Thursday, September 4, 2014

Summer in Ladakh



Group photo after a three day retreat


Hi friends,
I flew from Germany to Delhi on June 10th with two Dhamma friends/students from Hamburg. We arrived at 11pm and the temperature was still about 37 degrees C. The next morning we caught a flight to Srinagar in Kashmir and relaxed on a houseboat on the famous Dal Lake for three days. We did our morning and evening meditations with shikara rides once in awhile and visits to
nearby attractions. In comparison to the 40 C daytime temperatures in Delhi the daytime temps in Srinagar were a pleasant 28 C and nights about 24 C.
On June 13th we began a four day 435 kilometer drive in a suv with driver to Leh in Ladakh. We stopped for the night in Sonamarg, Mulbekh, and Uletokpo to see the local sights and arrived in Leh on the afternoon of the 16th.
The main purpose of my coming to Ladakh this summer was to conduct a series of retreats at the Mahabodhi International Meditation Center (MIMC) situated eight kilometers outside of Leh city. I did the same thing in the summer of 2012 (see past 2012 post). The Sambodhi meditation center where the retreats are held is situated in a secluded back corner of the sprawling 200 acre Devachan campus. A lot of nice improvements have been made to the retreat center over the two years. They now have six very nice cottages with attached bathrooms for peole who wish to make short or long private retreats. There is a lovely dining room where meals are taken. My teaching began with a ten day retreat from June 21st to July 1st that had twenty participants.
 Following this I went on a seven day trek through the Markha Valley with a group of six persons from the retreat. Most of them were my old Dhamma friends/meditation students from Germany who had also come for the retreat and trek back in 2012.
 During our trek the Dalai Lama was in town conducting a Kalachakra Teaching that lasted two weeks. Over 150,000 people attended the teachings including many thousands of Westerners. After the Dalai Lama's teachings were over I began teaching a series of six three day retreats with only two days break in between.


Klaus and Miyako with our houseboat owner at the shikara landing in Srinagar

Our houseboat on Dal Lake for three days

Views from houseboat




Views at Sonamarg

On a walk up the glacier valley




On the drive up to the Zoiji La pass


Maitreya rock carving and small temple at Mulbekh




The Lamayuru Monastery

Another view of Lamayuru

The Moonland landscape below Lamayuru

Confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers near Nimmu

Leh Palace and Nemu temple above in heart of Leh city
  

Shanti Stupa sits above Leh city

View of Leh from Shanti Stupa with Tsemo Temple on the hill

Main Entrance to thee Mahabodhi Int'l Meditation Center-Devachan Campus

Sambodhi Meditation center is in background at the base of the mountain



View of Dining hall and Memorial stupa with healing garden

Milarepa rock cave and viewing platform
Meditating in the Milarepa rocks

View of Stok Range from platform

Stok Kangri on a clear day

Photo of Sambodhi taken from stupa on top of the mountain

 Stupa on top of the mountain above Sambodhi 




Meditation hall at Sambodhi




Inside the meditation hall


Ringing the Peace/Wisdom bell at the end of the retreats




Followed by yoga and relaxation in the early morning sun


A few of the three day retreat group photos

Ven. Sanghasena joins for the photo



I also had some time in between things to make some short  excursions to Pangong Lake. Lake TsoMoriri,and to visit some monasteries.


Arriving at Pangong lake, altitude 14,000 ft

Toilets with a view (seasonal tent camps not set up yet)

Cool meditation

View from higher up


A two day journey to Lake Tso Moriri with samanera Lokamitta-an eight hour drive up the Indus River from Leh.

Korzok monastery at left with the rest of the town
 on the shore of Tso Moriri
The Dalai Lama's house when he visits is in the foreground

The landscape surrounding Lake Tso Moriri

From above Korzok Monastery
View looking back at Korzok

View to the opposite direction (south)


The Temples at Temisgam

View from other side of the mountain

Namra Guest house in Temisgam

Nice orderly kitchen with large woodburning stove in guesthouse



One thousand year old pine tree at Tsekarmo

The secluded Tsekarmo Monastery-the water comes from a natural spring in the mountain

Statues of the Buddha and Milarepa inside ancient yogi's cave
devotees leave money on altars of the temples in Ladakh


For more information on the multifarious charitable activities of the Mahabodhi Devachan Campus, and the Sambodhi Meditation 
Center in Ladakh please visit their website:


My next post will be about the seven day trek through the Markha Valley