After Struggles, Finally, at KTD! The Pilgrims Arrive, to Warmth and Celebration

pilgrimage2In the midst of a rainy morning, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) begins to fill with the sparkling sound of Spanish. The arrival of the pilgrims in the Monastery to receive the teachings of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoché and the Chenrezig Initiation has been filled with every type of obstacles and surprises. Nonetheless, the very entry and contact with this space, dissipates all difficulties from their faces.

pilgrimage1Losing flights due to overbooking/oversales, long waits to take a taxi to the Monastery, missing the bus, the unexpected encounter with friends heading towards the same destination, the uninterested help of strangers and many other stories have been a part of their arrival. Pilgrims from México, Colombia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Peru and Venezuela, amongst other countries, fill the aisles with questions and sights of amazement.

pilgrimage12Many of them, have been part of the diverse online courses Venerable Damchö has given through the Budadharma Institute. And so, this retreat is the opportunity to receive the fruits of their effort and dedication.

pilgrimage5The organization team radiates energy and joy when they connect personally with some of the people they have been working long distance for a lengthy period of time. Now their work is shaping up, like a jigsaw puzzle when its pieces unite to form this precious mandala.

KTD collaborators welcome the pilgrims as if entering a warm passage. The KTD team has made great efforts to speak with us in Spanish, letting us know we are welcomed. At 8 pm, the retreat has formally begun, closing the first day of activities.

pilgrimage13The words of David, director of KTD, have been the perfect way to begin, making us conscious of the significance of this event, not only for us as pilgrims but to the history of Dharma in the Western Hemisphere. David, expresses himself in a soft and funny Spanish, making a visible and recognizable effort, saying how this is a special occasion for KTD. The reception of this first group of Spanish speaking pilgrims is historic for them and Dharma. Their welcome message expresses enthusiasm and sincerity, making us realize the importance of being a part of this moment.

pilgrimage9This has been a great effort for many people. Amongst them, the staff in KTD; Alberto, the organization leader that has done a very dedicated task, knowing he could not enjoy the fruit of his effort in person; for his team and many of the participants.

Finally, we have arrived here, where the physical structure of Dharma is evident but also, each space is filled with effort, with artistic expressions, the presence of other teachers and specially, filled with the presence of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. This event is a promise of something big that is already happening and of which we are a part: the face-to-face participants, those joining in through distance and those that will come in the future.

pilgrimage8Photos from this event are courtesy of: Almendra Ramírez, Miriam Cuevas-Fournier y Alessandra Otero.
Slide show here.

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2 thoughts on “After Struggles, Finally, at KTD! The Pilgrims Arrive, to Warmth and Celebration

  1. It was so inspiring to read this account of the trip. I remember hearing my teachers tell me that “where there is great good, there automatically arises great obstacles.” So it would seem that great good is going to come from this Pilgrimage, and all the Pilgrimages that will follow it! 🙂 Additionally, I recall Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche telling me once that if I could see all of my obstacles as purification of my karma, and use my obstacles as a way of practicing Lojong (a wonderful “thought transformation” method that gives us deep instructions on how to turn our negative mental afflictions into love, compassion, and cultivate bodhicitta, or “the mind of awakening,”) that would be the very best way of working with my difficulties. Welcome to KTD, my friends; I’m so happy you are here!!! – Lama Kathy 🙂

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