India Dalai Lama October 2012
Tibetan Path in India Tour and Retreat
Tour operated in cooperation with Spiritual Backpackers Tours
October 16 – November 1, 2012
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 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.
Click to watch the video…
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.”
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 – Tues. Oct. 16
We greet you at Delhi airport then transfer you to the Tibetan quarter of Delhi, Majnu Ka Tilla. As you whizz your way across Delhi 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 many alleyways and temples of the welcoming Tibetan maze that is Majnu Ka Tilla.
Day 2 – Wed. Oct. 17
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! 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 – Thurs. Oct. 18
A relaxed McLeod Ganj orientation as Lama Buga and Lama Kalden show us the town from their ‘monastic’ eyes and take us around the scenic circle of the Dalai Lama’s home also known as the kora. Then we 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 Buddhist stupas scattered about the grounds for you to stumble upon as you take a stroll. We commence our 10-day Introduction to Buddhism meditation retreat.
Days 4 – 8, Fri. Oct. 19 to Fri. Oct. 26
Introduction to Buddhism silent meditation retreat. Yes we did say silent, are you ready to go inside?
Day 9 – Sat. Oct. 27
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 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!
Day 10 – Sun. Oct. 28
Full day at leisure. There is tons to do in the wonderful Dharamsala and we have many suggestions to share. Or you may just want to take it easy and soak up the relaxed vibes of our dear lamas as you simply spend time.
Day 11 – Mon. Oct. 29
Attend teachings by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama amongst nuns, monks and devotees from all over the world. You will experience a much more intimate setting with His Holiness at his temple in India in comparison to Western events where he is sometimes just a dot on the stage. That evening you might just want to meditate and soak it all up while His Holiness is residing only ten minutes down the road.
Day 12 – Tues. Oct. 30
Second day of teachings by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama. The good news is once we have saved our spot we keep it for the whole teaching, it’s the local rule of thumb.
Day 13 – Wed. Oct. 31
Final day of teachings by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama. 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. That evening we drive back down to Delhi by private transfer (approx 10 hours).
Day 14 – Thurs. Nov. 1
Exchange details with your new global family and then transfers for onward travel.
“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
$3,039 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 60 days prior to tour date: Initial deposit amount
- 25 to 59 days prior to tour date: 50% of total cost
- 14 to 24 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 $100 processing fee.
- English speaking host for duration of trip
- Transfers to and from Delhi international airport
- Transfers from Delhi to McLeod Ganj and back to Delhi
- Transfers from McLeod Ganj to Buddhist Meditation Centre and back
- 2 nights accommodation in Delhi (standard is budget)
- 6 nights accommodation in McLeod Ganj (standard is budget)
- 10 nights dormitory accommodation at the Tushita Meditation Centre
- 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
- 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
Feeling miffed at corporate life and all it’s 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 realise 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 recognised the bank of spiritual wealth that is deep inside each and everyone of us? And as she learned from first hand experience one sure fire way to do that is to go and immerse yourself in the Tibetan Buddhist lifestyle and learn meditations that will be with you for this lifetime and the next.
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 6. 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 those were at the Buddhist meditation centre where we take our groups for retreats and also two years in Delhi hence his nickname ‘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.
Then there is our second Tibetan host, the wonderful Lama Kalden. Also a member of Gyumed monastery he too became a trusted friend of Lisa’s. With a good level of English Lama Kalden ensures you have a real insiders view of what is going on around you and with a heart of gold he takes great care of everyone!
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.
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 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