A message from Nekorpa’s Founders

Matto Pistono and Josh Elmore at Maratika Cave in Nepal
December 9, 2011

Namaste fellow pilgrims,

Nekorpa has had a busy and productive year working to enrich and protect sacred pilgrimage sites.  We have built partnerships, started innovative programs and established a strong network of spiritual friends and supporters.

Please join with us on our journey to protect and improve sacred landscapes in 2012!

From Sri Lanka to Nepal to Tibet and in between, Nekorpa is making it possible for communities to protect and restore their spiritual landscapes.  Our program is small, highly focused and run by local people to ensure it will continue and grow. But, we need your support.

Nekorpa is engaging local groups, international NGOs, scholars and spiritual practitioners to join together in support of our mission. The local response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive.

Our work is getting noticed and we have been invited to advise, guide, and work with environmental and cultural projects, including a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and DiversEarth. This is a real testament to the substance of our work and more importantly a recognition of the importance of sacred pilgrimage sites.

Below is snapshot of what Nekorpa has accomplished since we started two years ago, and what we have planned for 2012:

  • In a far eastern region of Tibet, a stupa-reliquary was constructed to honor the life and teachings of Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, a 19th century mystic and meditation master. We are now translating a short biography of the mystic to be included with the guidebook to the area.
  • Last year at Taksang Hermitage in Bhutan, we collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the project ‘Where Pilgrims & Conservationists Meet.’ Recommendations were made to the Bhutanese government on protecting the sacred mountain climb to the hermitage and to promote “green pilgrimage.” Nekorpa is continuing the partnership with WWF along the pilgrimage route to Taksang by supporting a brick pathway to combat erosion, promote proper sanitation, and publish a pilgrimage guidebook.
  • Outside Kathmandu, Nepal, at the holy pilgrimage sites of Pharping, Nekorpa embarked on an ambitious community-wide Zero Waste campaign. Following a challenging year of awareness building and clean-up, the project recently received the donation of a plot of land for a recycling center and public toilets. Research continues on the pilgrimage guidebook, which will cover the sacred sites from the Chobar Gorge to the Vajrayogini Temple and the caves of Yangleshö to Asura, the Hindu sacred sites in the area including Daksinkali and Sheshnayan temples, as well as the Haraiti mountain shrines.
  • Our most ambition project of the last two years has been at Sri Pada—Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka. At the summit of Sri Pada, there is a “sacred footprint” in the rock. Buddhists hold it to be the footprint of the Buddha, Hindus that of Shiva, and in the Christian and Muslim traditions that of Adam. Nekorpa’s comprehensive plastic clean-up program has been on-going along the two principal pilgrimage routes and is integrated with school and environmental programs about ‘spiritual climbing.’ A pilgrimage guidebook for Sri Pada will be published in September 2012.
  • Increasing awareness and appreciation for pilgrimage sites, Matteo Pistono, Nekorpa’s Executive Director, has given slideshow talks at universities, conferences and meetings across the United States, in India and England.

Nekorpa is looking forward to working with our dedicated local partners in 2012 in Tibet, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan and expanding to projects in Mongolia and India, and beyond.

We encourage you to support us so we can continue to protect pilgrimage places for spiritual pilgrims, practitioners, tradition holders, and indeed, the world.

Please consider making a donation, dedicating prayers and making aspirations to benefit Nekorpa’s work.

Over 90% all donations are utilized directly for projects at sacred pilgrimage sites. We have no paid employees and rely on volunteer and in-kind support to carry out our mission. Nekorpa is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit in the US.

With hand folded and prayers for peace along your journey,

Matteo Pistono and Josh Elmore

Founders, Nekorpa, nekorpa.org


Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law.

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