The Kathmandu survival kit

We are traveling in a less known part of the world, on a spiritual quest for ourselves and the necessary foundation of a happy life. Be prepared with a compact luggage that leaves room for shopping and a small backpack, for the necessary things during trips.

Image result for Kathmandu spring imageAverage temperatures range from 0 Celsius during the night to 25 during the day, so best idea is to bring a few layers – t-shirt, sweater, jacket, windbreaker, and comfy pants for walking and hiking. Rain is quite unlikely: temperature and rainfall .

As we are going to sit in a monastery room, think of modest clothing – and, if you want, you can leave some behind for the less fortunate ones. The monastery is in contact with an orphanage and a village, children and adults will appreciate any clothes we offer.

Bring shawls and warm socks for the ceremonies in the temples. Our rooms will be heated, but locals do not use heat. Bring a good sweatshirt and pants for sleeping. Morning service in the monastery takes place in chilly temperatures, wrapping in a warm shawl and good thick socks is a good idea. You can also buy those – there is a lot of handcrafted clothing available – in the stores around Bouddha Stupa or in the former hippie center, Thamel.  The hotel works with a laundry, for a small price you can have your clothes washed for the next day, so overpacking is not necessary,

Sneakers should be enough for the kind of trekking we do. Slippers for the shower and a pair of deck shoes for the in-monastery activities (whenever entering a sacred area one leaves the shoes outside) will be useful.

A hat for the sun, if you are sensitive, sun glasses, and a light scarf or filtering mask against the overpowering dust will complete your attire.

The monastery guesthouse supplies towels, but if you are looking for a big, fluffy one, bring your own.

Have a headlight available for the early morning walk to the ceremonies and for power failures during the evening. Also, for the ceremonies have always with you a cup – they will offer tea and sometimes a bit of food. Buddha himself realized that he does not have to push the body in order to get enlightened… a bit of food and drink, not much, keep at bay the primary urges. 🙂 A plastic cup will hold well the Tibetan tea.

A pocket knife will come handy when eating fruit (they have good papayas). Bring plenty of wet towels and keep them in your backpack. You might want to take the dust off your face.

Most public toilets use the Indian habit of washing instead of wiping, so have some toilet paper in your backpack.

For ladies: a good prevention is to use foundation, since it will keep dust away from your skin. Bring SPF as well. Keep in mind we are accommodated in a monastery – we do not want to disturb monks with intense perfumes, heavy make up or deep plunges.

Be modest, frugal and attentive with all you say, all you do, all you wear 🙂

Take a notebook and pens with you. Journaling is a highly effective technique for unloading unwanted mental clutter and writing down insights and experiences. As some of the meditations might get intensely visual, colored pencils or felt pens might be a good idea .

You will receive the handbook for the retreat shortly before departure. Print it and bring it with you.

Money: a kangaroo pocket is the best option. Take care with money and mobile phones, especially in the Pashupatinath area, since we are close to one of the biggest festivals – Shivaratri that attracts worshipers and pickpockets alike.

Food: if you have a big appetite, bring some fruit and cereals, one-serving size . We wil eat vegetarian food, not much – the intention is to be the master of our desires and not the other way. We will also try some of the local food. Most of it is hot :). For the desperate ones, food is available for purchase around the monastery and in the restaurant.

Important – smoking is not allowed in the monastery. If you need to smoke, the gate is 20 m away from the door of the bed-and-breakfast. Also, alcohol is kind of incompatible with attention and meditation, so if we do not have such things planned, you can add a bit of rum in your tea. Just a bit. There is masala tea (black tea with cinnamon, cloves and other such wonders) that can warm you up, as well as lemon ginger tea, a great pick-me-up.

Breakfast is included in the package, there are a few options but if you want something more sophisticated you can pay for a la carte.

Be ready to spend time in open air or in sacred places for meditating and integrating. Bring your mala, if you have one.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask in the group conversation. More information about the trip is available at