Nepal Travel Abroad
Patan, Nepal. Photo by Erin King.

Ashrams & Artisans

  • Days 1-3
    After landing in Kathmandu airport we travel to the medieval city of Bhaktapur, "city of devotees." This is a UNESCO Living World Heritage site and thriving Newari community. In these first few days we orient ourselves to this Himalayan country, to ourselves in this new location, and to our group of fellow travelers. In addition, we explore the cobblestoned streets, surrounding hillside and nearby shrines as we investigate the cultural and spiritual significance of this sacred landscape. On the busy streets, we begin to observe how the ancient and modern are intertwined and inseparable.
  • Days 4-7
    We relocate to the town of Patan, where ancient temples and stunning courtyards are nestled between winding cobbled paths. Each participant is welcomed into a homestay with a local Newari family. Here we pass our days delving into our key question: How to balance development and the survival of cultural heritage? We explore this through visits to sites of cultural significance, lectures from local experts about Nepal’s ethnic diversity and the challenges for development, and workshops with traditional musicians.
  • Each participant also has the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship with a master artisan or spiritual practitioner. Stone-carving, thangka-painting, jewelry-making, or traditional medicine are just some of the topics you can explore one-on-one with an expert mentor.
  • Days 8-10
    Saying farewell to our homestay families, we head out of the bustling city for a spiritual retreat at a Buddhist monastery. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills to the east of Kathmandu valley, the monastery is home to a thriving monastic community. We participate in the daily spiritual life, including teachings on buddhist philosophy, meditation, and chanting, as well as exploring the surrounding hillsides and nearby villages.
  • Days 11-12
    We finish the course in the Tibetan Buddhist area of Boudha. Centered around an enormous sacred monument, this area is a hub of spiritual activity that draws pilgrims from all over the world. These final days are spent reflecting on what we’ve learned and how we can bring it forward in our future lives.