Move Forward and Never Be Still

The Serene Meditation Temple of Aryapala

The Serene Meditation Temple of Aryapala

Before heading back to our hostel in Ulaanbatar, we visited a temple which is also within the Gorkhi Terelj National Park.

Its formal name is Aryapala International Meditation Center (AIMC) and it aims to promote Buddhist activities and rituals such as meditation and recreational retreats. Quoting from its Facebook Page, “Mongolians have a long history of practicing Buddhism and Dharma paths to find enlightenment. Therefore, Aryapala International Meditation Center (AIMC), located in Gorkhi Terelj, Mongolia has opened its door to fellow Mongolian meditators and international visitors who wants to learn about Buddhism and practice meditation. AIMC was founded in 1998 by Venerable Geshe Bayantsagaan Sandag, head lama of Lamrim Monastery in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. It started its operation in 2004, has become the second largest meditation center after Duvhan Monastery which was founded by Mongolian First Bogd Zanabazar. The temple is auspiciously located with a forest in front of it and steep, sharp peaks which host fierce protector-deities behind it. AIMC lies on a southern slope of a mountain known as Maanit which is part of the Khan Khentii Mountain Range. This area is also a part of the Terelj-Gorkhi Special Protected area by the government of Mongolia. AIMC is one of the few centers around the world that still keeps the ancient meditation practices of Mahayana Buddhism tradition.”

There were a few tourists at the time we visited the temple. It was a blessing as we were able to fully appreciate the temple’s serenity and remoteness. We opted to climb the temple the hard way, via the steps. It appeared daunting at first but the surroundings encouraged us to reach the top. And the magnificent views were our prize.

Those who are into Buddhism will truly appreciate a visit to the temple as it is among the last which practices ancient Mahayana Buddhism. The colorful praying wheels are numbered 108 surround the temple and contains 3 million mantra of the Buddha. It is said that whoever spins these praying wheels will find happiness and fulfilment in their lives. Guess what I did before going down. 🙂

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