Ultimate Reality Pilgrimage 2018
The Buddha Smile Tour, India
3rd - 19th February 2018 (16 nights/17 days)
The opportunity has now arisen to be able to offer a seven-day Vipassana retreat in Bodh Gaya, the site of the Buddha’s awakenings, with permission given by the Abbot, at the new Burmese Vihara in Bodh Gaya, India. This will be the inaugural retreat, and hopefully becoming an annual event.
The Burmese Vihara is a brand new four-story building. As part of the retreat, we will occupy the entire fourth floor. Conditions are comfortable with hot/cold running water and tiled bathrooms. The meditation hall is big and spacious.
Following this retreat, we will head off on our nine-day pilgrimage. We will be visiting famous sites such as Nalanda, Rajgir, Vultures Peak, Vaisali, Kushinagar, Varanasi and Sarnath. From Varanasi we will fly to Bopal for a short bus ride to the UNESCO listed site of Sanchi Stupor where we will stay two nights and explore this site. After Sanchi we will fly back to Varanasi and bus back to Bodh Gaya where we will end our pilgrimage.
An exciting trip is being offered and we invite you to join us for this for this wonderful Buddha Smile Pilgrimage. There are a number of tour options available. Further details are available below.
Hosting the tour and providing all practicalities will be our dear friend Phillip Barua who many of you will remember from past pilgrimages. So we will be in safe hands.
If you wish to join us, please return the registration form to me. Once you have registered I can forward a more detailed information sheet giving details of how to obtain visas, what to bring, etc.
Would like to keep this trip to an intimate size of approximately 15 people so please if your interested contact Grahame White ASAP (see contact info below).
Itinerary here. Registration form here.
Option 1: Retreat Dates: Saturday, February 3rd - Saturday, February 10th. Cost: US $550.00 Twin Share Room
Option 2: Pilgrimage Dates: Saturday, February 10th - Monday, February 19th. Cost: US $1300 Twin Share Room US $2050 Single Room
Option 3: Retreat/Pilgrimage Dates Saturday, February 3rd - Monday, February 19th. Cost: US $1850 Twin Share US $2600 Single Room
Cost includes accommodation at the Burmese monastery in Bodhgaya (on retreat) and 3 star hotels (on pilgrimage), transport (including internal flights, air-conditioned tour bus and airport transfers), all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and site entrance fees.
Cost does not include donation or dana to various sites and teachers, additional beverages, laundry, medical treatment, personal expenses, additional accommodation before or after the trip, tourist visa, international flights (in and out of Bodhgaya) or travel insurance. We recommend that you have comprehensive travel insurance.
Day 1: Arrival at Gaya airport, transport to Bodh Gaya Parahita Monastery. Evening orientation dinner at monastery.
Day 2: Opening ceremony and tour of Mahabodhi temple, Bodh Gaya. Free time before the retreat starts in the evening at approximately 7 pm after dinner.
Day 3 - 7: Retreat Meditation Practice
Day 8/1: Morning sitting followed by closing ceremony at Mahabodhi temple. This will be final morning of the retreat and the arrival day for those joining the pilgrimage
Day 9/2: Bodhgaya to Rajgir. Overnight at Rajgir Hotel.
Day 10/3: After breakfast travel to Vaisali. Overnight at Vaisali hotel.
Day 11/4: After breakfast travel to Kushinagar, sightseeing and overnight at Kushinagar.
Day 12/5: After breakfast travel to Varanasi. Overnight at Varanasi hotel.
Day 13/6: Sightseeing at river Ganges, Sarnath and Varanasi. Overnight at Varanasi hotel.
Day 14/7: After breakfast or lunch fly to Bopal. Overnight at Bopal hotel.
Day 15/8: Daytrip to Sanchi stupa. Overnight at Bopal hotel.
Day 16/9: After breakfast, fly back to Varanasi. Overnight at Bodh Gaya Monastery.
Day 17/10: Closing ceremony and departures.
Our Teacher and Guide
Grahame White has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study of Buddhism in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Center. He currently leads introductory and day-long courses in Sydney and Wollongong, and also regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in the United States and various countries in Asia. Grahame has also helped pioneer the workshop format of teaching meditation that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life.
Further travel details:
- Pilgrims will travel everywhere in the best available bus except for a possible boat trip between Bagan and Mandalay and two internal flights (Yangon to Bagan and Mandalay to Yangon).
- All nights will be spent in comfortable three-star hotels (with ensuite) and services such as laundry readily available. Twin share and single options will also be available.
- Cost will include all internal flights, over land travel (except airport transfers), food and accommodation.
Please note that our 2018 pilgrimage is limited to a maximum of 15 people. For more information and to send in the registration form please contact below.
For registration please contact:
PO BOX 64
Thirroul NSW 2515 Australia
Phone: +612 4267 3240
Fax: 02 4268 1268