BHUTAN YOGA & MINDFULNESS MEDITATION RETREAT

Bhutan has many activities available for those visitors seeking a place of solace, rest and recuperation. Whether it’s a session of peaceful, contemplative meditation, a relaxing soak in a mineral hot spring bath or the all natural remedies of our traditional medicine Bhutan has just what you need to revive and rejuvenate your body and spirit.

These retreats and meditation centers provide places of respite from the cares and stress of everyday life. Devout Buddhists often venture into the mountains for months at a time to meditate. The retreats provide practitioners with the opportunity to draw upon their inner self and meditate upon the purpose of life.

Many tourists come to Bhutan for meditation and retreat tours. Some itineraries include serious meditation programs that last for days while others offer solitary retreats for few hours in the high hills and temples where the serenity and beauty of nature can be appreciated in undisturbed silence.

Day 1- Arrive Paro, Bhutan- Drive to Thimphu

Paro Altitude: 2,250 m (7,200 feet)
Driving distance: 1 hr 15 minutes
Flying into the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression.
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be greeted by Bhutan Rila’s representative. On completion of airport formalities, drive towards Thimphu.
Next check-in to your hotel and take lunch before some afternoon sightseeing including the Folk Heritage Museum; the Institute of the 13 Arts & Crafts of Bhutan and where you can interact with the students; and the Takin Preserve, home to Bhutan’s most unusual national mammal.
Overnight in Thimphu

Day 2- Thimphu- Punakha

Driving Distance: 77 kms- 3 hrs
Punakha/Wangdi Altitude: 1,300 m (4,260 feet)
After breakfast visit the awesome Golden Buddha (with 3km hike option)offering spectacular city & valley views. On the way back visit the NationalMemorial Chorten and continue on and view the celebrated National Textile Museum before taking lunch in a local restaurant.
After lunch drive towards Punakha valley eastwards across the Dochu La (Pass) to the Punakha Valley.Stop at Dochu La to view the 108 Stupas, erected in 2005 as a memorial for the Bhutanese soldiers and Indian separatists who died during a short war of ‘eviction’ in 2003, and on a clear day you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalaya.
Overnight Punakha Valley

Day 3: Punakha- Gangtey

This morning visit the very impressive Punakha Dzong which previously served as the seat of the government. Punakha Dzong is still the winter residence of the Dratsheng (Central Monk Body) and holds the title as the winter capital because of its more temperate climate. This afternoon enjoy a fascinating hike through fields and small hamlets to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten. This beautiful structure was built by the current King’s mother for his protection from evil.
After lunch drive towards Gangtey
Driving Distance: 78 kms- 3 hrs
PHOBJIKHA/GANGTEY: at 3,000 m (9,840 feet)
After lunch drive to Gangtey/Phobjikha valley .When you reach Phobjikha valley you will visit Gangtey Gonpa/Phobjikha Valley. This valley is a broad glacial valley (10’000 ft) on the flanks of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha with it’s gently slope is a place of astonishing beauty described as” the most beautiful valley in the most beautiful country of Himalayas”. Every winter, the rare and beautiful black-necked cranes return from Tibet to the Gangtey valley where they are protected. Gangtey also has a very interesting and ancient Nyingmapa monastery, the only one of its kind west of the Black Mountain range. Visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery( more than 450 years old). Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang.
Overnight in Gangtey-Phobjikha Valley

Day 4: Gangtey- Phobjikha Valley

Early morning, 6:AM gather in the monastery’s main temple for the special Lhabsang Thruesel ceremony (long life and purification ceremony ).This Puja is a ceremony to celebrate new beginnings and special occasions with monks performing a 1 hr ritual ceremony & blessing.
After breakfast, introductory teaching by Khenpo and Sand Mandala building begins.The Tibetan mandala is a tool for gaining wisdom and compassion The Tibetan mandala is a
Lunch at 12 PM and afternoon at your own. At 4 PM, meet your yoga&meditation master for introduction session and briefing of your retreat in the yoga and Meditation room followed by welcome dinner at 6.30 PM.
Overnight in Gangtey Valley

Day 5: Gangtey

5.00-7.00 Yoga Session & 4.00-6.00pm – Guided Meditation Session.
After breakfast at 9 AM visit the monastery and familiarise yourself with the surrounding and join the monks for prayer flag hoisting and butter lamp lighting ceremony-A thousand butter lamps will be offered by the participants for all the sentient beings, group photograph will be taken .
Overnight in Gangtey Valley

Day 6: Gangtey

6.30-8.30-Yoga Session&4.30-6.30pm – Meditation Session followed by talk on Buddhist Symbolism introduction.
Depart at 11 AM to visit the small incense making unit, learn and involve in making incense at Khewa Lhakhang.A light picnic lunch will be included and you will be back at the guest house by approx 4.00pm.
Alternative program for the day- Hike to Kubum Drak and attend spiritual cleansing and purification smoke offering ceremony.
Overnight in Gangtey Valley

Day 7: Gangtey

6.00-7.00 – Yoga Session.
4:30-6.30- Meditation and Talk on Traditional Bhutanese Medicine.
10 AM: Wiping Sand Mandala with long life and world peace prayer ceremony lead by Khenpo with the monks. Evening 2 hours session on Traditional Bhutanese medicine.
Overnight in Gangtey Valley

Day 8- Gangtey- Paro

After breakfast drive back to Paro.On the way visit Chimi Lhakhang which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley {popularly known as “The Devine Madman”} in the 15th Century. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.The divine madman is a famous teacher with whom the phallic symbol is associated. Tales told by your guide would have excited you to visit Chhimi Lhakhang. The Divine Madman sits there though a statue this time. Do not miss the master’s deeds painted on the walls. Japanese and several American couples visited this temple and were blessed miraculously with children. Ask yourself, do I need this Fertility Tour or not?
Dinner at the restaurant followed by talk on The Divine Madman- Lam Drukpa Kuenlay.
Overnight in Paro

Day 9: Paro – Taktsang Monastery

Morning Pilgrimage to Taktsang Monastery
6.00-7.30 PM
After breakfast drive through Paro valley-one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan with its slate-roofed farmhouses, graceful willow trees and rushing glacial river beneath snow covered peaks.
Take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, (one of the most sacred places in Bhutan due to its association with Guru Rinpoche). It is believed that Guru Rinpoche reputedly flew to Paro Taktsang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on a flaming dakini-tigress in the 747 A.D., where he meditated and subdued evil spirits.
Take the rest of the day at leisure to explore Paro town
Farewell dinner with cultural programmes in the Restaurant at 7.00 pm..
Overnight Paro Valley

Day 10- Depart Bhutan

After breakfast an early morning transfer to Paro Airport for your onward flight.
Thank you for joining us in Bhutan for this special Mindful Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Retreat