Tibetan Tour October 2014

Every Breath a Prayer

a pilgrimage of spirit

Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash begins.... 

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Meet in Kathmandu

October  1st - 4th 



Those called to this unusual Pilgrimage will rendevous in Kathmandu where we  start our Spiritual Journey.  Once settled into the International Guest House which is Tibetan owned & operated in the heart of the old city known as ‘Thamel’ we will walk the market streets to Drubgan Jangchub Choeling monastery to receive Rinpoche blessing for our journey.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/nepal/kathmandu/hotels/tibet- guest-house


Boudhanath Stupa

Walk the pilgrims path around the great Buddhist Stupa of Boudhanath where the energy is powerful, cleansing and purifying. 

http://www.sacred-destinations.com/nepal/kathmandu-boudhanath-stupa


Pharping

Visit ancient Buddhist pilgrimage sites and traditional luncheon at a Buddhist orphanage as honored guests. 

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http://www.pharping.org.np


Bhaktapur

Explore with a local guide one of the 3 royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley.  Bhaktapur is filled with monuments, most terra-cotta with carved wood columns, palaces and temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs, open courtyards. The city is dotted with pagodas and religious shrines.  It is a cultural gem. 

http://www.bhaktapur.com/



Oct. 5th - 8th

Fly along Himalayan ridge to Lhasa, Tibet

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Jokhang Temple Lhasa

Ancient and most sacred to Tibetan Buddhists, the Jokhang Temple was built over an Ancient Sacred Lake and the pilgrimage place of many Tibetans for hundreds of years.

Tibetans prostrate for hundreds of miles through puddles and along roads and fields to eventually prostrate outside the Jokhang.

 http://www.sacred-destinations.com/tibet/lhasa-jokhang-temple

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Golden buddha

a statue buddha is said to have approved of when he was alive 2,550 years ago



Potala Palace

Magnificent storehouse of Tibetan artifacts it was once the seat of the Tibetan government and the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas.  Now a palace of ghosts, truly a stunning piece of history.

http:// www.lonelyplanet.com/china/tibet/lhasa/sights/castles-palaces- mansions/potala-palace

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Barkhor Bazaar

The Barkhor is part of the ancient pilgrimage route that circumnavigates the Jokhang in a clockwise direction. This is a place of many antiques and bargains and the trade tradition it is one of the few remaining portions of the old city of Lhasa.  We will stay in Tibetan run Guest House.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barkhor


Oct. 9th:

Drive to Drayerpa caves

Considered as one of the holiest cave retreats still in use.

Ganden_monastery

  Drayerpa caves

Gandan Monastery

Overnight at Terdrom Nunnery/Hot Springs guess house.

4000 year old healing waters. Spectacular views.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganden_Monastery


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Gandan Monastery


Oct. 10th:

Tsurpu monastery 

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Tsurpu Monastery is the seat of the Karmapa Kagyu Linage and  Black Hats branch of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Established in 1159 by the 1st Karmapa the monastery housed  housed 1,000 monks at its' height.  

G-Karmapha's Mon Painting

It is a mystical place of female tantric energy where the teachings of the Maha Mudra resonate through the Monastery and through time. 

 

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Sky Cemetary

Up the river is the Sky Cemetary,  a place where the female dakini's energies protect its' grounds, a place of power where one can spiritually confront oneself.

We will climb the middle Kora and drink from its’ sacred spring. 

G-Karm.Mon.Valley #7

http://www.tibettravel.org/tibet-travel-guide/tsurphu- monastery.html#sthash.3lbxSk9k.dpuf

G-Tibetans #22


And caravan onto:

Samye monastery

Samye Monastery was the first Tibetan Buddhist Temple ever built in Tibet.

In 775 AD. King Trisong Detsen, who had recently converted to Buddhism, tried building the monastery but every night demons tore it down with storms, earthquakes & lightning.  So  the great Tantric Buddha Padmasambhava in NW. India (present day Pakistan) was sent for by the King and his old teahcer Shantarakshita to help quell the demons.

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On arriving  Padmasambhava made many phurpas then performed the Vajrakilaya dance and enacted the rite of 'thread cross' to assist the King and Shantarakshita to clear away obstructions & hinderances in the building of Samye.  He pinned down every demon and transformed them by teaching them all the Dharma.  After this the demons became the protector of the Dharma and Samye Monastery was able to be finished and become the first Tibetan Monastery in Tibet. We will explore the Monastery and grounds then overnight at the Samye guest house.


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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samye



Oct. 11th: 

Yamdroke Lake

Sacred ‘wish fullfilling’ LAKE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamdrok_Lake



Then traveling (14300 FT.) via 

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Kora-La pass:  at 15,000 feet is the lowest pass between the K2 and Everest mountain ranges & Kamba-La pass:  a bit over 15,000 ft. both passes provide spectacular view. 


Kumbum monastery

Monastery in Tibet

A major pilgrimage point for Tantric believers and a major repository of Tibetan culture and art.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbum_Monastery




Overnight in a Tibetan hotel in:

Xigatse

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An incredibly beautiuful city.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Xigatse



Oct. 12th:

Sakya monastery

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Houses the great library of Sakya, the books are said to be aware of worldly needs and present their teachings when needed.

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Preserved also is a historical important conch shell once used by the Shakyamuni Buddha (to hear it voiced is of great merit and dissolves illusion).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakya_Monastery



Crossing the Gyatchula Pass at  17,125 ft

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http://www.dangerousroads.org/asia/china/3294-gyatso-la-pass.html


Xegar

A town at the base of Mount Everest base camp.

We will have time to make a short accent to the camp then over-night at a guest house.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelkar


Oct. 13th

Saga 

A significant staging point for pilgrims on their way to Mount Kailash.

 

Tent camping.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saga,_Tibet



Oct. 14th

Manasarovar Lake

Located at the foot of Mt. Kailash is the holiest lake for Hindus and Buddhists alike - Gods, Goddess and Buddhas are conceived here.

http://heartsong.typepad.com/goodearth/2011/02/lake-monasarovar.html



Chiu Monastery

Located on top of a craggy cliff the ‘Bird Monastery’ overlooks Lake Manasarovar.

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View of Lake Manasarovar from Chiu monastery

Below it’s main chapel is the most sacred part of the monastery where Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) spent the last seven days of his life in this cave.

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View of Mt. Kailash from Chiu Monastery

Tent camping.

http://intothemiddlekingdom.com/2012/09/16/chiu-gompa-monastery-in-western-tibet/


Oct. 15th

Darchen

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A small village at the base of Mt. Kailash - altitude (15,010 ft) where we will make our final preparations, along with out attending Sherpas, to walk the sacred Kora. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darchen


Mount Kailash Kora

In a magical and remote corner of ancient western Tibet rises an extraordinary snow capped pyramid of stone:  Mount Kailash. 

History records a thousand years of devotional pilgrimage to where the Temporal and the Divine intertwine in immense natural beauty. 

The Buddhist recognize it as the epicenter of Tantric Awareness. 

For millions of Hindu it is the throne of Shiva, the mandalic apex of our planet. 

      To make pilgrimage within the Kailash Kora is to cleanse oneself of old Karmic traces quickly and to reach a deep Realisation of Self which starts with the first step.

She is the navel of our planet.  A place of immense Spiritual energy.  Mount Kailash leads us to the center of our being where Silence and the Unknowable exist.

Its’ landscape is extraordinary and awe-inspiring full of legend and mystical lore.   And at it’s roots lies the most sacred Lake of Manasarovar - (Brahma born). 

Simply to sit in the shadow of this Mountain and to touch it’s Waters is to refresh your mind and renew your Spirit and cleanse your Soul.  

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For those of us who wish to be on Pilgrimage around Mt. Kailash we will spend 3 days walking around this holiest of holy pilgrmage sites.  For those of the group who wish not to do this a stay a local monastery with trips to the surrounding landscape & sites is available.

Note the Sherpas will carry most of our gear leaving us to convey merely a day pack.  Due to the superior physical adaptation to altitude the Sherpas will provide a camp for our lunch requirements and our evening encampment.   Tent camping.

“The idea of a self and of a being is the Mount Meru (Kailash); when you will make free from the idea of self and being, then Mount Meru will collapse.”  Hui Neng 

** This is optional - if opted out - a less physically challenging exploration of the sacred lakes of Kailash is available during this time.

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http:// www.yowangdu.com/tibet-travel/mount-kailash.html 


Oct. 16th:


Dira Phuk Monastery

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Mt. Kailash pilgrims camp. Tent camping.

http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/5291424


Oct. 17th:

Zutul Phuk monastery & meditation caves 

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Another Kora pilgrims encampment  - Tent camping. 


Oct 18th:

Back to 

Darchen & New Dongba 

Ancient Tibetan Bon Tradition Monestary. 

Old Tibetan photo

Tent camping.

http://www.peopleandplaces.de/english/dongba_english.htm


Oct. 19th:

Milarepas' Cave 

Milarepa #1

Milarepa was the Great Tibetan Buddhist philosopher who reached Enlightenment in one lifefime.

As a young boy his wealthy family was cheated of their inheritance by relatives and forced to work as servants for them in their old previous residence. After many years of resentment and anger Milarepas' mother sent the teenager off to be trained in the art of black.   At the insistance of his enbittered mother with the threat of suicide if he  did not wreak vengance on the betrayers, he learned his craft & then rained a  hailstorm down on the relatives wedding party killing 35 people.  Wracked with remorse he abandonded his black practice and devoted his entire life to the Dharma and clearing his Karma.  His journey took him to the feet of Marpa, the great translator and student of Naropa.   Marpa guided Milarepa sternly in the ways of ridding oneself of Karma.  After many trials which nearly killed him through exhaustion he was blessed with the secret transmissions of the Dharma through Marpa and on leaving took up solituary residence in many mediation caves where he practiced the Dharma for the rest of his life living on very meager rations, and at one point only living on the nettles around the mouth of the cave which eventually turned his skin green.  He eventually reached Enlightenment through his dedicated practice and inspired many others to reach Enlightenment too either in that particular life or subsequent ones afterwards.  

Milarepa #8

He is known as the Singing Buddha as he taught by singing the teachings. 

Milarepa is considered to be one of the most important contemporary teachers of our time. Gampopa, one of his beloved student, eventually founded the Kagyu Linage of the Karmapas at Tsurpu Monatery.

Milarepa #7

  To be able to enter and sit in one of his caves is an honor.

We will stay in the monastery guest house.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milarepa%27s_Cave



Nyalam & Zhangmu 

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Built along the gorge of the Matsang Tsangpo - will be our crossing point back into Nepal.  

The last resort

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Caravan into the Nepali jungle and overnight at the Last Resort.  Good food and relaxation, massage, hot springs, bungy jumping

 http:// www.thelastresort.com.np


Oct. 21 - 24th:

Kathmandu

Free days back to at the Tibetan Guest House 

and then flights home.

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Cost:

Price per person is:

$3,650 with 16 pilgrims / $3,850 with only 12 pilgrims (This price does not include flights.)

Prices based on shared room accommodation.  If you wish to have your own room then the price will be more. 


Inoculations:

Inoculations are strongly adviced for Tetnus & Hepatitis A & B.  

It is imp. that you get them a minimum of 2 weeks prior to entering Nepal.

Either go to your doctor or go to: http://www.needymeds.org  / www.target.com  where you can find a list of low cost minute clinics in your area. 

You can get the first shot of Hep. A & B combined which makes it easy & cheaper.  This will be enough to protect your body for the trip. Within 6 mths of the first shot it is adviced to get the second A & B combined shot in the series.  Hep A only requires 2 shots, Hep B requires 3 so to fully boost the immune system for life it is advised to get the third Hep B shot, this can be within a year.

As an example Target Clinics charge : 

Hep. A & B:  $169  combined 1st shot  (To be repeated within 6 mths)

Hep. A:  $ 109  (If you already have B)

Hep. B:  $99  (if you already have A)

Tetnus:  $45


Attitude:

Altitude has to be considered here as we will be on the roof of the world and hiking above 18,000ft.

Altitude Sickness Tablets: Acetazolamide

These work amazingly well. Prescription required.

Iron Pills: Iron transports oxygen via the blood system to the entire body.  This is a clever way of naturally upping your oxygen levels - even at sea level.

Oxygen canisters: Canisters can be bought online & in health food stores. www.oxygenplus.com www.target.com  They deliver 90% oxygen enriched air in aeorsol form that instantly opens the lungs & helps the brain.  Because of issues with recycling these bottles in Tibet it is best to keep them to a min.  Approx. $12 bottle gives 40+ shots of oxygen. (0.5lb)


Food & Dietary requirements:

Tibetan foods are primarily  vegetables, meats including yak, dairy & noodle based dishes.  If you have any particular dietary needs such as Gluten free, hypoglycemic, etc, please endeavour to bring packaged/protein bars/dehydrated foods with you to sustain you on your journey.


Treking Equipment:

Good Hiking boots: Make sure they are broken in, esp. if you are embarking on the Kailash Kora Pilgrimage.

Warm insulating clothes & Rain Jacket: Always a good thing incase it gets cold.

Sleeping Bag:  A sleeping bag can be rented in Kathmandu.

First Aid Kit


Shopping in Kathmandu:

As Kathmandu is the starting point for many hikes within Tibet & Nepal, Thamel where we will be staying has many stores filled with everything you can possibly imagine for hiking.  We joke that we could turn up in Kathmandu with a toothbrush, passport and nothing else & we could completely deck ourselves out with hiking gear for an extended trip in Tibet - cheaply.

Thamel district

Travel Insurance:

It is highly advisable to get Travel & Medical Insurance. If the plane looses your luggage (this has happened) then travel insurance makes it easy to do somthing about it quickly.  As for Medical Insurance this is a must as we are traveling to places where if anything should happen it would cost a great deal to extract someone.  Medical Insurance no matter how much is worth every penny.

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If you feel deeply called to this pilgrimage then please contact Richard Rudis at: rudis10@cox.net

Thu Je Che 

(thank you)

rudis10@cox.net © Richard Rudis (Karma Sonam Dorje) 2014