Photo story: The 11th Panchen Lama in Shigatse

It is late September in Shigatse, Tibet; the Fall air feels crisp. The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu visited the Namling County, Rinbung County, and Dingri County on his visit in Shigatse. Photo shows the Panchen Lama visits the Shekar Chode Monastery in Tingri County.

On the afternoon of September 10th, while the Panchen Lama was traveling to a Buddha-honoring ceremony at the Rala Yungdrung Ling Monastery in Namling County, he sat by himself on the sand hill. He grabbed a handful of yellow sand, raised his fist overhead, and watched the sand fall from his fingers; the understanding of dharma lies in every particle of the world.

On the morning of September 14th, the Panchen Lama climbed 620 steps, then walked several kilometers on the steep mountains to conduct a lake-honoring ceremony at the Yungtse Lvtso Lake, known as the “Holy Lake of Meditation.” he steps to the “Holy Lake of Meditation.”

The Panchen Lama conducted the lake-honoring ceremony at the edge of the Yungtse Lvtso Lake. Amidst the incense smoke, the Panchen Lama chanted mantras, his body slightly swaying, and his voice loud. Afterwards, he lit the butter lamp and raised a ceremonial vase high over his head. Then, a monk pushed the vase into the lake. The Panchen Lama at the lake-honoring ceremony.

After the ceremony, the Panchen Lama circled the lake three times and sat cross-legged by the lake for a meditation. Tibetan Buddhism considers the Yungtse Lvtso Lake as the “Holy Lake of Meditation” for the search of the next reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, it is also the residence for generations of the Buddhist guardian god at the Tashislhunpo Monastery. The Panchen Lama meditating at the lake.

On September 22nd, the Panchen Lama and entourage traveled by car for more than three hours for a mountain-honoring ceremony at the foot of the Mountain Qomolangma. During the ceremony, as the Panchen Lama chanted mantras, all mountain peaks above eight thousand meters, the Mountain Qomolangma included, were visible through the snow, a rare occurrence.The Panchen Lama closing his hands in prayer at the Mountain Qomolangma.

After the mountain-honoring ceremony, around 2 pm, the Panchen Lama arrived at the Rongpo Monastery, the highest-altitude monastery in Tibet, for a Buddha-honoring ceremony. The Panchen Lama walking into the Rongpo Monastery.

On the morning of September 23rd, the Panchen Lama blessed the worshippers in Dingri County.