Explore different perspectives of Buddhism on an enlightening journey through the Himalaya from Bhutan to Tibet. Experience ancient Buddhist practice in palaces and monasteries, feel the magnificence of Everest and Annapurna up close, and deepen your spiritual understanding as you discuss Gross National Happiness and the economics of Buddhism with leading lights.
This enlightening exploration is perfect for those who wish to deepen their understanding of Buddhism in its mountain home. Whether you are a beginner or have travelled far along the Way of the Buddha, this journey is designed to empower you.
It is designed to help you start looking at challenges such as what it might mean to create wealth that benefits humanity as opposed to money that benefits governments, corporations and individuals. How might our environment be better conserved through sustainable husbandry of our resources? Buddhism provides an effective means of grappling with these questions. Rather than prioritising individualism - the Western free-market approach - Buddhist economics requires us to care how everyone is doing because all our well-being is interdependent.
Your journey begins in Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon – often regarded as the happiest country on Earth. As the only official Buddhist country in the world, this seldom-visited small kingdom is rich in traditions and rare splendours.
As an honoured guest staying at the very best properties, you’ll gain unprecedented insight into the theory and practice of Bhutanese Buddhism as you explore its ancient monasteries and remote high valleys. Along the way, you’ll meet with spiritual leaders, economists and royalty for informal discussions, meditations and private audiences that will give you new perspectives on sustainable business practice as much as they invite you to re-evaluate your perspectives on life.
You’ll join monks at prayer time, attend a specially arranged feast complete with masked dancers and musicians, and learn archery from an Olympic champion. A highlight will be meeting with the Abbot of Tiger’s Nest Monastery. You’ll even journey to the fabled pastures of Jomolhari in northern Bhutan to help local yak herders collect the world’s most highly-prized medicinal fungi.
A spectacular flight across the Himalayas will then bring you to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. As you peel back the layers of this beguiling city with a renowned anthropologist, you’ll discover the remarkable Boudhanath stupa, and enjoy a private audience with a living goddess.
No visit to Nepal is complete without experiencing Everest, and your helicopter flight to Tengboche Monastery to join the monks at dawn prayer before contemplating the majesty of Everest from the air will linger long in your memory. Flying to the heart of the Annapurna Sanctuary, you’ll then trek with a Gurkha guide through rhododendron forests, stopping to chat with locals in village teahouses on your way to one of the finest vistas in the Himalayan range. Before returning to Kathmandu, fly to Nepal’s ‘Little Tibet’ – the ancient kingdom of Mustang – to meet with a member of the royal family and explore their pastures and palaces.
The final leg of your journey brings you to Lhasa. Uncover the pillars of this mystery-shrouded city from its atmospheric markets and temples to the Potala Palace – once the residence of the Dalai Lama. Along the way, witness a debate amongst the monks of Sera Monastery and meet the sisters of a nunnery to learn about the role of women within Tibetan Buddhism.
Finally travel beyond Lhasa to Ganden Monastery perched eyrie-like above the Kyichu Valley. Here you’ll share in the true devotion of Tibetan Buddhists as you join farmers and nomads clutching wheels and prostrating themselves on a kora pilgrimage around the monastery – a fitting and very special climax to your journey of enlightenment.