High 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 a public teaching by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, learn Buddhist meditation from teachers of his lineage and hang out with his local Tibetan family.
Attending a public teaching 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.”
Our 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 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!
Day 1 – Saturday, Feb. 23
We greet you at airport then transfer you into the heart of Delhi. As you whiz your way across the city you will get to experience the Indian way of life that is totally unique! If you fancy it you will then have the opportunity to explore the bustling bazaars and go deeper into this fascinating culture. Sometimes people want to arrive early to rest and have time in Delhi before the drive up to Dharamsala, we accommodate that also and are happy to assist such requests.
Day 2 – Sunday, Feb. 24
Early morning drive to McCleod Ganj, the scenic town that rests in the foothills of the Himalayas. This is the home to 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 this Shangri-La! We travel up there by private transfer (approximately 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. We can arrange a car to greet you and take you to the hotel.
Day 3 – Monday, Feb. 25
Attend a short teaching by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama on the Jataka Tales amongst nuns, monks and devotees from all over the world. In the afternoon we will have a relaxed McLeod Ganj orientation as Lama Buga and Lama Kalden take us on a walking meditation around the scenic circle of the Dalai Lama’s home known locally as the ‘Kora.’ It is believed you gain extra benefit by doing this sacred walk when the Dalai Lama is in town. Then we take a stroll down into the peaceful atmosphere of Tsechokling Monastery to experience the full harmony of local monastic life.
Day 4 – Tuesday, Feb. 26
We visit the Tibet museum located in the grounds of the Dalai Lama’s temple followed by a tour of the wonderful Lha, a non-profit organisation set up to provide crucial resources for Tibetan refugees. That afternoon we pay a visit to the Tibetan Children’s Village nestled up in the scenic hills. This school was set up to provide children with an authentic Tibetan education that is currently denied to those living in the Chinese occupied Tibet.
Day 5 – Wednesday, Feb. 27
In the morning 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! Then we check out of our hotel and transfer 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 Buddhist stupas scattered about the grounds for you to stumble upon as you take a stroll. The 10-day Introduction to Buddhism meditation retreat starts that afternoon.
Days 6 through 13 – Thursday, Feb. 28 through Thursday, March 7
Introduction to Buddhism silent meditation retreat. Yes we did say silent, are you ready to go inside and meet your Buddha nature?
Day 14 – Friday, March 8
Final day of retreat. Check out between 1pm and 3pm. Transfer by local taxi to McLeod Ganj town centre. Even the town centre has beautiful 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. This involves writing names on prayer flags and hanging them in auspicious places which is believed to blow all fears away. The perfect ending to a heart-warming trip.
Day 15 – Saturday, March 9
We drive back down to Delhi by private transfer (approximately 12 hours). Overnight stay in Delhi.
Day 16 – Sunday, March 10
Exchange details with your new global family and then transfers for individual travel arrangements.
“Do not wait! Take the next flight to Dharamsala :). We all get so caught up in our careers, families, responsibilities that we forget about ourselves. This tour will allow you some “me” time to find the real “you” and the answers to your questions. I cannot stress enough the benefits you will discover at the end of your trip!”
– Sonia, USA
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.
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, Allianz Travel Insurance.
If you need additional information or have questions, please call Allianz directly at 800-284-8300, and refer to code F025323.
** 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.
$2,899 payments via check or money order
$3,059 payments via credit card
Late Sign-up Price $3,219 ($3,389 credit card) if Full Payment Received after Feb. 13, 2013
Single Room Subsidy for hotel in Delhi & McLeod Ganj $389 ($409 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:
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 $100 processing fee.
Lisa Tully began hosting tours to the Dharamsala area of northern India after a life-changing experience. A planned trip with friends to a posh beach resort in south India somehow was transformed into a solo journey to McLeod Ganj, where she attended public teachings by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and found a new family amongst the Tibetan community in exile. She now helps free her Western brothers and sisters from spiritual poverty via tours and meditation retreats in India that are immersed in the Tibetan Buddhist lifestyle.
Our 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 Quest Adventure’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.”
– Isabel Losada