A Sacred Journey into the Ancient Mysteries
with a Special Visit to the Last Shangri-La

TOUR NOW DEPARTED

From the rarified air of Tibet’s vivid capital, Lhasa, to the meditative vastness of the historic Yarlung Valley, Body Mind Spirit Journeys offers you a Tibet highlighted by the hospitable inhabitants of this remarkable mountain land. Join Glenn Mullin on an intimate experience to this awe-inspiring region and a journey that combines Tibet with the best of Kathmandu. Whatever your dreams about the land are, you will experience many precious, private, unforgettable things and give thanks for the unbelievable gift of being able to integrate, authenticate, and profoundly consolidate your wholeness. If ever a place exists where nature and man consulted to create their dearest image, it’s Bhutan.

On your journey, led by Glenn, you will experience remote gold-roofed temples and monasteries, travel through peaceful villages in emerald valleys surrounded by spectacular Himalayan scenery. Each minute is exciting to discover a kingdom with incredibly unique and treasured tradition, culture, religion and natural environment which Bhutanese people still strive to preserve in the face of modernity. In being together on such a special spiritual trip you will witness the joy of encountering the vastness which will give rise to deep personal inner experiences. It will be a journey to arouse memories – finding yourself taking a conscious look at events in your life and understanding how much one is connected to everything. Glenn H. Mullin

Glenn H. Mullin is the author of more than 25 books on Central Asian culture, and a translator of classical Tibetan literature. He has led tours for over twenty years to the sacred power places of Tibet, Nepal, China, Mongolia, and Buddhist Siberia. He divides his time between writing, lecture tours related to his books, and leading groups to the power places of Asia that he so loves. His books include The Flying Mystics of Tibetan Buddhism (Serindia, Chicago), The Fourteen Dalai Lamas: A Sacred Legacy of Reincarnation (Clear Light, Santa Fe), Buddha in Paradise (RMA, NY), The Female Buddhas (Clear Light, Santa Fe), The Six Yogas of Naropa (Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY), The Practice of Kalachakra (Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY), Death and Dying: The Tibetan Tradition (Penguin Arkana, London), and The Mystical Arts of Tibet (Longstreet, Atlanta). Many of his other titles focus on the lives and works of the early Dalai Lamas. Glenn has worked on four films, five television specials, and six audio recordings of Central Asian sacred music. Featured Hotels or similar

  • In Kathmandu: Yak & Yeti Hotel
  • In Tsedang: Yarlung River Hotel
  • In Samye: Samye Guest House
  • In Lhasa: Kyichu Hotel
  • In Drikung: Drikung Guest House
  • In Shigatse: Jian Zhang Hotel
  • In Sakya: Manasarovar Hotel
  • In Zhangmu: Cai Yuan Hotel
  • In Thimpu: Peaceful Resort
  • In Punakha: Damchen Resort
  • In Paro: Olathang Hotel

THE TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa
  • Round-trip flight between Kathmandu & Paro
  • Round-trip airport/hotels transfers
  • Local English-speaking guides throughout
  • Sightseeing, with entrance fees
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Baggage handling at airport & hotels
  • China and Tibet tourist visas
  • Pre-Paid Gratuities
  • 4 nights in Kathmandu
  • 2 nights in Tsedang
  • 1 night in Samye
  • 4 nights in Lhasa
  • 1 night in Drikung
  • 1 night in Shigatse
  • 1 night in Sakya
  • 1 night in Zhangmu
  • 2 nights in Thimpu
  • 1 night in Punakha
  • 2 nights in Paro
  • 20 Breakfasts – 15 Lunches – 14 Dinners
  • Baggage handling at airport & hotels
  • China and Tibet tourist visas
  • Pre-Paid Gratuities
  • 4 nights in Kathmandu
  • 2 nights in Tsedang
  • 1 night in Samye
  • 4 nights in Lhasa
  • 1 night in Drikung
  • 1 night in Shigatse
  • 1 night in Sakya
  • 1 night in Zhangmu
  • 14 Breakfasts – 14 Lunches – 9 Dinners

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Escorted by Tour Host Glenn Mullin
  • Travel with other spirit-centered people
  • Lectures, meditations & ceremonies with Glenn
  • Walk to the Bauda in Kathmandu
  • Swoyambhu & Hanuma Dhoka visits
  • Visits to the Sakya & Tashilunpo Monasteries
  • Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple & Drak Yerpa Caves for a special day of meditation

TOUR ITINERARY

(B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner)

Day 1, Sunday, May 8: Arrive Kathmandu & Tour Begins (D) Arrange your international flight to arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal this morning where your local escort will meet you and transfer you to your reserved accommodations.

Note: Body Mind Spirit Journeys will be happy to assist you with your flight plans. Nepal Kathmandu Syambhunath

After time to rest, there will be an afternoon tour to visit the Swoyambhunath Stupa and Temple Complex. This stupa is said to be 2000 years old, and is one of the world’s most glorious Buddhist monuments. It is situated on a hill to the west of Kathmandu. In the late afternoon, a group meeting and lecture with Glenn then a group dinner at the hotel this evening. A time for sharing your experiences so far, as well as your dreams for your time in this ancient and sacred land. Overnight Kathmandu.

Day 2, Monday, May 9: In Kathmandu – Patan (B/L)

Nepal Patan Royal Palace In the morning you will visit go to Lalitpur, the ancient Buddhist city now known as Patan. This town is located on the southern bank of the Bagmati River. You will have lunch here in the Museum Restaurant, and then visit some important Buddhist temples in the area. The city is also famous for its artists, statue makers, and metal craftsmen and you will visit some of their shops before returning to the hotel in the afternoon. There will be a Tibet briefing later in the afternoon. Overnight Kathmandu.

Day 3, Tuesday, May 10: In Kathmandu – Old Kathmandu City (B/L)

Kathmandu morning marketAfter breakfast you will visit the old section of Kathmandu – Ason with its vegetable & spice market, the White Machendranath Temple courtyard of Sheegal, Indrachowk with the temple of Bhairav and to Hanuman Dhoka, the old palace square where the Kumari, the Living Goddess resides. You will have plenty of time to walk around and explore this part of the city. After lunch you’ll transfer back to the hotel with the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 4, Wednesday, May 11: Fly to Lhasa & drive to Tsedang (B/L/D) Himalayas

You leave early for the airport for your one hour flight to Lhasa which is a spectacular as you fly across the Himalayas and to Tibet. You land in Lhasa’s Gonggar airport in early afternoon. After clearing customs and immigration you’ll drive to Tsedang, The drive from the airport to Tsedang is approximately 90 minutes, and is very beautiful. It runs by the riverside, with temples and stupas on the mountains to the right. On the way you will stop at Mindroling, one of the most important institutions of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, and will meditate there for a short time. Mindroling is also famous for its Dakini inspirations. Tsedang served as the old capital of Tibet from approx 400 BC to 650 AD, when King Songsten Gampo, the 33rd king of the Yarlung Dynasty, moved the capital to Lhasa. Overnight Tsedang.

Day 5, Thursday, May 12: In Tsetang & Visits To Yumbhulakhang, Traddruk and Nunnery (B/L/D)

Morning visit to Yumbhulakhang, Tibet’s oldest castle (4th century BC), which was converted into a temple in approx 650 AD. Afternoon visit to the Traddruk Temple in town for meditation in one of Tibet’s first Buddhist temples. It is ranked next to the Jokhang Temple in terms of sacredness and was one of the 12 “inner circle temples” created by Songtsen Gampo in the mid 7th century. You will also visit the nunnery at the foot of Mt Chimpu, where many of the disciples of Padma Sambhava made retreat just after the completion of the monastery, and 25 of them attained realization, including Yeshey Tsogyal, the woman destined to become his chief. Dinner and overnight in Tsetang.

Day 6, Friday, May 13: To Samye (B/L/D) Samye

Drive 90 minutes to Samye, officially Tibet’s first monastery, dating from the mid-eighth century. Although Songtsen Gampo had built 108 temples a hundred years earlier, Samye was the first fully qualified Buddhist monastery in the country, with a quorum of five or more monks in residence, and also being three earshots from the nearest town. This monastery is designed to represent the Buddhist Universe. Many of the buildings in the courtyard are cosmological symbols. The complex originally had 108 buildings (an auspicious number to the Tibetans) and there were 1008 Chortens on the circular wall that rings the monastery. Here you will walk through the various chapels and then find a quiet meditation spot. Overnight in Samye.

Day 7, Saturday, May 14: Drive to Lhasa (B/L)

Drive to Yarlung Tsangpo followed by an hour ferry ride across the river and drive to Lhasa which will take just over an hour. Balance of the day at leisure. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 8, Sunday, May 15: In Lhasa – Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple (B/L) Potala Palace

Perched upon Marpo Ri Hill, 400 feet above the Lhasa valley, the Potala Palace rises a further 500 feet and is the greatest monumental structure in all of Tibet. Early legends concerning the rocky hill tell of a sacred cave, considered to be the dwelling place of the Bodhisattva Chenresi (Avilokiteshvara) that was used as a meditation retreat by Emperor Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century AD. In 637 Songtsen Gampo built a palace on the hill. This structure stood until the 17th century, when it was incorporated into the foundations of the greater buildings still standing today. From as early as the 11th century the palace was called Potala. The Potala Palace is an immense structure; its interior space is massive. Fulfilling numerous functions, the Potala was first and foremost the residence of the Dalai Lama and his large staff. In addition, it was the seat of Tibetan government, where all ceremonies of state were held; it housed a school for religious training of monks and administrators; and it was one of Tibet’s major pilgrimage destinations because of the tombs of past Dalai Lamas.

Within the White Palace are two small chapels, the Phakpa Lhakhang and the Chogyal Drubphuk; dating from the seventh century, these chapels are the oldest surviving structures on the hill and also the most sacred. The Potala’s most venerated statue, the Arya Lokeshvara, is housed inside the Phapka Lhakhang, and it draws thousands of Tibetan pilgrims each day. JohkangAfter lunch depart for the 7th century Jokhang, Tibet’s oldest and most important and sacred temple of Tibetan Buddhism. The main statue in this temple is one of the Sakyamuni Buddha, which was a gift from the Chinese princess Won Cheng in 641 A.D. Pilgrims from all over Tibet come to worship here and prostrate themselves in full length in front of the main doors of the temple for hours and days at a time. It is truly a moving experience to join them in their pilgrimage around the temple. Built by King Songsten Gampo in approximately 650 AD, it houses many sacred images and was patronized by the early Dalai Lamas. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 9, Monday, May 16: In Lhasa. Visit Drak Yerpa & The Caves of the Masters (B/L) Drak Yerpa Caves

After breakfast you will drive to Drak Yerpa, and meditate in the cave complex there. Drak Yerpa is about an hour’s drive to the northeast of Lhasa. Its history invokes many of the greatest names of Tibet’s mystical history, including most of the Dalai and Panchen Lamas. Songtsen Gampo meditated here in the 7th century, as did Padma Sambhava and several of his disciples in the 8th century. The site is strongly associated with Jowo Atisha and the early Kadampa masters. Atisha took up residence in a cave here after his arrival in Tibet in the mid-11th century, and led disciples until his death. You will have the opportunity to meditate in one of these caves. You drive back to Lhasa in the afternoon have the rest of the day free. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 10, Tuesday, May 17: In Lhasa. Visit Pha Bong Kha (B/L) Pha Bong Kha

Pha Bong Kha, one of the largest and most important of the Sera hermitages (rikhrod), lies about 5 miles northwest of downtown Lhasa on the southern slope of a peak known as Mount Parasol northwest of Sera. The site has a long history that is said to go back to the time of the first Buddhist king (of Tibet) Songtsen Gampo. Although originally the site of his castle (sku mkhar) or fort, it appears that Pha Bong Kha was quickly converted into a monastery, perhaps as early as the reign of the second great Buddhist king (of Tibet) Trisong Detsen. The monastery suffered considerable destruction from 1960 to the mid-1980s. Sera monks began renovating the buildings in the mid-1980s, and today the monastery belongs to Sera. After lunch, return to Lhasa in the late afternoon for a free evening. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 11, Wednesday, May 18: Drive to Drikung (B/L/D) DrigungThe Drikung (also spelled as Drigung) monastery is located in a valley. It’s an old monastery, founded in 1179 and is the mother monastery of the Drikung Kagyu tradition. When the communists invaded Tibet in 1959, many monasteries were destroyed, including Drikung. In the 1980’s the monastery reconstruction began and the monastery once again is active. The monastery is an important educational center for the tradition of the Drikung with a large library including rare texts about all subjects of the Himalayan region. There are works on Tibetan culture, tradition and geography and of course the Buddhist texts of all schools. The Drikung monastery houses an important collection about the famous Dunhuang manuscripts unearthed along the Silk Road. There, an unimaginable wealth of texts in various languages dating from the 4th to the 11th centuries that has been discovered including the earliest Tibetan medical drawing known at present. Overnight in Drikung.

Day 12, Thursday, May 19: To Shigatse. (B/L/D)

After breakfast, drive to Shigatse via the “North Road”. Shigatse is the second largest city in Tibet and the traditional capital of Tsang. Along the way, you will visit a Bon Monastery. Bon is the oldest extant spiritual tradition of Tibet. Overnight in Shigatse.

Day 13, Friday, May 20: In Shigatse – Tashilunpo Monastery & Drive to Sakya (B/L/D) Tashi Lunpo Monastery

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is seat to the Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1447 the Monastery was founded by His Holiness the 1st Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, in Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city. It is one of the four great monasteries of Central Tibet and was supervised and looked after by the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas of the Gelugpa, or Yellow Hat tradition. It has the glory of producing thousands of renowned scholars in the field of Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy and Tantra. Sakya monasteryThe Sakya monastery is a “must” for visitors to Tibet. Sakya, meaning “Grey Soil” in Tibetan (since the soil surrounding it is grey) with its walls were painted in red, white and grey strips, represents Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani respectively. The Sakya Monastery, reputed as as the “Second Dunhuang”, is the first Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism created by its initiator Khon Konchog Gyalpo in 1073 from which Sakyapa rose and once ruled Tibet. The Monastery not only records the history of the combination of religion and politics in Tibet, but was also deemed as the sign that Tibet was brought into Chinese domain officially. Sakya Monastery has 900 years history and has a colossal collection of highly valuable art pieces, including abundance handwriting sutra that is said was copied by all the Tibetan calligraphists organized by Basiba. Sakya’s collection of treasures also contains 3,000 pieces of sutras that have thousands of years’ history. Overnight in Sakya.

Day 14, Saturday, May 21: Drive to Zhangmu (B/L/D)

Tibetan plateauYour drive to Zhangmu today will be a long drive of about 9 hours but nevertheless a very interesting drive across the Tibetan Plateau and many high passes. As you approach, Tingri Chomulangma (Mt. Everest) should be visible on the left. You will have lunch in Tingri and continue to Zhangmu with excellent views of Mt. Shisapangma (26,289 ft) and other Himalayan peaks. As you cross the Lalung La pass at 16,615 ft., the road drops down and continues downhill until you arrive in Zhangmu at 7570 ft. The change in landscape and vegetation is spectacular as you cut through the Himalayas. Overnight in Zhangmu.

Day 15, Sunday, May 22: To Kathmandu. (B/L/D)

Friendship bridgeIn the morning you’ll cross Chinese immigration & customs and drive 20 minutes down to the Friendship Bridge. You will cross the bridge on foot to clear Nepalese immigration and customs, and then drive about 3 hours to Dhulikhel for lunch. After lunch, there will be another hour’s drive to Kathmandu. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. Farewell Dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 16, Monday, May 23:  Fly to Paro and onward to Thimpu (B/L/D)

Bhutan foodTransfer to the airport, and the adventure begins as you fly from Kathmandu to Paro, Bhutan. It’s one of the great sights in travel as you descend into Paro.  After disembarking, a glance in any direction provides an awe-inspiring view of the Himalayan Mountains at very close range. You depart the airport as you travel through the Paro Valley and visit the Tiger’s Nest monastery, the national museum and  the Paro Dzong (fortress-monastery). Contine to Thimpu and your hotel for dinner and a chance to savor Bhutanese cuisine and sample arra, the distinctive local spirit.  Dinner and overnight in Thimpu.

Day 17, Tuesday, May 24: In Thimpu (B/L/D) Tashichho Dzong

Thimpu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world is a bustling town on the banks of its own river and set gloriously in the hills of its own valley. A regal town, Thimpu is home to the revered Bhutanese Royal family, and on the bank of the river lies Tashichho Dzong, the main building that houses the throne room of his majesty the king of Bhutan. After touring the city’s best known sights, there will be time to wander along the main street and into shops, all of which are decorated in traditional style. Thimphu’s shopkeepers are delightfully helpful and will do their best to oblige even the smallest request. Bhutan’s famous stamp collection can be viewed and purchased in the capital’s main post office. Dinner and overnight in Thimpu.

Day 18, Wednesday, May 25: To Punakha (B/L/D)

Punakha is situated in its valley and is best known for its Punakha Dzong, home to the central monk body and the Je Khenpo during the milder winter months. A temperate climate and natural drainage from the Phochu (male) and Mochu (female) rivers, the fertile Punakha Valley produces abundant crops and fruits. Punakha Dzong was strategically built at the junction of the two rivers in the 17th century by the first Shabdrung to serve as the religious and the administrative center. In spite of four catastrophic fires and a devastating earthquake that destroyed many historic documents, Punakha Dzong houses sacred temples including the Mercheng where the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal lies in the state. The Dzong has been fully restored by the present king. In 1993 the largest Thongdrel, religious embroidery composed entirely of appliqué on silk brocade that has ever been created, was dedicated to the Dzong and the people of the Punakha valley by his majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and the Je Khenpo. Dinner and overnight in Punakha. Day 19,

Thursday, May 26: To Paro (B/L/D)

A free morning in Punakha and then return to Paro. From a Buddhist point of view, Paro was the first stop for Guru Rimpoche on his crusade from Tibet to Bhutan over one thousand years ago. Guru Rimpoche is said to have arrived on the back of the tigress and meditated at a monastery which is now a hallowed shrine for Bhutanese pilgrims who travel from all over the land to pray at its temple. Dinner and overnight in Paro.

Day 20, Friday, May 27: In Paro (B/L/D)

Paro contains a wealth of attractions which you will see this morning highlighted by the elegant and perfectly symmetrical Rinpung Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan. Behind Rinpung Dzong, on the high hillside, is the castle-shaped Ta Dzong. Once a watchtower built to defend Rinpung Dzong during the inter-valley wars of the 17th century, it has housed the nation’s heritage in Bhutan’s National Museum since 1976. The museum’s circular shape is perfect to show off its varied collections that are displayed over the several floors. A sprinkling of shops decorates the high street that marks Paro Town and is a great place to buy local items. “Farewell to Bhutan” dinner this evening. Overnight in Paro.

Day 21, Saturday, May 28: Tour ends.

To Kathmandu & your return flight home (B) Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. Note: Rates for additional nights’ accommodations in Kathmandu to accommodate your International flight schedules are also available on request. Please note: This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to circumstances beyond our control. Tour is operated in cooperation with Glenn H. Mullin Lecture Tours. Pre/post nights are available upon request. Travel insurance is highly recommended. Some inclusions may not be available on indicated dates and dates may have to be adjusted.  Listed local Hosts and guides are subject to availability and will be hosting your itinerary wherever possible. However, due to scheduling, there may be some times when the local Host or guide is not available. If this occurs, BMSJ will provide a comparable and experienced substitute.

TOUR PRICES: ** 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.

Tour – Per Person, double occupancy, LAND ONLY** (no flights) ** only flights included as per above

$5,995 payments via check or money order $6,311 payments via credit card PLUS: (to be added to above price)

$300 payments via check or money order $316 payments via credit card

Chinese Visa (US Passports): $250 payments via check or money order $263 payments via credit card

Chinese Visa (other Passports): $175 payments via check or money order $184 payments via credit card

Single Room Supplement: $895 payments via check or money order $942 payments via credit card

NOTE: The Single Room Supplement applies for those who would like to secure a private room throughout the tour.

ROOMMATES: We will be happy to try to find a suitable roommate for those who are traveling alone and would like to share a room.  Per our Terms and Conditions, registration for the tour will be held open until 4 weeks before the departure date in order to try to match everyone with a roommate.  If, by that date, we have not been able to match you with a suitable roommate, you will be responsible to pay for the single supplement.  An early registration will facilitate this process.

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. Please read our Body Mind Spirit Journeys Terms and Conditions.

 

TOUR NOW DEPARTED