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Co-Founder & CEO of Omalaya.Tibetan Enterpreneur at TED.I live in Dhasa and spend time in ladakh/Kerala. Interpreter of Indo-Tibetan spiritual tradition

Shanti Deva, the king of Bodhissatvas by Tashi

Prayer Book

11 March 2016

Revered as king of the Bodhissatvas-Shanti Deva lived in 8th century AD. His poetic and philosophical teaching on the Bodhissatva and its life (Bodhicaryavatara) have captivated hearts of millions of people across the world. Equivalent to Muslims’ Quran or Christians’ Bible, his book is also one of the daily inspirational prayer of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Infinite rays of happiness and compassion, Bodhicitta-an evergreen mind Bodhicitta is an appealing blissful state of mind where compassion is boundless radiating happiness and pure wisdom to whoever it connects. And for Bodhissatvas, friend or foe is a same being whose sheer pursuit in its life is to seek happiness, pleasure, name, fame and every bit of comfort. As such Bodhissatvas are neither gladdened by the praise from their friends nor are they saddened by the defamation from their foes. They are the spiritual practitioners who strive to maintain a compassionate attitude for all beings.  The veil of Bodhissatvas-a shield of humility A typical tradition in Mahayana Buddhism is that the Bodhissatvas often veil their profound insights by disguising themselves in an idiotic appearance or by resorting to bizarre activities, they shield themselves from falling into the pitfall of mundane fame. From Tilopa working as an oil maker to Milarepa wandering as a homeless beggar, from Naropa giving up his throne of scholar to Drukpa Kunley famous for his insanity. Every now and then the unusual tales of the heroes of Bodhissatvas echoed in the Himalayan kingdom time after time. “Busukhu” Shanti Deva the lazy bone of Nalanda University   At Nalanda University in 8th century A.D, Shanti Deva was nicknamed “Busukhu” by his colleagues simply meaning three actions; eating, sleeping and defecating. Except for the eyes of few, no one really knew he had transcended all the worldly illusions and had realized the ultimate nature of every phenomena. But in his monastic community, he was known as a “Lazy Bone” and a filthy burden tagged to be dump out at the earliest note of breach. In fact he was doing nothing outwardly except for the three very tasks he had been executing everyday. He never let anybody know his profound realizations. Until when he was subjected to mockery by his companions to give teaching in front of a big gathering hoping he would embarrass himself and thereby expel him from the monastery. But to everybody’s surprise, he gave one of the most reflective teaching […]

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Insights into the Stok Guru Tsechu monastic festival by Tashi

stok oracle

04 March 2016

Stok Guru Tsechu is a very unique monastic festival that takes place in the sacred land of Ladakh. Apart from the famous mask dance, its highlight is the awaited oracles’ prediction for the coming year. Guru Rinpoche’s birthday and the Winter Festival The Stok Guru Tsechu Festival is held in the first month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, the holy prayer month. It is celebrated in accordance with Guru Rinpoche’s (Padmasambhava) birthday which falls on the 9th and 10th day of the first Tibetan month.Next year 2017,winter Shamanic festival will be held on 6th to 7th March 2017 and 24th and 25th February in the year 2018. Stok village, where the festival takes place, offers the great view down the valley on the mighty Indus river and the majestic snow-capped Stok Kangri Mountain (6,153m above sea level). Every now and then one gets easily delighted by the festive vibes that the locals emanate in their colourful attire. The day of spiritual gathering and meeting of spiritual masters The monasteries have served as a source of spiritual tutelage in Ladakh for hundreds of years. Every Ladakhi monastery stores centuries-old Buddhist scripts: kagyur (108 texts of Buddhist canons) and tengyur (235 commentaries texts). Monks and nuns residing in monasteries are taught, guided and looked after by an incarnated lama, the head of the monastery. The festival is a platform where villagers take the opportunity to serve their spiritual masters and the monastery in its turn entertains its long-bearing benefactors through a colourful Cham or mask dance. The villagers are introduced to different manifestations of Tantric Buddhas through the means of religious dance performed by the monks who are in turn disguised in sacred costumes, ornaments and huge masks resembling different Buddhas. Cham dance of Laughing Buddha, Mahakala and more Once all the preparations have been done, the series of cham begins. In the morning session starts with the dance of Hashang and Hathuk. Hashang has a bald head, pot belly and a big smile on his face, and he is escorted by his twelve children that all look like him. Hashang or the Laughing Buddha in China is considered the main benefactor of all the Buddhas who will descend to earth to preach the Dharma. The dance of Hashang is followed by the dance of Mahakala, the wrathful form of Buddha of Compassion, who wears a fierce mask topped with skulls. Then, Namse […]

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Healing with Tibetan singing bowls: when it’s a matter of vibrations by Tashi

tibetan bowl

04 February 2016

Have you ever made a Tibetan bowl sing? If so, your mind has probably been marked by the power of its resonance. The sound spreading across the room seems to come from another world, the vibrations flow in benign and soothing waves whose power will never leave you unimpressed. Here is to shed light on a little-known but one of the most efficient therapies. The origin of the bowls No one knows exactly the time the first Tibetan singing bowl dates back to. The mystery that surrounds the origin of this great object accords it more charm. It is estimated that they emerged when the Bon religion, which predates Tibetan Buddhism, was predominant in Tibet. Today they are made of bronze or copper, but originally the bowls were manufactured from seven different metals symbolising the planets: Silver (the Moon) Copper (Venus) Tin (Jupiter) Iron (Mars) Mercury (Mercury) Gold (the Sun) Lead (Saturn) The seven alloys also represent the seven chakras and their resonance balances each other and also the seven days of the week. How to make a Tibetan bowl sing? We can make the bowl vibrate in different ways. There is a variety of different shapes and sizes that produce very distinct sounds just as there is a variety of  stick that helps to produce them. You can strike the bowl more or less gently to hear it ringing until the vibrations die down, or roll the stick around the bowl by holding it like a pen in the manner of a crystal glass that we would make sing with fingers. Therapeutic properties The sound and singing have been used in healing rituals all over the world from time immemorial. Tambourine, rain sticks, gongs, cymbals…the instruments vary depending on their user whether it is a shaman, a priest or a monk reciting mantras. The sound creates a connection to the present moment, and this is more pronounced with Tibetan singing bowls. When you listen to the sound carefully, it will allow you to experience deep meditation. A single session of treatment with singing bowls would have the effect of months of meditation! How is this possible? It is possible because everything is a matter of vibrations. Our body is composed of 65% of water on average. It is this water that will react first to the vibrations of the bowls that are placed all around and on the body. Imagine you throw a stone into the lake; the waves that gets created […]

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Tashi’s Tips for pilgrims attending Kalachakra 2017 by Tashi

Tashi's tips for Kalachakra 2017

01 February 2016

Omalaya Travel is happy to offer its customized Kalachakra tours to India to the devotees wishing to attend the precious Kalachakra 2017 Empowerment teaching. Omalaya-designed spiritual journeys are rooted in individual’s quest for self discovery and we incorporate the same outlook in designing the Kalachakra 2017 tour package. Omalaya Travel operated a successful Kalachakra tour to Ladakh in 2014. Omalaya-led devotees can receive Kalachakra initiation, teaching & empowerment under the expert guidance of tour’s spiritual guides like Geshe Tsering with Dr Chok and Geshe Lobsang with Tulku Phuljung. Thousand of pilgrims will be attending the Kalachakra teaching which is a Buddhist equivalent of Kumbh Mela. Yet many devotees  are ill-prepared for the journey of the lifetime to India. Tashi is  first winner of investment award given by Central Tibetan Administration and  Department of Finance.The award money was made possible with the support of Dalai Lama Foundation, Montreal, Canada. He was recently interviewed by Radio Free Asia for being the only Tibetan inbound tour operator specialised in creating and operating spiritual tours and retreats in India shares  some great insider information on making the pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, the venue for Kalachakra 2017. Tashi organized a successful Kalachakra package tour to Ladakh in 2014 and will be operating a special package tour in January 2017 for the 34th Kalachakra. Omalaya has been recommended by Petit Fute, French travel guide, one of the most innovative travel company of the year 2016. Here are some exclusive tips on attending the H.H the Dalai lama’s Kalachakra teaching. Tip 1 Mind the Fog in Delhi and Northern India As Kalachakra teaching will take place during the winter month of January in India, Delhi would be engulfed in dense fog. Many of trains inbound to Delhi and out runs late and even gets cancelled. So there will be numerous rescheduling of trains. The fog scene affects the operation of flights too but not as much as trains. So, it is a good move to fly few days ahead to Delhi or even better, make arrangement to arrive few days ahead in Bodhgaya or Delhi. Tips 2 Warm outfits and rain gear India in general is very warm but not so during the winter months in Northern India.It could be very cold when fog engulfs as temperature drops to minimum. So bring more warm clothes than you think you’ll need. A rain coat and a boot will be helpful as Bodhgaya can get very muddy as it did […]

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Kalachakra initiation 2017 to be held in Bodh Gaya by Tashi


07 January 2016

Omalaya Travel is happy to offer its customized Kalachakra tours to India to the devotees wishing to attend the precious Kalachakra 2017 Empowerment teaching. Omalaya-designed spiritual journeys are rooted in individual’s quest for self discovery and we incorporate the same outlook in designing the Kalachakra 2017 tour package. Omalaya Travel operated a successful Kalachakra tour to Ladakh in 2014. Omalaya-led devotees can receive Kalachakra initiation, teaching & empowerment under the expert guidance of tour’s spiritual guides like Geshe Tsering with Dr Chok and Geshe Lobsang with Tulku Phuljung. His Holiness the Dalai Lama would preside  the Kalachakra 2017 initiation to be held in Bodh Gaya, India from  3rd to 14th January  2017. This will be the 34th such initiation given by the Dalai Lama and the fifth time in Bodh Gaya. He has previously given Kalachakra initiations in Bodh Gaya in 1974, 1985, 2003 and 2012. What is Kalachakra? Kalachakra is a concept that is strongly associated with the Vajrayana sect of Buddhism. The term is derived from two words Kāla which means time and Chakra which means wheel. According to this concept, the events of the universe occur in a cyclical pattern. According to this religion, time is perceived as a symbol of change. For instance, a year is a measurement of change involved in the Earth revolving around the Sun. These changes are cyclical in nature although they might not replicate in the exact same manner each time. What is Kalachakra initiation? Kalachakra initiation is a process that empowers Buddhist pupils to practice the Kalachakra Laghutantra (also known as Kalachakra Tantra) in order to attain Buddhahood. The Kalachakra Laghutantra is a treatise that contains Buddhist philosophies, commentaries and meditation practices. The empowerment ritual is performed over a period of three days after the completion of the preliminary preparatory steps. During these three days of the actual empowerment, the disciples take part in various Buddhist rituals in order to obtain Kalachakra empowerment. The experience is divine and unforgettable even for a casual observer and is one that would stay in our memories even long after its end. Omalaya brings you a unique opportunity to witness the 34th Kalachakra initiation. For more information, please click here. You can also watch the video below to know more about Kalachakra 2017.

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Kalachakra 2017 initiation: 10 tips for pilgrims traveling to Bodh Gaya. by Tashi

Tips for Kalachakra 2017

09 December 2015

Where will the Kalachakra 2017 takes place?  The 34th Kalachakra 2017 initiation  will be held in Bodh Gaya, the holy Indian town where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment.  This is the fifth Kalachakra initiation to be held in Bodh Gaya. His Holiness the Dalai Lama would preside over the proceedings. The dates will be from  3rd to 14th January 2017 Thousands of devotees from all around the world are expected to congregate at this town during those 12 days. Nearly 300,000 visitors attend the previous Kalachakra initiation held in Ladakh in 2014. The experience would most certainly be overwhelming for a first-timer, especially for an outsider who is unfamiliar with the hustle and bustle of India. Here are a list of things to know to get yourself well-equipped to attend the ceremony: How do I get a visa? In its efforts to boost tourism, the Government of India introduced the e-tourist visa scheme for foreign nationals who visit the country for a short duration. Interested individuals can apply for a visa online and have to carry a printout of the e-Tourist visa at the time of travel. For detailed information about Indian e-Tourist visa, please click here. Do I have to register for Kalachakra 2017? Yes. Pilgrims are required to register for Kalachakra 2017. Foreign nationals, Tibetans and Indians are required to submit photocopies of their passports or identity cards to obtain a pass for the Kalachakra teaching. Interested individuals are requested to visit the official Kalachakra page when it come online regularly for more information about the procedure. You may also register through your travel agent or Dharma center. Do I have to pay for registration for Kalachakra 2017? There is no registration fee for Kalachakra teaching and the teachings are open to everyone. How is the weather like? The weather in January in Bodh Gaya is pleasant with average temperatures ranging from 18 – 22 degree Celsius. The nights might get a bit cold with temperatures dipping below 10 degrees once in a while. The monsoon season lasts from June to September and one doesn’t have to worry about rains during January. In fact, January is one of the best month to visit Bodh Gaya. What are my stay options? Thanks to the regular influx of tourists from all corners of the world every year, Bodh Gaya has very good accommodation facilities. Ranging from two star to five star, a variety of hotels that suit the budgets and requirements […]

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