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My Month as a Monk

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Program Overview

Spend the most transformative month of your life in spiritual India! Live amongst the traditional monks, practicing the art and spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism, visiting a local NGO, and engaging in a silent retreat!

This journey is truly a sojourn for the soul, and you will finish the month with an entirely new outlook on life. This program is designed to give you the most immersive and authentic look into the life of a traditional monk. You will spend 30 days transforming your soul through a monastery stay, meeting and staying with the locals, and getting an in-depth look into the rich culture and history of India like never before!


My Month as a Monk


October 14, 2023 days and November 12, 2023 nights

Your Curriculum

At A Glance

DAY 1: Your Month as a Monk Begins.

Namaste!

Welcome to India!
Our representative will meet you in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and custom formalities. Then, you will depart for your hotel where you will check in for your stay.

DAY 2: Delhi to Anandpur Sahib

This morning after breakfast, we will leave for Anandpur Sahib!

DAY 3: Anandpur Sahib

Today after breakfast, we will begin our ascent into the Himalayas!

DAY 4: Manali

Manali is a small little hill station bustling with tourists.

DAY 5: Manali to Kaza

Today we have an early start from Manali. We cross into Lahaul through the famous Atal Tunnel – the longest tunnel in the world above 10,000 ft!

DAY 6: Kaza

This morning, we will begin our day with a delicious breakfast!

DAY 7: Kaza to Kee to Kungri

After breakfast we will get back onto the road and follow the Spiti river upstream for a short while where we will visit the Kee Monastery which belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

DAY 8 - 17: Kungri

The next 11 days is a deep contemplative and learning curve that will provide a deeper understanding of the day-to-day life in a monastery along with the philosophy and some basic practices of Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Vajrayana Buddhism.
The Kungri monastery/nunnery belongs to the Nyingma sect of Vajrayana Buddhism and is approximately 600 years old. The Nyingmapa School is the oldest among the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the others being the Sakyapa, Gelugpa and Kagyupa. While the basic teachings of the four schools are similar, the Nyingmapa sect differs in being more focused on the Tantra phase of learning. This difference is attributed to the founder of Nyingmapa, Padma Sambhava, who was proficient in the practices of Tantra.

The beginning of any serious engagement needs an initiation. We will get a basic introduction into Buddhist vows and then we will get inducted into the vows and precepts that we need to adhere to during the course of our stay in the monastery. The vows are offered by the teachers in the monastery and form an integral part of a commitment to the spiritual tradition.

As part of our stay at the monasteries we shall have some sessions that the Monastery teachers will take to introduce concepts of Nyingmapa Buddhism. Some of the key topics that shall be addressed as part of the philosophical teachings pertain to the Four Noble Truths, Eight Fold Path, Compassion and Wisdom. We shall also hear the views of the teachers in the monastery about Samsara and why we are born in Samsara, the 3 poisons and their role in keeping us lurking in the world of Samsara, again and again.

DAY 19: Kungri to Phukchong

Today is our last day at the monastery and we will bid goodbye to our hosts and to express our gratitude to the monastery and its resident monks and nuns!

DAY 20 - 21: Phukchong

We will spend the next 2 days at Phukchong practicing Nuangnay!

DAY 22: Phukchong to Demul

Today post breakfast we leave the Pin valley and head on to the highlands. The drive from Phukchong to Demul crosses one pass at about 4600 mts. Demul is a beautiful village set on the highlands of the Spiti Valley, famous for the local brew – Arak and folk performances at an additional price*. A flavor of both can be had during your stay in Demul Village.

DAY 23: Demul

Today we will spend the day at Demul and get an insight into the age-old tradition and science of Tibetan Medicine!

DAY 24: Demul to Kaza

After breakfast, we will bid farewell to Demul village to and head to Asia’s highest village; Komic, which is adorned by a beautiful monastery. We can trek or take a Yak-back safari at an additional price* to Komic across the alpine high-altitude meadows of Spiti.

DAY 25: Manali

Today is an early start as we will drive over the Kunzum la (pass/4551mts), which divides Lahaul and Spiti.

DAY 26: Manali to Norbulingka

Today, our stop in Manali is a short one and after a relaxed breakfast we will make our way to the Mandi and Kangra valleys of Himachal. We follow the Beas River all the way to Mandi and cross the famous town of Kullu enroute.

DAY 27: Norbulingka

Norbulingka is an institute that was started in 1995 to enable the preservation of Tibetan art and culture.

DAY 28: Norbulingka to Mcleodganj

Today, we will visit the famous Gyuto Karmapa Monastery! From here we will head on towards the seat of the exiled Tibetan Government at Mcleodganj, Dharamshala.

DAY 29: Mcleodganj

Today we shall explore Mcleodganj and its many faces. There are some other interesting places we will explore today in and around Mcleodganj such as the Tibetan Men-tse-khang Medical & Astro-science Institute. Here we will get an insight into the science of astrology.

DAY 30: Dharamasala to Delhi-See You Again

This morning after breakfast, it’s time to check-out of the hotel, where you will be assisted for your transfer to Dharamshala airport to connect via flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be assisted to connect your onward flight back home.


Why Learning Journeys?

At Learning Journeys we believe in a new kind of vacation. Our unique journeys help you explore and develop your skills and interest, travel the world, give back to the community and ultimately re-connect with yourself.


The destinations are chosen specifically to make practicing that skill more accessible, and more fun. Typical skills offered are health and wellness, cooking, photography, art, birding and wildlife, language study, architecture, music, dance and more. Programs range from beginner to professional certification. You will even have the opportunity to attend off the beaten path festivals in your specific area of interest which will take your learning immersion to new heights!

Brand Pillars

Transformation

The quest for knowledge as we open our hearts and minds to new experiences can transform us. As we see the world through the eyes of others, the communities we visit and touch are also transformed. This cycle of positive change is at the heart of every Learning Journeys experience.

Education

Learning Journeys is designed to nurture that ember of curiosity inside you into a flame of life-long discovery. Continued learning ensures continued growth, whether pursuing any number of interests that intrigue you or a passion you have honed over the years.

Exploration

Truly, the world is your classroom. Exploring the rich and varied cultures of the destinations you visit multiplies the value of your educational pursuits, and the exploration of yourself. The journey itself – to a new place and new you – is what truly matters.

Self-reflection

Through reflection, we bring learning to life. Pausing from the chaos of our daily lives allows us to sort through experiences to create meaning, from which we learn more deeply about ourselves. Understanding what truly moves us leads to rich and profound actions that shape our lives.

Community service and sustainability is at the core of the Learning Journeys mission. In addition to hands-on interactive classes, we work in the local communities, helping to improve lives and our planet. Destinations are chosen for their exceptional beauty, abundant wildlife, accessibility to expert practitioners, and generally fun places to visit! The destinations are near and far-North America, Latin and South America, Europe, India, Asia, Australia and more.

Finally, just as you remember specific meals from a trip taken many years ago, your ability to recall information is enhanced when combined with a unique setting. “Learning Journeys” are an excellent value for money and an investment.


Departure

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>

<p> Spend the most transformative month of your life in spiritual India! Live amongst the traditional monks, practicing the art and spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism, visiting a local NGO, and engaging in a silent retreat! </p>
<p> This journey is truly a sojourn for the soul, and you will finish the month with an entirely new outlook on life. This program is designed to give you the most immersive and authentic look into the life of a traditional monk. You will spend 30 days transforming your soul through a monastery stay, meeting and staying with the locals, and getting an in-depth look into the rich culture and history of India like never before! </p>

</body>
</html>

What You Will Learn/Do

Why We Love This Traveling Classroom

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>

<p> Live amongst the traditional monks, practicing the art and spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism, visiting a local NGO, and engaging in a silent retreat</p>
</body>
</html>

How This Program Benefits The Local Community

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>

<p> Social project immersions. </p>
</body>
</html>


Program

DAY 1: Your Month as a Monk Begins.

Delhi stands as the capital of modern India. Here you can see the mingling of the old and new India, the ancient and the modern. Delhi is made up of seven ancient cities, spanning the period from the 11th to 20th centuries. Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many emperors who have left behind a plethora of monuments that commemorate the grandeur and glory of bygone ages. Very few cities in the world can express such a profusion of architectural styles.

Meals Included: Dinner
Overnight in Novotel Aerocity, Standard Room


DAY 2: Delhi to Anandpur Sahib

Upon arrival, you will check-in at the hotel and have time to relax.

Learning Experience: Orientation
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
Overnight in Anand at the Sutluj, Premier Cottage


DAY 3: Anandpur Sahib

As we journey into the Kullu valley, you will witness one of the most beautiful valleys of India before stopping for the night at Manali.

Learning Experience:
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Hotel Johnsons, Standard Room


DAY 4: Manali

We will spend the day today at Manali – exploring the town and the quaint temples and villages close to Manali. The evening can be spent exploring the Manali bazaar!

Learning Experience: Town Exploration
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Hotel Johnsons, Standard Room


DAY 5: Manali to Kaza

We follow the Chandra River Valley for a while until we ascend to the beautiful Kunzum Pass. We will spend some time taking in the fabulous views of the Chandrabhaga Mountain Ranges, visit the serene Buddhist shrine at Kunzum and resume our journey to reach Kaza by evening, the capital of Spiti, where we spend the night.

Learning Experience:
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Hotel Sakya Abode, Standard Room


DAY 6: Kaza

After, orientation forms another important part of this journey as much as acclimatization forms the essence of being in harmony with the rarefied air in this high-altitude territory.

We will spend the day with members of the NGO and get oriented on Spiti and the program. Today, we will also get a brief introduction on Buddhism in Spiti.

Learning Experience: Get oriented with Spiti and the work that has been done by the NGO. Brief introduction on Buddhism in Spiti.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Hotel Sakya Abode, Standard Room


DAY 7: Kaza to Kee to Kungri

Kee Monastery is one of Spiti’s most spectacular monastery perched up on a small conical hill. We will spend time exploring the monastery, head back to Kaza and grab a quick lunch before we head further downstream till we reach the Pin Valley. Pin valley is home to the Niyangma sect of Vajrayana (Vehicle of the Thunderbolt – a.k.a Tibetan/Tantrayana) Buddhism, which is the oldest of all the Vajrayana Bushhism sects and was founded by Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava).

We visit the Kungri monastery, the only monastery in the Pin valley. Here we shall learn about this unique sect and its practices and get a brief insight into the lives of the monks and their responsibilities over the next few days.

Learning Experience: Monastery visits
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in The Monastery


DAY 8 - 17: Kungri

Apart from Buddhist philosophy we shall also learn some basic meditation and cleansing techniques practiced by the monks called Longro (the practice of cleaning one’s body of the 3 poisons every morning through breathing techniques and meditation). Meditation forms an important aspect of spiritual practices at the monastic institutions – however most of the practices of meditation need specific initiations – since one has to take refuge in Yidams (deities) as per the tantric teachings.

During the course of our stay at the monastery we shall also get an insight into Bhoti (Tibetan) language, since most of the major Tibetan Buddhist treatise are available only in this language. Bhoti is also the medium of instruction and learning at all higher levels and integral for those who wish to go deeper into the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

The science of Tibetan Buddhism lies in the subtle linkages of the concepts of Yantra, Mantra and Tantra and their mutual amalgamation. The science of Tantra has been expounded and expanded to great extent in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. It is also regarded as one of the most advance sciences in the field of Yoga and spirituality in general. However, it is pertinent to master the use of the Yantra and Mantra for finally being able to move to the science of Tantra. A lifetime of commitment is absolutely imperative to get deep into the science of Tantra – however within our available window we get insights into mantras and how they assist in the process of spiritual evolution in the Nyingma tradition and its significance in moving further into more tantric practices useful in the path towards liberation.

We shall use our stay in the monastery to get a brief insight into the significance and usage of mantras and how they form the most significant proportion of a Tibetan monk’s life and practices in their quest for spiritual progress. There are specific mantras dedicated to different deities and Bodhisattvas. The Guru Padmasambhava mantra and the Avalokitesvara mantra are some of the more common ones that we shall learn about. The recitation of these mantras and the turning of the rosary form an integral part of the practices and something that has to be adopted as part of our genetic mapping during the course of our stay. Prayers and mantra recitation form part of the daily routine of the monks and something that we can also participate in regularly.

Two very significant aspects of life in a monastery revolve around making Tormas and Mandalas. We shall try our hand at these and learn more of their significance in the monastic traditions as well as in the process of spiritual evolution.

Our days at the Monastery will present an opportunity to understand the different aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and of life in a Monastery. One of the key aspects pertains to following the daily schedule of the monastery that we shall adhere to very strictly. The daily schedule is developed in a manner that enables the monks to get ample time for self-study and this time shall be used by us to get deeper insights and better understanding of some of the key teachings.

Last but not the least is the Nuangnay initiation that we shall undertake at the end of our stay at the monastery. This is a traditional fasting and silence retreat that one must take to further deepen their practices. The teachers at the monastery shall initiate us into the Nuangnay practice.

Learning Experience: Learning and practicing Tibetan Buddhism.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in The Monastery


DAY 19: Kungri to Phukchong

We will continue to follow our daily schedule and slowly prepare ourselves for heading on for a short retreat to a village dedicated for serious retreats for monks and nuns.

Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.
Accommodation: Hermitage Guest House, Standard Room (B,L,D)

Learning Experience: Journey to Phukchong
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Phukchong


DAY 20 - 21: Phukchong

On the second day, we shall gradually withdraw from the retreat. The silence and fasting experience will would expose you to new avenues of your own being.

Learning Experience: Silent Retreat
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Phukchong


DAY 22: Phukchong to Demul

At Demul, we shall be hosted by a local family in a traditional homestay. Living in a traditional house up in the highlands is a unique experience and an insightful one, too. The village of Demul is an interesting model of sustainable living and our NGO has initiated various programs around renewable energy, passive solar housing, green houses, water conservation programs, indigenous agriculture, local handicrafts and responsible tourism. If interested, one can take a walk around the village and learn more about these when one reaches the village.

The evening is ideal to interact with our host family who will then be back from the fields.

Dinner & Overnight at the homestay.

Learning Experience: Homestay
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Demul


DAY 23: Demul

We will spend the day with an Amchi (a traditional Tibetan doctor) and learn more about this dying practice and how he diagnosis and makes his medicines.

Learning Experience: Tibetan Medicine
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Demul


DAY 24: Demul to Kaza

These are the grazing pastures of the village livestock and the hunting ground of the snow leopard. Visit the Komic monastery on arrival and thereafter get back into your waiting jeeps to head onto Hikkim – Asia’s highest post office where one can send off a postcard to family back home (remember to pick up a postcard from the Sol Café/ Taste of Spiti when in kaza on Day 6!).

From here we head to the highland village of Langza. Adorned by a Buddha statue and a temple, Langza is a picture-perfect village. The mainstay of this village in the olden days was mud craft. Vessels of all shapes and sizes were produced here and supplied to the entire valley for household use. However, this art has largely died down. Our NGO works with the last remaining potter to help conserve this art. For those interested in delving into their creative side – one can spend a bit of time with the local potter and learn the basics of Spiti Pottery at an additional cost*.

Later in the day we head back to Kaza and settle into our Hotel for a relaxed evening.

Learning Experience: Langza Journey
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Kaza


DAY 25: Manali

We will spend some time taking in the fabulous views of the Chandrabhaga range of mountains, visit the Buddhist shrine at Kunzum and get into our waiting jeeps. We drive along the valley of the Chandra River until we reach the famous Atal Tunnel – the longest tunnel in the world above 10,000 ft., from where we cross over into the Kullu Valley. Though the journey is long today, you will hardly notice it as the changing landscapes enroute will keep you mesmerized!

Today we make our way back into the hustle and bustle of urban spaces.

Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.
Hotel: Hotel Johnsons, Standard Room (B,L,D)

Learning Experience: Kunzum Buddhist Shrine
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Manali


DAY 26: Manali to Norbulingka

From Mandi we head towards the Dhauladhar ranges which form a perfect backdrop for the Kangra region as also for the better-known town of Dharamshala.

Our halt for tonight is at Norbulingka, situated at Sidhpur slightly before the town of Dharamashala.

Learning Experience: Kullu visit
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Guest house: Norling House, Standard Room


DAY 27: Norbulingka

Today, we will spend the day at Norbulingka and visit their fascinating museum on Tibetan art and culture. We will also visit their training institute where Tibetan artists and craftsman work and are trained. If keen, we can undertake a short workshop and try our hands at learning some of the basics of Tibetan art.

Learning Experience: Spend the day at the Institute and observe the artists & craftsman.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Guest house: Norling House, Standard Room


DAY 28: Norbulingka to Mcleodganj

Here, after settling into hotel, we will visit the Monastery of H.H the Dalai Lama. A visit to Mcleodganj is incomplete without visiting the Dalai Lama’s monastery, temple and his residence.

Evening is free to explore the market of Mcleodganj.

Learning Experience: Explore Dharamashala, Gyuto Karmapa Monastery visit, Monastery of H.H The Dalai Lama.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Chonor House


DAY 29: Mcleodganj

If keen, we can also get a one-on-one consultation and learn more about our own individual astrological chart. Depending on time available we can also visit some like Dharamkot, Bhagsunath and Galleu.

The evening is free for us to explore the market.

Learning Experience: Explore the Tibetan town and the institutes.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Chonor House


DAY 30: Dharamasala to Delhi-See You Again

Or, extend your journey on one of our numerous learning programs in India, Bhutan of Sri Lanka. We look forward to welcoming you back on another Learning Journeys immersion. Perhaps you’re interested in visiting Nepal or Tibet to experience the diverse spiritual essence of the land? Visit Bhutan to learn about their Gross National Happiness. Enjoy a cultural immersion in Sri Lanka. Whatever your interest, Learning Journeys can assist you with finding the perfect program to fulfil your dreams.




Program Registration Fees

All itinerary prices are listed in USD

Per person for Single Supplement $1,750.00

Per person for Standard $6,750.00


Program Departure Dates:

Services Included

·    Accommodation for 29 Nights on Twin Share / Single basis at the hotels mentioned above or similar.
·    Daily buffet breakfast & dinner at the hotels/homestays/monastery
·    Lunch will be at the local restaurant.
·    Assistance on arrival & departure at Delhi Airport
·    Services of an Accompanying English-speaking guide from Delhi (Day 2) till Dharamshala Airport (Day 30)
·    Reading Material, Talks & Session with the Monks, Amchi
·    Monastery Fees in Spiti and Inner line permit
·    Workshop at Norbulingka
·    Astrological oral consultation in Dharamshala
·    All transfers & sightseeing using an Air-conditioned Innova Crysta (4 Pax in 1 Innova). Please note that due to the road condition only small vehicles like Innova will be ideal. Hence in case of more than 4 people we will include multiple Innova’s.
·    All road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes.
·    Learning Journeys Certification
·    Water Bottles & Wet Tissues throughout the tour
·    All applicable taxes on hotel & transport
·    Govt. service tax of 5%
10/14/2023 8:00:00 AM

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Program Type

Adventure Learning
Ancient Traditions
Arts-Crafts-Textile
Birding and Wildlife
Bucket List Learning
Dance
Fashion
Gastronomy
Genealogy
Language
Music
Photography
Theater Arts
Unplugged Learning
Wellness and Spirituality
Wine and Spirits
Woman's Focused
Writing and Literature

Learning Level

Explore an Interest
Pursue a Passion
Change My Life!

Activity Level

Difficult


What You Will Learn/Do

Monastery Living

NGO Visit

Education on Buddhism

Practice of Tibetan Buddhism

Daily excursions

Full day exploration of Manali Town and the nearby villages

Spend 2 days practicing Nuangnay (traditional fasting & silence retreat)

Get an insight into the age-old tradition and science of Tibetan Medicine


Why This Program Is Unique

Live amongst the traditional monks, practicing the art and spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism, visiting a local NGO, and engaging in a silent retreat


How This Program Benefits The Local Community

Social project immersions.


Program Itinerary

Start/Finish City:

Open All Days


DAY 1: Your Month as a Monk Begins.

Namaste! Welcome to India! Our representative will meet you in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and custom formalities. Then, you will depart for your hotel where you will check in for your stay. Delhi stands as the capital of modern India. Here you can see the mingling of the old and new India, the ancient and the modern. Delhi is made up of seven ancient cities, spanning the period from the 11th to 20th centuries. Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many emperors who have left behind a plethora of monuments that commemorate the grandeur and glory of bygone ages. Very few cities in the world can express such a profusion of architectural styles. Meals Included: Dinner Overnight in Novotel Aerocity, Standard Room

DAY 2: Delhi to Anandpur Sahib

This morning after breakfast, we will leave for Anandpur Sahib! Upon arrival, you will check-in at the hotel and have time to relax. Learning Experience: Orientation Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner Overnight in Anand at the Sutluj, Premier Cottage

DAY 3: Anandpur Sahib

Today after breakfast, we will begin our ascent into the Himalayas! As we journey into the Kullu valley, you will witness one of the most beautiful valleys of India before stopping for the night at Manali. Learning Experience: Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Hotel Johnsons, Standard Room

DAY 4: Manali

Manali is a small little hill station bustling with tourists. We will spend the day today at Manali – exploring the town and the quaint temples and villages close to Manali. The evening can be spent exploring the Manali bazaar! Learning Experience: Town Exploration Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Hotel Johnsons, Standard Room

DAY 5: Manali to Kaza

Today we have an early start from Manali. We cross into Lahaul through the famous Atal Tunnel – the longest tunnel in the world above 10,000 ft! We follow the Chandra River Valley for a while until we ascend to the beautiful Kunzum Pass. We will spend some time taking in the fabulous views of the Chandrabhaga Mountain Ranges, visit the serene Buddhist shrine at Kunzum and resume our journey to reach Kaza by evening, the capital of Spiti, where we spend the night. Learning Experience: Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Hotel Sakya Abode, Standard Room

DAY 6: Kaza

This morning, we will begin our day with a delicious breakfast! After, orientation forms another important part of this journey as much as acclimatization forms the essence of being in harmony with the rarefied air in this high-altitude territory. We will spend the day with members of the NGO and get oriented on Spiti and the program. Today, we will also get a brief introduction on Buddhism in Spiti. Learning Experience: Get oriented with Spiti and the work that has been done by the NGO. Brief introduction on Buddhism in Spiti. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Hotel Sakya Abode, Standard Room

DAY 7: Kaza to Kee to Kungri

After breakfast we will get back onto the road and follow the Spiti river upstream for a short while where we will visit the Kee Monastery which belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Kee Monastery is one of Spiti’s most spectacular monastery perched up on a small conical hill. We will spend time exploring the monastery, head back to Kaza and grab a quick lunch before we head further downstream till we reach the Pin Valley. Pin valley is home to the Niyangma sect of Vajrayana (Vehicle of the Thunderbolt – a.k.a Tibetan/Tantrayana) Buddhism, which is the oldest of all the Vajrayana Bushhism sects and was founded by Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). We visit the Kungri monastery, the only monastery in the Pin valley. Here we shall learn about this unique sect and its practices and get a brief insight into the lives of the monks and their responsibilities over the next few days. Learning Experience: Monastery visits Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in The Monastery

DAY 8 - 17: Kungri

The next 11 days is a deep contemplative and learning curve that will provide a deeper understanding of the day-to-day life in a monastery along with the philosophy and some basic practices of Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Vajrayana Buddhism. The Kungri monastery/nunnery belongs to the Nyingma sect of Vajrayana Buddhism and is approximately 600 years old. The Nyingmapa School is the oldest among the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the others being the Sakyapa, Gelugpa and Kagyupa. While the basic teachings of the four schools are similar, the Nyingmapa sect differs in being more focused on the Tantra phase of learning. This difference is attributed to the founder of Nyingmapa, Padma Sambhava, who was proficient in the practices of Tantra. The beginning of any serious engagement needs an initiation. We will get a basic introduction into Buddhist vows and then we will get inducted into the vows and precepts that we need to adhere to during the course of our stay in the monastery. The vows are offered by the teachers in the monastery and form an integral part of a commitment to the spiritual tradition. As part of our stay at the monasteries we shall have some sessions that the Monastery teachers will take to introduce concepts of Nyingmapa Buddhism. Some of the key topics that shall be addressed as part of the philosophical teachings pertain to the Four Noble Truths, Eight Fold Path, Compassion and Wisdom. We shall also hear the views of the teachers in the monastery about Samsara and why we are born in Samsara, the 3 poisons and their role in keeping us lurking in the world of Samsara, again and again. Apart from Buddhist philosophy we shall also learn some basic meditation and cleansing techniques practiced by the monks called Longro (the practice of cleaning one’s body of the 3 poisons every morning through breathing techniques and meditation). Meditation forms an important aspect of spiritual practices at the monastic institutions – however most of the practices of meditation need specific initiations – since one has to take refuge in Yidams (deities) as per the tantric teachings. During the course of our stay at the monastery we shall also get an insight into Bhoti (Tibetan) language, since most of the major Tibetan Buddhist treatise are available only in this language. Bhoti is also the medium of instruction and learning at all higher levels and integral for those who wish to go deeper into the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The science of Tibetan Buddhism lies in the subtle linkages of the concepts of Yantra, Mantra and Tantra and their mutual amalgamation. The science of Tantra has been expounded and expanded to great extent in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. It is also regarded as one of the most advance sciences in the field of Yoga and spirituality in general. However, it is pertinent to master the use of the Yantra and Mantra for finally being able to move to the science of Tantra. A lifetime of commitment is absolutely imperative to get deep into the science of Tantra – however within our available window we get insights into mantras and how they assist in the process of spiritual evolution in the Nyingma tradition and its significance in moving further into more tantric practices useful in the path towards liberation. We shall use our stay in the monastery to get a brief insight into the significance and usage of mantras and how they form the most significant proportion of a Tibetan monk’s life and practices in their quest for spiritual progress. There are specific mantras dedicated to different deities and Bodhisattvas. The Guru Padmasambhava mantra and the Avalokitesvara mantra are some of the more common ones that we shall learn about. The recitation of these mantras and the turning of the rosary form an integral part of the practices and something that has to be adopted as part of our genetic mapping during the course of our stay. Prayers and mantra recitation form part of the daily routine of the monks and something that we can also participate in regularly. Two very significant aspects of life in a monastery revolve around making Tormas and Mandalas. We shall try our hand at these and learn more of their significance in the monastic traditions as well as in the process of spiritual evolution. Our days at the Monastery will present an opportunity to understand the different aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and of life in a Monastery. One of the key aspects pertains to following the daily schedule of the monastery that we shall adhere to very strictly. The daily schedule is developed in a manner that enables the monks to get ample time for self-study and this time shall be used by us to get deeper insights and better understanding of some of the key teachings. Last but not the least is the Nuangnay initiation that we shall undertake at the end of our stay at the monastery. This is a traditional fasting and silence retreat that one must take to further deepen their practices. The teachers at the monastery shall initiate us into the Nuangnay practice. Learning Experience: Learning and practicing Tibetan Buddhism. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in The Monastery

DAY 19: Kungri to Phukchong

Today is our last day at the monastery and we will bid goodbye to our hosts and to express our gratitude to the monastery and its resident monks and nuns! We will continue to follow our daily schedule and slowly prepare ourselves for heading on for a short retreat to a village dedicated for serious retreats for monks and nuns. Dinner & Overnight at the hotel. Accommodation: Hermitage Guest House, Standard Room (B,L,D) Learning Experience: Journey to Phukchong Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Phukchong

DAY 20 - 21: Phukchong

We will spend the next 2 days at Phukchong practicing Nuangnay! On the second day, we shall gradually withdraw from the retreat. The silence and fasting experience will would expose you to new avenues of your own being. Learning Experience: Silent Retreat Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Phukchong

DAY 22: Phukchong to Demul

Today post breakfast we leave the Pin valley and head on to the highlands. The drive from Phukchong to Demul crosses one pass at about 4600 mts. Demul is a beautiful village set on the highlands of the Spiti Valley, famous for the local brew – Arak and folk performances at an additional price*. A flavor of both can be had during your stay in Demul Village. At Demul, we shall be hosted by a local family in a traditional homestay. Living in a traditional house up in the highlands is a unique experience and an insightful one, too. The village of Demul is an interesting model of sustainable living and our NGO has initiated various programs around renewable energy, passive solar housing, green houses, water conservation programs, indigenous agriculture, local handicrafts and responsible tourism. If interested, one can take a walk around the village and learn more about these when one reaches the village. The evening is ideal to interact with our host family who will then be back from the fields. Dinner & Overnight at the homestay. Learning Experience: Homestay Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Demul

DAY 23: Demul

Today we will spend the day at Demul and get an insight into the age-old tradition and science of Tibetan Medicine! We will spend the day with an Amchi (a traditional Tibetan doctor) and learn more about this dying practice and how he diagnosis and makes his medicines. Learning Experience: Tibetan Medicine Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Demul

DAY 24: Demul to Kaza

After breakfast, we will bid farewell to Demul village to and head to Asia’s highest village; Komic, which is adorned by a beautiful monastery. We can trek or take a Yak-back safari at an additional price* to Komic across the alpine high-altitude meadows of Spiti. These are the grazing pastures of the village livestock and the hunting ground of the snow leopard. Visit the Komic monastery on arrival and thereafter get back into your waiting jeeps to head onto Hikkim – Asia’s highest post office where one can send off a postcard to family back home (remember to pick up a postcard from the Sol Café/ Taste of Spiti when in kaza on Day 6!). From here we head to the highland village of Langza. Adorned by a Buddha statue and a temple, Langza is a picture-perfect village. The mainstay of this village in the olden days was mud craft. Vessels of all shapes and sizes were produced here and supplied to the entire valley for household use. However, this art has largely died down. Our NGO works with the last remaining potter to help conserve this art. For those interested in delving into their creative side – one can spend a bit of time with the local potter and learn the basics of Spiti Pottery at an additional cost*. Later in the day we head back to Kaza and settle into our Hotel for a relaxed evening. Learning Experience: Langza Journey Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Kaza

DAY 25: Manali

Today is an early start as we will drive over the Kunzum la (pass/4551mts), which divides Lahaul and Spiti. We will spend some time taking in the fabulous views of the Chandrabhaga range of mountains, visit the Buddhist shrine at Kunzum and get into our waiting jeeps. We drive along the valley of the Chandra River until we reach the famous Atal Tunnel – the longest tunnel in the world above 10,000 ft., from where we cross over into the Kullu Valley. Though the journey is long today, you will hardly notice it as the changing landscapes enroute will keep you mesmerized! Today we make our way back into the hustle and bustle of urban spaces. Dinner & Overnight at the hotel. Hotel: Hotel Johnsons, Standard Room (B,L,D) Learning Experience: Kunzum Buddhist Shrine Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Manali

DAY 26: Manali to Norbulingka

Today, our stop in Manali is a short one and after a relaxed breakfast we will make our way to the Mandi and Kangra valleys of Himachal. We follow the Beas River all the way to Mandi and cross the famous town of Kullu enroute. From Mandi we head towards the Dhauladhar ranges which form a perfect backdrop for the Kangra region as also for the better-known town of Dharamshala. Our halt for tonight is at Norbulingka, situated at Sidhpur slightly before the town of Dharamashala. Learning Experience: Kullu visit Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Guest house: Norling House, Standard Room

DAY 27: Norbulingka

Norbulingka is an institute that was started in 1995 to enable the preservation of Tibetan art and culture. Today, we will spend the day at Norbulingka and visit their fascinating museum on Tibetan art and culture. We will also visit their training institute where Tibetan artists and craftsman work and are trained. If keen, we can undertake a short workshop and try our hands at learning some of the basics of Tibetan art. Learning Experience: Spend the day at the Institute and observe the artists & craftsman. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Guest house: Norling House, Standard Room

DAY 28: Norbulingka to Mcleodganj

Today, we will visit the famous Gyuto Karmapa Monastery! From here we will head on towards the seat of the exiled Tibetan Government at Mcleodganj, Dharamshala. Here, after settling into hotel, we will visit the Monastery of H.H the Dalai Lama. A visit to Mcleodganj is incomplete without visiting the Dalai Lama’s monastery, temple and his residence. Evening is free to explore the market of Mcleodganj. Learning Experience: Explore Dharamashala, Gyuto Karmapa Monastery visit, Monastery of H.H The Dalai Lama. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Chonor House

DAY 29: Mcleodganj

Today we shall explore Mcleodganj and its many faces. There are some other interesting places we will explore today in and around Mcleodganj such as the Tibetan Men-tse-khang Medical & Astro-science Institute. Here we will get an insight into the science of astrology. If keen, we can also get a one-on-one consultation and learn more about our own individual astrological chart. Depending on time available we can also visit some like Dharamkot, Bhagsunath and Galleu. The evening is free for us to explore the market. Learning Experience: Explore the Tibetan town and the institutes. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight in Chonor House

DAY 30: Dharamasala to Delhi-See You Again

This morning after breakfast, it’s time to check-out of the hotel, where you will be assisted for your transfer to Dharamshala airport to connect via flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be assisted to connect your onward flight back home. Or, extend your journey on one of our numerous learning programs in India, Bhutan of Sri Lanka. We look forward to welcoming you back on another Learning Journeys immersion. Perhaps you’re interested in visiting Nepal or Tibet to experience the diverse spiritual essence of the land? Visit Bhutan to learn about their Gross National Happiness. Enjoy a cultural immersion in Sri Lanka. Whatever your interest, Learning Journeys can assist you with finding the perfect program to fulfil your dreams.


Program Registration Fees

2022 Departures & Fees 9 Departures
2023 Departures & Fees 9 Departures

Date Double Occupancy Single Supplement
May 14, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
May 21, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
June 04, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
June 18, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
July 09, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
September 03, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
September 17, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
October 01, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
October 15, 2022
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
Date Double Occupancy Single Supplement
May 06, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
May 20, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
June 03, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
June 17, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
July 01, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
September 02, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
September 16, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
September 30, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
October 14, 2023
Reserve Online
₹ 5,13,000.00
Per Person
₹ 1,33,000.00
Per Person
Dates & Fees: View 2022 View 2023
Final pricing will be displayed on the summary page.

Services Included

· Accommodation for 29 Nights on Twin Share / Single basis at the hotels mentioned above or similar. · Daily buffet breakfast & dinner at the hotels/homestays/monastery · Lunch will be at the local restaurant. · Assistance on arrival & departure at Delhi Airport · Services of an Accompanying English-speaking guide from Delhi (Day 2) till Dharamshala Airport (Day 30) · Reading Material, Talks & Session with the Monks, Amchi · Monastery Fees in Spiti and Inner line permit · Workshop at Norbulingka · Astrological oral consultation in Dharamshala · All transfers & sightseeing using an Air-conditioned Innova Crysta (4 Pax in 1 Innova). Please note that due to the road condition only small vehicles like Innova will be ideal. Hence in case of more than 4 people we will include multiple Innova’s. · All road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes. · Learning Journeys Certification · Water Bottles & Wet Tissues throughout the tour · All applicable taxes on hotel & transport · Govt. service tax of 5% Accommodations: -Standard tourist class / public & private transportation -Upgraded Superior class -Luxury

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