This journey of self-discovery, guided by Lhamo Tsepak, will introduce you to the very heart of Tibetan tradition. Your stay will include several shamanic sessions during which advice will be offered on your personal and spiritual path.
Under Tsepak’s guidance, you will develop your self-awareness and increase your ability to open up to the world in a natural and loving way.
- Participate in shamanic healing sessions with Lhamo Tsepak
- Attend a monastic festival featuring sacred dances
- Practice meditation at sacred sites
- Receive teachings from a Tibetan master
- Take part in a purification ritual
- Make your own prayer flags and perform a hilltop dedication for the happiness of all beings
- Discover ancient monasteries in amazing locations
- Enjoy the attentive guidance of Omalaya
Arrival in Delhi.
Arrive in the Indian capital, Delhi, and transfer to hotel for your first night.
You’ll be on an early morning flight from Delhi to Ladakh – ‘Little Tibet’ – with spectacular mountain views. Ladakh is nestled between two of world’s highest mountain ranges – the Karakoram and Himalaya.
Upon arrival in Leh, you’ll transfer to the hotel. You’ll spend the day acclimatizing and enjoying the beautiful landscapes. You will also meet your guide, Lhamo Tsewang, and your fellow travellers.
Explore the heritage of old Leh, with its maze of alleyways and hidden temples.
At Tsemo Temple, which overlooks Leh and houses powerful deities, you will undergo the first initiatory experience of your trip – participating in a monastic protection ritual, in an environment of trust that will allow you to overcome your fears and suffering.
In the afternoon, Lhamo Tsepak will take you to meet an amchi, doctor of Tibetan medicine, for a holistic consultation. There you will discover the benefits of 2,500-year-old science, which restores mental and physical balance via natural remedies.
In the morning, you’ll attend your first shamanic session with Lhamo Tsepak – a very intense experience.
Lhamos are powerful healers and expert diviners, widely consulted across the Himalaya. After a series of purification rituals, Lhamo Tsepak will enter into a trance and connect with the deities Palden Lhamo and Tara, thus creating a sacred space for healing and divination, during which you will be invited to ask simple and direct questions.
In the afternoon, you’ll discover the summer residence of the Dalai Lama with its sacred stupas, mound like structures containing Buddhist relics. Inaugurated by His Holiness, these sites symbolize the stages of the Buddha’s progress towards enlightenment and are transmitters of his blessings. You will be offered time to meditate, followed by a contemplative walk along the Indus – one of the holiest rivers in India – which originates in the sacred Mount Kailash in Tibet.
You will visit the family home of Tashi, Omalaya’s cofounder, where you will learn to print Tibetan prayer flags. Tashi’s father, a veteran artist, uses a unique printing block that has been passed down through the generations. Later, you will be invited to hang the flags in the wind as offerings for the happiness of all beings.
Lunch will be enjoyed with the family, with time for sharing and discussion.
In the afternoon, meet a Rinpoche – a spiritual master – who will teach you the mantras of Guru Rinpoche, Chenrezig and Tara. In Buddhist tradition, a mantra is an oral representation of a deity and his/her qualities, transmitted from teacher to student to enrich the body and mind.
The rinpoche will introduce practices dedicated to the deity Tara, who is associated with compassion and the feminine energies. Tara is represented by 21 different forms, each with distinct attributes that improve the mind, emotions, and spiritual well-being.
The meeting will conclude with a protection ritual to remove any obstacles from your spiritual path.
You’ll have a morning visit to Thaktak Monastery, constructed around the cave where it is said that Padmasambhava, who introduced Buddhism to Tibet and is considered to be the second Buddha, went into retreat.
Within the monastery, you will participate in a breathtaking festival attended by crowds from across Ladakh, which derives from the shamanic Bon tradition that existed before the arrival of Buddhism. Forty monks, dressed in multicoloured robes and masks, will perform a series of cham – sacred dances to celebrate the victory of good over evil – to the accompaniment of chants, drums and cymbals.
Leh. Hemis. Thiksey.
You’ll begin the morning with a drive along a stupa-lined enroute to Hemis Monastery. Nestled deep in a gorge, the monastery is renowned for its festival celebrating the birth of Padmasambhava, or Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha.
Beneath an imposing statue,Lhamo Tsepak will teach you Padmasambhava’s mantra, celebrated for its attributes of peace, stability, protection, transformation and healing. This will be followed by a lesson on the ‘Wheel of Existence,’ as depicted within the monastery.
In the afternoon, you’ll drive to Thiksey Monastery which, perched on a rock-strewn hill, resembles the Potala in the Tibetan capital Lhasa. The monastery houses a huge statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the purity of whose gaze invites reflection and silent meditation.
Today, Lhamo Tsepak will accompany you to the oasis of Alchi, with its village and temples that represent the culmination of Indo-Tibetan art in Ladakh. Dating from the twelfth century, Alchi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features the magnificent temples of Tsa Tsa Puri, home to frescoes and sculptures created by Kashmiri artists.
Lhamo Tsepak will explain the energies which emanate from the Kalachakra mandala inside the complex. The mandala is a symbolic representation of the universe, the contemplation of which will allow you to discover your inner truth.
A morning visit to the moonland of Lamayuru and its tenth-century monastery will enchant you. This magnificent structure overlooks an ancient dry lake and dominates the village in the valley below. You will be welcomed by a yogi who will demonstrate the spiritual practice of chod – a ritual to reduce attachment to the ego and its negative influences, and reveal a glimpse of one’s true nature.
In the afternoon, discover Atisey Hermitage, where Saint Naropa retreated to meditate. There you will receive teachings on the popular Chenrezig Mantra – the manifestation of all the Buddhas’ love and infinite compassion for all beings.
You’ll have a late afternoon drive to Timosgang for an overnight stay.
You’ll enjoy a morning drive to Tingmosgang Nunnery, where you will receive a warm welcome from the resident nuns and witness their prayers and daily activities.
Lhamo Tsepak will then lead your second shamanic session, which will be open to the villagers of Tingmosgang who, living in such a remote area, rarely have the opportunity to participate in such rituals.
Later, you’ll return to bustling Leh, where you can browse the markets, lose yourself in labyrinthine alleys, and enjoy stunning views from shady cafes.
You’ll journey north to Nubra – the ‘Valley of Flowers’. Located over the Khardung-La (the highest pass on earth for cars) and isolated from the rest of Ladakh, the valley is surprisingly fertile thanks to its micro-climate.
Nubra is part of an ancient trade route, south of the Silk Road, and still bears traces of past commerce, including Bactrian camels that roam the wild sand dunes of the Shyok Valley.
Upon arrival, you’ll visit the village of Sumur, with its mani walls and ancient houses. Later, in the ‘Garden of the Buddha,’ you can hang the prayer flags you made with Tashi’s father and, under Lhamo Tsewang’s guidance, dedicate them to peace, harmony, and the happiness of all sentient beings.
Sumur. Diskit. Hunder. Sumur.
In the morning, you will participate in your final shamanic session as you progress along your spiritual path. Today is a ‘full-moon day’ which, according to Buddhists, is especially beneficial to one’s mind and spiritual development. The major events of the Buddha’s life all occurred on full-moon days: his birth, enlightenment, and first teaching.
Later, you’ll visit the sacred Lake called “Yarab Tso” where, according to local legend, the fine movements of the waves inspire visions in visiting pilgrims. There you will receive a teaching on the Heart Sutra – one of the most important texts in Buddhism. Regularly recited during meditation sessions, it contains the key concepts of Buddhist philosophy, including the five Skandhas (sources of awareness), the Four Noble Truths, the cycle of interdependence and the key concept of ‘emptiness.’
In Buddhist practice it is said that even if one does not have an awareness of emptiness, one can still recognize the suffering of the mind and, by reciting and meditating on the Heart Sutra, be born into trust.
In the evening, join the village women under the full moon for a prayer session dedicated to peace and the happiness of all beings.
Return to Leh, where you’ll have the opportunity to make any last purchases and prepare for your return to Delhi.
In the evening, you’ll share a farewell dinner of Indian delicacies with the Omalaya team and your guide,Lhamo Tsepak.
In the morning, you’ll take flight from Leh to enjoy some sightseeing in Delhi. You’ll start at the Lotus Temple which, constructed of marble in the 1980s, is open to pilgrims of all faiths for prayer and meditation.
Later, discover Dilli Haat – a market in the heart of the city offering handicrafts and treasures from across India.
An additional day in Delhi will accommodate if any potential flight cancellations or delays due to weather conditions occur.
Finally, before your departure, the Omalaya team will prepare a very special surprise for you!