'It is not enough to wear red robes, if you are not prepared from the
inside, people feel and know it. Therefore, we are providing food for
the monks and they should study hard! They should not have to work in
the trekking business. We want to give them what they need.'
Tengboche Rinpoche has always encouraged conservation of culture and
the environment. Recently, these ideas have become more widely
shared, and are promoted by many people, including H.H. The Dalai
Lama. It is due to Tengboche Rinpoche's blessing and encouragement
that this Sacred Land Eco Center has been established. It is hoped
that visitors will find it interesting and enjoyable and that the
income from it will help strengthen the monastery and support further
A long time ago there was a prophesy made by Guru Rinpoche that when
the iron bird flew over the Potala Palace in Tibet, then the
teachings of the Buddha would move to the west. Tengboche Rinpoche
believes that this means they will flourish in Nepal, in the hidden
valleys like Khumbu, mentioned by Guru Rinpoche as being sanctuaries
in the difficult times of this age.
Alternatives to tourism.
Rinpoche has often said that the Sherpas need some alternatives to
tourism for their economic survival. This is one of the many reasons
why he is encouraging the medicinal herb plantation.
He has also often mentioned the importance of education and
would like to see a good boarding school established in Khumbu. This
would mean that Sherpa children, whose parents are working in the
trekking industry, would not have to be sent to Kathmandu, where the
climate and culture are so different.
Rinpoche often says that it is extremely important to help
strengthen the Buddhist institutions now. Many monks go to Kathmandu
or India where there are many distractions, but it is quieter in the
Himalayas, more conducive to meditation. However it is not good
enough for monasteries to look perfect from the outside, if inside
they are not alive anymore.
Rinpoche hopes to make at Tengboche a center for learning. It would
mean a unique opportunity for a tradition of study in a Himalayan
environment similar to old Tibet. Monks would then be more prepared
to go to other remote places to teach and help. Previously, head
lamas always came from very far away, isolated places. They did not
care for nice clothing, but only for meditation. Rich monks very
rarely reached accomplishment. In general, rich people do not study
and meditate much.
Tourists come from very far away and it costs them a lot of money.
Many are very intelligent and they wonder why they are happy here.
They think that Nepalese are happy minded people. They see poor, but
happy people here. They are not happy at home because they cannot get enough, even though they are rich.