Our 2018 Bhutan Pilgrimage Tour and Retreat:
- 14 days, 13 nights Pilgrimage Tour.
- Wednesday, Oct. 10 – Tuesday, October 23, 2018
- Includes 5-day practice retreat, October 14–18, 2018 participating in a “conversation” dialogue with Western teachers and Bhutanese lamas, monks and scholars.
- Cost of Tour is $4,195.00, per person double occupancy, plus $750.00 retreat registration.
- Participants outside the USA can make international bank wire payments. Contact us for details.
- Welcome Dinner in Paro, Bhutan.
- All in-country ground transport.
- Bhutan daily Govt. Tariff of $250.00 per day, which includes $65.00 per day contribution toward Bhutan’s universal free health care and free education.
- All meals & lodging in traditional lodges and hotels in Bhutan. English speaking Bhutanese guides and naturalist.
- Donations to: the Retreat host, Thekchog Chokyi Gatsel Monastery, founded by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche; Shechen Ogyen Chodzong Nunnery; and various spiritual teachers’ benefitting charities.
- The Retreat week will include meditations, mindfulness movement experiences, teachings, dialogue, and transmissions.
- Experience a sacred masked dance performance, in honor of 8th Century Guru Rinpoche.
- Entry into all Monasteries, Temples, sacred sites, ritual dances and archery events.
- Opportunities to interact with Buddhist monks, nuns, lamas, scholars, and village artisans.
- Walking meditations in ancient, broad-leaf forests.
- Opportunities for bird spotting (600 species of birds) in Bhutan’s broad-leaf mature forests.
- Also, possible up close encounters with wild monkeys, baboons, and yaks, which can be seen in the Cloud Forests habitats.
- Cherished sites we will visit include: Iconic Tiger’s Nest, site of sacred relics; and Druk Wangyel Choeten at Dochula Pass.
- Full Itinerary –view here
Does Not Include:
- Airfare from the U.S. or other departure countries to Bhutan; Bhutanese Visa ($40.00), travel insurance (highly recommended), alcoholic beverages, tips, and traditional Bhutanese hot stone baths.
- Lodging in Bangkok, the gateway city. Pre-tour lodging at two Bangkok boutique hotels near the Bangkok International Airport, can be recommended, for approximately $36.00 per night.
- Roundtrip airfare from Bangkok – Paro, Bhutan – Bangkok. Royal Bhutan Airlines flies into Bhutan. Currently, the roundtrip fare is approximately $800. We are awaiting final prices which will be published by the airline in May. We will facilitate participants obtaining their Bhutanese Visa and also facilitating your purchase of air tickets from Bangkok into Bhutan, round trip.
- Single Occupancy Option add $695.00
Retreat Week Theme: “Cultivating Compassion: Tradition, Science and the Divine Feminine”
Western teachers will be participating fully throughout the Pilgrimage and the Retreat at the monastery founded and nurtured by Dilgo Khyentse.
This precious five-day retreat in the heart of the last Buddhist kingdom introduces the visitor to the inner compassion of the human heart through three methods: traditional awakened heart practices (bodhicitta), the findings of contemporary science, and invoking the divine feminine of the bodhisattva goddesses of Tara and the Diamond Sow. The retreat will include accessible meditation teaching and practice, an introduction to scientific discoveries, and ceremonial practices indigenous to the kingdom of Bhutan.
In the context of current societal individualism and loneliness, and despair about political, environmental, and social functionality, we will explore the following topics in dialogue, dharma talks, and meditations:
- Awakening our connection with all sentient and all living beings, and cherishing them;
- Self-compassion as the basis for compassion for others and for the world;
- The experience of the awakened heart, bodhicitta, and its cultivation in meditation;
- Exploring the neurological basis of compassion, and how compassion practice changes the brain;
- Invoking the power of the Divine Feminine to engender compassion, drawing on the goddess Tara and the sky-goer (dakini) Diamond Sow;
- Selfless compassion as an engaged path of Integrity and Responsibility;
- Social compassion in Bhutan’s spiritual ecology of Gross National Happiness;
- Bringing compassion back home to heal our global community and ecology.
Bhutan is a pristine place for retreat and renewal. Situated in the Himalayan foothills between Tibet and India, it is well connected by cell phone and internet transmission. An English-speaking Kingdom with so many delights to discover, we look forward to talking with you about the Pilgrimage-Tour to Bhutan, the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon.’
We encourage you to read the November 2, 2014 New York Times Style Magazine-Travel Section on Bhutan, a marvelous 9-page article by by Jody Rosen, “The Higher State of Being.”
Kind regards, and looking forward to hearing from you with Gratitude,
Charles Simmons and Marla Perry-Simmons.