8 Day Spiritual Adventure
in the Kingdom of Bhutan

Reconnect your Mind, Body & Spirit

The magic of Bhutan is not describable with words. The simplicity of how the locals live and how in tune with nature they are, definitely plays a big part in its beauty. The temples are charged with years and years of focused meditation and spiritual energy, creating a very real field that can be felt. It’s the perfect place for spiritual growth and personal development. Through the practices of yoga, breathwork, meditation, shamanic journey and a spiritual adventure around the country, you will start to unfold more deeply into your purest vibration of peace.

Retreat Group Dates (choose from one below)

May 16 - 23, 2024
Sept 5 - 12, 2024

April 10 - 17, 2025

The Kingdom of Happiness

Bhutan is known famously as the first country in the world to measure progress based on happiness. To do so, the 4th Druk Gyalpo coined the term Gross National Happiness (GNH). From then on, GNH was used to measure the country’s development instead of Gross National Product (GNP).

Daily Yoga

Every morning you will free your body through an invigorating yoga practice that is grounded in the principles of hatha, vinyasa and Himalayan kundalini. As the focus of the retreat is on developing your spiritual practice, the yoga will be there to create space in the body for more energy to flow within.

Shamanic Breathwork Journeys

Breathwork helps to prime the mind, body and energy systems to tap into your ability to entrain peace through meditation. You will also connect with your Spirit guides by invoking the sacred energies of the Andean medicine wheel. Drop into your inner guidance in expanded states of consciousness like you’ve never before.

Buddhist Chanting & Meditation

In the land of the Buddhas and the Thunder Dragon, chanting is one of the main practices in the monasteries. The simple practice of using sound to tame the monkey mind creates a profound sense of peace in the nervous system.  

Healing Ceremonies

While the mind speaks through the language of analysis, the soul speaks in the language of symbols. When you are able to engage in the mysticism of a sacred ceremony and step away from linear logic, you will fully be able to embrace your energy body. 

Local Cuisine

Bhutanese cuisine is influenced by Chinese, Tibetan and Indian culture. The main dish, which generally includes white or red rice, seasonal vegetables, and meat (pork and chicken), are often cooked with chili or cheese. Most restaurants in Bhutan offer customers a range from Continental to Chinese, and from Bhutanese to Tibetan and Indian cuisine. The meals on this trip will be vegetarian friendly. Vegan meals will be more challenging to accommodate, but not impossible.

Accommodations

During this retreat we will visit 4 cities: Paro, Thimpu, Pokhara Valley & Haa Valley, and be staying in 4 star hotels in each of the cities that we visit. All rooms available will either be twin share or private occupancy only depending on your preference.

The Itinerary

Note that the only airline flying in and out of Bhutan is Drukair. Flights from Bangkok,
Delhi and Kathmandu have daily arrivals. Other weekly flights that are less frequent are
Singapore, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Kolkata, Bagdogra, and Gaya, India (Indian transit visa required)

*We recommend flying through Bangkok.

*This retreat schedule, program and itinerary is subject to minor changes depending on weather and unforeseen circumstances

Day 1 - Arrival

We arrive by Druk Air (Royal Bhutan Airline) to Paro (Bhutan) over magnificent views of the world’s highest Himalayan snowcapped peaks. After immigration, you take a scenic one hour drive to the capital Thimphu, where we will have lunch.

Thimphu is sprawled across the wooded western hillside of the Wang Chu and it hosts the Centre of Government, Religion and Commerce. Thimphu is the new capital where the traditional ways mingle with modern globalization.

As a group of conscious like-minded travellers, we set a collective intention for our
transformational journey together. Then we move into a light de-stressing yoga practice to let go of any tension accumulated from a long day of traveling.

In the afternoon, we will visit the capital fortress, Tashichodzong, which serves as the royal office of His Majesty King and the central monastic body of Bhutan.

After dinner, we will experience an evening breathwork and meditation session to entrain the brain waves into an effortless state of relaxed alertness.

Duration of drive: 1hr Overnight: Thimphu
Elevation 2,320 m | Weather in Thimpu: Hi 22 Lo 13

Day 2 - Thimpu - The New Capital

7:00 – 8:00 am Yoga
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast

After breakfast, we will drive north to Dechenchoeling Palace and visit the Pangri Zampa monastery, a 17th century building that were once the home of the Shabdrung Rinpoche. It was then the headquarters for the temporal leader of Bhutan during 17th century and now
houses the monastic astrologer training institute and a temple dedicated to the 21 Tara’s.

After lunch, we arrive at the National Memorial Stupa – erected in the memory of beloved late Majesty the 3rd Dragon King of Bhutan Tashichodzong. In the late afternoon, we will arrive at Kuenselphodrang to visit the world’s largest Buddha statue erected for world peace and happiness. At this very spot, the Supreme head monk gives oral transmissions of the Buddha’s teachings to thousands of monks and lay people. Here we will experience a peace meditation before returning to our hotel for some quiet time, or spa time before dinner.

Late Afternoon – Shamanic Breathwork Journey 1 – This a powerful alchemizing experience that works on accessing inner wisdom & empathy on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally and energetically.

Overnight: Thimphu
Elevation 2,320 m | Weather in Thimpu: Hi 22 Lo 13

Day 3 - Punakha - Ancient Capital

7:00 – 8:00 am Yoga
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast

After breakfast, we go on a 2 hour stunning drive following the course of the Thimphu Chu (river) onto the high mountain pass of Dochu La (3,050m). On a clear day, we will witness the Himalayan snowcapped peaks towering over us in the backdrop of the 108 stupas erected by the Royal Queens of Bhutan.

Upon reaching Punakha, we will visit the picturesque Punakha Dzong fortress which is the winter residence of chief abbot and central monastic body of Bhutan. It also serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region.

After lunch, hike up to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, which is located on the ridge above the Punakha Valley. This chorten depicts the story of subduing our inner demons. We will practice outdoor yoga & meditation here in the afternoon.

Overnight: Punakha
Elevation 1,300 m | Weather in Punakha: Hi 27 Lo 14

Day 4 - Trashigang Goenba

7:00 – 8:00 am Yoga
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast

After breakfast, you’ll drive back through the clouds on Dochu La Pass to Paro. We’ll stop for a short hike through rich vegetation of the impressive Lungchutse Lhakhang.

Perched on a hill and rising 1640 feet above the already steep Dochu La, the temple provides even more breathtaking views of the Tibetan Plateau and the Bhutanese Himalayas. We will meditate here, followed by a scenic picnic lunch overlooking the world below.

After lunch, you’ll start a mild one-hour descent to Trashigang Goenba, another
beautiful monastic center. The car will pick you up here and continue another two
hours to Paro.

Evening: Shamanic Breathwork Healing Journey

Duration of Drive: 3 hours 30 min Overnight: Paro
Elevation 2,280 m | Weather in Paro: Hi 23 Lo 10

Day 5 - Paro - The Thunder Dragon

7:00 – 8:00 am Yoga
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast

Today, we settle in Paro, and explore the town. Depending on the group and time
permitting, we will either visit the National Museum which is housed in the Ta Dzong
(watchtower) to explore an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful
introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom or visit textile museum
and experience Bhutanese handicrafts, including exquisitely woven textiles and
Bhutanese handmade paper.

In the afternoon, we will visit renovation of ruin Dzong of Drukgyel Dzong followed
up by the trip to the oldest Kyichu temple that goes back to 7 centuries.

Evening: Shamanic Breathwork Healing Journey

Overnight: Paro
Elevation 2,280 m | Weather in Paro: Hi 23 Lo 10

Day 6 - Taktsang: Tiger's Nest

One of the main highlights of the Paro Valley is the Taktsang monastery (Tigers nest). Taktsang is one of the most important pieces of architecture in Bhutan. This monastery defies logic, gravity, and reason. As legend has it, in the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) arrived off the back of flying tigress to subdue the local deities and meditated there for 3 months. Afterwards, the cliffside was considered blessed. It is the most famous of the Bhutan’s monasteries, miraculously perched on the side of a sheer cliff 900 m above the floor of the Paro Valley. It will be a challenging climb, but well worth the journey.

We will have an early start, to avoid the hot sun for a 2.5 hour steep climb. On the way, we visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of 108 monasteries, and oldest temple from the 7th century built over a subdued demon’s body by Tibetan King Songtsen Gempo.

In the late afternoon before dinner, you will nourish yourself with a restorative yoga
practice.

Duration of hike: 5 hrs up and down | Difficulty: moderate to hard | Overnight: Paro
Elevation 2,280 m | Weather in Paro: Hi 23 Lo 10

 

Day 7 - The Haa Valley

7:00 – 8:00 am Yoga
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast

The Haa Valley is one of the less frequented valleys in Bhutan to visit. It is hidden above Paro and the development of hotels has been banned for now in an effort to retain its rustic old world charms.

Although very close, the Haa Valley has not been developed in the same way as Paro and here you will get a feel for the more traditional way of life that is more commonly seen in the eastern part of the country. Its’ picturesque scenery and a sense of utter peace and excellent hiking.

On the way to Haa, we drive through the highest driveable pass in Bhutan at 4988 m, Chelela Pass. On the way towards this picturesque and peaceful valley, we stop at the unique Kila Goemba Nunnery which has been a retreat for meditation since the 9th century, and currently home to 30 nuns. After receiving tea and blessings from the nuns, we head down to the Haa Valley for a scenic walk and to enjoy the simplicity of country living.

Evening: Yoga & Shamanic Breathwork Healing Journey
Difficulty: easy | Overnight: Haa Elevation 3,056 m | Weather in Haa: Hi 27 Lo 6

Day 8 - Drakarpo: Abode of the Gods

7:00 – 8:00 am Yoga
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast

Dra Karpo Temple in the morning is around 20 minutes drive from our resort and it is a 30 minute uphill walk to the temple. It is known as the ‘Abode of Gods’ in Shaba (Paro Dzongkang) and is considered one of the holiest and most sacred monasteries in Bhutan. If you carefully observe the Monastery, it is located on the heart of the cliff.

Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche cleared out some rocks from the cliff to create space for his meditation. The removed rocks were stacked on an adjacent cliff nearby which you can still see to this day. The monastery dates back to 17th century and is built on a mountain dotted with underground caves. One of the caves has a small ladder for not-so fainthearted to climb down. It leads you into a large cavern that soon turns into very narrow crevasse.

After lunch, we will have an audience with a renowned Rinpoche/Trulku (spiritual teacher) about metaphysics.

Evening: Yoga & Shamanic Breathwork Healing Journey

Difficulty: easy to moderate | Overnight: Paro Elevation 2,280 m |
Weather in Paro: Hi 23 Lo 10

Day 9 - Farewell & Departure

6:30 – 7:30 am Yoga
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast

Our final group practice and closing together before saying farewell to Dr. Karma and Bhutan. A short 20 min ride to the airport for international departures.

What's Included

- Daily Yoga Classes
- Shamanic Breathwork Journey Workshops
- Cultural Programs & Activities (hikes, temple visits, etc)
- All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
- Tea & Snacks
- 4 star Accommodations
- All local Transport by coach within Bhutan - 1 Group Transport to and from Airport
- Services of expert Bhutanese government appointed guide
- Special Entry Fees
- High Peak Travel visa of $100 USD per day and surcharges
- $140 visa application fee
- 35% government surcharge that goes towards Bhutanese free healthcare, education and social development.

Are you ready for an unforgettable spiritual adventure in the Himalayas?

Dates:

May 16 – 24, 2024

Sept 5 – 12, 2024

April 10 – 17, 2025

Exclusions:

Flights

• International Travel Insurance (This is
mandatory for entering Bhutan).

•  Gratuities for guide and driver
(Average of $100-150 USD suggested)
•  Shopping & personal expenses

Room Options:

Rooms are priced in USD per person below and on first come first serve.

Limited to 12 participants.

• Twin Share $3600

• Private Room $4200

A $500 USD non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot.

Your Guides on this Journey

Dr. Karma Wangchuk

Dr. Karma Wangchuk is a government appointed travel guide in the Kingdom of Bhutan. As a practitioner of the Nyingmapa and Kagyupa traditions of Mahayana & Vajrayana Buddhism for many years, his dharma is to serve and guide spiritual seekers through theoretical and practical experiences while in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

For eight years between 1986 – 1994, he lived as a Buddhist monk under Kalu Rinpoche and Drupchen Rinpoche. During his monk-hood, he acquired a Gold Medal in his M.A Buddhist Studies Program, and proceeded to earn a PhD from the University of Delhi in Buddhist Studies.

He is a sought after lecturer in Tibetan Buddhism and Spirituality, and has held various positions in the government and privately. Currently, Dr. Karma is the lead trainer in the Tourism Council of Bhutan teaching other guides how to present Buddhism.

With Dr. Karma as our guide, we will surely experience an extraordinary layer of cultural immersion unlike any other average ‘tour’. We traverse the land of the thunder dragon not only with a cultural guide, but a spirit guide.

Dr. Karma speaks English, Bhutanese & Tibetan.

Johnson Chong

Johnson Chong is the best-selling and award-winning author of Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma. He is also a TedX Speaker, shaman and the founder of Sage Shamanic Yoga where he trains aspiring meditation and breathwork teachers. Through the synthesis of the most applicable teachings of yoga, meditation, breathwork, coaching and shamanic healing, his trainings are designed to help people quiet the mind, awaken the heart and free themselves of the roadblocks that keep them from living more authentically and joyfully. He has spoken and led workshops at companies like Unilever, Facebook, Nike, Macquarie, Insight Timer, UBS, UOB and more.

Johnson is a native New Yorker, and has lived on 3 continents, currently based in Sydney, Australia.

His passion is creating a bridge between ancient wisdom, energy medicine and direct modern application. Clients say that his unique experiences of er a profoundly healing self-discovery experience, followed with very practical and actionable steps to create lasting change. As a paqo shaman of the Q’ero lineage, a Four Winds Energy Medicine Health Coach, and
Reiki Master, in conjunction with his background as a teacher who trains yoga teachers and pilates teachers, he has an expansive knowledge of the physical body and how the psyche can create stagnation on all dimensions of being: physically, mentally, emotionally and on the level of the energetic.

Let’s keep in touch

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