Pilgrimage to Tibet 2014

A Pilgrim's Journey to the Heart of Tibet

A Cultural & Educational Travel Program Hosted by Jonang Foundation
 
*Due to a road block in western Tibet, the original pilgrimage program was re-scheduled for August.
 
For the latest updates see, Revised Pilgrilmage to Mount Kailash 2014.
 
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We are pleased to be offering a very special and highlly customized program for the 2014 Jonang Foundation Pilgrimage. The program is divided into two distinct trips, overlapping to allow participants to join either or both:

Trip 01: Lhasa & Surrounding Yogin Caves

May 25 - June 04, 2014 (11 Days)
$4,900 per person

Trip 01 will be centered in Lhasa with excursions to surrounding meditation caves. We will explore the city of Lhasa, and many of the important sites of the founding yogins and yoginis of Tibet including Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal, Atisha and early Kadam masters. See details below.


Trip 02: Great Horse Year Festival at Mount Kailash

June 03 - June 24, 2014 (21 Days)
 $5,900 per person

Trip 02 visits places of importance to the Kagyu and Jonang traditions, the ancient Tholing Monastery of Guge, as well as special visits to the primary historical seats of the Karma Kagyu, Shangpa Kagyu, and Bon. The trip culminates at one of the most celebrated events for pilgrims in Tibet, The Great Horse Year Festival during the Buddhist celebration of Saga Dawa at Mount Kailash — an event that happens only every 12 years. See details below.

Entire trip (31 days) = $7,250 per person 

Read the JF Pilgrimage FAQ Sheet.

View the Facebook photo album for the Jonang Foundation Tibet Pilgrimage 2013

 

 

Educational Program

This journey will take you through the ages and across the boundaries of cultural imagination to encounter the sacred sites of Tibet's living spiritual traditions. We have designed this pilgrimage to be an educational exploration of Tibet's living Buddhist culture. By supplying both the highest quality accommodation and transportation, as well as expert leaders and local guides, we have designed this pilgrimage to be a life-enriching experience.

Meditation sessions, pilgrimage rituals, personal exploratory time, optional hikes as well as regular lectures and discussions at monasteries and cultural sites on Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan culture with Tulku Zangpo Rinpoche and Tibetologist Michael Sheehy will be integral to the journey. A pilgrim's reader will be sent upon enrollment.

 

Travel in Tibet

We at Jonang Foundation host this pilgrimage to both give you an opportunity to visit and explore the deeply ingrained Buddhist culture on the Tibetan plateau as well as to support Tibetans in Tibet. We work directly with local Tibetan-owned businesses that employ Tibetans. We are ecologically conscious to leave minimal traces of our own pilgrim footprints on the land. Proceeds raised from this pilgrimage are allocated to education and cultural preservation projects that we facilitate on-the-ground in Tibet. This pilgrimage gives back directly to Tibetan communities.

 

Pilgrimage Leaders

Tulku Kunga Zangpo Rinpoche is a recognized reincarnate lama. Born and educated in the Golok region of far eastern Tibet, Tulku Zangpo Rinpoche later spent six years studying and visiting the sacred places of the Buddha's life in India and Nepal. For the past several years, he has lived throughout China, teaching and working to facilitate programs hosted by Jonang Foundation as the director of field operations. Tulku Zangpo is a Tibetan monk who speaks English and Chinese.

 

Michael Sheehy is the Founding Director of Jonang Foundation, as well as the Head of Literary Research at the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC), a digital research library of Tibetan literature based in Cambridge, MA. He received his Ph.D. in Tibetan and Buddhist studies. For three years, he lived in a Buddhist monastery in the Golok region of far eastern Tibet. He regularly leads group pilgrimages to historical and sacred heritage sites throughout Tibet, the Himalaya, and Buddhist Asia.

 

 

The Program Itinerary

The program is divided into two distinct trips, overlapping to allow participants to join either or both:

TRIP 01: LHASA & SURROUNDING YOGIN CAVES

11 Days Total, 9 in Tibet

Trip 01 will be centered in Lhasa with excursions to surrounding monasteries and meditation caves. We will spend several days exploring the city of Lhasa before traveling to caves of Tibet's great yogins. In particular, we will visit many of the important sites of the founding yogins and yoginis of Tibet including Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal, Atisha and early Kadam masters; sites of importance to the Nyingma, Drigung Kagyu, and Kadam traditions.

MAY 25 | DAY 1) Arrive in Chengdu = HOTEL
MAY 26 | DAY 2) Fly to Lhasa  = HOTEL
MAY 27 | DAY 3) Lhasa: Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery & Nechung Oracle Monastery = HOTEL
MAY 28 | DAY 4) Lhasa: Dalai Lama's Potala Palace & Sera Monastery = HOTEL
MAY 29 | DAY 5) Explore Yogin Caves at Drak Yerpa -> Drigung Kagyu Monastery = CAMP
MAY 30 | DAY 6) Drigung Monastery -> Tidrum Hot Springs & Nunnery = GUESTHOUSE
MAY 31 | DAY 7) Explore Guru Rinpoche & Yeshe Tsogyal Cave, Hot Springs = GUESTHOUSE
JUNE 1  | DAY 8) -> Kadam Reting Monastery, Nunnery, Hermitage & Juniper Forest = CAMP
JUNE 2  | DAY 9) Reting Monastery -> Taklung Kagyu Monastery = CAMP
JUNE 3  | DAY 10) -> Kadam Sharabum Stupas & Nunnery, Nalendra Sakya Monastery -> Lhasa  = HOTEL
JUNE 4  | DAY 11) Fly to Chengdu = HOTEL


TRIP 02: GREAT HORSE YEAR FESTIVAL AT MOUNT KAILASH

21 Days Total, 19 in Tibet

Trip 02 visits places of importance to the Kagyu and Jonang traditions, Tholing Monastery at the ancient Guge kingdom, as well as a special visit to the primary historical seats of the Bon, Karma Kagyu, and the Shangpa Kagyu monastery of Shangshong Dorjeden. The trip culiminates at the event most celebrated by pilgrims in Tibet, The Great Horse Year Festival during the Buddhist celebration of Saga Dawa at Mount Kailash. The year 2014 is the Year of the Horse according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. This is the year during the 12-yearlong astrological cycle that is understood to magnify the beneficial effects of pilgrimage manifold. In Tibetan pilgrimage practice, it is said that circumambulating Mount Kailash once during the Year of the Horse is karmically equivalent to completing 12 circumambulations.

JUNE 3   | DAY 1) Arrive in Chengdu = HOTEL
JUNE 4   | DAY 1) Fly to Lhasa = HOTEL
JUNE 5   | DAY 2) Lhasa: Jokhang Temple = HOTEL
JUNE 6   | DAY 3) Lhasa -> Karmapa's Tsurphu Monastery & Sharmapa's Yangpachen Monastery = CAMP
JUNE 7   | DAY 4) -> Menri Bon Monastery -> Shangpa Kagyu Shangshong Dorjeden = CAMP
JUNE 8   | DAY 5) Shangshong Dorjeden -> Jonang Takten Puntsok Ling = CAMP
JUNE 9   | DAY 6) -> Tangtong Gyalpo's Chung Riwoche = CAMP
JUNE 10 | DAY 7) -> Dargeling = CAMP
JUNE 11 | DAY 8) Across the Paryang Sand Dunes -> Manasarovar Lake = CAMP
JUNE 12 | DAY 9) Manasarovar Lake, Rakshas Tsal Lake, Tarpoche = CAMP
JUNE 13 | DAY 10) Mt. Kailash Great Horse Festival on Saga Dawa at Tarpoche = CAMP
JUNE 14 | DAY 11) Mt. Kailash kora 01 = CAMP
JUNE 15 | DAY 12) Mt. Kailash kora 02 = CAMP
JUNE 16 | DAY 13) Mt. Kailash Kora 03, rest at Darchen = GUESTHOUSE
JUNE 17 | DAY 14) -> Guru Rinpoche Hot Springs at Tirtapuri = CAMP
JUNE 18 | DAY 15) Visit Tholing Monastery & ancient ruins at the Guge Kingdom - or - rest at Tirtapuri Hot Springs = CAMP
JUNE 19 | DAY 16) -> Purang, Korchak Monastery = GUESTHOUSE
JUNE 20 | DAY 17) -> Dargyeling = CAMP
JUNE 21 | DAY 18) Dargyeling -> Sakya Monastery = HOTEL
JUNE 22 | DAY 19) Sakya Monastery -> Gyantse Kumbum Stupa = HOTEL
JUNE 23 | DAY 20) Gyantse Kumbum and Monastery = HOTEL
JUNE 24 | DAY 21) Airport. Fly to Chengdu
 = HOTEL

Total for Trip 01 & Trip 02 = 31 Days 

 

Great Horse Year Festival

The year 2014 is the Year of the Horse according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. This is the year during the 12-yearlong astrological cycle that is understood to magnify the beneficial effects of pilgrimage manifold. In Tibetan pilgrimage practice, it is said that circumambulating Mount Kailash once during the Year of the Horse is karmically equivalent to completing 12 circumambulations. Trip 02 will arrive at Mount Kailash to celebrate the festival on Saga Dawa.

For a brief description of the history of this event, see the Jonangpa Blog post on the 2014 Horse Year Festival at Mt. Kailash.

 

JF Pilgrim Testimonials

"Trip of a lifetime: Michael's knowledge of Tibetan history and Dharma are unparalleled, and his sincerity, command of the language and respect for others literally opened many doors for us as we toured so many sacred sites. The best way to tour Tibet."​
-- Chester, 2013 JF Pilgrim --

“When considered in the broad offering of trips to out-of-the-way places where one might explore a spiritual tradition this program was tip top. The two main criteria for such trips are logistical know-how and breadth of knowledge. We all had numerous occasions to test these two criteria. Two words: flying colors. Flying colors!“
-- Deb, 2013 JF Pilgrim --

"During the three weeks I spent participating in the Jonang Foundation's Pilgrimage to Tibet, I made just the kinds of connections I'd hope to make with the land, its people, and its profound traditions … the pilgrimage was always enriching and rewarding.  I'm very grateful to Michael, the supporting crew, and the other participants for making it all possible."
-- Doug, 2013 JF Pilgrim --

"I found Michael Sheehy and the Jonang Foundation extremely planful and mindful of the pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash and the various spiritual and sacred areas of Tibet. We were able to experience a very remote and incredible land with regular teachings at various sites on the history, culture, and Buddhist teachings. Jonang Foundation provides an organized and safe journey. One that I would consider traveling with again."
-- Jean, 2013 JF Pilgrim --

"An amazing trip to spectacular landscapes, beautiful ancient monasteries and cities with (Michael Sheehy) an American guide who speaks fluent Tibetan and knows the land, people and their culture deeply."
-- Ananda, 2013 JF Pilgrim --

"This pilgrimage to Tibet has, deepened my awareness, to the culture, landscapes, people, and the tradition’s, and also to the teachings of Buddhism. Well organized. Thank-you!"
-- Christley, 2013 JF Pilgrim --

"Thanks to Michael and the Jonang Foundation for making it possible to experience and understand more deeply the holy sites of western Tibet. What a blessing!"  
-- Karen, 2013 JF Pilgrim --

"The JF pilgrimage was a life-changing journey with unexpected deep experiences at many of the great sacred places of Tibet. There was one highlight after the other."
-- Sabina, 2013 JF Pilgrim --
 

Cost & Enrollment

To enroll, contact us at info@jonangfoundation.org with the word "PILGRIMAGE" in the subject line.

$1,000 enrollment downpayment is required per person to reserve a spot. Early enrollment is encouraged. Spots are limited. The enrollment downpayment will be credited towards each person's total cost. Spots are being reserved in the order by which each person enrolls. See the Cancellation and Refund Policy.

Please contact us about making an enrollment downpayment. 

Total Cost

Trip 01 (11 days) = $4,900 per person

Trip 02 (21 days) = $5,900 per person

Entire trip (31 days) = $7,250 per person

*A $1,000 enrollment downpayment is required per person to reserve a spot.

*All payments must be received no later than May 01. 

Cost includes: Full board including meals and accommodation in hotels, guesthouses, and camp sites; round-trip flight tickets from Chengdu / Lhasa / Chengdu; tents and camping equipment; chief cooks and cook assistants; pack yaks and yak men for Kailash circumambulation; inland transportation by bus in Chengdu; van and 4x4 Toyota Land Cruisers along with a support truck in Tibet; roundtrip inland airport transfers and related airport fees (Chengdu/Lhasa/Chengdu); English-speaking local Tibetan guides; all necessary road permit and travel documentation; visitation, entrance, and conservation fees to all sites and monasteries.

Cost does not include: Roundtrip international flight tickets from/to port of origin, visas, airport taxes, travel insurance, sleeping bags, tips, personal expenses, drinks.

There is an option to reserve a single room/tent:  

Trip 01 Single Supplement = $599
Trip 02 Single Supplement = $329
 
*Vegetarian meals will be provided at each meal.
*A percentage of each total payment is tax-deductible in the U.S.

 

Contact Information

For all queries about the pilgrimage, please contact us at info@jonangfoundation.org with the word "PILGRIMAGE" in the subject line.

Please contact us about future programs.