Community Papers

Monks bring wisdom and serenity to Peach City

Geshe Pema Rinchen visited Penticton last year during the 2013 B.C. Yoga Conference.   - Photo courtesy Get Bent
Geshe Pema Rinchen visited Penticton last year during the 2013 B.C. Yoga Conference.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Get Bent

A Buddhist lama and a traditional Tibetan doctor will be in Penticton this week, just in time to help wrap up One World Penticton, the community’s new multicultural festival.

Geshe Pema Rinchen and Dr. Amchi Kunga aren’t new to Penticton; they’ve visited twice before at the behest of the Get Bent dance and wellness centre, who are helping organize this visit.

“These are the same monk and doctor that came to the B.C. Yoga Conference in May 2013. Get Bent brought them to Penticton a few years back as well and they did lectures at the art gallery,” said Raina Lutz, spokesperson for Get Bent.

“It just so happened they decided to come for a visit again and it was perfectly timed with the One World festival that the DPA is hosting. “We were really excited to be able to collaborate with that and get them to do all sorts of fabulous activities while they are here instead of people just going for consultations in our studio.”

From Tuesday through Saturday, the pair has a busy schedule, ranging from consultation sessions at Get Bent, to tea with the students at Pen High and a series of evening lectures.

Late in the week the consultation sessions move from Get Bent to downtown Penticton, first to 284 Main St. on Friday, then the Penticton Art Gallery on Saturday.

Most of the events are by donation, but there is also a paid event, an evening at the Wild Scallion, where Pema and Kunga will discuss the Western  and Eastern philosophies.

That takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday evening, and tickets are $25.

The lectures are particularly interesting, according to Lutz. While Pema has a good command of English for regular conversation, he often has to turn to his translator when discussing the more specific aspects of Buddhist philosophy.

“It is very interesting to watch the lectures, you are not just listening, you are also watching; listening to him speak his language and then watching the translator figure it out. It’s really fun,” said Lutz.

But that’s not to say the lectures are hard to follow. Lutz has attended on previous visits and said they often touch on basic and commonplace concepts, though from a different perspective.

“When they say it and bring it to your attention and you just go oh, and you get a really different, interesting perspective on your life,” said Lutz. “It’s a really good way  to get some insight into your life in a way that you never thought of before.”

For most of the events, a $10 donation is suggested. But Lutz said that shouldn’t hold people back.

“We would love for people just to come and if they can’t afford to pay, that’s fine,” said Lutz. “The monks are always grateful to just take whatever and even with consultations, even if people aren’t able to donate anything, they will still see them.”

For the full schedule of events, visit Get Bent’s website at or call 250-462-1025.

Lutz said Pema and Kunga are happy to be taking on such a busy schedule, and especially to be getting out and about in town.

“Get them downtown, get them in the art gallery and get them to experience a bit more too while they are visiting,” said Lutz. “They are excited to come and do all this for sure.”


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