Travelers should be physically fit and mentally prepared for multiple hours (2-4) of activity hiking almost daily.
Superior Journeys are led by an experienced Himalayan Hermitage facilitator accompanied by our top local expedition team who draw from an in-depth wealth of knowledge and local experience which allows for a deeper and more immersive accessibility to sacred sites and Himalayan culture. Itineraries are carefully designed to visit the most beautiful locations and sacred sites with a good balance of free time. Accommodation has been carefully selected with comfort appreciation for beauty in mind – only high-end or the best available. Ground transportation, healthy meals, and activities are included in the journey price.
The first week we settle in beautiful locations surrounding the Kathmandu Valley and visit some of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. The second week we hike in the foothills of the Himalayas, walking in the footsteps of fully realised yogis and yoginis, as we visit monasteries and nunneries that are nestled inside a ‘pure-land’.
The yoga and meditation theme will be weaved into our days, both in the Kathmandu Valley and in the Himalayan foothills, as we embark on an inner and outer journey through Nepal.
This yoga & meditation journey in Nepal will be jointly facilitated by yoga instructor Lisa Mikosch and an experienced Himalayan Hermitage facilitator. The group will hold the maximum amount of 21 people. Originally from Germany, Lisa first stepped onto a yoga mat in Argentina in 2007 and was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga and fell in love with the practice. The Yoga practice quickly became a big part of her life as she began to recognise the ability to transform, nurture and heal body, mind and soul. For Lisa, teaching comes from a playful and heart-centred perspective where she aims to inspire her students to move into a place of loving empowerment and to create a sacred space and willingness to feel everything there is to feel. Lisa currently shares Yoga, Reiki and Craniosacral therapy in Kathmandu, encouraging her students to go deep, to live in service, and to be free from systems that don’t serve us.
– We are very excited to be co-facilitating this journey for the first time!
We start the day by exploring the inner experience of awakening in ourselves, as well as grounding our awareness into the body through yoga in the afternoon sessions we enhance the experience by becoming pilgrims and yogis. We explore the outer element of sacredness and the culture of awakening by visiting, and paying homage to the many sacred temples and shrines in the Kathmandu Valley. Evening meditation after dinner.
7:45 – 9:00 Yoga
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
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.
Lisa´s asana teachings reflect a fusion of breath, movement and stillness. A combination of western and eastern approaches to yoga, putting emphasis on effective and creative sequencing, connecting breath with movement and intuitive exploration of our tensions and limitations. And since we live in a yang world she deeply aims to incorporate yin yoga into her classes as a doorway to more silence and a chance to discover the deeper layers of our bodies and minds.
Teaching from a playful and heart-centered perspective Lisa aims to inspire her students to move into a place of loving empowerment and to create space and a willingness to feel everything there is to feel. Connection to the heart and community is central to her teachings.
The daily schedule in this 14-day itinerary comprises of meditating together every morning and evening – this can be for 30-60 minutes (several sessions of sitting and walking meditation) depending on what the group wants and where we are in our itinerary. Buddhist philosophy sessions are roughly 1 hour/day combining a short presentation with group discussion. Throughout the 14 days we slowly walk through all 3 yanas (vehicles) of the Tibetan Buddhist path. We explore how & why shamatha/mindfulness (one-pointed ‘calm abiding’ meditation) + vipassana (insight) are used as tools from the beginning through to the end of the path. The foundational path of the Shravakayana is comprised of: ‘The 4 Turnings of the Mind’, ‘Refuge’, ‘The 3 Marks of Existence’, and ‘The Four Noble Truths’. There is an emphasis on exploring the middle yana – the Mahayana (the ‘great vehicle’ of the Bodhisattvas) which entails: ‘Bodhicitta’, ‘The 6 Paramitas (perfect actions)’, ‘Shunyata (emptiness)’, ‘Relative and Ultimate Truth’, and ‘Lojong (mind-training)’. We contemplate Lojong slogans as brought forth in an accessible way by great Tibetan/Western hybrid teachers Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Pema Chodron. We touch upon the final yana of the Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism) by exploring its many expressions and intricate symbolism. At face value Tibetan Buddhism may look esoteric, but with investigation we may see first-hand how it is simply a system for training one’s mind by utilizing various methods which combine mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom cultivation practices.
A Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL & STAY AT A TIBETAN BUDDHIST MONESTARY IN PHARPING, KATHMANDU VALLEY
Arrival and pick up at Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu. We drive straight to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping, 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 journey by the facilitators.
DAY 2 – PHARPING
Morning yoga 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 and pay homage to the Asura cave and the self-arisen Tara in Pharping. Dinner and meditation session. We spend the night at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery guesthouse.
DAY 3 – SWAYAMBHU
Morning yoga followed by breakfast. We have our introduction session to Buddhist philosophy before lunch. After lunch and a rest, we pilgrimage to the sacred Stupa of Swayambhu and watch the sunset overlooking the Kathmandu Valley from the Stupa. Dinner and meditation session. We spend the night at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery guesthouse.
DAY 4 – NAMO BUDDHA
After morning yoga and breakfast we continue our journey to the lovely area of Namo Buddha, where we spend the next two nights. We will have lunch in the beautiful surroundings of the resort we will stay in, followed by a free afternoon. After dinner we will have a meditation session.
DAY 5 – NAMO BUDDHA PILGRIMAGE
Morning yoga followed by breakfast at our resort in Namo Buddha. 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 resort in Namo Buddha.
DAY 6 – JEEP RIDE TO PHABLU
After breakfast we depart for Phablu early morning and venture into the foothills of Lower Everest region of Nepal. We go on a beautiful and bumpy jeep ride up through Central West Nepal where we drive along the Sudekoshi river and lush landscapes of Central Nepal. Once we get closer to Phablu we might get a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas. The roads are much better now compared to in recent years but we can prepare ourselves for an adventurous and long day of traveling. Dinner and overnight at a charming mountain lodge in Phablu.
DAY 7 – HIKE TO THE TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS
After breakfast, we begin our 6-7 hour hike up to the Tibetan Buddhist 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.
DAY 8 – STAY AT A TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS
Morning practice with the nuns. At the nunnery 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 other than that there is the chance to go for stunning hike in the astounding surroundings of hillsides, dotted with prayer flags and retreat caves where we – if the weather is on our side- will be able to get a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas.
DAY 9 – STAY AT A TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS
We take a few days off hiking and spend the day at nunnery, 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, this Tibetan Buddhist nunnery 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.
DAY 10 – RETURN TO PHABLU
After breakfast we make our descend to Phablu. We have lunch and dinner and spend the night at the same charming mountain lodge in Phablu as on our way up.
DAY 11 – FULL DAY AT THE MOUNTAIN LODGE IN PHABLU
Early morning there is an optional outing by a 30-40 min. jeep ride to go up above Phablu for a sunrise view to Mount Everest & the full Himalayan range. Departure at 4.30am. We return to the lodge and have breakfast around 8am. Day for rest & evening yoga & meditation practice/philosophy session. Dinner at the lodge.
DAY 12 – RETURN TO KATHMANDU
Early morning breakfast at the lodge and departure for Kathmandu at 7am. We embark on yet another full day of traveling down through Solo Khumbu on our way back to Kathmandu. It’s a stunning ride but bumpy as well! Dinner and overnight at our guesthouse in Boudha.
DAY 13 – BOUDHA FREE DAY
Last day of the programme is free to do shopping, visit sights in Kathmandu etc. We meet for a farewell dinner at the Roadhouse Restaurant with view to the sacred Boudha Stupa. We overnight in Boudha.
DAY 14 – DEPARTURE
Day of departure. We provide transportation to the airport.
‘Early Bird Special’: 2900 USD (expires 6 months prior to the starting date of the journey)
Normal price: 3160 USD
Single room supplement: 390 USD
Deposit: 500 USD
All accommodation, meals & transport in Nepal
Experienced guides & instructors
Jeep ride from Kathmandu to Phablu and flight from Phablu to Kathmandu
Healthy, vegetarian meals
Daily Dharma talks & introduction to meditation
Notebook for journaling during the pilgrimage
International flight ticket to Nepal
Personal insurance during the pilgrimage
Personal visa to Nepal (25 USD for 15 days / 30 USD for 30 days to be purchased upon arrival)
Any alcoholic beverage during the pilgrimage
Tip to local guide and porters
To secure your place in this journey please visit the ‘Book a Journey‘ page and follow through the 3 steps explained.
We wholeheartedly look forward to having you on one of our journeys!
What People Say
"Sisse, Alex and Alix (yoga teacher) are superb guides in yoga, meditation and in the Buddhist practice and tradition. The treks were amazing, and practicing with the monks and nuns was priceless. I have many tools to bring back with me and apply to my life at home. I thoroughly enjoyed the Nepal experience with Himalayan Hermitage!"
Sarah Helt, pilgrim from Los Angeles, USA
"My experience with Himalayan Hermitage has been life-changing. The friendly, knowledgeable and charming guides lead you through some of the most challenging situations with grace and compassion. Whenever I thought I hit my limit physically or mentally I was able to fall back into the practices they taught me; or simply open my eyes to the beautiful of Nepal to be reinvigorated on the journey. I am so grateful"
Sarah Helt, pilgrim from Los Angeles, USA
"I have learnt so much. I have learnt to trust. Trust in people, in situations, and in myself. And to have courage. To dig deep and to trust that everything will be ok. I have also learned about the true nature of peoples, their kindness, generosity and their unconditional love. Additionally, the introduction to Buddhist philosophy has been so complimentary and interesting. Nepal is an amazing and interestingly diverse country with very peaceful and loving people. Finally, I have learned how complimentary the yoga and meditation practices are in daily life and how this consistency is so important for progress"
Sybil Foster, pilgrim from Geneve, Switzerland
"What seems to be very complicated back home is kind of presented in a simple framework to build upon. I feel even more curious now after being presented to the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. I feel happy that it is so accessible for me as a Western person. I really feel welcomed here, in Nepal. And being with the monks up early in the morning, meditating. And just to be part of this culture in a very natural way. I had my doubts whether this was possible. But now I see it, I feel it. That it is authentic and that it is a living thing that you can come and experience. And that is something very precious. What stands out for me during this pilgrimage is the moving part, that we move from place to place. We hike through beautiful paths and see the local culture and we come by sacred places. We lit butterlamps and we had this really intense feeling of being in important places. Without this really being part of our culture (back home) but still visiting a living culture. That made a big impression. It is also such a strong feeling to experience something valuable like this in a group. You go and you wander through the mountains and you come to a new place and you settle. You do your practices led by the instructors in beautiful places, you go through the meditation practices, and I was a bit surprised. It helps you settle, and open up. This is a new experience for me, and a very valuable one ( ..) If you stay or visit in Kathmandu definitely combine it with a pilgrimage. That is really eye opening"
Anna Cecilie Skovgaard, pilgrim from Copenhagen, Denmark
“Sisse, Alex and Alix (yoga teacher) are superb guides in yoga, meditation and in the Buddhist practice and tradition. The treks were amazing, and practicing with the monks and nuns was priceless. I have many tools to bring back with me and apply to my life at home. I thoroughly enjoyed the Nepal experience with Himalayan Hermitage!”
Jackie Brandabur, pilgrim from Washington, USA
“Overall, I really enjoyed the pilgrimage! I went into this with an open mind and I was very pleased with the breadth of the experience. Alex, Sisse & Alix (yoga teacher) were very kind, professional and calm under pressure. Their network of guides, porters and their knowledge of the area is top notch! Thank you for this once in a lifetime experience. I will never forget this and the wonderful people I have met”
Peter Keller, pilgrim from Portland, USA
“I have had an amazing time. It has been one of the biggest experiences of my life. I loved being in Nepal and during this pilgrimage it has been an amazing opportunity to get closer to the culture and religion in an amazing way that is understandable for Western people like me. I have learned how Tibetan Buddhism can become a part of my life and I will carry home many tools in my backpack. The sessions we had were so mind opening and I was exposed to so much new information. The places we stayed at were beautiful – they had amazing views and amazing food. I would highly recommend this for everyone to do, it is so important!”
Johanne Schovsbo, pilgrim from Copenhagen, Denmark
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