Adrian and his wife Phoebe are very dedicated members of Kechara House who dedicated a lot of their time to our activities and departments such as Kechara Discovery, Kechara Soup Kitchen and Kechara Media and Publications. They are very busy running their own business outside, but because they believe in and support Rinpoche’s work very strongly, they sponsor many projects of the centre, and often lend their personal effort, time and resources to help make all our activities a success.
During the Nepal pilgrimage, Adrian and Phoebe were key figures in ensuring that all ran smoothly. For every moment that pilgrims enjoyed each holy site we went to, Adrian and Phoebe were working hard in the background to make sure everyone had everything they needed. Thank you Adrian and Phoebe!
I’m not sure whether it was my merit or that my wishes came true but I had the opportunity to go to Kathmandu again. I did not expect much from this pilgrimage trip and yet it was such a joyful experience compared to my first trip there. This was not because it was another holiday for me but because it was my first pilgrimage with my Guru, H.E Tsem Rinpoche.
The first thing that impressed me about the Nepalese was the common ‘namaste’ greeting that they would make with their hands folded together. We heard it every day from almost every Nepalese we met. It was so warm that you could really feel the sincerity of them welcoming and greeting us.
The scenery was outstanding and the weather was perfect but unfortunately, I didn’t bring a camcorder or camera along as we usually do as tourists. For me, the chance to listen to more Dharma teachings from my Guru was more than enough. I felt extremely happy to see that the whole group that was there also were focused on Rinpoche’s teachings, explanations and prayers.
61 of us in seven vans travelled around Kathmandu every day for the five days that we were there. The van rides weren’t nearly as boring as I expected. We had a chance to get to know each other, laugh at each other’s funny jokes, enjoy the the beautiful scene along the road and share foods. We would discuss the places we had been to, ask each other questions and try to recall whatever Rinpoche had explained to us at every holy site. I tried to rest as much as I could on the van but how could I miss out on all the joy and happiness! I’m not sure about other vans but there were no complaints at all from our van! We even discussed and recapped Rinpoche’s teaching in our hotel rooms almost every day. (Thanks to James for that, because he wrote down everything Rinpoche talked about, especially Dharma teachings).
While we were there, we also saw a lot of local Nepalese suffering from poverty, streets full of dust, riversides full of rubbish, many beggars wandering around…. and yet we are still complaining about our own country’s economy and petrol prices……. According to my research on the web, Nepal is the poorest country in South Asia and ranks as the twelfth poorest country in the world. But surprisingly, I saw many more smiling faces over there than back home in Malaysia.
Kechara Discovery Liaison Paul Yap’s capabilities of taking care and organising the trip were known by many members of KH and yes, he did it again! Everything throughout the trip was smooth except for some miscommunication with the local drivers. Two thumbs up also for KH Committee member Bonita who helped to arrange everything from hotel rooms to air tickets; she was also one of the group leaders and took care of almost everything!!
Although our trip covered a lot of holy places, temples and chapels, I think most of us felt like it was never enough. So far this is the best trip I have ever had and I wish for more pilgrimage trip with Rinpoche in the future. For now, from now on I will put in more effort to practise Dharma and be involved in Dharma activities.