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Thursday, May 17, 2007

New pilgrimage website launched

Parayana is the new name for a long-established FWBO pilgrimage service – it’s led 12 pilgrimages since 2003. Parayana is Pali for ‘The Way Beyond’ and by extension ‘The True Refuge’.

Ratnaketu, the founder, gave TBMSG News a short account of what led him to start leading pilgrimages.

“Originally from New Zealand, I joined the Western Buddhist Order in 1979, a year that also saw my first visit to India, where I accompanied Sangharakshita from Auckland in New Zealand to the LBC in London via Bombay, Pune and Ahmedabad. Travelling with Sangharakshita in India when I was twenty was a life-changing experience; I discovered I had brothers and sisters in the Dharma whose lives were radically different to my own; I realised how remarkably fortunate I was; and I fell under the spell of India.

In 1985, I went on my first real pilgrimage, a magical amble amongst the clouds and into the Eastern Himalayas to visit Dhardo Rinpoche. Since then pilgrimage has become an important part of my own practice. In 1999, after more than twenty years of community living and team-based right-livelihood, I chose to explore the homeless life. After eighteen months at the Guhyaloka Vihara in Spain, I hit the road.

My intention was threefold; to live and enable others to live lives of radical freedom and simplicity; to create a new team-based right-livelihood business that would support our renunciants; and to help others experience the delights of true pilgrimage.

And - slowly slowly - we're getting there. Pilgrimage is becoming another sparkling facet of our Movement, linking East and West. We enable pilgrims to enter the path and experience the life of pilgrimage, to gain experiences of India, of the holy places, and of the Refuges that would scarcely otherwise be possible. Not only that - Parayana provides employment, community, and skill training to a growing team of Indians and Nepalese.

We have adopted the name Parayana because our pilgrimages lead us beyond, not just into strange new worlds but beyond ourselves and towards transcendence.

And now we have a website.

Check out also our next Sakyamuni:Heartland pilgrimage 8th – 31st November 2007.

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