This trip includes spiritual, cultural and geographical exploration of Tibet while also practicing DAILY yoga, meditation, Tai Ji, and Qi Gong. We visit Lhasa, the holy city and see the ancient cultural and spiritual sites; explore country side, spend time with nomads and spiritual masters in far remote area where modernization has not yet touched; witness the last remaining of an ancient spiritual civilization and struggle of people to preserve it. This trip is a is a once in a lifetime experience!
Day 01: Arrive in Lhasa.
In Lhasa we check in to a Tibetan hotel in the Tibetan quarter, very close to the Jokhang Temple. Tonight over tea on the rooftop restaurant of the hotel, we discussion about Tibetan culture and customs.
Day 2, 3, 4, 5: Visit Jokhang Temple, built in the 7th century, the Jokhang is the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Pilgrims from all over Tibet gather, walking with prayer beads and prayer wheels in their hands, focusing only on a good rebirth and achieving enlightenment.
Our spiritually stimulating afternoon includes exploring the Barkor, a sacred circumambulation route around Jokhang Temple, which is also a marketplace and has many temples and galleries around every corner. We share this deep sense of spiritual experience with thousands of Tibetan pilgrims who come here from hundreds of miles away, sometimes by foot or by prostrating, to cultivate good karma. Also visit: Potala Palace. The Potala Palace is built high on a hill called Marpori located in the center of Lhasa city.The palace’s 13 stories, built entirely of mud and wood, contain 1000 chapels. There are gold-embossed tombs of past Dalai Lamas, one of which is called Zamling Yeshag (equilvalent in value to the entire world) because of the amount of gold, precious gems, and countless artifacts contained in the tomb.
Also, we will visit:
Ramoche Monatery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, is regarded as the most important temple after the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. It is one of the great three Geluka university monasteries after the Jokhang Monastery. It situated in the northwest of Lhasa City and about 500 meters away from the north of Barkhor Street. It is 1 kilometer north of the Jokhang and east of the Potala Palace.
It is said that Jokhang and Ramoche Temples started to build and were completed about the same time. According to historical document, Ramoche Temple was took charge of by Prince Wencheng and designed and constructed by craftsmen from the inner China so that the early buildings resemble the style of Tang Dynasty (618AD-907AD). The main gate faces the east, which expresses a kind of emotion toward her parents and country. The temple shrines a small bronze statue of the Buddha when he was 8, brough to Lhasa by the Nepalese Princess. The temple was once badly destroyed by Mongolia invasion and Red Guards during Cultural Revolution. The original building was destroyed by fire and the now temple was reconstructed in 1474.
Ani Tsankhung Nunnery, Buddhist nunnery in Lhasa, the administrative center of Tibet. It was built in the 7th century by Songsten Gampo, who used its meditation chamber. It is a tourist destination in Lhasa. The monastery is a yellow building which lies on the street parallel and north of Chingdol Dong Lu in Lhasa. Since the 12th century the monastery has been used chiefly by Buddhist nuns.
Barkhor Area, Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it is also a must-see place for visitors.
At the last day of our stay in Lhasa, we will manage to visit Ganden Monastery, the seat of the founder of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After our lunch at the monastery restaurant we set foot into the temples of the most important monastery in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. The temples we visit include; the tomb of Tsongkapa and the Throne of Ganden, the Great Hall of Ganden Monastery, and Ganden Tsogchen, where monks perform prayers. Then we follow a traditional pilgrim route around Ganden, known as Ganden kora.
In afternoon, we continue our journey to Terdrum. We camp near by the nunnery, do our yoga in this beautiful valley with sacred history and take bath in the natural hot spring that Tibetans believe to be medicinal spring that cures many type of diseases as it was blessed by the Guru Rimpoche.
Day 6: Travel to Drepung Monestery, historicaly the largest monastery in Tibet. Our tour includes a visit to the Dalai Lama’s first palace and the Great Hall that once held 10,000 monks. Drepung was relatively less destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and therefore possesses more relics. This is also an opportunity to meet some inspiring nuns who have been meditating in a cave near the monastery for many years.
Day 7: Visit: Samye Monestery, the first temple to be built in Tibet and the first complete with the three Buddhist jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. With these unique features, this splendid temple has become an attraction for visitors from near and far.
Day 8: Visit Tsurphu Monestery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery which served as the traditional seat of the Karmapa. It is located in Gurum town (rgu rum / Gǔróng Xiàng 古荣乡) of Doilungdêqên County in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, 70 km from Lhasa. The monastery is about 14,000 feet (4,300 m) above sea level. It was built in the middle of the valley facing south with high mountains surrounding the monastery complex.
Day 9: Travel to Shigatse Tashinlumpo, one of the Six Big Monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in Tibet. Also called the Heap of Glory, it is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara’s Mountain), Shigatse. Founded by the First Dailai Lama in 1447, the monastery’s structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. Covering an area of nearly 300,000 square meters (3,229,279 sq. ft.), the main structures found here are The Maitreya Chapel, The Panchen Lama’s Palace and The Kelsang Temple. Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama since the Fourth Panchen Lama took charge in the monastery, and there are now nearly 800 lamas.
Day 10: Travel to Katmandu, Nepal by car
Day 11, 12 & 13, 14: Spend in the Kathmandu region of Nepal Visit sacred buddhist and Hindu sites:
Swayambhu (स्वयम्भू) – A large stupa, highly revered in Nepal, and one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. It offers great views over the city, and no lack of monkeys. It’s a 20-30 minute walk from Thamel, or take a taxi or rickshaw. Pay Rs 200 (July 2010) to enter at the front steps or slip in free on the ramp on the south side. As with the Boudha Stupa, there’s no shortage of Buddhist and Tibetan-inspired trinkets for sale. There are also drinks for sale at the top, and at least one small restaurant selling momos. For those that have their own transport or have difficulty climbing stairs there is a parking lot at the back entrance that significantly reduces the amount of stairs that need to be climbed to gain access to the main compound.
Boudha Stupa in Boudha (बौद्ध). One of the most sacred sites for Tibetan Buddhism. It is a must see in Kathmandu.
Narayanhiti Palace Museum – The once Royal palace was turned officially in 2009 partly into a Museum and the Foreign Ministry. Now you can visit the splendid Halls of the main building of the palace, entrance fee is 500 NRS for foreigners. Giant fruit bats hanging from the tall trees and 20 foot-tall bamboo around the otherwise modern (and still well secured) former palace are a sight especially around sunset when they depart en masse.
Thamel Chowk – lots of restaurants and shops.
Freak Street – Historic home of western hippies seeking enlightenment, but now just a few restaurants and hotels.
Nasal Chowk Statues, temples and the Rana museum.
Pashupatinath – An important Hindu temple to Shiva in the form of Lord of Animals. See monkeys, cremation, sadhus and meditation caves. Morning or sunset are great times to go. 1000 Rupess for foreigners, though you can sneak in through the park at the North side of the temple, as many locals do (beware of police though, who try to catch people doing exactly this). No entry inside the main temple for foreigners, though you can peer inside from the doorway. Also, there are stairs on the East side of the river leading to the Boudha Stupa (a short walk away).
Garden of Dreams [www.gardenofdreams.org.np] – called Kaiser Mahal. Relax in this beautiful and peaceful walled garden close to Thamel & the former Royal Palace. Entry NPR 200 as on Apr 2013. Beautifully renovated in partnership with Austrian Govt. Currently has 2 pavilions depicting 2 of the 6 annual seasons in the hindu calendar. It has got a Cafe for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner and Open Air Theatre for Cultural programmes for which prior reservation can be obtained.
Budda Neelkanth (Narangdham). An Idol of Bhagwan Vishnu in a sleeping position surrounded by water is an extraordinary cool and calm experience. At a distance of about 5-6 kilometres from Main Bus Park, Kathmandu.
Day 15: Departure from Kathmandu
Qi Yo Yoga Class, Meditation, Pranayama, Qi Energy Work, Lectures & dicussuons.
Pujas and satsangs at certain days.
Swami Agung and Ariadne Antahkarana
Know before you go
Transfer from and to Lhasa Gonggar Airport and Tribhuvan International airport
Participants can continue their stay to join YTT program. If you decide to attend the yoga training daily program you will receive hours credit for completed course. Then, you will be able to take the balance of the 200 hours at another retreat and receive your diploma.
30% deposit is required before August 1st 2014. Payment plans available upon request.
Once deposit is submitted, participants can cancel and are not committed to partake, but the deposit will be retained.
(includes everything except airfare)
Vegetarian or vegan, all organic and macrobiotic breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.