Wisdom Adventures: Exploring the Dharma in Bhutan

Departures: Bhutan

WISDOM ADVENTURES: EXPLORING THE DHARMA IN BHUTAN

Join us for a very special journey to Bhutan, the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon, with renowned spiritual teachers Joel and Michelle Levey—founders of Wisdom at Work, pioneers in the contemplative sciences and mindfulness movement and long time students and practitioners in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. We will experience Bhutan in a profoundly meaningful and ‘enlightening’ way through Buddhist practice as we meditate in gorgeous monasteries, uncover the ancient stories in sacred Buddhist paintings and participate in a Buddhist festival—a colorful blend of traditional dance and prayer. Waitlist

Beneficiary

We believe that to travel responsibly, a portion of our tour cost should benefit the communities we visit. For this trip, our donation will go to a non-profit organization we support that is having a very positive impact around the world: DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS—a humanitarian-aid organization that provides ongoing emergency medical aid around the world.

Pricing

Starting at $3890*

For more information and to get started, contact us at How to Book.

Itinerary

March 4 — 12, 2017

Day 1

Arrive Paro, PARO—THIMPU

Upon arrival in Paro, transfer to Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan, approximately one hour by road. Afternoon visit to the National Memorial Chorten. Built for the 3rd King of Bhutan, this white and gold stupa is dedicated to World Peace. In the evenings, many locals walk around the stupa, offering prayers and garnering good karma.

Evening spiritual session at the hotel after dinner.

Day 2

THIMPU—TANGO Monastery

Today, hike to Tango Monastery, considered a very auspicious site. Participate in a prayer ceremony with a lama from the monastery who will share his insights on Bhutanese Buddhism, its practices and philosophy with us.

Afternoon at leisure. Visit a local café, browse for spectacularly colorful Bhutanese postage stamps or outfit yourself as the locals do with a beautiful handwoven gho (for men) or kira (for women).

This evening, dine with a representative from the Center for Bhutanese Study who will talk to the group about Gross National Happiness.

Day 3

Thimpu—BUDDHIST HIGHLIGHTS

Today we explore Buddha Point and have a spiritual session at Zilukha Nunnery—the largest nunnery in Bhutan. We’ll light 108 butter lamps to bring all beings good karma, health and happiness.

Afternoon, we’ll visit the Folk Heritage Museum, housed inside a 19th-century traditional Bhutanese house and filled with artifacts representing the traditional Bhutanese way of life. Then on to Taschichho Dzong, set along the Wangchhu river and the current seat of the Bhutanese government.

Evening spiritual session after dinner.

Day 4

THIMPU—PUNAKHA

Depart for Punakha Valley. Along the way, stop at Dochula pass, a beautiful site that features 108 stupas. We make offerings while here and weather permitting, take in the spectacular views of Himalayan peaks from the pass.

Stop enroute at Chimi Lhakhang or the Temple of the Devine Madman. A short hike through farm fields takes us to the shrine, where we offer prayers, light butter lamps and take blessings from the relics of this 15th-century saint Lama Drukpa Kuenley.

Arrive in Punakha and rest before dinner. Evening spiritual session after dinner.

Day 5

Punakha—Tsechu Festival

Spend the morning enchanted by the Tsechu Festival. Be cleansed by viewing the festival’s thongdrel –a special thankgka or traditional Bhutanese painting, depicting Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rimpoche. Enjoy the colorful cham dances performed by masked dancers.

Afternoon spiritual session at the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, where we meditate and discuss what we’ve seen.

Evening dine at a local farm house, with an opportunity to meet and talk with our local village host.

Day 6

PUNAKHA—PARO

Brief morning meditation before departure. We will make our way back to Paro by road.

Upon arrival in Paro, visit Ta Dzong, the Bhutanese National Museum, which holds a fascinating collection of Bhutanse art, including bronze statuary and paintings. We will then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, also known as ‘Fortress of the Heap of Jewels’, noted for its stunning architecture.

Evening spiritual session after dinner.

Day 7

PARO—VILLAGE HIKE

This morning, hike to Dop Shari village, where you will learn more about Bhutanese life. After lunch, feel free to stroll around Paro and take advantage of some last minute shopping.

Learn about the Bhutanese national sport of archery this evening at the hotel.

Evening spiritual session after dinner.

Day 8

PARO—TIGER’S NEST

This morning, depart for a half-day hike up to the iconic Tiger’s Nest monastery built in 1692 around the sacred ‘tiger’s lair’caves where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, and three hours in the 8th century. The Tsechu Festival we attended in Punakha is held in his honor. Enjoy the spectacular views from the trail up to the monastery.

Afternoon spiritual session at the hotel to wrap up, followed by a farewell dinner and a cultural show.

Day 9

PARO—HOME

Say goodbye to the friendly people of Bhutan. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Optional Extensions

Extend your stay in Bhutan with a trip to Bumthang or explore the historic Golden Triangle of Rajasthan in nearby India. Contact us for more details.

For pricing and hotel information, contact us at How to Book. The specifics of this itinerary are subject to change based on local conditions at the discretion of Ponte Travels.

• Rates shown are per person, double occupancy. Airfare not included.