Himalayan hermitage is situated at the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley in the area called Swayambhu, which is known for its magnificent Swayambhu Stupa. The retreat course will be held in Sisse’s home, just about ten minutes walk from the Stupa. Go here to see more photos of the house. A vegetable and herbal garden covers half of the garden, with homegrown, organic veggies and herbs that will comprise all meals during the retreat course. The home in Swayambhu will be our base, as we embark on visits to sacred places in the afternoons in the Kathmandu Valley. The three-day pilgrimage to Thubten Choling will take place in Solo Khumbu, in the Mt. Everest region.
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
Arrival and pick up at Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu. We drive straight to Himalayan hermitage in Swayambhu, West Kathmandu. There will be time to rest from the journey, go for a walk or enjoy the sunset on the rooftop in the afternoon/evening. After dinner there will be an introduction to the retreat course by instructor Sisse Budolfsen.
DAY 2 - SWAYAMBHU
Followed by morning meditation and breakfast, the first morning session will be on ‘How to deal with Uncertainty and Change’. After lunch, we hike up to Trulshik Rinpoche’s nearby monastery in Sita Paila, located in the Western hills of Kathmandu Valley, to do some sitting practice, and watch the sunset with vue over Kathmandu Valley.
DAY 3 - PHARPING
Followed by morning meditation and breakfast, we have the first session on ‘Becoming familiar with Groundlessness and Basic Space’. After lunch we visit the sacred place of Pharping, in the South-western corner of the Kathmandu Valley. It is said that Guru Rinpoche attained his ultimate enlightenment in this place. We will visit the cave of the self-arisen Tara; manifesting naturally from inside the cave, and other Guru Rinpoche caves.
DAY 4 - BOUDHA
Followed by morning meditation and breakfast, we have the first session on ‘the Importance of Pilgrimage and Devotion from within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition’. After lunch, we journey out to the Eastern side of the Kathmandu Valley, to the other holy stupa of Boudhanath (Sanskrit name). Here we will learn about the sacredness of the stupa; circumambulate it, and walk up to the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu, Shechen Monastery, built by the great Buddhist master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
DAY 5 - OFF ON PILGRIMAGE TO THUBTEN CHOLING
Early morning we fly from Kathmandu domestic airport to Pablu.
Pablu is located in the district of Solo Khumbu, Mt. Everest region, right at the foothills of the Himalayas. We will then have between 4-6 hours of walking from Pablu airport before we reach our destination, Thubten Choling. In Tibetan Buddhist terminology, Thubten Choling is what is referred to 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.
DAY 6, 7 & 8 - THUBTEN CHOLING
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.
DAY 11 - SWAYAMBHU: DAY IN SILENCE
This day we will get a full day to gain more experience with the clarity aspect of the mind, and we will get a chance to put into practice what we have learned from the previous days. We will dedicate this day to take the vow of silence the full day, resting quietly with the awakened quality of the mind, free from distraction of speech. The vow of silence will work as a greater support for the mind to rest. We will do continuous meditation sessions from morning till night, in between meals.
DAY 12 - SANKHU
Followed by morning meditation and breakfast, we have the first session on ‘The practice of Tonglen, and How to Extend our Compassion toward Others’. After lunch, we will visit the sacred place of Sankhu, located in the far North-eastern corner of Kathmandu Valley, on the old road to Tibet. Above the village of Sankhu is located the sacred Vajra Yogini temple. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche came to this place, and during his meditation concealed many treasure texts, hidden for future generations of yogis to reveal and benefit from.
DAY 13 - FREE DAY
On this last full day of the programme we will have morning meditation practice, breakfast and the rest of the day will be free to explore Kathmandu, go for a kora around Swayambhu stupa, or lie with a book in the sun in the hammock on the rooftop. We will meet again for a last night dinner in the evening.
WHERE– NEPAL – Kathmandu Valley & Thubten Choling in Solo Khumbu, Mt. Everest Region, see Nepal map
WHEN– March 14th – March 28th 2016
May 15th – May 29th 2016
November 2nd – November 16th 2016
PRICE – $3480 USD
- All accommodation, meals and transport in Nepal
- Experienced guide and instructor – Sisse Budolfsen
- Kind and friendly Nepali house staff and driver
- Return flight to Thubten Choling
- Flight ticket to and from Nepal
- Personal insurance during the retreat course
- Any alcoholic beverage during the retreat course
For bookings and more information firstname.lastname@example.org