For their first retreat in Nepal, Mark and Deepika joined us for our final retreat of the season – a week of Ashtanga at the monastery. It was a joyful! We welcomed participants from 16 different countries and our youngest ever participant too (18!). It was also the week that the monastery hosted a ‘World Peace Ceremony’ where the community aimed to reach over a million repetitions of ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’. A bustling yet peaceful energy accompanied us during this week as students practiced to the sounds of the monks’ chants below. A week of dedicated practice and in-depth workshops, but also a week full of laughter, music, dance and a LOT of chanting!
Waiting for the arrival of our group in the monastery shala.. a little pack of gifts awaits each participant.
First time walking up to the monastery on a beautiful summer’s day.
The Peace Ceremony begins. There is a wonderful hum that travels through the monastery as ‘om mani padme hum’ is repeated hundreds of times.
Young novice monks run to class to continue the chants..
..each repetition is counted and helps the monastery to reach over one million repetitions. (Photo credit: Juan Althabe)
Taking a moment to look out towards the Himalayas. (Photo credit: Olga Khimich).
The monastery cat makes the most of the reverberations… peace for all sentient beings 🙂
Lama Rinchin makes time (despite helping to organise the Peace Ceremony) to talk with our group about Buddhist philosophy and life at the monastery.
Mark and Deepika explore movement chains and organic movement during workshops.. (Photo credit: Olga Khimich)
Building gradually towards how this can be applied to arm balances like handstands.
Mark gives a restorative adjustment at the end of the workshop.
An early morning visit to the nearby Durga temple. (Photo credit: Cristina Irisarri)
The sun rises above ‘Surya’ the sun God.
Receiving dashain, a blessing, at the local temple.
Watching the sun rise before practice at the temple.
Hanging prayer flags above the enlightenment caves of Guru Rinpoche, the tantric master. (Photo credit: Cristina Irisarri)
The steps to Swayambhu, the ‘Monkey Temple’.
Buddha Park in Swayambhu
A monkey enjoys the view of Kathmandu from Swayambhu, the ‘Monkey Temple’. (Photo credit: Richard Wagner).
Afternoons spent exploring the area around the monastery. (Photo credit: Anna Bondarenko)
Sometimes our walks were in silence, and sometimes.. not so much! (Photo credit: Cristina Irisarri).
Photo credit: Michael Kasper
Taking it all in..
The BEST cheesecake made at the monastery.
The local village.
Enjoying the shade of the pine forest (Photo credit: Cristina Irisarri).
Our final day with Mark and Deepika and a wonderful way to finish the Spring season of retreats in Nepal.
Until next time!