4-DAY PHARPING PILGRIMAGE
With Sisse Budolfsen or Alex d’Artois
2018: / Nov 15-18 / Nov 29 – Dec 2 /\ 2019: \ Feb 21-24 \ April 25-28 \
In a Nutshell
The pilgrimage is held in the sacred area of Pharping, located in the South-Western corner of the Kathmandu Valley. If you are an ex-pat or resident living in Kathmandu, wishing to further explore Buddhist culture in Nepal and interested to learn about meditation practice, or if you are visiting Nepal and wish to add a few days to your programme by trying something unique in exploring sacred sites – this is your ideal long weekend get-away. The groups are a minimum of 3 and a maximum 12 people. We stay at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, host to some 100 monks located on a hill in the beautiful sacred valley of Pharping, overlooking the entire Kathmandu Valley. This gives us an ideal opportunity to witness Buddhist monks in their daily lives in in the monastery, while at the same time it offers us the perfect environment to learn about Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice. In the afternoons we walk through rice fields to the Asura Cave – Padmasambhava’s meditation cave, as well as hike through pine tree forrest up to Dudjom Rinpoche’s retreat land – one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist masters of our time. The Tibetan Buddhist monastery guesthouse where we stay serves delicious organic vegetarian meals, their rooms are cozy with a bath tub and hot water.
There is no prerequisite for joining a pilgrimage, nor is it required to have any 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 in visiting sacred places. In fact, there is nothing even Buddhist about it! The idea of pilgrimage here means that while we are exploring sacred sites, we are also investigating ourselves with a ‘tried & true’ internal/contemplative process called meditation. 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 and environment. It is simply a technique with which to uncover all the layers of hope, fear, grasping, and judgement that are all such strong habits which cloud the mind. With the practice of meditation we can learn to come back to ourselves, to become familiar with the groundless, unfabricated, and raw quality of reality.
Alex d’Artois, Co-Director & Facilitator
Originally from Canada, Alex has been based in Nepal for the last number of years and has in-depth knowlege on the many sacred sites of Nepal and the Himalayas.
Alex has studied Buddhist philosophy at a University based out of a Tibetan monastery in Kathmandu and is therefore familiar with a classical Tibetan learning environment. At the same time, Alex’s studies in Tibetan Buddhism have stemmed from a psychological/’mind-training’ interest, which comes out in his approach to meditation, philosophy, and various cultivation practices from the rich Tibetan Buddhist wisdom tradition.
Sisse Budolfsen, Co-Director & Facilitator
Thanks to a wealth of experience in Nepal and in the Himalayan region, Sisse is a knowledge gateway between Asia and the West. For the last twelve years, Sisse has been traveling to Nepal and Tibet. Sisse is originally from Denmark.
Ten years of experience with meditation practice and for the last years, guiding meditation at the Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Center (HBMC) in Kathmandu, combined with local experience as a freelance consultant for various international organisations, her studies of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan language, as well as working as a travel guide in the Himalayan region are the basis of her expertise to found Himalayan Hermitage. Sisse is the founder, as well as photographer and facilitator of Himalayan Hermitage.