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Letter to my Ego by Stéphanie

19 December 2017

When words became too heavy to be spoken, writing them down can be a solution to free yourself from their energies. It can be a good way to clear the mind, to calm down the flooding gibberish thoughts looping in your head. This is a natural and instinctive human need. As we all seeking happiness and mental calmness we should all try to write. Whatever way you will do it, keep in mind the main point is to let ink flood to release the pain, write words to cure sores. Dear Ego, Today I am two Tomorrow, I hope to be only one. One year ago, I finally identified you as I traveled into the heart of sacred Indian traditions. Acknowledging your existence was the starting point. Shutting you down is my final target Let’s start at the beginning and define you: you are a mistaken conception of “myself”, you are the untrue belief that “I” can be self existing by itself out of any connection with the whole. Some say that you stay an essential part of our survival instinct, a keeper of dignity and respect. The more I know you, the more this vision seems untrue for me as dignity, respect, and instinct are vast notions only defined by you. Essentially you are, this part is very true but I don’t think that’s the reason why… Today I am two Tomorrow, I hope to be only one. “Be one” is to reunite in the same energy of life who I am and who I perceive as “myself”. “Become me” is a much longer quest than expected, a more difficult fight where the final issue has to be you bending in front of my real identity. And if, along this path of life, destination is only a pretext in which to keep going; reaching it stands as an essential part of my inner blossoming puzzle. I won’t give up, Ego, one day I’ll get you! Dear, dearest Ego, I don’t wish your total disappearance I just want to be able to define your true shape, your real field of existence. I just want to recognize your real influence upon my decisions, my opinions and my actions, feel it is the key not to let you manipulate me like a doll enslaved by preformatted mental limits. I’m working on successfully using you as a tool dedicated to my personal blossoming […]

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5 things to know about Amravathi, Andhra Pradesh by Stéphanie

21 September 2017

Amravathi is a popular pilgrim destination for Buddhists and Hindus alike, and with the possibility of the 2019 Kalachakra Initiation to be held there, we thought we’d take a closer look at this historical village and see what it’s all about. Where is it Amravathi is a small town located in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh on the south coast of India. It is located on the southern banks of the Krishna river and is formerly known as Andhra Nagari.   What’s so special about it Amaravathi is the place where Shakyamuni Buddha turned the wheel of dharma when he gave the first Kalachakra teaching 2500 years ago at the request of King Dawa Sangpo (Suchandra). It is also the location in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama performed the 2006 Kalachakra Initiation. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus as well. Over 2000 years ago the Satavahanas chose the site to build their capital at Dharanikota and it is one of the few places in the country where the sacred Krishna river flows north instead of east or south; creating an auspicious location for pilgrims seeking ablution. What to see Amareshwara Temple is the holy shrine of lord Shiva. It’s located on ‘ Krouncha Saila’ hill alongside the Krishna river on the south-eastern side of Srisailam Temple. The 15 feet high white marble lingam is the main attraction and is one of the five holy shrines of lord Shiva. Amravathi also houses a giant Buddhist stupa which measures 27 meters in height and 50 meters in diameter. The rectangular shape platforms of this Stupa project into the four cardinal directions measuring 7.20 X 2.10 meters. Mangalagiri is one of the few places in India where a dead volcano can be found. There is a long-standing tradition called Panakala Narasimha Swami in the Narasimha Swami Temple where Jaggery Juice (Panakam) is poured in the belief that it will keep the volcano dormant The Undavalli caves located in a small village 6 km south west from Vijayawada, were carved out of solid sandstone on a hillside in the 4th- 5th centuries A.D. This monolith is often considered one of the finest examples of ancient vishwakarma sthapathis Where to stay Accomodation in Amravathi itself is suited more towards camping so bring along a tent or hire one from one of the local vendors. If Hotels are more your style then […]

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Dalai Lama to attend his 82nd birthday celebration in ladakh by Stéphanie

28 June 2017

Where the party’s at So, the 6th July 2017 is kind of a big deal here; it’s the 82nd Trungkar (that’s birthday to us lay people) of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and in true Tibetan style, there’s going to be a party. A really big one. Here is everything you need to know so you don’t miss out on the big event Where is it? This party is going to be held in Ladakh. Ladakh has often been referred to as the rooftop of the world and is believed to be a photographer’s dream location. These foothills of the Himalaya will provide a stunning backdrop for this joyous occasion and is going to draw momentous crowds. The celebration itself will be held in Jivey Tsal (the peace garden) at His Holiness’ Choglamsar residence. Who’s going? Pretty much everybody who lives in Leh, travelling pilgrims and devotees from all over the world, as well as dignitaries countrywide. The preparations will begin on 5th July where over 100 tents will be erected and numerous market stalls set up to hold a wide variety of produce and wares for all who attend What’s happening? The day is going to begin at approx. 8am with a Tenchung (traditional long-life puja) for his holiness performed by the Tibetan community of Ladakh in Jivey Tsal’s main temple, along with an incense-burning offering. This will be followed by speech-giving from several invited dignitaries. Local performing arts troupes will also perform traditional Tibetan dances and songs. After all the formalities are complete, the party really begins as everyone then spreads out over the grounds on their blankets and participates in a giant community picnic. Home-made delicacies will be shared with strangers and traditional treats can be bought at many of the stalls at the site. The merry-making will continue throughout the afternoon with locals all joining in on spontaneous Gorshae (Tibetan folk dancing) and songs performed by Hindi bands. What to bring? Something to sit on; a picnic blanket or one of those nifty camping chairs, an umbrella to ward of the afternoon sun and lots of sunscreen So, what do you get the man who wants for nothing? His Holiness has always claimed that he wants no gifts on his birthday and instead uses this occasion to remind us all of the message he has dedicated his life to achieving; compassion for all sentient beings. So, […]

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An Announcement of 60th Birthday ‘Long Life Ceremony’ for Kuten-la by Stéphanie

21 June 2017

The Nechung Monastery has just announced the 60th Birthday “Long Life Ceremony” for one of their most revered State Oracles; Nechung Kuten Rinpoche. This three-day ceremony is scheduled for 27-29 June 2017 and will also commemorate the 30th anniversary since his appointment to this illustrious position. So, what exactly is a State Oracle some may ask. Much like many of the ancient civilizations of the world; oracles play an integral role in Tibetan religious culture, and its community often rely on these oracles for their support and spiritual guidance.  Though the call of these much-respected figures is often to foretell the future and act as healers, their primary purpose is to protect the Buddha Dharma and its practitioners. The State Oracle or Nechung Oracle plays an even greater role in the Tibetan community. As the Head of the tradition; this title is appointed by the Dalai Lama personally and maintains the responsibility as the vessel for which the Dorje Drakden (the principal protector divinity of the Tibetan government and the Dalai Lama) can manifest. In the Tibetan tradition, the world ‘oracle’ itself is referred to as an entity that enters into a person who acts as a medium between the spirit and human realms. The mediums themselves are therefore known as “kuten” which literally translates to “the physical basis” The current State Oracle Nechung Kuten Rinpoche, was born Thupten Ngodup on July 13, 1958 in Pari, Tibet. In 1966, he escaped Tibet and made the arduous journey to Dharamshala where he took his ordination as a monk at Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Monastery at the age of 12. As a gifted and artistic youth, he quickly made his way through the ranks to become the Chief Ritual Assistant to the Nechung Protector. In 1987, following the three-year gap after the passing of the head oracle- to which no kuten was appointed, Thupten Ngodup entered into his first spontaneous trance and in September of that same year was formally recognized as the Chief Tibetan State Oracle Thus, began a successful thirty-year career that has seen Nechung Kuten Rinpoche become a much respected and beloved State Oracle. This birthday celebration will draw immense crowds and will conclude with a Khata offering ceremony along with birthday cake and luncheon. So, make the effort to attend this rare and festive occasion, you won’t regret it. I know we’ll be there.

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Mudras, the power of wisdom at your fingertips by Stéphanie

21 June 2017

Mudras are those subtle hand movements which are often attributed to Indian dances. More than an aesthetic gesture, each of them has a special meaning and is practiced as an art. Here are some examples of mudras to practice which will invite more wisdom into your daily life: Origins of the Mudras The term Mudra has several meanings in Sanskrit, one of which is: sign or seal, whereas according to the Tantric school, it comes from the decomposition of the word with the syllable mu- which means happiness and dru-, signifying to emphasize. Mudras are then a set of postures which generate a sense of fulfillment. Originally, it comes from the successors of the Veda, one of the oldest cultural traditions in the world. Brought to India by the Aryans more than 3,500 years ago and considered by Hindus as the source of all knowledge, Vedic teachings transmitted orally have always revered mudras as genuine sacred gestures. Mudras have since been introduced in yoga and meditation not only to promote mental stability, but also to stimulate energy curing points. The practice The specific positioning of fingers, hands and the entire body, create a powerful energetic field. In yoga, it is called assana. Therefore, these movements are a link between our body and the precise vibration that they are producing. Each of our five fingers is related to an element. The thumb is associated with fire; Agni, index to air; vayu, middle finger to the ether; akasha, ring finger to earth; prithvi and auricular to water; jala. By making associations with our fingers, we allow the elements to collaborate and thus release their energies into our body, bringing harmony and balance as well as promoting the vital breath; the Prana. The mudras, point by point Atmanjali Atmanjali mudra The right hand represents the sun, the left hand, the moon. By joining them, you allow the connection between the spiritual and material world. The Atmanjali is the mudra of prayer: of demand but also of gratitude. Join them at your chest, on the chakra of the heart, in order to fully feel peace and love. The Lotus There are two types of positions for this mudra, like a lotus flower that could close and open to infinity. It is advisable to visualize it during the time of your practice, to allow an opening to the nature as well as the divine that […]

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44 days in Ladakh with the Dalai Lama by Stéphanie

16 June 2017

H.H the Dalai Lama’s teaching schedule, Ladakh – 28th June – 10th August 2017 The main event : The Deskit Yarchos Chenmo’s 5th Annual Summer Buddhist Council, Nubra, Ladakh, India In the heart of the Annual Summer Buddhist Council in Ladakh continues the age-old Buddhist tradition of philosophical debate and discussion of core Buddhist tenants. The aim of this rare summer gathering is to bring about spiritual understanding, the importance of integrity and to promote inter-religious harmony in Ladakh. It will be a platform for students from all different schools to engage in discussions on spirituality, culture and morality in volatile times. But this isn’t the only event that His Holiness is scheduled to attend. His much-anticipated visit to Ladkah is sure to draw crowds from all over the world and is jam-packed with various teachings, ceremonies and monastic visits. So, to ensure that you get the most out of His Holiness’s visit; we have detailed his schedule below. June 28, Wednesday This heralds the start of this exhilarating time as His Holiness makes the journey from Delhi and arrives in Leh. July 6, Thursday Today is a very special day for everyone involved as it His Holiness’ birthday celebration! The entire region will be in a festive mood and it will be an action-packed day that begins with a Long-life ceremony for His Holiness. Throughout the morning, there will be speeches from invited dignitaries and traditional Tibetan dances performed by some of the locals. After all the formalities are concluded, the crowd will then relax and enjoy beautiful picnics with friends and family. This is a gorgeous event and is not to be missed. Take a peek at our blog on His Holiness’ 80th birthday below: http://www.omalayatravel.com/80thbirthday-of-dalai-lama-in-ladakh/ July 10, Monday- July 13, Thursday The teaching schedule for His Holiness in Nubra begins with the Closing Ceremony of Yarcho Chenmo on the 10th July. The next three days will include His Holiness’ teachings on Kamalashila’s The Middle Stages of Mediation, Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva and open interactions from the students of various schools. This event concludes with a Long-Life Empowerment followed by a Long-Life prayer for His Holiness.   July 14, Friday Today His Holiness makes his way to the Muslim region of Turtuk. This journey to the unspoiled terrains of Balti will include a visit to a local mosque as well as official speeches held […]

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