Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche (1917-2003) was the teacher of royal famiy of Bhutan. In 1968 he became the first teacher of Ole and Hannah Nydahl  

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03.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

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Home  → About us  → News  → 300 Buddhists from 29 different countries are going to travel a total of 10,452 kilometers along the Trans-Siberian Railway

300 Buddhists from 29 different countries are going to travel a total of 10,452 kilometers along the Trans-Siberian Railway


The Buddhist Winter Tour is going to start on January 18th. A group of nearly 300 people from 29 countries along with the Buddhist teacher Lama Ole Nydahl will accomplish a distance of 10,452 km along the Trans-Siberian Railway by train. During the tour they will visit 6 cities, the main Buryat festival Tsagaan in Ulan Ude, meditation centers, Buddhist places of pilgrimage, an International Buddhist festival, public lectures and book signing sessions. Buddhist followers from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Australia, Austria, England, Bulgaria, Hungary, Venezuela, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Israel, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Kazakstan, Kirghizia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Slovakia, USA, Uruguay, Finland, France, Czech Republic and Switzerland will take part in this trip. “Buddhism is a way of knowing and developing one’s mind. Buddhism is one of the four traditional religions in Russia; it has its own history and followers. A Buddhist group will travel through Russia, a huge and beautiful country, learning the spiritual wealth of its people, visiting holy places and monasteries – it is a chance of a lifetime to feel the essence of Russian culture”, – said Alexander Koibagarov, President of the Russian Association of Diamond Way Buddhists of the Karma Kagyu Tradition. The traveling group from Ulan Ude will celebrate the beginning of Tsagaan on January 31st. Tsagaan is also known as the White Moon festival, or the Buddhist New Year; it is traditionally celebrated in Buryatia and it has been a tradition for centuries, it is closely related to Buddhist philosophy. Dugzhuuba – a special purification ritual – is performed before the New Year. During this ritual people make a fire and send everything negative to burn there. On the day before Tsagaan, Buryats  thoroughly clean around their homes. Khurals -the formal ceremonies-, are performed in Datsans -Buddhist monasteries- twenty four hours a day. During New Year, people fly a “wind horse” – a special ritual in which they plant images (flags) to the trees or on the roofs of their houses, so they can wave in the wind: they call in health, happiness and fortune for all the beings. There is a belief in Buddhism that each living being can reach Enlightenment, or in other words, fully unlock its human potential. Gautama Buddha was the first one who reached this state in our era. He gave us a way, which everyone can choose, go over it and achieve the same result.

A traditional part of the Buddhist Winter tour is a visit to Ivolginsky Datsan in Buryatia, which is situated near its capital Ulan-Ude. A Buddhist relic -the incorruptible body of Hambo Lama Itigilov – is kept in the main Buddhist Temple of Buryatia. People travel to this place to greet this relic. It is known that on 15 July 1927, Russian Hambo Lama told his students and fellow monks to bury his body after his death and to check on it again in 30 years. In 2002 his body was exhumed and appeared that the body was very well preserved. According to scientists who investigated this phenomena, body tissue conditions correspond with living person tissue. Buddhist lamas believe that Hambo Lama Itigilov is still alive, but has been immersed in a deep mediation state for more than 85 years. It should be noted that such phenomena is well known in Tibet and other Buddhist countries.

This unique Buddhist tour has its own history for more than 20 years. This tradition – traveling with the Buddhist teacher Lama Ole Nydahl – was born from one of the annual Ole’s trips across Russia along with his students as a part of his world lecture tour.

Ole Nydahl, Danish by birth, is the first European lama. He was the first Western student of His Holiness 16th Karmapa Randjung Rigpe Dorje, the highest Lama of the eleven-century old Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism, which teaches Diamond Way Buddhism. Lama Ole is a meditation master and the author of ten bestsellers who travels around the world twice a year, gives lectures and runs meditation courses. On January 18th and 19th, Lama Ole will be a special guest at the V International Buddhist Festival in St.-Petersburg where he will give a public lecture. A traveling delegation will also visit the permanent exposition «Culture and art of Central Asia» in the Hermitage Museum which was opened last year, and a Datsan built in 1915.

The traveling Buddhist group will also visit Moscow (20.01.2013), Samara (22–23.01.2013), Omsk (25–26.01.2013), Tomsk (27–28.01.2013) and Vladivostok (5–9 February), where Lama Ole Nydahl will give public lectures and host book signing sessions for his new book «Revealing meditation: View – Meditation – Action» translated into Russian by Eksmo Publishing.

Historical background:

Buddhism is considered as one of the four Russian’s traditional religions. In 1741 under the Empress Elizabeth’s decree, Buddhism was recognized as one of the Russian religions. According to the last census, about 1,5 millions Russians consider themselves being Buddhists. Kalmykia, Buryatia and Tuva are considered as the original Buddhist regions. However, the Buddhist teaching are now popular beyond these places. Buddhist culture has been developing in Russia, throughout the centuries. The presence of Buddhist regions in the Empire and the proximity of other countries with Buddhist culture contributed significantly to the fact that one of the strongest Oriental school in the world was established in Russia in the XIX – early XX century. The difficult 30’s of the XX century became a period of persecution of Buddhism and Buddhist studies as a science. Many lamas and monks were killed in the camps, most of the temples and monasteries were shut down or destroyed. A partial revival of Buddhism and Buddhist tradition began in the 50’s-60′s, but officially they were reestablished in the 80’s-90′s. The other departments and the Department of Buddhist Studies at several universities appeared after that, and the recovery of Oriental science in general, became faster. Simultaneously, while the remaining Buddhist temples were restored in Buryatia, Kalmykia, Tuva and new ones started, schools were established by the monasteries, and Tibetan teachers received the first invitations to come and teach.

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