LADAKHI QUEST

 

In the past years we have offered a very popular offering, the spiritual quest to Helese. Indeed, 17 of you went on this trip last year despite economies and terrorism. The bad news is we will no longer offer this trip. The good news is we have found something better. Join us for a cross cultural LADAKHI QUEST. Journey to "Little Tibet" set deep in the Indian Himalayas on the western edge of the Tibetan plateau. Ladakh is one of the highest driest inhabited places on earth. This is an extremely harsh environment, yet for centuries it was home to a rich and self-sustaining culture. "Life was very simple, but people always had enough, and more than anything they were happy," says Tashi Rabgyas, Ladakh's leading poet, scholar and philosopher.

 

Experience a cross cultural journey through the high Himalayan mountains to Ladakh, an isolated and beautiful desert region known as "Little Tibet'. The Indian Himalayas, particularly Ladakh and Zanskar are undoubtedly some of the most spectacular and impressive mountain ranges in the world. Numerous villages and monasteries perched on mountainsides offer striking scenery set against backdrops of colored rocks, snow covered peaks and deep blue cloudless skies. Join us as we trek through the mountains to the remote village of Lingshed where we will participate in Buddhist teachings and live and work with the local cultural troupe. In addition you will be involved in learning traditional dances and songs, attending village meetings and working with local children in the school and nunnery and in the fields. You will be living with the villagers in their homes and camping out. Classes in the Ladakhi language will be offered so you can communicate with your family. Translators will be available. In addition to Ladakh we will be visiting Delhi and the Taj Mahal and have plenty of time to experience the cultural history and traditions of the picturesque mountain village of Leh.

Geshe Ngawang Jangchup, our local Ladakhi spiritual guide, was born in Lingshed to a poor farming family. From an early age, he felt a strong attraction to monastic life and at the age of 14, despite initial objections from his parents, he was allowed to become a novice monk at Lingshed Gompa. In 1968 his desire to study philosophy increased to the extent he decided to continue at the great Tibetan Monastic University of Drepung in India. On December 26, 1990 he took his final examination in the study of sutra in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Varanasi and was formally awarded the degree of Lharampa Geshe, the highest degree in the Gelugpa tradition. In the summer of 1991 he returned to his native district of Ladakh and was very sad to see no development opportunities for livelihood or education had taken place during the 23 years he was away! Geshe resolved to try to do something himself to alleviate the hardships experienced by the people of Lingshed area. He organized a seminar focusing mainly on Buddhist Sutra and Tantric teachings, he also included two hours each day for people to air their views on the current problems in the area and how they might best be solved. The seminar was well attended by many from different parts of Ladakh and also by foreign visitors. The Summer Seminar has been held every year since 1993 and has been of tremendous benefit to participants and the Lingshed people. Will you join them? Departures in July and September


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