At that time, the Rana dynasty ruled Nepal. They heard that the lama was laying a new monastery and sent him offerings and food for the monks. There were also donations from local residents Genpo Sherab Tsepal, Lama Karma and Thakdo Kusan. Local residents directly participated in the construction.

The present abbot of Ngawang Tenzin Zangbu Monastery is the reincarnation of the founder of the monastery. His father received the blessing of long life from Lama Gulu (Chatang Chotar), and as it turned out, a month later Lama Gulu left the incarnation. A son who was born soon, constantly surprised relatives with a desire to go to Tengboche. Then the parents went to Rongbuk, where then the uncle of the departed Lama Gulu lived. When meeting the boy rushed to hug his uncle, as if he knew him before. Then the boy was brought to the monastery of Tengboche, and he had to choose from the monastic utensils those things that belonged to him in his previous life. He coped well with the test, and he was recognized as the reincarnation of Chatang Chotar. After the young lama studied in different monasteries of Tibet and Sikkim and received initiations, he studied not only the teachings of the Ningmapinsky tradition (Lingbu monastery in Gyants), but also Kagyu (Talung Chib-phung monastery near Lhasa) and Sakya (Tsedong Chode monastery near Shigatsa, Larnde Cho). Tengboche Rinpoche Lama returned to the monastery by the age of thirty, after completing all the practices and training, and has since become the head and pastor of all Sherpas. Sherpas monks study and serve in the monastery by performing daily pujas.

This year, Tengboche Rinpoche Lama, after visiting Sherpas villages, arrived in Tengboche one day before the earthquake. The monastery was badly damaged, part of the monastic cells were completely destroyed, the lama also had to move to the lower located loggia, which generally stood.

We visited Solo Khumbu Valley and the monastery several days after the earthquake, in early May. You can read more about this here: Travel notes from Svetlana Pasha from Nepal in May 2015 And we visited Rinpoche. Received a blessing and asked for a ten-minute meditation. This, of course, was an unforgettable 10 minutes – next to Rinpoche and even in the Himalayas!

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