Pilgrimage Journey to Nepal

17th – 30th September 2018

With Alex d’Artois & Sisse Budolfsen

The Pilgrimage Journey in a Nutshell

This pilgrimage to Nepal will begin at the the beautiful monastery Neydo Monastery in the area called Pharping, located in the South Western hills of the Kathmandu Valley. We stay in this serene buddha field of Guru Rinpoche during our first days of the pilgrimage, surrounded by pine trees and rice fields, with big views overlooking the Kathmandu Valley. After settling into the group and going deeper into Buddhist Philosophy and meditation practice, we venture onto Boudha for a day, followed by days spent at the Namo Buddha Resort, located in the South Eastern corner of the Kathmandu Valley. Another sacred area where yogis have practiced for centuries. It is said that the Buddha gave his body to a starving tigress in this place and is considered one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in Nepal.

We continue our pilgrimage journey into the foothills of the Himalayas. We leave in the morning from the Namo Buddha Resort and go by jeep on a beautiful ride up through Central West Nepal where we drive along the Trisuli river and lush landscapes. The roads are a lot better now compared to past years but we can prepare ourselves for an adventurous journey. By evening time we reach the town of Phablu, located in the lower Everest region.

We use Phablu as our base for the first few nights as we go on a ones day hike up to Chiwang Monastery, located on the hillside, overlooking the valley below. The next morning we hike up through the valley to the nunnery Thubten Choling located on a hilltop, nestled into pine tree forests and prayer flags. Here we spend two full days, taking part in the lives of the nuns, before returning to Phablu. If weather permits, we will get a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas from Phablu. The following day, we travel back toward Kathmandu Valley by flight if weather permits. As a plan B we will go by jeep. The meditation and Buddhist philosophy themes will be weaved into our days, both in Kathmandu Valley as well as in the foothills, as we embark on an inner and outer journey through Nepal.

Introducing the Facilitators

Sisse Budolfsen and Alex d’Artois will be the instructors and guides on this Pilgrimage Journey to Nepal. For more information on Sisse & Alex, please go here.

 

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Daily Schedule

  • 8:00 – 8:30 Meditation
  • 9:00 – 10:00 Breakfast
  • 10:30 – 12:00 Morning session on Tibetan Buddhism & Meditation Practice
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
  • 2:00 – 3:30 Free time
  • 3:30 – 5:30 Visiting sacred places
  • 7:00 – 8:00 Dinner
  • 8:15 – 8:45 Evening meditation

Info on Meditation

There is no prerequisite for joining the pilgrimage, or to have in-depth knowledge or experience with the practice of meditation.  Simply, to have the wish to go deeper with one’s mind, and to have curiosity regarding its functions is enough. There is nothing religious about the practice of meditation, or to visit sacred places and shrines. In fact, there is nothing even Buddhist about it. The practice of meditation is simply a tool to bring your mind back to a place of naked awareness, to a place of basic space with yourself. In fact, it is simply put a technique with which to uncover all the layers of hope and fear, grasping and expectations that are all such strong habits of the mind.  With the practice of meditation we can learn to come back to ourselves, and to become familiar with the groundless and raw quality of reality.

Itinerary

Neydo Monastery in Pharping

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU

Arrival and pick up at Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu. We drive straight to Neydo Monastery, in the South Western corner of the Kathmandu Valley. There may be time to rest from the journey, go for a walk or enjoy the spectacular views over Kathmandu Valley. In the afternoon there will be an introduction to the pilgrimage by instructors Alex d’Artois & Sisse Budolfsen

Rapseed fields on our hike up to the Asura cave

DAY 2 - NEYDO MONASTERY

Morning meditation session followed by breakfast. We have our introduction session to Buddhist philosophy before lunch. After lunch and a rest, we hike through rice fields to visit the Asura cave and the self-arisen Tara in Pharping. Dinner and Meditation session. We spend the night at Neydo Monastery.

 

 

The majestic Swayambhu stupa

DAY 3 - SWAYAMBHU

Morning meditation session followed by breakfast. We have our introduction session to Buddhist philosophy before lunch. In the afternoon we venture out to the majestic Swayambhu Stupa for a sunset pilgrimage. We return to Neydo monastery for dinner, followed by meditation session.

 

The majestic Boudha stupa

DAY 4 - BOUDHA

After breakfast we drive to Boudha and check in at our guesthouse. Boudha Stupa, the wishfulfilling Stupa, is another very sacred site in the Kathmandu Valley. Many Tibetans settled here after 1959 so you will find many Tibetans living in this area.

Here we will learn about the sacredness of the stupa; circumambulate the stupa, and walk up to the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu, Shechen Monastery, built by the great Buddhist master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. we will have our Buddhist philosophy and meditation session in his meditation room.

After lunch the afternoon will be free to explore Boudha. Dinner and meditation.

View of the Kathmandu Valley

DAY 5 - NAMO BUDDHA RESORT

After breakfast we continue our journey to the lovely Namo Buddha Resort, where we spend the next two nights. We will have lunch in the beautiful surroundings of the Namo Buddha Resort followed by a free afternoon. After dinner we will have a meditation session.

View of Thrangu Rinpoche's monastery

DAY 6 - NAMO BUDDHA PILGRIMAGE

Morning meditation session and breakfast at Namo Buddha Resort. After lunch we hike to pilgrimage in Namo Buddha where it is said that the previous incarnation of Shakyamuni Buddha sacrificed his body to feed a starving Tigress and her cubs. We visit the stunning monastery of Thrangu Rinpoche and the sacred Namo Buddha Stupa. We overnight again at the beautiful Namo Buddha Resort.

We pass small Buddhist shrines and temples along the path

DAY 7 - JEEP RIDE TO PHABLU

After breakfast we depart for Phablu and venture into the foothills of Lower Everest region of Nepal.  We go on a beautiful jeep ride up through Central West Nepal where we drive along the Trisuli river and lush landscapes of Central Nepal. The roads are a lot better now compared to in past years but we can prepare ourselves for an adventurous journey. Dinner and overnight in Phablu.

Crossing a bridge over a creek

DAY 8 - HIKE TO CHIWANG MONASTERY

After breakfast, we hike up for 3-4 hours up to Chiwang Monastery for a day’s visit. We can sit in on practice of the monks and pay homage to the monastery shrine room. Afternoon meditation.

We spend the night in Phablu.

Hiking through lush forests in the Everest region

DAY 9 - HIKE TO THUBTEN CHOLING

After breakfast, we begin our 5-6 hour hike up to Thubten Choling, a nunnery located up in the lower Everest region. We stop for lunch in Junbesi and climb the last bit after lunch. Afternoon tea and dinner.

Nun climbing the stairs at Thubten Choling

DAY 10 - HIKE FROM EVEREST VIEW GUESTHOUSE TO THUBTEN CHOLING

Morning practice with the nuns. At Thubten Choling we experience the living tradition of a sacred heritage, passed down from the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, to the present day, in an unbroken lineage of masters whose teachings have been passed on to their students, seeking the qualities and realisation of awakening. We join the nuns in their daily practices in the main gompa (place of meditation), and otherwise there is the chance to go for short hikes in the astounding surroundings of hillsides, dotted with prayer flags and retreat caves.

Nuns at Thubten Choling

DAY 11 - THUBTEN CHOLING NUNNERY

We take a few days off hiking and spend the day at Thubten Choling, where we are able to sit in at the nunnery gompa with the nuns practicing. It is possible to go for short hikes in the area around the nunnery. The day is partly guided, partly free for own adventures. According to Tibetan terminology, Thubten Choling is seen as a pure realm; a Buddha field. This signifies a place where many prayers and mantras have been whispered throughout the years, of the many nuns living there; mantras and prayers of compassion and loving kindness for the wellbeing of all sentient beings, and very naturally one senses the result of this accumulation of merit.

Crossing a bridge in Solo Khumbu

DAY 12 - PHABLU

After breakfast we make our descend to Phablu. Lunch in dinner. We spend the night in Phablu.

Folklore in Boudha

DAY 13 - RETURN TO KATHMANDU

After breakfast, due to the unpredictability of the weather in the mountains, if weather permitting, we fly back to Kathmandu. If weather does not permit we will take the jeep back to Kathmandu. We overnight in Boudha.

DAY 14 - FREE DAY IN KATHMANDU

Last day of the programme is free to do shopping, visit sights in Ktm etc. We meet for a farewell dinner at the pizza joint Fire an Ice.

WHERE – NEPAL –  Kathmandu Valley & Thubten Choling in Solo Khumbu, Mt. Everest Region, see Nepal map

WHEN – September 17th – September 30th 2018

PRICE  – EARLY BIRD OFFER UP UNTIL June 15TH  – 2900 USD     

 –  Twin room to share: 3160 USD / Single room supplement: 350 USD

Please wait with transferring the full amount to us, as well as the booking of your flight ticket before we have confirmed that we have the minimum of pilgrims to run the Pilgrimage Journey.

BOOKINGS  – Please refer to our booking procedures via this link and our cancellation policy via this link.

For bookings and more information about the pilgrimage journey, please email us at:  himalayanhermitage108@gmail.com.

INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation, meals and transport in Nepal
  • Experienced guide and instructor – Alex d’Artois & Sisse Budolfsen
  • Return flight to and from Phablu, or in case of cancellation of flight, return jeep ride one or both ways

EXCLUSIONS

  • International flight ticket to Nepal
  • Personal insurance during the pilgrimage journey
  • Any alcoholic beverage during the pilgrimage journey
  • Tip to local guide and porters

For bookings and more information info@himalayanhermitage.com

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