Spiritual Journey India
Roots of Mindfulness
incl 7-day Vipassana silent retreat
28 January – 14 Febuary 2018
- Spiritual journey India
- Incl 7-day vipassana silent retreat
- Delhi, Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Sarnath
- 18 days from 28 January till 14 February 2018
- Small group of about 7 participants
- 1800,- euro
- Till 27 Nov 300,- euro early bird discount!
Meeting the real India
Travelling by train
We dive into the India-experience immediately by taking the night train from Delhi to Bodhgaya. Waiting at the platform, finding the right coach, the chai whallas, the curiosity of the people, the view… travelling by train is a wonderful experience!
Bodhgaya is the most important place in the world for Buddhists as it is the place where the Buddha reached enlightenment. We will meditate under the Bodhi tree, visit the many temples and monasteries admiring Buddhist architecture from various Buddhist countries. We will stay at the peaceful meditation centre Root Institute.
Part of the profits of the journey will be donated to the NGO People First. Eventhough India is developing there are still many people and children living in poverty and insecurity. Bodhgaya is situated in Bihar, the poorest state of India. Since 1992 People First has been doing tremendous work in the villages surrounding Bodhgaya giving support to the poorest of the poorest. They run various projects in education, health, women’s rights, child safety and welfare. We will spend one day visiting some of the projects.
Here we experience Indian Hindu culture to the fullest. We will walk along the Ghats watching pilgrims bathing in the holy Ganga river, pandits performing their rituals and holy cows wandering around. At sunrise we will make a boattrip observing life on the riverbank and in the evening we will watch the Aarti, a fire ceremony praising the river on the main Ghat. We will stay at the Yoga Mandir, a quiet and calm place with lovely gardens. It is possible to join some of the yoga classes that are offered.
After the overload of impressions it is time to contemplate, we will travel to Sarnath by rickshaw to take part in the 7-day silent Vipassana retreat. The retreat is the heart of the spiritual journey, motivation to participate is essential. The retreat will be guided by Christopher Titmuss and Zohar Lavie. In the seventies Christopher lived as a Buddhist monk in Thailand ever since he offers retreats around the world. Zohar is co-founder of SanghaSeva. She spends most of her time facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world. Both are inspiring western Buddhists and to me and many others important teachers.
The journey starts and ends in Delhi. We will stay in the vibrant neighbourhood of Paharganj. We will visit the Gandhi museum and the famous Red Fort. Of course there will also be time to relax and buy souvenirs.
The 7-day vipassana silent retreat in Sarnath forms the heart of this journey. Your motivation to take part is essential for joining the journey. The word vipassana means insight, during meditation you are aware of your experience here and now. You practice in observing the experiences without judging them. You observe how sensations, thoughts, feelings, mind states are passing by, changing all the time. This process can lead to great insight. It offers emotional and psychological insights, a depth of awareness, inner peace and a profound and liberating sense of the Here and Now. Christopher Titmuss has been offering meditation retreat for decennia all around the world. This will be the 43nd annual retreat in India.
7 days will be spend in silence meditating in the four postures, sitting, standing, walking and declining. Each morning Christopher or Zohar gives instructions and in the afternoon a Dharma talk will be given. There will also be guided meditations, enquiries and one to ones. The retreat is open to experienced as well as beginning meditators. More information about the retreat can be found here.
We will travel in a small group of about 7 participants. The program gives much room to free time, that can be spend meeting your individual interest, This is not a trip in which seeing and doing as much as possible plays a central role, it is a journey that invites you to be. To be with all there is, all the beauty and all the challenges that India has to offer.
The journey is organized and guided by mindfulness trainer Ellen van Iersel. She has travelled and lived in India for almost 2 years. “My connection to Buddhism and mindfulness and my love for India inspired me to organize this trip with a lot of love and enthusiasm. I hope to give people who are interested in meditation and Buddhism, but who don’t want to travel in India on their own, the opportunity to meet this beautiful and inspiring country. I love to share the experience of being on retreat in Sarnath, a retreat that is very precious to me. ”
To support our outer and inner journey we start the days before and after the retreat with (guided) meditation. Sometimes we will close the day with a sharing circle in which we can express our experiences.
On the last day of the journey in 2016 I recieved a beautiful booklet in which all the participants wrote about their feelings and experiences in India. Here you can read some of their words.
India has overwhelmed and surprised me, I have felt such joy and happiness in this crazy country. Thank you for your warm and caring presence, you managed everything very well and gave me the confidence that I could trust and thoroughly enjoy this beautiful journey. Karin
The time in India and all that I felt, learned and experienced has been one big present. I absolutely enjoyed each place you took us, and also the way in which we travelled. With admiration I witnessed how cheerful and full of confidence you guided us through India. I found the anker in myself, which I was looking for, somewhere between the holy cows, the dirt and the altars. Lianne
What a beautiful journey, a special experience in every way. I had never crossed the European border and now suddenly I found myself in India. The impressions were overwhelming, I could smell, taste and feel the culture, an experience I will carry in my heart forever. Also the inner journey has given me so much, I feel strong and grateful. Lisette
It was a very special journey, with room for every experience just as it was. There was attention, respect and friendliness for everyone. I now understand why you are so in love with India, it is a country so full of life with a beautiful balance between chaos and peacefulness. Live is spiritual and full of trust, a valuable mirror. I will keep the phrase “shanti shanti” in my heart. Ivon
Travelling to India was a lifelong dream for me and now I did it! The whole journey was very special to me in many ways. To be in Bodhgaya and sit the retreat made this journey spiritual and meaningful. Thank you for being in the moment so you could feel and do what was needed, you encouraged me and gave me confidence so I could meet this new world with and open heart. Leila
At the rooftop of the Krishna café I look out onto the (un)organized chaos called Delhi and I reflect on a wonderful time in India. The love, the careful attention, the extremes, the humor, the bizarreness, the silence and the noise have made a deep impression. I am grateful that I met India, it is very meaningful to me in heart and mind for the continuations of my journey in life. Liesbeth
I loved each and every moment of this trip, arriving in Delhi, travelling by train, the meditations, Varanasi, the silence and the chaos. I enjoyed your peaceful and open presence and your wonderful talent to organise everything very well. I experienced India with so much warmth and love. Tineke
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Click here for a detailed desciption of the program and information about cost and booking
and here you can read the terms and conditions
Do you want to join?
If you are interested in joining this wonderful spiritual journey in India, please send me an email. We will arrange to get into contact live or via skype so we can see if your motivation to join and your expectations about the journey are in line with what I want to share. If so we will then continue the booking process. After booking you will recieve more information about preparations and packing etc.
Photografy: Ellen van Iersel