2018

Blog Post

Everest North Base Camp - Tibet

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Located at 16,404 feet above sea level, the Everest North Base Camp is in the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in Tibet. This "tourist base camp" is the last point which visitors may travel without a hiking permit obtained by the government. Past this point is the campsite used by expeditions climbing the north (China-side) of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world 29,035 feet above sea level. Unlike the South Base Camp in Nepal it can be reached by road.

Everest North Base Camp - Tibet Our crew - with the clouds covering Mount Everest at the tourist base camp Everest North Base Camp - Tibet Cairns Mt. Everest peak in the distance - view from the Rongbuk Monastery View of Mt. Everest from the hill above the Rongbuk Monastery Everest North Base Camp - Tibet Everest North Base Camp - Tibet Rongbuk Monastery
Blog Post

Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018 Nepal and Tibet Study Tour

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Brief History:
• 1768 – the Gorkha family establishes a kingdom which will become the modern Kingdom of Nepal. The Gorkha rulers were anti-British and often
fought off influence and the presence of the British East India Company.
• September 14, 1946 – Kot Massacre – brought to power the Rana family who were pro-British. From this pro-British stance came European
influence into the city’s art, architecture, technology and education.

Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018 Nepal and Tibet Study Tour Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018 Nepal and Tibet Study Tour Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018 Nepal and Tibet Study Tour Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018 Nepal and Tibet Study Tour Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018 Nepal and Tibet Study Tour Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018 Nepal and Tibet Study Tour
Blog Post

Nepal/Tibet Trip 2018 Yamdrok Tso

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Nature is considered sacred to Tibetans. Yamdrok Tso is considered one of the four most sacred lakes and is thought to encompass the spirit of Tibet. Tibetan belief is that if the lake dries up, Tibetan culture will die. In addition, circumambulating the lake in seven days is believed to wash away one’s sins. Further, Yamdrok Tso is where senior monks go to meditate, chant mantras, and pray after important living Buddhas (like the Dalai Lama) die. It is here at the lake that they wait for a vision or some sign as to where the reincarnation has been reborn.

Lisa and Yamdrok Tso Yamdrok Tso Yak at Yamdrok Tso Getting Blessed at Yamdrok Tso
Blog Post

Nepal/Tibet Trip 2018 Gyantse Monastery

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While the Monastery is beautiful and the nearby fort is lit up at night, the relevance of this site is mainly historical, and definitely, political as well as religious. Touring the Monastery gave us all a chance to observe, once again, a variant iteration of Tibetan Buddhism. There are many buildings and chapels which affirmed the nature of this as an amalgam of temples. There were beautiful statues and paintings and it was actually fun/challenging to circle to the top on our own personal journey to enlightenment (even if it really only meant that we were still in shape, physically).

Gyantse Kundum
Blog Post

Norbulingka Palace - Summer Sanctuary

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Just on the other side of Lhasa past the Potola Palace is the summer residence of the Dalai Lama, Norbulingka. Imagine being a young boy, forced to move away from home and live in an old, run down palace surrounded by older men whose only form of entertainment seemed to be lecturing you on history and religion. For months at a time, this was the reality for the 14th Dalai Lama. He spent much of his days at Potola palace looking forward to the warmer weather, when he would be moving to his summer residence: Norbulingka.

Monk on Norbulingka grounds (Photo credit: Amy Liberatore) Park at Norbulingka (Photo credit: Niklas Berry) Tibetans on a picnic (Photo credit: Stephanie Rizas) Tibetans on a picnic (Photo credit: Stephanie Rizas) Front of 14th Dalai Lama's residence at Norbulingka (Photo credit: Stephanie Rizas) (Photo credit: Niklas Berry) Steph in Norbulingka park (Photo credit: Stephanie Rizas) One cool monk (Photo credit: Stephanie Rizas)
Blog Post

Pelkor Monastery

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Palcho Monastery

Kumbum Gyantse Dzong Gyantse Market Gyantse Market Gyantse Monastery Gyantse Monastery Murals View from Kumbum Gyantse Street Old Gyantse Old Gyantse
Blog Post

Potala Palace-- Nepal and Tibet 2018

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Rising majestically and imposingly over the Lhasa Valley, the architecture of the Potala Palace communicates strength, power, and importance. It is a spectacular and awe-inspiring building. However, the Chinese flag flying high on top of the palace and the monument constructed across the road remind the viewer of the contested meaning of this Tibetan seat of power.

Potala Palace during the day Steps to Potala Plaza across from Potala Peaceful Liberation Monument Potala at Night
Blog Post

Sera Monastery

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Located in the northern suburbs of Lhasa, Sera Monastery is one of the three great schools of Tibetan Buddhism dedicated to the Gelugpa, Yellow Hat Sect. Its name 'sera' derives from a Tibetan word for the wild roses that were blooming on the hillsides when the monastery was built. The complex is large, covering 28 acres and prior to 1959 was home to over 5,000 monks. Sera had been home to three colleges, each one with their own temple. Sera Me and Sera Je colleges focused on the fundamental precepts of Buddhism while the third college Ngaka was dedicated to tantric teachings.

Entrance to Sera Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet Prayer wheels and stupa, Sera Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet Great Assembly Hall (Coqen), Sera Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet Monks debating, Sera Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet Inside a temple at Sera Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet 'Disney' at Sera Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet Two of the faithful at Sera Monastery. The black streak on the child's nose indicates that they had received a blessing. Symbol of the Dalai Lama atop Coqen Hall, Sera Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet
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Tibet/Nepal 2018- The Barkhor and the Jokhang Temple

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The scent of burning juniper fills the air, and the soft swirling of prayer wheels meshes with shuffling of feet and the quiet hum of pilgrims uttering their mantras, as devoted Tibetans make their clockwise kora through the streets of the Barkhor, encircling the Jokhang Temple. Joining in stream of pilgrims, one witnesses the fascinating practices of devout Tibetan Buddhists.

The Jokhang Temple Prostrating pilgrims in front of the Jokhang Temple Prayer wheels along the Barkhor kora route Tibetans participating in the the kora around the Barkhor
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