10 Day Sacred Buddha Retreat
Sep 26 - Oct 5, 2024
in Tibet
with Shaman, TedX Speaker Johnson Chong
& ex- monk PhD Buddhist scholar Dr. Karma

Walk the Sacred Path of the Buddhas

More than a retreat, this is a spiritual pilgrimage across the sacred sites of the Himalayas. We will visit the holy temples and places that Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) the 2nd incarnation of the Buddha. He is an integral part of the Himalayan culture as he was responsible for bringing Buddhism to Nepal, Bhutan & Tibet. As you walk the path of the Lotus born, you will connect with the core of the Buddhist teachings not just from the mind, but from the whole of you. 

This is not a call for you to become a blind follower. It is a call for you to re-awaken your inner Buddha nature, and to walk the path alongside the ancient ones..

What's Included

- 10 x 75 min Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes
- 5 x Shamanic Breathwork Journey Workshops
- 5 x Ajna Light Therapy Meditations
- Cultural Programs & Activities (hikes, temple visits, etc)
- All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
- Evening Tea
- 5 Star, 4 Star and 3 Star Accommodations
- All local Transport by coach within Tibet
- 1 Group Transport to and from the Airport
- Services of English speaking expert guides through Tibet
- Special Entry Fees
- Group Permit for entry to Tibet.

The Pilgrimage

This unique experience is a blend of personal development and spiritual adventure. When you land, you will engage with all the healing processes, meditations, yoga practices, breathwork healing journeys with full concentration and participation. When you engage with prayer, offer and meditations in the temples, you will do so with your whole being regardless of whether you are an admirer or devout practitioner of Buddhism. As a pilgrim, you will lean fully into your soul’s purpose, and earnestly command the sky and the earth to pave a path of love, joy, abundance and grace to form for not only you, but for all of humanity.

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, 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.  

Psychedelic Light Therapy

The Ajna light is a meditation device that uses LED lights to stimulate a psychedelic DMT state of consciousness without ingesting hallucinogens. Oftentimes, students report seeing a kaleidoscope of visions similar to when on a psychedelic trip, except without the physical side effects of nausea.

Your Guides on this Journey

Dr. Karma Wangchuk

As a practitioner of the Nyingmapa and Kagyupa traditions of Mahayana & Vajrayana Buddhism for many years, Dr. Karma has been established with the aim to serve and guide especially spiritual and Dharma seekers through theoretical and practical experiences while in the Kingdom of Bhutan, Nepal & Tibet.

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 Buddhas 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.

Local Cuisine

Tibet’s cuisine reflects its wintery landscape. Staples include flour made of roasted barley, dairy (butter, milk & cheese) and meat (mutton, pork & yak). People who live in higher elevations typically consume more meat where as the lower regions have more access to a variety of vegetables. Rice is typically eaten by families of a higher economic background, southern border farmers and monks. You’ll also notice tea and barley beer (chhaang) commonly served.

Accommodations

During this pilgrimage, you will stay at the 5 star Shangrila in Lhasa, followed by 4 and 3 star accommodations as we move further out from the capital toward the remote regions due to what is available

The Itinerary

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

Day 1 - Arrival in Lhasa

Ideally, you will have landed in either in Kunming or Chengdu, China for a day or two to rest before taking a 2.5 hour direct flight to Lhasa. The recommended city is Kunming. After landing around noon, you will be picked up by Dr. Karma’s team and check into the hotel. There you will have a yoga breathwork and meditation workshop to unwind, followed by a delicious welcome dinner at the ShangriLa.

Lhasa, the city of Sunlight, is located in the middle of the Tibetan Plateau at 3658 m above sea level. It is considered the holy land for Tibetan Buddhism where devout Buddhists make their pilgrimages.

Overnight: Shangrila, Lhasa

Day 2 - Potala Palace, Jokhang & Barkhor Bazaar

After our morning yoga practice, we will visit 3 sacred sites. Potala Palace which was the winter palace f the Dalai Lama since the 7th century. It is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley at 3,700 m, and made up of the White and Red Palaces.

2 km away is the Jokhang Temple (a UNESCO heritage site) founded in 647 AD. It houses the famous and sacred golden Jowo Sakyamuni statue.

After lunch, we will stroll down the vibrant Barkhor Bazaar which is a street that circles clockwise around the Jokhang Temple. It takes 30 min to circumambulate the entire path, and is believed to release negative karma when you follow the path til completion. This street is filled with food and merchants selling their wares, and has been thriving for 1,400 years.

Then you will have the option to partake in a Tibetan Family Cooking Class and wear Traditional Tibetan dress for dinner.

Overnight: Shangrila, Lhasa

Day 3 - Drepung, Norbulingka, Drak Yerpa

After morning yoga, we will travel 30 minutes to the foot of Mount Gephel to watch the monastic debate at Drepung Monastery. It is the largest monastery in Tibet housing as many as 10,000 monks, and was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge Tashi Palden.

Afterwards, we will visit the jeweled park, Norbulingka (UNESCO heritage site), built in 1755 as the traditional summer residence of the Dalai Lamas until the 14th Dalai Lama’s exile in 1959. 

After lunch, we will visit Drak Yerpa monastery an hour away in Dazi County. It is surrounded by pine and cypress trees. Spring water trickles down the side of the mountain, making it an ideal place to meditate. We will pause in the dharma cave and moon cave for meditation practice. 

In the evening you will have the option of seeing the live opera about Princess Wrenching, the most beloved queen in Tibetan history who belonged to the Tang Dynasty 1300 years ago.

Overnight: Shangrila, Lhasa

Day 4 - Yamdrok Tso Lake

After morning yoga practice, we will drive 2.5 hours south  to the Yamdrok Tso Lake at 4,440 m above sea level. It is the largest holy lake in Tibet alongside Namtso and Manasarovar Lake.

Tibetans believe that Yamdrok Tso Lake is able to help them locate the reincarnated soul of the Dalai Lama when he passes. They visit this lake to chant and pray.

According to folklore, the goddess Dorje Gegkyi Tso left heaven and transformed into this lake and became the female guardian of Buddhism.

After dinner, we will have a psychedelic ajna light therapy meditation.

Overnight: Shangrila, Lhasa

 

 

Day 5 - Gangri Thökar, Dorji Drak

After morning yoga practice, we head south east for two hours to the Chimpu Valley. 

Along the way, we will stop by Gangri Thökar, the White Skull Snow Mountain where the hermitage of an important Buddhist teacher, Orgyen Dzong, taught and wrote. 

Nearby is also the Dorji Drak Monastery, which is the seat of the throne-holder of the Nyingma sect’s tradition. There is an auspicious foot print of Padmasambhava located on the rock mountain behind the monastery.

In the late afternoon we will have a Shamanic Breathwork Healing Journey Workshop.

Overnight: Samye Monastery Hotel

Day 6 - Chimpu, Yemalung

After morning yoga, we will head 16 km north east and hike to the Chimpu Hermitage where there are 108 meditation cells and meditation caves that yogis used for centuries. Padmasambhava meditated here and delivered his teachings to his eight disciples. We will spend some time to meditate here and soak up the energy.

After lunch, we will hike 1 hour to the Yemalung nunnery located at the top of the mountain (4,200 m). Along the way, you will receive the blessings of Guru Rinpoche’s Long Life Water spring. 

According to legend, Guru Rinpoche concealed sacred treasures in the cave of the hermitage. 

We will return to Samye Monastery hotel over night, and have a psychedelic ajna light meditation.

Overnight: Samye Monastery Hotel

Day 7 - Drak Yangdzong, Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal Lhatso

After morning yoga, we visit one of the 8 Herukas in the Drak Yangdzong cave (4,885 m). The Herukas of the Nyimgma tradition are enlightened deities who have taken on a wrathful shadow form of their light counterpart. There are three caves in this complex where we will meditate and receive the blessings of Padmasambhava.

On the way we will visit Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal Lhatso, a sacred lake for the Nyingma tradition. Tsogyal Lhatso was actually a woman born in the 8th century, and it was believed that the lake miraculously overflowed and turned to milk at the time of her birth. Her parents named her, Tsogyal (Victorious Lake), thinking she might be destined to become a queen.

Today, Tsogyal Latso is actually a small pond surrounded by a few retreat huts. It is revered as the life-spirit talisman of Yeshe Tsogyal and is said to reveal the secrets of the past and future in its waters. A nearby temple contains the image of this female Buddha herself.

 

Overnight: Samye Monastery Hotel

Day 8 - Samye Monastery, Yumbu Lhakang & Tsheringjong

After yoga practice, we will visit the Samye Monastery. This was the very first Tibetan Buddhist and Nyingma monastery built in Tibet around 763, and where the first Tibetan monks were ordained. 

The whole monastery was built like a mandala in the Buddhist Tantra. The Utse Hall is like Mount Sumeru, the center of the universe. The four temples around the main hall seem to symbolize the four continents, the four pagodas symbolize the four heavenly kings guarding the four continents, and there are a total of 1,028 small pagodas on the surrounding wall of Samye Monastery. This is also very special, symbolizing the Cakravāda-parvata around the world.

Yumbu Lhkang was the first building in Tibet and palace of the first king, still standing tall on the eastern bak of the Yarlung River. 

Tseringjong, located in central Tibet, is a Nyingma monastery that was founded by Jigme Lingpa as a hermitage in 1762. It has functioned as an active nunnery since the nineteenth century. 

We will return to Samye Monastery hotel over night, and have a psychedelic ajna light meditation.

Overnight: Yarlung River Grand Hotel

 

 

Day 9 - Yarlung Sheldrak

After our morning yoga practice we head to the Yarlung Sheldrak and hike to the crystal cave of Yarlung. As Tibet’s first temple, it is the place of another one of the eight Herukas.  Sheldrak is a monastic community that first developed around a Padmasambhava meditation cave, as early as the eighth century.

The starting point is in Kato village on the outskirts of Tsedang, home of the Tsechu Bumpa stupa. The stupa is said to either house the armor of Songsten Gampo, or a crystal Buddha statue offered to King Trisong Detsen by Lotsawa Chokrolui Gyelsten. The stupa is also said to exude tsechu (water of life) during each full moon.

A bumpy dirt road will lead to the temple and nunnery just below Yarlung Sheldrak. From there it is a short steep ascent (30-60 min), up a well maintained railed pathway leading to the upper temple and the Crystal cave.

The Yarlung Valley is considered to be the cradle of Tibetan civilization and, according to legend, it is where a monkey and a rock ogre together begot the Tibetan people, and where the first kings descended from heaven on a sky cord, landing on the summit of Mount Yarlha Shanpo. Before resettlement in Lhasa, it was here in the 7th century that Tibet civilization found its unified location.

 

Overnight: Yarlung River Grand Hotel

Day 10 - Farewell & Departure

After an early morning yoga practice and breakfast, we will drive 1.5 hours from Tsedang to Lhasa for international departures. 

Walk the Sacred Land of the Buddhas on the Tibetan plateau

Exclusions:

Flights

• International Travel Insurance (mandatory).

•  Gratuities for guide and driver
(Average of $10-15 USD per day)
•  Shopping & personal expenses

Note: No political issues against the Chinese government can be discussed while in Tibet. Meetings with local relatives/friends are only allowed place in public hotels and not their private residence. If found in violation of Chinese rules and regulations, you will be held liable and penalized under the full jurisdiction of Chinese law. 
 
Physical Fitness: Due to the nature of this retreat being at such high altitudes, if you have physical injuries or have difficulty breathing or existing cardiovascular issues, you should consult with a medical professional before deciding to join this trip.
 

Room Options:

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

Limited to 12 participants.

• Twin Share $3800

• Private Room $4400

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

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to the mailing list and receive the latest updates

Join our 7 day FREE Shamanic Journey
to Inner Freedom Challenge
Get easy to follow expert guidance
with shaman, author & TedX Speaker Johnson Chong