Inspiration at 26,000 Feet

Mt. Manaslu
Mt. Manaslu at dawn. Image credit: Ian Smith

If you’ve ever heard Mingyur Rinpoche talk about meditating in a cave near his childhood home, you’ve probably heard him describe majestic Mt. Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world. Towering 26,000 feet above sea level, Mt. Manaslu towered above seven-year-old Mingyur Rinpoche when he first began to meditate. Last fall, Tergar community members accompanied Mingyur Rinpoche on a trek to his childhood home in Nubri, a remote region in Nepal that is home to some of the world’s highest mountains, including Mt. Manaslu.

This was the first time that Rinpoche had been home since he was nine years old. He was accompanied by his mother, grandfather, and older brother, Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Together, they traveled with a small group of students to the area where Mingyur Rinpoche grew up, a small village at the foot of Mount Manasalu.

Throughout the trek, Mingyur Rinpoche told lively stories about the time he spent meditating in caves and recounted his memories of the simple village life he was born into. Once they reached his village, Rinpoche gave empowerments and teachings to the local population and to the students who accompanied him on the journey. His teachings focused on the songs of the Tibetan saint Milarepa and the Indian master Padmasambhava, both of whom play prominently in the history of Nubri. This was one of the last opportunities many of the students had to receive teachings from Rinpoche before he left on his three year retreat in mid-2011.

As the trekkers climbed to the tiny town of Sama, they experienced the pristine landscape and ancient Tibetan culture that Mingyur and Tsoknyi Rinpoche grew up with. Kell Julliard, the NYC Tergar Community leader, recorded this short video about the trek.

July 12, 2011

10 responses on "Inspiration at 26,000 Feet"

  1. Sounds like a great trip! Wish I could have been there.

  2. Beautiful! I’d heard about this trip, but now I have a feel for it thanks to Kell!

  3. I wish i could have been there. Looks like an amazing adventure. I wonder if Rinpoche is back near Nubri now. Who knows…maybe he’s at his old childhood cave?!@

  4. Kell captured this trip very well except that you have no way to know how cold it was when we got up high! It was indeed a memorable event. Sitting in some of the caves knowing that great masters had done long retreats there and having a real taste of the conditions they faced was most inspiring.

  5. What a trip. having met a few of the participants i know what the trip meant to people. Emaho.

  6. This trip is one that will remain with me forever. Thank you to Tergar for allowing this to happen and thank you to Rinpoche for allowing us such an intimate look into his life. His kindness is immeasurable. Thank you to Kel for filming this. I hope that the wonderful footage that Paul MacGowan captured will be used for benefit so more people can experience the magnitude of this trip. May Mingyur Rinpoche live as long as possible and always teach the Dharma.

  7. Great Job Kell!
    The Pilgrimage was indeed life changing and inspirational beyond words. To see where Mingyur Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche were born and introduced to the Dharma embeds awakens ones Buddha Nature in vibrant fashion. In the spirit of the virtue that produces peace –
    I have some nice pictures of the Rinpoche’s and the trip on line at Picassa (a Google app) that you may freely download. If curious search ‘Nubri Pilgrimage’ or link here –

    Love the new look Justin!

  8. Thank you, Kell, for this wonderful video. Having visited Nepal a few times over the past 40+ years, everything looked very familiar. What moved me in particular was the dedication and love shown by the villagers to Rinpoche and to the group – the feast near the end of the video looked delicious! I am too old now to make such a journey, but seeing this video brought me joy and many memories.
    May all sentient beings be joyful and have the causes of joy!

  9. What a wonderful experience that must have been! Thank you so much Kell for sharing the video of that adventure with all of us!

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