If your heart yearns for a deep plunge into Buddhist principles and practice for the Western apprentice, here is a colorful mix of exploring, reflecting, traveling for the eye, the mind and the heart, meditating and sitting in silence:
Day 1 – Flight to Kathmandu, group transfer and accommodation (guest house, breakfast included).
One should know that Kathmandu has power outages. Hot water means lukewarm, since most of the people there use solar heaters, and other electric advantages, such as wifi, depend on the availability of a generator. This guest house has both, and was awarded a Trip Advisor excellence prize. It also supplies the privilege of a garden, an excellent vegetarian restaurant, and the staff is extremely responsive. This guest house will be our base camp for our trips.
As we are traveling for spiritual purposes, keeping our spending low is a good idea. Frugality is the basis of abundance :).
Day 2 – getting used to unfamiliar places: Bouddha Stupa and the city :). Kathmandu shows the poor economy of Nepal, but it is quite safe, the people are clean and hard-working. The initial shock of seeing a place that looks either unfinished or shabby will be well compensated by the temples, stupas, magical places, wonderful downtown and hidden treasures (bring money to buy Thangkas, singing bowls and crystals 🙂
Day 3 – we will take our minivan and go to the hidden caves of Pharping. Vajra Yogini temple holds a statue where a very high level monk meditated, so the statue turned its head towards the monk :). And then, the cave where the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche, meditated, another must on the Kathmandu list.
Life and death in the Pashupatinath complex of temples. In this place, the sexual representations, thought to bring luck, mix with funerary customs and sacred silence of the mirror-like altars of Shiva.
Although the image is sometimes heart-wrenching, it is worth seeing this place, where hinduism lives in peace with the caves where old Buddhist masters, Tilopa and Naropa, meditated to attain enlightenment.
Day 5 – meditation and transmissions in a Buddhist monastery. We will get in touch with the Buddhist Puja and meditate in one of the hundreds of monasteries around the Bouddha Stupa, since we are living in the most spiritual part of the town :). Watch this little movie to get in touch with the specific feel: Tharlam Monastery .
Day 6 – a trip to a magic place, Swayambhu. Exploring the handful of temples surrounded by monkeys, on a high rise which is said to have grown by magic, so that the local women carried dirt in their aprons to make the ground settle.
Day 7 – puja, meditation and empowerment in a Buddhist monastery. Time to rest and digest or, if the group prefers, trip to Nagarkoth (not included in the base price)
Day 8 – We will join the daily Dharma talk and take a tour of the complex of temples and stupas in Kopan monastery, founded in the fifties by two monks, now famous – Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Here, tourism meets spirit. We will meditate and contemplate in the pure Buddhist energy.
Day 9 – trip to Namo Buddha. Along with the Bodnath, it is considered one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage for Tibetans. A great place to connect with nature, meditate and feel the energy of the million prayers made here, as the place is the epitome of compassion.
Day 10 – a day in town. Kathmandu was the hippie capital of the ’70’s and it still keeps its charm. The old town, severely damaged now by the recent earthquake, remembers those days and there is a variety of shisha cafes, vegetarian restaurants, small shops for all the tiny things you might want to buy for the loved ones back home … and more…
Wrap-up meeting… and we are done 🙂
Please keep in mind that dates are tentative – they depend on the planning of local New Year ceremonies, availability of vehicles, state of roads – many were badly damaged in the earthquake a few years ago – and ohers. This is Asia.
Day 11 – fly back home. We have a group transfer from the hotel.
When? February 2-13. The weather is mild during the day (25 Celsius) and cool during the night (0-5 Celsius). Trees are in bloom and there is less polution, except for the dust. Kathmandu sits in the bottom of a bucket, so dust has nowhere to go…
How much? The trip, without flights, is 555 EUR. Entrance tickets and donations to monasteries are not included. In terms of pocket money, a meal can be 6-7 EUR, but bring lots for shopping, it is a paradise for the ones that love Buddhist Mandalas, meditation parafernalia, silver jewelry, semiprecious stones… 1 EUR = 122 rupees.
Maximum group size is 15.
Last registration date is December 1.
For inquiries, registrations and further information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at +40722402068.