A group of 54 pilgrims led by Dr. Shih Liao-Yi, a Taiwanese nun, arrived in the country yesterday. The group, on a nine day visit in search of Padmasambhava’s trace and heritage, plans to visit heritage sites across the western and the central regions of the country.
According to the tour operator, Bhutan-Bhutan Travel, said “taking care of the visit of these devoted Buddha followers, this is not only a trip that brings them to Buddha and Padmasambhava but a journey which leads them closer to their original minds”. Besides personal development and transformation, the pilgrimage is also expected to bring back some lessons from Bhutanese culture—a culture that perfectly integrates realms of the secular and sacred. “This pilgrimage to the country is surely to give its participants some insights into their secular and religious lives, and to think further about the culture and the tradition”, the operator added.
Dr. Liao-Yi has been a disciple of Dharma Master Hsin Tao, the abbot of Ling Jiou Mountain Monastery in Taipei, for nearly 30 years. Following his vow, she is dedicated to educating the monastic Sangha and laity in Buddhism.
Liao-Yi Shih has been engaged for many years in the promotion of interfaith dialogue internationally, traveling to many countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, France, Germany, Iran, Australia, India, South Africa, Germany, Mexico, Turkey, Israel, Russia and the Balkans. She is also a member and CEO of Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Foundation, Ling Jiou Mountain Educational Institution, Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Institute, Museum of the World Religions Development Foundation and a President of the Global Family for Love and Peace.
The group is encouraged to be mindful in daily life by contemplating “to live is a blessing, to work is to practice”. Pilgrimage is a way of planting the seeds of awakening for them according to the tour operator.
During the nine-day visit, the group has scheduled to go to various sacred sites, temples, monasteries and dzongs in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue, Trongsa and Bumthang. The group wishes to call on Venerable Dorji Lopen of the Central Monastic Body to receive blessings and also receive teachings from other revered lams and khenpos.