Monday, 14 June 2010

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche leads Rigpa students on a Pilgrimage to Skellig Island

On 28 May 2010, on his way to Dzogchen Beara to lead a weekend retreat, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche led a pilgrimage of 40 Rigpa Sangha members to Skellig Michael, a rocky and steep island that is the site of an ancient Christian monastic settlement, 9 miles off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland.

Also in the group were representatives from Glenstall Abbey who welcomed Rinpoche onto the island with a Greek blessing (a language that the Skellig Island monks would have used) and sang a prayer of blessing from the celtic Christian tradition.


At the top of the island, amongst the ancient walls of the monastery's beehive huts, Rinpoche  lead a practice of Riwo Sangchö.

During the retreat which followed at Dzogchen Beara, entitled Awakening the Mind, Softening the Heart, Rinpoche stressed the importance of strong faith, confidence and perseverance on the path of meditation for which the blessings of the environment is very helpful. He said:
Skellig Michael is a great example.  For 600 years many great monks lived in these minimal, primitive conditions for a higher purpose, for a higher cause and have definitely had great results.  I am sure many saints came from there.  To visit this place is a great experience for us now, even after so many centuries, it has the power to inspire us.  Ireland has a lot of great places like that, in the western world it is very unique.
(Story, Matt Padwick, Photos courtesy of Veronica Nicholson)






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