These ten days Buddhist spiritual experience program offers a lifetime opportunity for everyone, not only to visit the sacred places but also to witness and experience directly the precious teachings on Tibetan Buddhism. More than a simple tour this can be considered as an experiential learning program with the objective to promote cultural exchange, deep understanding of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings and of the monastic life and also exposure to socio-economic conditions and the culture of refugees’ Tibetan communities In India. This is a journey to awaken the pure soul inherent within each one of us by indulging in the teachings on Tibetan Buddhism by the learned scholar. Not only will you listen to the preaching, but you will also have a rare chance to live in a monastery which will help you to experience peace within your-self.
You will participate in offering prayer flags, which is considered as a very sacred tradition from centuries in Tibetan tradition. Still in today’s date Tibetan’s are following the same tradition of offering prayer flags on high places so to spread the scripted sacred mantras to the space and to once family, to uplift once luck and others too. You will experience 4 days retreat, an excellent opportunity for beginners to learn the basic techniques of mindfulness meditation in a retreat environment. You will be guided step by step in how to focus and concentrate your mind. It is also suitable for those who are experienced in meditation. You will refresh your knowledge and renew your practice. During the retreat, you will learn shamatha qualities and the tools, and you will also learn about the obstacles that arise while you are practicing, and how they can be overcome. The retreat is mainly focused on the practice of meditation: sitting and walking meditation will be alternated. The meditations are guided by a Western or local nun of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. You will have the opportunity to practice mindfulness of the body, breath, feelings, and the mind, and will explore and experience different techniques. You will learn how to use shamatha meditation in your daily life in order to cultivate a focused, clear and calm mind. In Dharamshala we also arranged you a consultation with Amchi, Tibetan doctor. This is a very holistic approach towards once health. The medicines are made of herbs collected from mountains, which are very rare and precious with no side effect at all. The tour also includes a very unique therapy (Tibetan Mild Therapy); the therapy includes herbal formula to treat specific illness as well as improving general health, well-being and wellness. Use your time at the nunnery to refresh your mind and body far away from the hectic pace of city life.
Category: Buddhist Retreat
Duration: 10 Days
Mode of Travel: 2 internal flights and car transportation for visits
Accommodation: Ashram in Delhi, Nunnery during the retreat and hotel Mcleod Ganj and Amritsar
When to go: This program can be done from March till October
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN DELHI
Arrival at Indra Gandhi International Airport and check into Sri Aurobindo Ashram for some rest. You will be host at “Tapasya”, which has a few guest rooms which are run with a spirit of service to the Divine. The guests, devotees or seekers who seek a spiritual life and wish to imbibe the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother are welcome to stay. During your stay you are expected to abide by the rules and discipline of the Ashram, participating in the community life and helping with the cleanliness, maintenance and growth of the Ashram. In the evening at 7:00pm (during the weekdays, if Sunday at 10:00 am) attend a meditation and satsang.
Overnight in Delhi (B,L,D).
DAY 2: DELHI VISIT
After breakfast you will start your guided tour of Old Delhi. In particular, you will visit the Red Fort (visit only from outside), a UNESCO World Heritage since 2007, built in 1639 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (the creator of the Taj Mahal), the the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, where an ancient copy of the holy Quran written on Deer skin is preserved. Visit small lanes of this part of the city such as Chawri Bazar, one of the busiest streets of Old Delhi. Later visit Raj Ghat, the site of Mahatma Ghandi cremation. For lunch you will enjoy good food at Govinda’s Restaurant in ISKCON Delhi, food is cooked by Hare Krishan devotees so you will have the chance to experience what in Hindu tradition is called prasadam, literally means “mercy” and devotees of ISKCON use this term to describe pure vegetarian food that has been offered to Lord Krishna. After lunch visit the temple, also known as Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir, this is a Hindu temple of the Vaishnava sect dedicated to the worship of the deities of Krishna and Radharani. It is one of the largest temple complexes in the entire country. Apart from idol worship arrangements, there is a Vedic cultural center in the premises, with attractions such as animatronics, art galleries, and more. Here you will assist at the beautiful lights show performance of the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu religious scriptures. At 4:15 pm attend the Usthapana Arati, the ceremony of lights, in Hindu and Jain rites, the waving of lighted lamps before an image of a god or a person to be honoured. In performing the rite, the worshiper circles the lamp three times in a clockwise direction while chanting a prayer or singing a hymn. Later on the way back to the Ashram, visit the lotus temple, a notable architectural marvel famous for its unique lotus structure. The temple has 27 marble petals that form clusters to look like lotus. The temple preaches Baha I Faith, a concept that includes all religions of the world as one. A person of any religion or creed can visit the temple and take part in the rituals. Later trasfer to the Aurobindo ashram where you will attend the evening meditation and satsang at 7:00pm.
Overnight in Delhi (B,L,D)
DAY 3 DELHI- TRANSFER TO DHARAMSALA
After an early breakfast drive to Delhi airport for your flight to Dharamshala. Upon arrival check into the Thosamling Nunnery, which is a very unique place. The nunnery is located in the rural area of Sidhpur and it is surrounded by fields, and overlooking the magnificent Dhauladhar mountain range. Thosamling has a beautiful meditation hall, in Tibetan it’s called “gompa,” that can host up to 100 people. The meditation hall was built with funding offered by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. With this he showed he strong support for the establishment of Thosamling, for which we are forever grateful. Before the building started, the site of the gompa was consecrated and blessed by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
Overnight in at the nunnery (B,L,D)
DAY 4, 5, 6: RETREAT IN THE NUNNERY
Morning begins with the first shamatha meditation session. This meditation retreat will help you to learn the basics of mindfulness meditation. During these 4 days, you will have the opportunity to learn how to concentrate and focus your mind. This program is suitable both for beginners and for people who are already experienced in meditation. The following is the tentative program of your retreat:
Overnight at the nunnery (B, L, D)
DAY 7: VISIT TO THE NORBULINGKA INSTITUTE
After breakfast visit to Norbulingka Institute, a center dedicated at the preservation and continuation of Tibetan art through self-sustaining means. Under the guidance of talented masters, the Institute endows artists and craftspeople with ancestral knowledge, providing jobs to a community of over 300 Tibetans.
In 1995, Norbulingka Institute was officially inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here you can purchase the many different handicrafts while supporting the artist lives, and by extension the community in which they live, which acts as a cradle for Tibetan values in exile. Later transfer to McLeod Ganj and check into the hotel.
Overnight in Mcleod Ganj (B)
DAY 8: VISIT TO THE DALAI LAMA RESIDENCE
After breakfast you will go for a walking tour or circumambulation (Kora) of Dalai Lama’s residence at McLeod Ganj and a visit to Tsuglag Khang (Dalai Lama temple). Offering of prayer flags which will be hung on a hill of Lahagyalri near the Dalai Lama temple, accompanied by traditional rituals and offerings.
Later you will also explore the local market at Mcleod Ganj, where you can see and buy Tibetan handicrafts. Afterwards, your guide will accompany you to St. John church, a Gothic stone building of the Church constructed in 1852. The site also has a memorial of the British Viceroy Lord Elgin and an old graveyard.
Overnight in Mcleod Ganj (B)
DAY 9: VISIT THE TIBETAN CHILDREN VILLAGES
After breakfast, take a stroll around Dal Lake. The lake is a scenic picnic spot surrounded by the forests of Deodar. Beside the lake is a temple of Durveshwar Mahadev. After learning about the history of Dharamshala, your guide will take you to a restaurant to enjoy a delicious local lunch. After lunch continue the tour to Tibetan Children’s Villages, a non-profit charitable organization which is a community for the care and education of orphans, destitute and refugee children from Tibet. This school is mainly focused on quality modern education and an introduction to the heritage of Tibetan Buddhism. Later, return to the monastery. Later you will visit to Tibetan Medical and Astrology Museum and Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. After lunch you will have a private consultation with a Tibetan Amchi, Tibetan traditional doctor (on your own accord). It is a very organic and holistic approach to once health and life which emphasis on the balance of elements within you.
Overnight in Mcleod Ganj (B, L)
DAY 10: TRANSFER TO AMRITSAR
Drive to Amritsar and check into the hotel. Have free time to rest. Amritsar is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities in India. It is situated in the northern state of Punjab and is home to the famous Golden Temple. Amritsar plays an important role in the Sikh culture and history, being the holiest city of the religion that boasts 27 million followers worldwide, and the Golden Temple is arguably one of the country’s most spectacular sites. In the late afternoon visit the famous ‘Golden Temple’. The Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib, meaning “abode of God”, is the most famous Gurdwara in the world. A Gurdwara being a place of worship for Sikhs.
Overnight in Amritsar (B)
DAY 11: DEPARTURE FROM AMRITSAR
After breakfast transfer to the airport and departure with international flight.
Accommodation: Hotel, Guesthouse and Monastery
Travel will be by plane and Jeep
The best time to participate in this programme is from March until October.
English proficiency is essential for this trip, as teachers and guides will speak exclusively in English.
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
14 May 2024 (Registration deadline 10 March)
24 September 2024 (Registration deadline 28 July)