Best Foot Forward: A Pilgrim's Guide to the Sacred Sites of the Buddha
This concise yet profound guide to Buddhist pilgrimage will be an essential companion of any Mahayana or Tibetan Buddhist pilgrim. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse's fresh and easy-to-read writing style appeals to anyone generally interested in Buddhist topics; he has a wide audience that extends beyond his personal followers. While a few small presses have published translations of Buddhist pilgrimage guides written by Tibetans, there is currently no major publication written by a contemporary Tibetan master.
Dzongsar Rinpoche begins with teachings on the significance and meaning of holy sites and, in particular, the importance of the four locations of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment, first teaching, and death. After explaining how one should practice at each of these sites, he provides detailed instructions on spiritual practices to be carried out while on pilgrimage, such as taking refuge, making confession, and offering mandalas. Throughout he prepares Westerners for the dusty, chaotic Indian environment and even offers some advice about dealing with fake monks and beggars at the holy sites. The book also includes appendices containing prayers and mantras that can be recited.