India Dalai Lama meditation tour

Tibetan Path in India Tour and Retreat

Tour operated in cooperation with Spiritual Backpackers Tours

March  6 – 24, 2012

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 His Holiness the Dalai LamaHigh in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas is a small town called McLeod Ganj that is home to the most famous refugee in the world, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Since the cultural revolution in Tibet, thousands of Tibetans have arrived in this Indian town more widely known as Dharamsala, bringing with them all the sacred wisdom and teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. People travel from all over the world to this place, surpassing many obstacles along the way, all for the once in a lifetime chance to see His Holiness and learn from him. On this tour we are opening the gateway to just that. The hosts are a Tibetan Lama named Buga and Lisa Tully, who is originally from Ireland. They will take you to McLeod Ganj, India to attend public teachings by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, learn Buddhist meditation from teachers of his lineage and hang out with his local Tibetan family.

Attending the public teachings by His Holiness will afford you the opportunity to experience the immense power of this man’s heart. He refers to himself as ‘a simple monk’ but rest assured this is a typically Tibetan, understatement. Although His Holiness tirelessly travels the globe reaching out to as many ‘brothers and sisters’ as possible, the authenticity of seeing him reach out to his own people in his home temple is a totally different experience. For example looking around you will see devotees falling into deep states of meditation simply by being in his presence. People bursting into tears at the mere sight of him as he gentle opens hearts that little bit wider. As the saying goes “a broken heart is an open heart.”

Tushita meditation centerOur meditation retreat is a 10-day silent retreat run by the internationally renowned Tushita Meditation Centre. Nestled high in the forests far away from any hustle and bustle, this welcoming haven is perfect for those who want to get away so they can go in and explore their true nature. A serious retreat that will provide the tools needed to begin or enhance a daily meditation practice. A chance to learn more about Tibetan Buddhism and harness some of its benefits for yourself and the people you share your life with by bringing home the souvenir of greater peace, love and compassion.

mcleod ganj stupasMcLeod Ganj is also known as ‘Little Lhasa’ as it is filled to the brim with Tibetan lamas, monks and nuns meditating for the benefit of all sentient beings in the many monasteries, nunneries and secluded retreats scattered around the hilltops. Simply by being in this location, visitors are benefiting on many levels as the vibration of this sacred place is so high. It provides the perfect setting to embark on a lifetime’s journey of meditation and spiritual growth.

For those looking to join a family that takes you to your inner places less traveled, we are only delighted to welcome you into the our fold!

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Due to his lengthy service as a great spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is understandably starting to cut back on his schedule.  For that reason his Spring teaching in India will be for one morning.  We will attend that teaching on our upcoming tour.  Rest assured that any time spent in the presence of this great Tibetan master will be of immense benefit to you. That is why this is an especially important opportunity that should not be missed.

Day 1Tuesday, March 6
We greet you at Delhi airport then transfer to the Tibetan quarter of Delhi, Majnu Ka Tilla. You will then have the opportunity to explore the many alleyways and temples of this welcoming Tibetan maze.  As you whiz your way across Delhi you will also get to experience the Indian way of life that is totally unique!

mcleod ganj mountainsDay 2Wednesday, March 7
Early morning drive to McCleod Ganj, the scenic town that rests in the foothills of the Himalayas. This is the home of the Dalai Lama in exile and is also known as ‘Little Lhasa’ . We will reside in that general area for the duration of our tour. Believe us when we say you won’t want to  leave! We travel up there by private transfer (approx 12 hours), then check into our hotel. If you would prefer you can also fly from Delhi to Dharamsala and meet us when we get there, it is a one hour flight.

Day 3  Thursday, March 8
Attend teachings by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama on the Jataka Tales in the morning at the main Tibetan temple.  Group walk around the famous and incredibly scenic ‘kora’ that circles the Dalai Lama’s temple.  It is considered particularly auspicious to do it when he is in town so we will gain great merit as we stroll!  We then have a relaxed McLeod Ganj orientation as Lama Buga and Lama Kalden show us the town from their ‘monastic’ eyes.  That evening we will attend our own private Green Tara puja held for us by our dear friends the tantric lamas from Gyumed Monastery.  Green Tara is particularly helpful for any areas of your life you need swift action in so come with your intentions prepared!

Dalai Lama shrineDay 4Friday, March 9
Visit the fascinating Norbulingka centre, set up to keep Tibetan culture and values alive.  Here you will have the opportunity to see artists at work as they paint the incredible Tibetan ‘Thangka’ paintings, each curve of which is guided according to the sacred texts.  Late afternoon, in the true Tibetan spirit of kindness, we will take part in a relaxed English conversation class with local Tibetan refugees to do our bit for the local community.

Day 5  Saturday, March 10
As many Tibetan children are sent to India by their parents so they can receive an authentic Tibetan education and up bringing, unfortunately they don’t have the means to come with them.  The Tibetan Childrens’ Village was set up by the Dalai Lama’s sister to care for these children so their parents wishes can become a reality.  We will take a stroll up the hillside to visit one of these heart warming schools and witness firsthand the strength of the Tibetan spirit despite all that has happened and continues to happen.  Then keeping in line with this theme we will receive a private lecture from Ama Adhe, an incredible Tibetan elder woman who spent 27 years in a Chinese torture camp and still has an amazing smile that never fails to lift.  To get the most from this experience we suggest you read her book “The Voice That Remembers” beforehand!

Day 6  Sunday, March 11
Full day at leisure.

Day 7 Monday, March 12
Tibetan astrology is an ancient tradition that dates back as far as the 2nd century.  Proving more and more popular in the West, the Tibetan institute Men-Tsee-Khang offers astrological charts translated into English.  We will visit this institute where you can order your chart astrological chart for the following year all included in the price of this tour!  Just make sure you have your time of birth as well as the date and place and any specific questions you may have! In the afternoon we will take a walk up the hill to the wonderful Bhagsu waterfall where you will spot monks washing their robes in the crystal clear waters!

Day 8 Tuesday, March 13
Check out of hotel and transfer by local taxi to the nearby peaceful Buddhist meditation centre up in the hills of McCleod Ganj. This place is quiet, surrounded by trees and hillside views with stupas scattered about the grounds for you to stumble across as you take a stroll.
Days 9 – 17 – Wednesday, March 14 through Wednesday, March 21

Introduction to Buddhism silent meditation retreat. Yes we did say silent, are you ready to go inside?

Day 18 – Thursday, March 22
Final day of retreat. Check out between 1 pm and 3 pm. Transfer in local taxi and check into hotel in McLeod Ganj town centre.  Even the town centre of this special place has incredible buildings such as the temple seen here in this photo.  That afternoon Lama Buga & Lama Kalden will take us to do a prayer flag puja.  Writing names on prayer flags and hanging them in auspicious places is believed to blows all fears away.

Day 19 – Friday, March 23
Drive back down the mountain to Delhi by private transfer (Approx 12 hours). Overnight stay at the Tibetan quarter in Delhi.

Day 20 – Saturday, March 24
Exchange details with your new global family, then transfers to Delhi airport for onward travel.

Keep in mind: The planning of these tours depend on the teaching schedule of both His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama and the Tushita Meditation Centre. We plan as far ahead as all schedules allow and we do appreciate your patience on this.

Please read the Terms and Conditions for this tour.

** Bonus! SAVE! You will receive a 5% discount if ALL payments are made by check or money order. This discounted price is noted below in red.

$2,799 payments via check or money order
payments via credit card

Price is per person for single and dorm occupancy. Dorm is on the retreat.

A deposit of $300 is required. Full payment is due not less than 56 days prior to your tour start date. When bookings are made less than 56 days before the tour start date full payment must be made when booking.

A cancellation by you must be advised to us in writing. If a booking is cancelled we reserve the right to apply cancellation charges as follows:

  • Up to 55 days prior to tour date: Initial deposit amount
  • 21 to 55 days prior to tour date: 50% of total cost
  • 14 to 20 days prior to tour date: 75% of total cost
  • 1 to 13 days prior to tour date: 100% of total cost

If a trip is cancelled more than 56 days before the tour start date we will happily refund all the money you have paid except for a $50 processing fee.

Cost includes

  • English speaking host for duration of trip
  • Transfers to and from Delhi international airport
  • Transfers from Delhi to McCleod Ganj and back to Delhi
  • Transfers from McCleod Ganj to Buddhist Meditation Centre and back to McCleod Ganj
  • 2 nights single occupancy accommodation in Delhi (standard is budget so may or may not have a private bathroom depending on availability)
  • 7 nights single occupancy accommodation in McCleod Ganj (standard is budget so may or may not have a private bathroom depending on availability)
  • 10 nights dormitory accommodation at the Tushita Meditation Centre in McCleod Ganj
  • Suggested donations by Buddhist Meditation Center to cover cost of dorm accommodation and food.
  • The food provided is dinner on day 1, 3 meals day 2 to 9, and breakfast and picnic lunch on day 10 of the retreat.

Cost excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa and passport fees
  • Travel insurance
  • International & domestic flights
  • Train fares
  • Airport transfers, taxes and excess baggage unless specified
  • Meals other than those specified
  • Optional activities and sightseeing
  • Tips

Click for More Buddhist Meditation Retreat Details

Lisa Tully and Lama Buga Tire

Lisa Tully and Lama Buga Tire

Lisa Tully
Feeling miffed at corporate life and all its samsara trappings, Lisa handed in her notice. Money was tight, people were pessimistic but her heart was smiling. For she had a deep calling to go to India and the money for a ticket fast burning a hole in her pocket.

Originally she was meant to go with a group of friends but as many group emails went by, the thoughts of sipping cool drinks on a beach in a posh resort just didn’t cut it as a dream trip to India. So she decided to go solo instead of team, north instead of south and Tibetan instead of Indian. A public teaching by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama was the entire basis for the trip, little did she realize that would be just one of the highlights amongst many others.

Although it is well believed that His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama lives in Dharamsala he actually resides further up the hill in a wonderful town called McLeod Ganj.

On arrival in McLeod Ganj Lisa quickly found herself blissfully immersed in the world of his family of Tibetan monks and nuns. And that was it, the entire trip was a mixture of immense teachings, spectacular Himalayan scenery, tasty Tibetan momos, profound meditations and discoveries of all the local best bits through the eyes of dedicated maroon clad friends.

On returning back to Europe from this incredible trip she found it difficult to settle back into the spiritual poverty of the west for so much had changed inside her. So after witnessing the stress and anguish of her Western brothers and sisters with new eyes she decided more people needed to experience what she experienced. After all how much better would the world be if we all recognized the bank of spiritual wealth that is deep inside each and every one of us?

Driven by a passion to travel from an early age and now coupled with a deep yearning for a more awakened nature, Lisa our host and organizer simply revels in spending as much time as possible with her Tibetan family in India. A meditator, a yogini and a reluctant lapsed veggie, she has a clear purpose to light the spark of inner freedom within as many people as possible. And what better way to do that than pave the way for others to experience the graceful presence of one of the freest people on the planet despite all his difficulties, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama?

Lama Buga Tire
Whilst in India, the first person to greet Lisa in McLeod Ganj was her now dear friend Lama Buga. He is a Buddhist monk from Gyumed Tantric Monastery in South India and has been one since the age of six. He is originally from Tibet but fled to India after the cultural revolution.

Part of his role as a monk is that he can be placed by his monastery to do work in specific centres around India. As a result he has spent three years in McLeod Ganj, two of them were spent at the Buddhist meditation centre we take our groups to for retreats and also two years in Delhi hence his title ‘monk about town’. With all his contacts, local knowledge and Buddhist training Buga is the man on the ground in India taking care of the finer details so you can just soak it all up. When asked why he helps Lisa run these tours true to Tibetan form he replied ‘because she is my friend’.

Extra info:
We also run these tours to support the Tibetan people. By bringing more people to Dharamsala we are raising awareness about this silent genocide, by donating 10% of our profits to TCV we are helping to feed and educate Tibetan children and by using mainly Tibetan services we are bringing work to the Tibetan people in exile that support their families and culture both inside and outside of Tibet. And by signing up to our tour you too will be contributing to the cause.

for Tibet with loveOur gift to you…Whilst doing research on all things Tibetan our host Lisa came across the wonderful book ‘For Tibet, With Love’ by bestselling international author Isabel Losada. This is a funny moving tale of Isabel’s journey to help Tibet. Along the way she falls for a monk in Nepal, upsets BP, faces some hard truths, irritates the Chinese Ambassador, listens to Mahatma Gandhi, captures headlines worldwide and then…she meets the Dalai Lama. Struck by the strong message in this fantastic book that gives any reader a clear understanding of the current plight of the Tibetans and the similarities is has to the experiences our tours bring, Lisa got in touch with Isabel to explore a collaboration. The result is that everyone who comes on our tours gets a free copy of this book. The challenge is once you have read it to pass it on to someone you know who is most likely to do something to help this cause or come on one of our tours. Either way we collectively raise more awareness for Tibet.

“Lisa’s Spiritual Backpacker’s trip to Dharamsala sounds wonderful. She’s done all the hard work for you – found the hotels and even worked out when His Holiness is teaching. If I’d known her when I wrote ‘For Tibet, With Love’ my life would have been very much easier. Go with her – but the bus ride is still terrible.”
– Isabel Losada


Travel Insurance

Body Mind Spirit Journeys highly recommends the purchase of Trip Cancellation/Interruption Travel Insurance, and we therefore provide you with an easy way to contact BMSJ’s preferred insurance provider, Access America.

If you need additional information or have questions, please call Access America directly at 800-284-8300, and refer to code F025323.

 For Flight Assistance and Ticketing, call: 631-624-7612 or email