As global headlines about the coming climate apocalypse, wars and political unraveling bombard people every minute of every day through the social web and the mass media, people need to take time off to be with their inner selves.
“This is the path to regain mental equilibrium and restore one’s healthy mental state as meditation pushes out feelings of jealousy, anger and greed,” explains Geshe Lobsang Sherap at Kopan Monastery near Kathmandu, one of the pioneers of meditation tourism in Nepal. (See box.)
There are now customised meditation tours and packages, spiritual and spa trekking that combine yoga for the purification of both the body and mind. After all, the Himalaya is where Hindu and Buddhist sages have gone for millennia to meditate, cleanse their souls and even attain nirvana.
Himalayan Hermitage is one agency working with local partners to facilitate meditation tours and pilgrims inside Kathmandu and around various sacred places in the Himalaya.
Alex d’Artois and Sisse Budolfsen started Himalayan Hermitage after spending many years in Nepal studying Buddhism, philosophy and meditation, and found many blessings during their stay here.
“Meditation is all about mind practice, cultivating sanity, becoming better human beings, attaining innate compassion and wisdom,” explains d’Artois. “It is not about trying to be something or someone. It is cleaning up our mess, and connecting with reality. Nepal is the perfect place for meditation because life here is less hurried and people are simple, relaxed and at peace.”