The Prayer of Maitreya and An Easy and Pleasant Path to Enlightenment

The Future Buddha to Come – Buddha Maitreya
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Let us also pause on the threshold between earth and heaven. And let us pursue our path to the eternality of the Cosmic Christ through the mercy and compassion of Kuan Yin extended from our hearts to every part of Life. Why are we giving these vows as mantras? It is because they express and embody the true desires of our souls. By reciting these vows we clarify what is most important to us in life. And we empower the fulfillment of our vows with the science of the spoken Word.

The recitation of the vow coupled with our desire to fulfill it displaces all lesser desires. And we ourselves are a limited edition—a front and a back cover, a beginning and an end. And all of your comings and goings in space will be marked by those time lines. How shall I spend it? What do I really want to get out of this slice of eternity?

Well, first I desire to quickly know the entire Dharma. So in our uncertainty we seek the Teacher who will tutor our souls. When the pupil is ready, the Teacher Kuan Yin appears! The Blessed One mercifully recites to us the steps and stages of right desire that will qualify us for initiation on the path of the Bodhisattva.

She teaches us to desire our desires and to vow our vows in this order:. Our decree, empowered by our desire, becomes an internal momentum. It propels us. The mantra moves us even when we are thinking of other things, because by our free will we have established our priorities, we have set our sail and we are charting our course by the compass of our desire.

The mantra recites itself within us as we sustain a momentum of regular devotion to that Universal Christ. And so the mantra transforms us from within. The mantra is the Word of God. Hence it is God in action in our worlds; it is the most efficacious means of resolution between the human and the divine natures. When we love and adore our God through our mantras and offer them in purest supplication with no desire of self-gain, they restore our souls to our original oneness with God. As such, the mantra is our bridge to soul freedom and the light in the Summit beacon that illumines our way across the astral sea samsara.

For you must embody a certain measured percentage of your Holy Christ Self before you may be taken on as the chela of the Buddha Maitreya or the Buddha Gautama. Hence, Christic initiation is a prerequisite to Buddhic initiation. And Jesus is our Saviour who, with Kuthumi, has saved our souls so that we may enter the highest path, following their example all the way to the gate of the City of Light.

But look again, for these beloved World Teachers have also attained to their Buddhahood and thus they are fully empowered to take us all the way to the throne of Shamballa, East and West! I want to live my life in fulfillment of these vows. To that end I will be part of the Sangha, the Community of the Buddha worldwide. I will be part of the Mystical Body of the Universal Christ on earth and in heaven. I will enter and ensoul the Path and the Teaching.

And I will serve to further the end of these goals for myself and all fellow bodhisattvas. If you desire to be a chela of the Immortal Buddhas, you may make application in this wise, according to the instruction of Mother Mary:. As an adjunct to your chelaship, by reciting the Ten Vows of Kuan Yin—and determining that their fulfillment will take precedence over all lesser commitments in your life—you are shortening the distance between your heart and the heart of Kuan Yin.

In this unity of the One, you are also becoming the Dharma. And by and by you are the Vow, you are the Dharma. And then you may be your own refuge even as you provide the refuge of the Law for all sentient beings. And this is the path of the Bodhisattva and the meaning of becoming the Buddha.

Now, therefore, let us take up the Dharma. The Dharma is the Teaching, but it is the Teaching that is embodied. When we speak of the Dharma we are speaking of the all-embracing Presence of the Buddha himself, whose Life is an emanation of the Teaching. We too can become the living Dharma as we embody the Teaching. It follows that when one truly embodies the Dharma, one embodies the Buddha. Gautama gave this same teaching to his disciples in the months prior to his passing. The Mahaparinibbana Sutta records his words:.

Be islands for yourselves, be refuges for yourselves! Take no other refuge! Let the Dhamma [Dharma] be your island, let the Dhamma be your refuge! The Dharma is a way of life. The Dharma is our reason for being. It is our Path, our Teaching, our Life. We fulfill the Dharma in the Sangha. The Sangha is the community of disciples who not only surround the Buddha but who are the logical and loving extension of his aura into the physical octave. The goal of the Sangha in its entirety is to embody the totality of the Dharma, even as it is the goal of each individuality in Buddha to embody the Dharma in part until he is perfected.

As Paul wrote to the Corinthians:. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I AM known.


Only thus will the world know the Dharma. This idea, writes Professor E. The first period Morality is a doctrine or system that defines principles of right and wrong conduct. Concepts of what is moral and what is immoral differ according to religious and ethnic customs and the times. But our own definition of morality is taken in the context of the Sangha—how devotees of Christ and Buddha ought to behave within a spiritual community and outside of it. The morality of a devotee is expressed in his service to life and in his daily devotions by which he aspires to achieve the goal.

Each of your seven chakras is the focus of one of the seven rays that represents a plane of heaven corresponding to the sphere of your Causal Body of the same color and ray. When you keep your lamps, i. They may be weary and need strength. They may need healing. They may need joy. They may need comfort or a listening ear. They may need self-knowledge and not know it. Not to have the guts to pay the price of your karma, but to expect another to pay it for you, this is immoral. You have compromised your reason for being.

The goal of the path—union with God—by definition can be attained only by the raising of the sacred fire from the base-of-the-spine chakra to the crown chakra. Thus the highest morality required of this path and the one who follows it is devotion to the Father and to the Mother. What is heresy? Heresy is dissent or deviation from the established truths of the founders of the world religions sent by God to deliver his law and his grace for a people and a religious dispensation. Today things have gone so far awry that often church doctrine and dogma itself is heresy, whereas those who challenge its falsity by their witness to the truth of the One Sent, the Messenger of God who bore the original revelation to earth, are labeled heretics!

Heresy as I see it is the inability to hold to first principles on the part of those who no longer have contact with the lawgivers, prophets, and avatars, the Christed and Buddhic ones. Because of their immorality they are not able to hold in their chakras the balance of the Light and the God consciousness that was held by the founders. What is heretical and immoral about them?

They preach sex cloaked in religion. What is heretical and immoral about that? They have espoused a ministry but they cannot minister. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But of necessity it embodies the principles of the Ten Commandments, the law of the prophets, the Golden Rule and the sermons of Christ and his apostles, the Tao of Lao-tzu, the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path of Buddha, and the Wisdom of the Divine Mother East and West that has been set forth in every age for spiritual communities.

And yet our standard embodies not only laws of the letter but laws we fulfill by the grace of the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit of the Lord, which is upon us, empowers us to be one with the Father and the Son, and one with the Divine Mother, and therefore to be satisfied in living the laws and first principles of our faith.

So we see that in the third stage, the Final Age of the Doctrine, even the semblance of religious life is gone and the world is lost in sin and injustice. All the Light of the Christic, Buddhic, or God consciousness has gone out of the vessels of religion. And the Dharma waits to be revived by the coming of the One who will once again embody it. Look to yourself.

You may not be the embodiment of the Cosmic Christ yet. But if they hear such a teaching, [if the chelas of today teach it as messengers of Maitreya,] they will rejoice, will believe, and will accept it upon the crowns of their heads. Lord, from this time forth, I will Ask yourself if you are ready to vow to be the keeper of the Dharma and the restorer of the Lost Teaching. Do you have a greater desire than this in your life? Is there anything you can think of right now that you want more than to meet Maitreya on his mountain?

Is there an experience you want more than to meet Maitreya face to face in the wilderness of the Inner Retreat? Just let me see Maitreya on the mountain? Maybe not everyone would give anything to have the encounter with Maitreya, but I happen to know you pretty well and I think the majority of you would. Become the Christ of Maitreya or a percentage thereof and he may choose to reveal himself to you face to face. You might even wake up one day and find that you are seeing him in everyone you meet—everyone you meet smiling or growling back at you.

Not I, Lord. One greater than I will come who will be the fulfillment of this prophecy. Procrastination is an avoidance technique that many who preach the future coming of Messiah have practiced. They get to do anything they feel like doing according to their own situation ethics, situation morality and situation doctrine.


But you see, Messiah has come again and again in his own. But because the Sanhedrin and the councils of the Nephilim could always point the finger at the flawed sons and daughters of God, they could crucify Christ afresh and put him to an open shame. To deliver a people and an age from these betrayers of the Word and Work of the Lords Gautama and Sanat Kumara, Maitreya is convinced that he will fill all time with the Teaching, not time strung out but time now—time that is not only a slice of eternity but all of eternity that he claims as his own. But he is also concerned with the future, as he says:.

I will instill in them the power of memory with which they may, having believed in this teaching, retain it, recite it, penetrate its depths, teach it, propagate it, write it down, and proclaim it extensively to others. May all noble sons and daughters believe in that! And we will protect the teachers of this Dharma for a radius of one league so that no one who plots injury or disruption against these teachers will have any opportunity to do them harm.

Thus it has ever been that the true teachers of the Dharma and the members of the Sangha have been assailed by those who would deny them their freedom of religion to teach and study and practice the Dharma, to embody the Dharma, to dedicate a land to the Dharma, to convert a cosmos to the Dharma! And thus it has ever been that the legions of Light have come to the aid of the aspiring ones and the true teachers of the Dharma. Manjushri is an Ascended Master and a great sage to whom we may appeal.

Beneath Manjushri sit Nagarjuna and Aryadeva, at the head of the historical teachers who maintained the unbroken succession of this tradition of critical philosophy. Beneath Maitreya sit Asanga and Vasubandhu at the head of the succession of ethically oriented philosophers. The Buddha in the center of this icon represents the unification of both these lineages, so no ultimate dichotomy is intended by the separation of the two. There are, however, different persons on different stages of the path at different times, and different teachings are elaborated for their benefit that emphasize either wisdom or compassion.

The team of Maitreya and Manjushri, heading the two main branches of the great tree of this philosophical tradition, assure that the balance never goes too far in either direction. Not only is he the guardian of the Dharma but he is also an intercessor and protector, a guru who personally initiates his devotees, a messenger sent by the Eternal Mother to rescue her children, a Messiah who descends when the world is in turmoil to judge the wicked and save the righteous, and last but not least he is the Laughing Buddha.

All these descriptions are the many faces of your Holy Christ Self. When you visualize your Holy Christ Self, visualize the appropriate personification of Maitreya as the Guru above you. For instance, Maitreya, as well as Jesus, serves you in the role of confessor, as does your Holy Christ Self. Thus, when the day is over, do not neglect to confess your sins whatever you believe to be a sin to your Holy Christ Self or to Maitreya.

Call on the law of forgiveness, repent, i. Go to sleep with the peace in your heart that comes from acknowledging to your Lord the error of your ways and your desire to make amends. Sign off from this waking world with a prayer of profound regret in having offended God in anyone, in having hurt or burdened any part of life, determined that the Light of God shall infill you and strengthen your resolve not to repeat the mistake. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

You may even get so weary of confessing your sins that you will simply stop sinning! Another role of Maitreya reflects his wisdom—as well as his skill as a communicator of wisdom—in the language of the heart and in the erudition of the mind. Nattier notes that Maitreya was a patron saint of commentators. As the next Buddha, Maitreya was regarded by these doctors of the law as an unparalleled source of information on difficult doctrinal issues.

He is known as the bestower of children, sons in particular, and is worshiped as a protector of sailors. In East Asia securing an abundance of rice and grain signifies a happy and prosperous future. Along with the figure of Gautama himself, Maitreya is one of the few truly universal symbols occurring throughout the Buddhist tradition, one holding a role of importance in Theravada as well as Mahayana cultures. In every Buddhist culture Maitreya is a symbol of hope, of the human aspiration for a better life in the future when the glories of the golden past will be regained.

That much remains constant in all the varied instances of the Maitreya cult In that sense, he is the Guarantor of the Future. In his dictation of March 24, , Maitreya invited us to blend the golden spheres of our Causal Bodies jointly held:. Thus, there must be made room in the inn of life in Matter for my Causal Body We must be in the mountain for the lowering of the Causal Body that is the key to the golden age. And then we must blend the golden spheres of our Causal Bodies jointly held.

Little by little, build the kingdom of God until you, with me, our Causal Bodies one, become the mutual and joint key to this golden age. But if we are far from Maitreya vibrationally, will we be there in consciousness when he ignites a new age? Will we know when it happens? How many people who were contemporaries of the founders of new ages recognized them at the time? Very few. We find him portrayed at times as a diligent bodhisattva cultivating the path to enlightenment on earth and later as a celestial bodhisattva resplendent in his heavenly abode in Tusita.

At times he appears as an otherworldly object of individual devotion and contemplation, at others as the militant leader of political extremists seeking to establish a new order here and now Perhaps no other figure in the Buddhist pantheon combines both universality and adaptability in the way that Maitreya does.

Of course, Maitreya is the epitome of the universality that we see in the Great White Brotherhood. We can look at any Ascended Master and any angel in heaven and we can see a glint of Maitreya. He is considered by his devotees to be the exemplar of the Bodhisattva path. Enlightenment is not human knowledge. It is awareness of the circumference of the lower self and the higher self and the middle self—the three levels of being that are depicted in the Chart of Your Divine Self—and more: It is the containment of God. The Buddhist philosopher and sage Nagarjuna, in his book written around the second century, defined what a bodhisattva is:.

The essential nature of all Bodhisattvas is a great loving heart, and all sentient beings constitute the object of its love. Therefore, all the Bodhisattvas do not cling to the blissful taste that is produced by the diverse modes of mental tranquilisation, do not covet the fruit of their meritorious deeds, which may heighten their own happiness With a great loving heart they look upon the sufferings of all beings, who are diversely tortured in Avici Hell in consequence of their sins—a hell whose limits are infinite and where an endless round of misery is made possible on account of all sorts of karma [committed by sentient creatures].

But they are well acquainted with the truth that all those diverse sufferings causing diverse states of misery are in one sense apparitional and unreal, while in another sense they are not so Therefore, all Bodhisattvas, in order to emancipate sentient beings from misery, are inspired with great spiritual energy and mingle themselves in the filth of birth and death. Though thus they make themselves subject to the laws of birth and death, their hearts are free from sins and attachments.

They are like unto those immaculate, undefiled lotus-flowers which grow out of mire, yet are not contaminated by it. Buddhists teach that Maitreya mastered the initiations of the Bodhisattva path in his past embodiments and is thus worthy to become a Buddha. The samadhi of compassion—think about that. Think about being perpetually in the samadhi of compassion. Give it a try. You may be surprised at just how long you can sustain the vibration of compassion. It is important to remember that Maitreya faced testings and trials on this path just as we do today.

In fact, one scripture records that he did indeed have shortcomings that he had to transcend. He was also excessively desirous of glory, but very fickle, so that the lessons dictated to him and the reciting done by him faded from his memory as soon as they were learned. The young seeker, Sudhana, embarks on a long pilgrimage in search of enlightenment and visits various Bodhisattvas, each of whom sends him to another for additional instruction.

Professor Padmanabh Jaini summarizes this momentous encounter:. At the conclusion of his speech Sudhana respectfully addressed Maitreya:. Such a person must have passed through all the stages of a bodhisattva, must have fulfilled all the stages of a bodhisattva, must have fulfilled all the paramitas [specific virtues that must be perfected by a bodhisattva]; May he please instruct me: How should a bodhisattva conduct himself in following his career?

Then Maitreya praised Sudhana for his aspirations, took him to the gate of his gabled palace, opened its gates with a snap of his fingers, and led Sudhana in. When Maitreya realized that Sudhana had had the vision of the entire bodhisattva career of the future Buddha, he withdrew his magic power, snapped his fingers, and awakened Sudhana from his trance He assured Sudhana that, in the company of Manjusri, he would see Maitreya again after the latter had attained Buddhahood.

Maitreya then bid Sudhana farewell and directed him to return to Manjusri for further instructions. The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit are the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues.

See Mark L. Tushita is the realm where the Buddha-designate, the Bodhisattva, waits until his last rebirth, when he is to be the Buddha for that age. The Buddhas Dipankara Sanat Kumara and Sakyamuni Lord Gautama , it is taught, reigned over the gods in Tushita when in the past they held in succession the position of Lord of the Tushita heaven. It is believed that while Maitreya holds this position Tushita is no longer a realm occupied solely by divine beings but a heaven whose portals are opened to his devotees on earth.

The teaching of the Ascended Master Maitreya today is that he tutors the bodhisattvas in their Tushita abode in the twelfth level of the heaven world. Only bodhisattvas or those of advanced attainment in the hierarchy of the Great White Brotherhood may enter this level of the etheric plane. Here we may meet the worthy bodhisattvas who are looking to be reborn with Maitreya, as we have said, so that they can become messengers of his Dharma and attain salvation.

Apart from this, Maitreya maintains his etheric retreat over Tientsin, China, southeast of Peking. Maitreya is of this world even now, dwelling in a realm that is much closer to us than is obvious to the Western observer with a rather different concept of what a heaven is. It is very much a part of this world system, one of a series of connected levels of existence, and not even the highest of those levels at that. Much of the attractiveness of Maitreya as a cult figure stems from the fact that he is accessible to the aspirant, through meditative trance and through rebirth—even now, long before his awaited advent as the next Buddha.

Even more than Sakyamuni, Maitreya has been seen, in this sense, as a Buddha for the present, for those of this world and for those in even the most desperate of times. Furthermore, my soul can rise to the etheric plane and consciousness of my own Christed being, where I may encounter Maitreya face to face. To fail to affirm this is to tie in to the pernicious tendency of the human to postpone, for whatever psychological reason, the great encounter with Maitreya. Let me make clear, however, that neither the meditative or yogic techniques described by Alan Sponberg the easy access theory nor the positive thinking and positive affirmations of the chelas will get you to Tushita unless you have been accepted and initiated by the Guru Maitreya as a qualified bodhisattva.

A famous story illustrating the Guru-chela relationship and the personal encounter with Maitreya is the story of one called Asanga, the fourth-century Indian master. In an account from The Door of Liberation, a collection of Tibetan Buddhist teachings prepared by Geshe Wangyal, Maitreya appears to Asanga in various manifestations to goad him to remain steadfast in his spiritual quest:. Nine hundred years after the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, Arya Asanga was born. In his youth he completed intensive studies in a monastery and in middle life withdrew to a cave to meditate.

He determined not to give up his meditation until Maitreya, the Bodhisattva of love and compassion and Buddha-to-come, manifested himself openly before him. When, after three years, he had had no results, he became discouraged and left his cave. Nearby, he met a man who was making a needle from an iron spike by rubbing it with a piece of cotton. Seeing this, his patience returned and he went back to his cave and meditated unceasingly for six more years. Still Maitreya did not manifest himself. Disheartened that he had meditated for nine years without even a sign of success, Asanga again left his cave.

Outside he saw how a rock had been completely worn down by single drops of water and the beating wings of passing birds. Again his patience returned and he resumed his meditation; this time for another three years. But finally Asanga despaired completely of realizing his aim, and set out on the journey to return to his monastery. He felt great pity for her and wanted to relieve her suffering, but could not bear to destroy the maggots. Instead, he cut a piece of flesh from his own thigh and placed it near the dog. He then put out his tongue and prepared to transfer the larvae one by one, but the sight of the wound was so disgusting that he had to close his eyes.

Suddenly there was a great ringing in his ears, and he opened his eyes. Standing before him, in a magnificent, radiant light, was Maitreya. If you do not believe me, carry me through the town on your shoulders and try to show me to the people. Then Arya Asanga raised Maitreya on his shoulder and carried him through the town, hoping to let everyone see the wonderful Buddha. But no one in the town saw Maitreya, and only one old woman saw even the dog.

After this, Maitreya magically transported Arya Asanga to Tusita heaven, where he stayed for fifty earth-years studying the Dharma. Christ is Truth incarnate. Truth is a synonym for Christ. To fail to recognize Maitreya wherever and through whomever he reaches out to us must surely reveal to us our absence of co-measurement with Truth. For all practical spiritual purposes, it is best to assume that Maitreya is with us all the while. For he is often just being himself in the many people we interact with—not perfect people, not necessarily the most magnanimous or the most loving people but just plain people who are teaching us, perhaps painfully, lessons that we are too thick, too stiffnecked, or too blind to get any other way.

Some of you know me as the Great Initiator, and you have already called to me most lovingly to be initiated on the path of attainment. But when I have come, you have not recognized me. In vain I have stood before you to initiate you in the law of energy flow While you are waiting for the Second Coming of the Christ or for the Teacher from the East, make haste to receive the stranger at the gate, the children playing in the courtyard, and the tender lifestreams who are a part of your family and the family of God.

How often you cast them aside or take them for granted—these precious ones who come in the name of the Lord, who come in the name of the law of your own karma! Receive them, one by one, in the Spirit of the Christ Mass; receive them in the name of Jesus the Christ and thereby have the reward of the Christed ones. So you be careful to receive them too because ants will always give you a certain perspective on yourself that you probably never would have had otherwise. Ants are extraordinary people! The wise always heed them. At first you may have a sense of injustice about this person who is offering you free advice.

And if you really listen to what the proud and the lowly, the charlatan or the angel are really saying, you will get the message. And this is one of the sweetest mysteries of life on earth—that God, the Great Guru, is teaching us hour by hour. Although much of his life and work is obscured in legend, he is thought to have been a teacher at the great monastic university in Nalanda, India, in the eighth century.

He was famous for his mystical powers and mastery of the occult sciences. In about a. He exorcised the demons that were opposing the building of the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, known as Samye, and oversaw its completion. There he established the first community of Tibetan Buddhist lamas. Under the direction of Padma Sambhava the monks translated many Buddhist texts into Tibetan, thus enabling Buddhism to spread throughout the country.

According to Tibetan tradition, Padma Sambhava concealed scriptures containing esoteric teachings, which were discovered by chosen disciples in later centuries. The Precious Guru is believed to have made prophecies concerning the future of Tibet that are seeing their fulfillment in this day, including the Chinese Communist invasion, the slaying of the Tibetan people, the destruction of monasteries, and the desecration of sacred scriptures.

In his dictation given July 2, , Padma Sambhava announced:. I AM come according to the lineage of the descent of Light. I AM the one who comes with Gautama in adoration of Mother. The Gurus ascended and unascended converge at the point of Light that is the descent from the point of Father to the point of Mother.

In other words, precious hearts, the common meeting ground of our consciousness is the white light of Mother For the mantle must be upon the feminine incarnation and, because there are many changes taking place in the forcefield of earth, we must have, then, the acknowledgment of the open door of Guru through a Mother. Heretofore you have heard it told that the Messenger is the representative of the Gurus [who are] the Ascended Masters. Now draw nigh to me as I give you the mystery: the Mother is still the representative of the Gurus, but in the transfer of initiation—and very severe initiation of the Gurus that has been given to her—there has been made possible a more than ordinary incarnation of the Ascended Masters through your Messenger.

It gives me, then, good joy as I am privileged to make known to you that the Ascended Masters come as a living witness to proclaim in this hour that the Guru-chela relationship can now be sustained in this octave through the flame of [the] heart of [the] Mother Thus, it is clear that the law of Hierarchy is fulfilled in the age of Aquarius through the Mother It is altogether fitting, then, that chelas of the Ascended Masters rejoice that in their movement and in this dispensation for the turning of the cycle of the century, there is one who will have the open door to the Ascended Masters and the unascended masters.

Whether you appeal to me or to Milarepa or to Yogananda or to any of the great saints of the Western Church, you will find that if you seek the initiation and the discipline of that particular teacher or sage or saint, it will be forthcoming to you through the discipline of the Mother.

Why, then, have I selected the reading of the journeying of a soul of Light, a son of my heart, to Asia, to India, to Tibet, and to the blessed Kashmir and the Kulu Valley? I have selected this so that I might magnetize from deep within your subconscious, in the etheric plane, your own memory of the Kulu Valley. These are not stories, blessed hearts, of an unknown time and tradition. And so, you remember the dictation of Padma Sambhava. Well, precious ones, it was because of this incarnation of your Messenger as well as other devotees in that very valley, in that very hour, in that climate—the fertile valley that in itself did hark back to the paradise of Lemuria.

It was a forcefield consecrated by the Buddhas and bodhisattvas Now we have selected this retreat, this cradle of the Heart [of the Inner Retreat], to lift the entire record of that episode and others that occurred in the Far East. We lift, as a stork would lift, bringing together the four corners of the garment, providing the cradle in which that Cosmic Christ consciousness already attained by you, with all of the akashic records, might be safely transported by the Great Mother Bird to this habitat, to this Place Prepared in the West.

The opening of the door in heaven is the descent of my mantle, my Electronic Presence. This auric emanation and forcefield is lowered to the plane of Gautama at Shamballa, who absorbs, assimilates and becomes that living Presence that I AM, he being the first ascended chela in the line of the descent of the Gurus from my own anointing to the anointing of your Messenger. In sacred ceremony, the Lord of the World transfers the authority of the mantle he has become to the second ascended chela in the line of the descent, Lord Maitreya, seated in the lotus throne in the central altar of Lemuria; for he is the personification of the Lord God who walked and talked with man and woman in the garden of Eden.

Now that blessed Maitreya, mediator of the path of initiation, absorbs, assimilates and becomes the authority of the Ancient of Days, the dominion of Gautama, and adds to these his unique attainment on the path of chelaship under the Lord God Almighty. The Four and Twenty Elders give praise unto the Lord I AM THAT I AM unto the day and unto the night, for the power of God that is delivered unto me this day is a deliverance unto the children of Light and the descent from the higher octaves to the lower octaves of the very presence of the Person of God through this lineal descent of the mantle.

As Daniel saw them, so they stand: the other two—the one, Mark L. I come through Gautama. I come through Maitreya. I come through Jesus Christ. And I am come in the person of the Two Witnesses, who now convey the mantra which they have become. Serapis Bey elaborated on this in his January 27, Pearl of Wisdom:.

The path of the Mother leads to soul liberation through the ritual of the ascension taught and demonstrated for thousands of years by the avatars of East and West. The teachings of all true Gurus begin with Mother. They are Guru because they love Mother. On December 25, , in further witness to the mantle of Guru that Padma Sambhava placed upon me, Jesus commented on the promise of John , which reads:. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:.

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. God therefore can raise up of these stones vessels for the threefold flame. It is the igniting of a spark in the human form and figure that the soul might receive the breath of the Holy Spirit and become a living, vibrant soul—a spirit, a divine spark of Being. This is the mission of my Life The mighty threefold flame of Life does heal all thy diseases, does bring alignment and the blueprint of Life.

And that threefold flame, as the flame of the Will of God, as the flame of the Wisdom of God, as the flame of the Love of God, beloved ones, does bring you nearer to your Divine Plan and to the Divine One within you I come as your Ascended Master Jesus Christ. Place your hands in mine. Trust me as the child trusts the dearly beloved parent. I will show thee this day who thou art. I will show thee thy soul, created by God in the beginning I will show thee the Path of perfect Love. I have shown this Path of perfect Love to the Messenger In quotations from dictations of the Ascended Masters, bracketed material denotes words unspoken yet implicit in the dictation, added by the Messenger under the Master?

Jesus Christ, February 14, , PoW, pp. Tathagata: a title for Gautama Buddha used by his followers and by Gautama when he is speaking of himself. Lord Maitreya, January 2, , PoW, p. Lord Maitreya, December 11, , PoW, pp. Archeia Hope, January 2, , PoW, pp. It exists, it is bad, and it must be fought. But almsgiving is not the way to end poverty; in fact, it just makes clearer the difference between the rich and the poor.


Behind almost all beggars hide well organized gangs. To be allowed to beg in a given territory, beggars have to give a big part of their earnings to the gang leaders. Of course, you are hardly aware of this. Often the beggars are also crippled, blind or noticeably sick.

There are even those who ask with open, festering wounds, and who clearly need the money for medical care. It is really hard not to give anything to the begging children. It is also common to find women with almost always sleeping babies, begging for money so they can feed them. This keeps them quiet and still but evidently has harmful and irreversible consequences.

Beggars are always where the tourists are. But what happens when every tourist gives every beggar something? Begging becomes an even more lucrative source of income, the big bosses behind the curtains get richer and bring more beggars into the scheme, to generate still greater profits. So what to do? Never give money to the beggars. And look out for some really ingenious setups. What should one do, but to give them what they need? BUT the woman is actually working with the business owner: the money will be divided between them, and the milk will remain in the shop.

Support local NGOs that try to keep the kids off the streets. This is sustainable and brings so much more than handing them 10 or 20 rupees. They have learned that tourists like to give candies or other small gifts pens, etc. We understand that this is intended as a nice simple gesture, but it is also teaching the children that begging works.

Gifts are ok, but take care of giving them only to people for whom you also show respect: when you are drinking tea with a peasant family, you can give a small present to the children of the house, as a gesture of gratitude. A planned visit to a school is also a good opportunity to do this. Attractions draw in not just tourists, but also beggars. At the beginning of every tourist season, and for many years now, several organized gangs of beggars are brought to Ladakh sometimes even on an airplane!!!

At the end of the season they are transported to some other lucrative place to continue their neverending begging. Ladakh itself has almost no local beggars; no one in Ladakh lives on the street. As hard as it sounds, these poor people are not ladakhi and are usually brought here by greedy immoral gang leaders to profit on the good will and naivety of the tourists. Sustainable help The following NGOs have made it their goal to give begging children a better future:.

So take your time to read this and consider carefully, if you really want to contact us and join us on a trip to Ladakh. Your decision could have fatal consequences. If you travel with us, things will unfortunately get terribly personal. While we have an internal booking number for your journey, this is destined only for our partners hotels, guest houses, transport companies, etc. But for us you are not a number, and we will call you by your name happily and often. We understand how annoying it can be when, already at the hotel or even at the airport , you are received with a heartfelt greeting, as if we knew you already!

We are not going to call you Mr. No Sir, or Doctor, or titles of any kind. This often leads to a terribly unpleasant familiar atmosphere. As if you traveled half the world just to feel at home! Many find the flexibility in our trips extremely annoying, particularly in the individual tours. Nothing is carved in stone. Things can and actually will change when on the field, to adapt to the circumstances, be they unexpected illness, variable weather conditions or spontaneous festivals….

Stop it! Not everyone enjoys such a personal service. Getting rid of the Gesar Travel people is nearly as hard as hiding from your own shadow. Unfortunately, they care about you and worry as easily as your own mother. If something is not going well with you, they will make a point of not leaving you long time alone, hold your hand when visiting the doctor, bring food and drinks for you, and make sure you get and take! And if it is really inevitable, they will even mingle with insurance issues and arrange an early trip back home.

The drivers at Gesar Travel are so safe and boring! No adventure factor. Zero thrill. Zero thrill despite the crazy roads. Just when you were getting ready to finally lose a few kilos and eat only Daal and rice for a couple of days, the shameless Gesar Travel- cooks entice you with rich, complete menus that will refill your energy bars and leave you satisfied. What diet? If you had known that your guide would be such a smartass, you could have saved the money you spent on that travel guide.

And then they bring it all the way to Leh for proper disposal! And moreover, it is also very important to us that our guests have as much contact with locals as possible. This of course has consequences: invitations to private homes or nomad tents, tea drinking even the nasty one with butter! It is so exhausting! The nerve of it! Slaving away on the fields with the locals. Last but not least: browse through the pictures. All pictures by Roland Amon. As mentioned in our earlier blog, the Hemis Festival is one of the most important celebrations in the whole Himalaya regions in But in this blog we want to inform you about the official programme.

Attention: The programme has been changed. All events except the Hemis Monastery-Festival itself this will stay in july have been shifted to september — from 13th september to 1st october ! July Celebrating the diversity of Himalayas A Pan-Himalayan Celebration of different tribal and village traditions, with traditional sports activities, dance competition and many others. July The 7th annual Drukpa Council Envisioned by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, His Holiness the 70th Je Khenpo and many other great Drukpa masters, the Annual Drukpa Council ADC is for it to become an annual event where all the masters of the lineage from Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, Kinnaur, Lahaul, Sikkim and other parts of the Himalayas and its followers could come together to revive some unique aspects of the Drukpa Lineage and share the over years old rich spiritual legacy with the world through the inspiration of teachings, initiations and oral transmissions.

This 7th edition of ADC will embrace different aspects of the Himalayan region, including an exhibition of the diversity of Himalayan cultures and traditions. Hemis has the largest silk embroidered brocade in Ladakh, which is unfurled, once in 12 years, in the year of the Monkey. July Preparatory gituals and teachings His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa will lead yogis, yoginis, monks, nuns and lay practitioners in a series of preparatory rituals to purify obstacles and negativity, to get everyone ready for the program on 19 July July Naropa millenial anniversary On the millennial birth anniversary of Naropa , His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa would don the Six Ornaments of Naropa to grant blessing, and this only happens once every 12 years.

July Ritual parade of bone ornaments and pilgrimage A ritual parade of the Six Bone Ornaments and a walking pilgrimage from Hemis to a renowned prediction lake in Ladakh, along the way there will be holy sites of pilgrimage for reverence. Programme subject to change!! Naropa is in the center of attention of Hemis If you want to attend this special occasion in , you can contact us.

One of our fix tours visits Hemis Festival on the most important day on the other days you will see other highlights of Ladakh : Basics of Ladakh with Hemisfestival. Hemis Festival for buddhists If you are a buddhist and would like to join Hemis Festival with your buddhist group, we would like to help you with booking of accommodations , flights and the arrangement of transports.

We could also reserve special seats for you at Hemis festival, so you are able to witness as much as possible. Companies have facades instead of faces; logos instead of eyes. Like the Wizard of Oz, they appear lifeless and artificial. But behind the curtains everything is quite human. Let me tell you the story behind Gesar Travel. Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a girl from Austria who had an idea for her research thesis.

I intended to write a thesis about the young people of Ladakh. But already during my first flight, looking down into the barren alpine desert of Ladakh, where the inhabitable areas are scarce and hard to find, revealed just by a few green spots in the landscape, I was overcome with a strange feeling that this would be my second home. Fate caused me to play Postwoman, since I had to deliver a package from Austria. The receiver was the man who was to change my life from scratch. He was not big, but good-looking.

I liked Tashi from the first moment, but the alarm bells were ringing like crazy, because he was not only handsome, but also a guide. And just as ski instructors in Austria, many guides in Ladakh have a reputation as gigolos and heartbreakers. So I kept my distance, even though he was very charming and every smile melted my heart a little more.

Our wedding in England. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows that after the first major phase of falling in love, the real work begins. Tashi and I also had to face some obstacles. The largest for both of us was the different origins. Many situations that are usually not a problem for couples with the same cultural background, were in our case a source of tension and sometimes prompted fights and discussions. But this also came to pass, after we both agreed to adapt, make several compromises and increase our mutual tolerance limit.

Afterwards, many years came in which I spent the summer months in Ladakh and Tashi discovered the magical beauty of the Austrian winter ;. Four years after our first meeting, the wedding took place. We got married in , in England. And I had made the decision to go with him to Ladakh. I quit my job, left my apartment, sold or gave everything away and canceled my bank account. Our first apartment in Ladakh was very traditional: outside toilet, no running water — we had to walk every morning to get it from a public fountain down the street — and hardly any electricity.

During the cold winter nights, every visit to the toilet and every bucket -shower required a lot of careful consideration and was delayed as much as humanely possible. Not only did they treat me well, they actually treated me too well! Almost like a princess! There was always a cushion at hand, so that I could sit comfortably.

And sitting I should, because no one was willing to let me work at all! At least at the beginning. Tashi and Daniela in front of the Gesar Travel office in Already in , Tashi had left his job as a tour guide and fulfilled his dream of owning a travel agency. I helped him from the start, and also especially during the move to Ladakh in At the time I had basically no idea about the travel business. Just as it is today, our close contact with our guests was a very important component in our enterprise.

We are still in contact with some of our first clients J. The name Gesar The name Gesar reminds Tashi of his grandfather, who liked to tell and sing the great stories of the mythical hero Gesar. King Gesar is a common mythical figure throughout Central Asia and Mongolia. To this day, on cold winter evenings sitting around the fire drinking tee, many enjoy the retelling mostly in the form of songs and poems of his legendary adventures, rich in supernatural feats and fantastic creatures like giants, gods and demons. And as Tashi Junior grew and developed, so did my longing for home. After the season, I went back to Austria with Elvis, while Tashi shuttled back and forth.

Then in our next son arrived: Luis Thayas, born with a small extra chromosome Down syndrome. And finally, in , Emil Khenrab, our youngest son, came to complete our Ladakhi-Austrian family. We still spend the summer months in Ladakh and, just as it was at the beginning, we take care of our guests personally during this season. Whoever has visited a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, no matter if in Ladakh, Tibet or Bhutan, has also probably noticed, usually at the entrance of the temple, a drawing of the Buddhist Wheel of Life.

This symbolic representation, or Bhavacakra, serves as a wonderful summary of what Buddhism is, and also reminds us that every action has consequences. It is no coincidence, then, that this concept, and its colorful representation, are explained very early in the life of every child. The wheel of life is held or supported by a wrathful deity that usually represents Yama, the god of death, but can also occasionally be interpreted as Mara, the god of seduction, or Srinpo, a mythical giant.

At the center of the wheel of life there is a smaller circle. The wheel turns eternally, powered by the three animals in it: a rooster , a snake and a pig. These three poisons are the ones that keep us trapped inside the wheel of life. The goal, then, is to free ourselves from this infinite cycle of rebirths. The inner circle is surrounded by another one divided in two halves: shadow and light.

In the dark half, the doomed, tied to one another, are dragged and tortured by monstrous demons. The brighter area is filled with people who have to eke out a better or at least less horrible existence. Around the inner circle we find the six realms in which we can be reborn. We start with the less than ideal areas:. Due to their narrow necks and throats, the hungry ghosts are unable to eat, and must therefore suffer maddening hunger and unquenchable thirst throughout their whole existence.

It is mainly their greed that brought them to this realm. In this realm of unfulfilled or unfulfillable desire, the Buddha is represented with a jar full of nectar, symbolizing the virtue of generosity. To put it in simpler terms: this is how your karma looks when you are selfish and greedy. To avoid such a fate, be generous and make sacrifices. Whoever ends up here will suffer unimaginable pain, impossible heat and immeasurable cold. The depictions of Buddhist hell vary and recall in many ways those of the Christian one. The condemned, burning slowly over eternal fires, see their members and genitals chopped off before being cooked and eaten by insatiable demons.

Once again there is a Buddha, in this case washing and cleaning with water the path that leads out of Hell. The simple explanation: anger and hatred are the way in; patience, the way out. This is the destination of those who had led lives particularly distinguished by ignorance and weakness.

Existence as an animal is definitely not easy: they are hunted and eaten by humans or other animals without a moment of rest. Also here there is a Buddha, who with his sword — a symbol for the destruction of ignorance — shows the way out of the realm. In the realm of humans, and due to their selfishness and passions, people suffer the misfortunes of illness, old age and death. In general, however, this area of life is the best of all six, since man has here access to the Buddhist teachings, and therefore has also the opportunity to escape from the wheel of life that is, of reaching Nirvana.

The historical Buddha, present here, symbolizes this possibility. The world of the gods stands for pleasure and the illusion of eternal happiness. Sounds very tempting, right? But this realm is dangerous in its own way: one is never too far from the edge, and as pride and vanity grow inside us, so does the risk of falling back down into the lower reaches of the wheel of life. The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara warns us against this, by proclaiming the virtue of meditation.

The last of the six areas of life is a world inhabited by demigods in constant struggle, fighting a neverending battle with the gods. They quarrel over the ownership of the Tree of Desire, whose roots lie on the domain of the titans, but whose leafy top, heavy with ripe fruits, rests on the side of the gods.

Filled with envy, they fight for the possession of the tree. The Buddha in this realm reminds them of this. Although redemption or illumination are most likely in the world of men, none of the six areas is hopeless. This is illustrated by the Buddhas in each realm, who draw attention to a world full with self-made dilemmas.

Mudras are symbolic hand gestures that play a major role in Hinduism and Buddhism. In addition, mudras are also present in the Indian dancing tradition, and are an important part of yoga, where they are not only symbolic, but should also have an effect on the body and mind. We want to introduce you here to the 10 most important mudras of Tibetan Buddhism. The Bhumisparsa Mudra or Gesture of Witness plays an important role in the history of the historical Buddha.

While Buddha meditated under the Bodhi tree, he was disturbed by Mara, the god of sensual desire, who tempted him by taking the form of a naked girl. Depiction: The right hand touches the earth with the tips of its fingers the palm inwards , while the legs remain in meditation posture. This mudra represents the historical Buddha Siddhartha Gautama.


An Easy and Pleasant Path to Enlightenment A Short Commentary On the Aspiration Prayer of Maitreya by Mendong Tshampa Rinpoche Under the guidance of. No results for The Prayer Of Maitreya And An Easy And Pleasant Path To Enlightenment By Michele Martin in Books. Try checking your spelling or use more.

The Varada Mudra is the gesture for generosity, charity and compassion; it represents the granting of wishes, blessings or even pardon. The five fingers stand for the 5 perfections: generosity, morality, patience, diligence, and meditation. Depiction: Unlike the Bhumisparsa Mudra, in the Varada tha palm is directed outwards and hangs down. It usually also touches the right leg. The Varada Mudra is rarely seen without another mudra used by the right hand, typically the Abhayamudra see below.

The Varada Mudra is commonly found in representations of the green and white Tara. The Dhyana Mudra symbolizes the state of deep contemplation during meditation. Buddha meditated in this way under the Bodhi tree. However, there are also some representations in which the Dhyana Mudra is seen performed with one single hand usually the left one : this is the half Dhyana Mudra — the historical Buddha in conjunction with Bhumisparsa Mudra.

This Mudra is most commonly associated to the historical Buddha, but usually in combination with the Bhumisparsa. When both hands are used, the Dhyana Mudra can represent for example the Buddha Amithaba. The Abhayamudra can be translated as the gesture of courage. It symbolizes protection, peace and the elimination of fear.

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Depiction: The right hand is raised with the palm outward towards the viewer at chest level. One finds this gesture often in conjunction with the Varada Mudra see above. It is found in images of standing Buddhas and Tara. The fifth Dhyani Buddha Amogasiddhi is also represented with the Abhayamudra. The Buddhist teachings Dharma are often symbolized as a wheel cakra. The gesture reminds of one of the most important moments in the life of the Buddha, when he was in the park at Sarnath giving his five students the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path the main pillars of Buddhism. Depiction: In this gesture both hands are held against the chest, the left facing inward, covering the right facing outward.

The index finger and the thumb of each hand touch, forming a circle that represents the wheel of dharma. This gesture plays an important role in the representation of the Buddha Maitreya Buddha of the future , and also Tsongkhapa founder of the Gelugpa school , because both are said to have put the wheel of Dharma in movement again, after it had come to a stop. The Vitarka Mudra is the gesture of discussion and argument. It is characteristic of those regarded as teachers and instructors. Depiction: The right arm is bent, the hand raised with the palm outwards.

One finds this gesture often in depictions of the Buddha, but also in pictures and sculptures of the Tara. Depiction: The right hand is held vertically in front of the chest and only the index finger is stretched upward while the other fingers and thumb roll into a fist. One finds this gesture especially in wrathful deities. Depiction: In this gesture, the hands are kept close to the chest in devotional attitude. The palms and fingers lie flat against each other and point upwards.

This Mudra is not found in Buddha representations. It is used only by monks, nuns or disciples, symbolizing the fact that they worship someone e. Depiction: In this Mudra, the hand is outstretched vertically or horizontally and with the palm facing forward. The two middle fingers are held down under the thumb. The index and the little fingers extend upwards. The Uttarabodhi Mudra represents supreme enlightenment and should bring positive energy and vibrations.

By performing this Mudra, we connect with the universal divine energy. Depiction: Both hands are folded across the chest. The two index fingers touch each other and point upwards. The thumbs are interwoven. The remaining fingers encircle each opposite hand. The quiet way? Then why do we write this post? Well, we have been thinking a lot about whether we should write it or not, and have finally decided to do it. Otherwise people could mistakenly conclude that we are environmentally and socially irresponsible. We brought ice skates for the children of the Khardong village. Since the founding of Gesar Travel in , a lot of effort and money have gone into voluntary work and community projects:.

For several years now, we have supported the Munsel School in Leh — a school for children with mental handicaps. With the help of our horses, we always bring our trash back to Leh. Environmental responsibility starts at home, and small gestures matter. We always point out to our guests that they should use their water reserves wisely, and we then show them the Dzomsa river in Leh, where it is possible to refill the bottles with drinking water, avoiding the need to buy new plastic ones. We also brief our chefs and guides to collect and bring the waste produced during our tours consisting mainly of tin cans back to Leh.

This works so well that many of our team members collect and bring even the garbage of other groups! Sometimes though, we wonder about the real intention that lies behind the act: is it really about doing good or more about looking good? This is in any case irrelevant for the recipients of the aid, of course.

Better a well marketed aid than none, period. We will continue helping wherever we can. In little ways. Less sensational. Many climbers are always longing for higher peaks to conquer. The beautiful Alps rise only until the 4. The Stok Kangri, with its 6. The Stok Kangri is technically simple, but its height makes it nevertheless challenging. Difficulty: technically one of the easier peaks — but any 6k summit is by default a challenge for the body, and therefore must not be underestimated. A previous and good adjustment to height is essential. The terrain is quite steep and the ridge is very exposed.

Loose stones make the climb more difficult. The last m before the peak you will have to cross steep icy terrain. Height: 6. Ascent duration: Usually days depending on physical condition and acclimatization. It can be combined with trekking routes of varying length in the Hemis National Park, since these also need a previous height adjustment. Best season to climb: from June to the end of September always depending on weather conditions.

You can get one in Leh or even at the base camp. Ascent route of Stok Kangri 6.

English translation by Michele Martin

Elevation Profile Click for enlarged view. Leh is about 15km away from Stok and the trip by car takes approximately 30 min. Stok is also the seat of the royal family of Ladakh it is a de facto royalty, devoid of political power. The palace is worth a short visit. At the end of the village is the starting point of the tour. First, a slow walk uphill along a glacial stream. After a while, it is necessary to overcome a small but steep pass.

The route goes by impressive rock formations in the Stok Valley. Then it goes downhill until the creek, which we follow all the way to the night camp in Smankarmo. Smankarmo serves the people of Stok as summer pastures for their animals. On the way to Stok Kangri. Photo: Josef Reifenauer. The way to Smankarmo goes over a small pass. Elevation profile click for enlarged view. The second day is a short one. The route goes then uphill to the high valley, and past some stone huts belonging to the shepherds. The road is steep, but after approximately 3 hours we reach the base camp, just below 5,m.

From here we can see the glaciers of Golep Kangri, the smaller brother of Stok Kangri. At the same time, one can look down into the Indus and its green oases. The night is very short, because we start to climb again when it is still dark — usually around 2am. With clear skies and good moonlight it is possible to go on without a head lamp. The route is also a bit steep at the start. Rope is usually not a must, since there are hardly any gaps, but it may be necessary to put the crampons on.

Finally, we reach the long summit slope. We climb steeply, until about 5. Then we follow the ridge over several short steep sections until the top of the Stok Kangri at 6. For this last bit, the use of ropes and crampons is also an option. In good weather, the summit offers a panoramic view of the mountains of Stok-, Ladakh and Zanskarkette, and the peaks of the Karakoram to the north. After a short break, the route goes the same way back to the base camp.

Sunrise at Stok Kangri. The panoramic view of the surrounding mountains from Stok Kangri makes up for the hardships of the climb. The way back to Stok follows the same route, if downhill and in opposite direction. After arriving in Leh, a celebration is in order over a bottle of Godfather or Kingfisher, maybe?

A last look at the Stok Kangri before heading back to Leh. The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world. Alexander von Humboldt. A travelling fool is better than a sitting wise man. Nomadic wisdom. Walking is better than sitting by the fire.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. Augustine of Hippo. Quotes about traveling have one thing in common: when you travel, you always learn something. And with each trip you take something home. Also Ladakh can teach us a lot. I have summarized here my five most important lessons. By Daniela Luschin-Wangail. The people of Ladakh can survive only with the help of the water from glacial streams.

Ladakh is a high altitude desert with barely enough rainfall to support the idea of vegetation, with the landscape going from faint green to rocky dust just a few meters away from its icy streams and rivers. So of course the people had to think of something, and built kilometers of irrigation canals that lead the glacial streams to their villages and fields. Who, when and how much water they may lead to their fields is strictly regulated.

People also drink the water primarily and directly from the streams. In winter, when the rivers carry little water or dry up entirely, they often have to endure long walks to bring drinking water from a spring or a non-dried-up torrent. However, due to global warming, glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, and therefore issues like water pollution and increased water consumption during the summer months are a big source of worries in Leh the only big city in the country!

Consequently, water treatment and storage is one of the main agendas for the future. A brilliant example of forward thinking is the ice-Stupa project: artificial glaciers that provide an alternative water source. When I see how water is actually wasted in Austria and other water-rich countries for example on excessive car washes, etc. Is there a greater good on earth? We are not being simply whimsical when we ask our guests to please use water carefully in their host country!

In Ladakh, nothing is more important than family. Personally, the most impressive lesson that I learned from Ladakh is that it is not the individual that matters the most, but the community, or the family. The self has all the freedom in the world and can pursue any and every dream. I just do what pleases ME and enjoy MY life. It is nice, no doubt, but what if things are not going well for ME? Who is then there to help? Many people are so focused on themselves that it becomes almost impossible to share their lives and experiences with others.

Certainly, this means that sometimes one has less freedoms arranged marriages, studies and careers chosen by parents according to needs instead of interests, etc , but in Ladakh hardly anyone complains about this state of affairs. People are not there for themselves, but for each other. What do I enjoy the most when I come to Ladakh?

That there is always somebody ready to help you — when cooking or taking care of the children, when keeping the house clean or when one is ill in bed… there is always someone by your side. In Ladakh you can appreciate the beauty of simplicity. In Ladakh, one must learn to live with the little that the earth gives. A tree, for example, needs many more years to grow here than what is normal at lower altitudes. For this reason alone, trees are much valued and a great contribution to the wealth of a family. Although life has become easier thanks to the road and the connection to Srinagar and Manali, it has not changed that much, especially during winter.

Winters are long, and you have to be satisfied with few food items only: all that could be dried in the summer or has a long storage life. And if you visit the people in the countryside, you will be amazed by how little one can have and still be happy. It is possible to enjoy life even without running water, hour power supply and exotic, always-ripe fruits from other continents! We are only guests in this world, and we should behave accordingly. Life in the Himalayas also helps us realize that we are nothing against the forces of nature.

One has to give in and follow the rules of Mother Earth, live with them and not against them. Otherwise you are doomed to lose. Always calm. Patience is a virtue, and in Ladakh, it is a very common one. What a lesson! In my first years in Ladakh, I often found myself despairing. Why do we always have to wait so long! Why do people take so much time to do things, when there are faster and more efficient ways to do it! For me in particular, who has always been used to do things fast, and usually focus on two or three tasks simultaneously, this was a hard lesson to learn.

Most Ladakhi do their things in peace and enjoy doing so. Cooking in a hurry and with the sole purpose of stuffing our mouths and stomachs is unimaginable. We will cook together, with a lot of gossip and fun. The peas are meticulously peeled one by one, the dough is kneaded over and over again, the onions very carefully chopped… Two or three hours just for dinner preparation is not something special, but an everyday occurrence!

Oh but the taste! Such a slow and loving flow seems to imbue the food with a lot of positive energy. And so it is with almost all things in Ladakh. The crops are not swiftly reaped in one laborious go — there are plenty of long tea breaks, and stories and songs are told and sang while working. No wonder then, that there have been no cases of burn-out reported in Ladakh so far.

Now, just because the people of Ladakh are patient and do things quietly, it does not mean that our guides are unpunctual or irresponsible. They will serenely but securely lead the way and, hopefully, their calm confidence will infect you a little bit. What will the weather be like in Ladakh? What temperatures should be expected? These two questions are between the most frequently asked by our guests. Because in Ladakh you can expect almost anything, almost always. On the weather map, everything looks neat and simple and clear.

But in reality, things are always a bit different than on screen. Listed temperatures deviate quite a lot from the actual thermal sensation: 20 Celsius degrees in the shadow become 30 when directly under the sun. In the same manner, there were many days in summer that surprised our trekking guests with snow over the 4. Also the rain is always an issue. Years ago, I was asked by a guest whether he should take a pair of water-proof hiking pants with him. I said no, and explained that even if it rains, the rainfall is so little that you can still do without special clothing.

And what happened? It rained longer and harder than any time before, of course! Average temperatures and rainfall for Leh, Ladakh. On the table it looks so simple…. Although Ladakh is a high altitude desert with little overall precipitation, the rainfall has increased considerably in recent years. Still, rain is generally uncommon and mild; serious, Biblical-style downpours are extremely rare but not unheard of.

When it rains, it is usually in the form of drizzle. The heat has also risen sharply in recent years. The clearest and saddest indicator of this trend is the rapid decline in glaciers. The midday temperature often reaches the low 30s Celsius. Thank God, however, the heat is very dry, and therefore far more tolerable than the humid, suffocating warmth of the southern regions of India.

Even in wintertime the weather has become somewhat unpredictable: Ladakh used to have relatively dry winters, and the lack of precipitation allowed the animals to find food easily under a thin layer of snow. In more recent winters, however, snow has often been sudden and plenty, and many animals have died. The opposite has also been true: mild or warm, winters in which the snow melts almost immediately, adding to the stress of a fragile ecosystem that struggles to adapt to such extreme variations.

Rain is very uncommon during these months. In lower altitudes there is not much rain even in winter. The best time to visit Ladakh depends on the planned activities: for trekking and mountain climbing, the summertime months are the best choice July to September. For tours, on the other hand, one can come earlier or later without worries. Weatherforecast Experience shows that the weather forecasts for Ladakh are usually unreliable. Nevertheless, one can get a general idea by checking, for example, Accuweather. Cycling is becoming a very popular activity in Ladakh.

The bicycle rental sector in Leh has been steadily growing every season for the last few years. But what are the best cycling routes, and what should you take into consideration when exploring the country on two wheels? Discovering Ladakh on a bicycle can be an exciting adventure. All photos on this page by Steffi Langer.

There are many great routes that are better enjoyed with a bicycle. Currently, one of the most popular choices is to load the bikes on a car and drive all the way up to the Khardong La mountain pass to Nubra, at 5. Many cycling rental offices in Leh offer this service nowadays. This is undoubtedly a very fun thing to do, BUT there are at least two important things to consider:.

Many people also like to ride along the highways to Manali or Srinagar. The road conditions are here in general quite good with the exception of the roads leading to and from the passes of Rothang La and Zoji La , BUT of course this also means a corresponding amount of traffic during the summer months. This is something to keep in mind. Except for these few roads, traffic is relatively scarce in Ladakh and one can truly enjoy the bike trips in solitude. In Changthang — the plateau of Ladakh — there are many rarely used Jeep trails and quiet roads.

There, alone under the open skies of the roof of the world, you can really have the cycling experience of a lifetime. Those more inclined to mountain biking can also make use of the many trekking routes available. Should I rent a bike, or bring mine from home? It is very important to take a good look at the bike and to do a test run before renting anything.

Remember to check the brakes! Rates also vary depending on the provider. On average, you can expect a price of approximately EUR per day , depending of course on how good the bike is. While there is no law in Ladakh that makes helmets obligatory for cyclists, we would always recommend to wear one anyway. You can calculate a few euros more for the transportation costs from Delhi to Leh, but this is nothing to worry about. We can help you plan your trip, arrange a backup car for your luggage and equipment, and possibly even get you provisions and a cook, so you can also cycle to places where no fixed accommodation is available.

For the multiactive we have a special tour in the program: first cycling all the way to Nubra, then a walk over the Lasermo La 5. Zanskar remains one of the very few places on Earth that, for several months every year, becomes almost entirely isolated from the rest of the world. It can only be reached, or left, via the frozen river Zanskar. Our guide Phunchok Motup — also known simply as Kalyan — comes from that region, and he has shared with us his 10 favorite places. One of our best guides, Kalyan from Tsazar, talks about his favorite places.

Zanskar is part of the district of Kargil , which constitutes the westernmost part of Ladakh. The administrative center of the subdistrict is the small town but still biggest town of Zanskar Padum. Geographically, the Zanskar mountain range separates this region from the rest of Ladakh.

Back to Geography: The Zanskar region covers approximately 7, km 2 at an altitude of 3. It is fed by two rivers: the Doda , which has its origin near the Pensi La 4. On the way to Zanskar one must go through many breathtaking landscapes … like this glacier. It crosses the Pensi La and takes at least two long days of driving, no matter if you leave from Leh or Srinagar.

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However, not too long ago they started building the new road, which slowly gropes its way into the center of Zanskar both from the north starting in Lamayuru and the south starting in Wanla. You can find more information about this in our blog post: Why the Great Zanskar trek is not so great anymore. Monastery Rangdum. Rangdum is surrounded by mountains and cliffs in all possible shades and colors. For me, the mountain views make Rangdum a unique place in the world.

In addition, the marshes of Rangdum attract every summer countless birds that are a pleasure to observe and admire. More personally, I associate Rangdum with many happy memories. From here I started the first trek of my life: one April, when the road to Zanskar was still blocked by the snow, I walked all the way to Zanskar over the Pensi La. Tip: Be sure to witness the sunset here! It is really unbelievable. This is the village in which I was born and where I spent my early childhood. View from Karsha monastery.

Karsha is the village with the largest monastery of Zanskar. I love to join the morning Puja of the monks and watch the young novices, who might one day become important spiritual teachers of the country. The view of the central valley, from the monastery, is absolutely breathtaking. Phuktal is the most isolated monastery in Zanskar. I have often visited it, especially when I was hiking on the Great Zanskar Trek. To get there is always one of the biggest highlights in a trip.

The sight and the architecture are truly breathtaking. The place always makes me think of a giant beehive. Stongde is the closest monastery to my village, which is why I have also spent a lot of time there. I appreciate the stillness of this place, in addition of course to the magnificent view of the mountains and the village at the foot of the monastery. Zangla is one of the largest villages of Zanskar.

I love to walk through the town to watch the old people with their prayer wheels, sitting under the warm sun, and listen to them while murmur their prayers. Zangla is the village of my grandmother, and many of my relatives live here. In Shade, people still live extremely isolated from the rest of the world.

Shade is one of the most remote villages in the whole of Zanskar and Ladakh, if not the world. Even the natives, walking with fast feet over known trails, need at least two days to get here. I was there recently and it was very impressive to see how well here the interaction between man, animal and nature still works.

Gonbo Rangjon is a spiritually important mountain for the Zanskari. Gonbo Rangjon, a sacred mountain, is located along the trekking route to Darcha, before Shingo La. It is a dream to wander here and admire the flowers that grow in the mountain pastures. This beautiful little village is home to just two families.

Here is a meditation cave of Naropa and many other great lamas were here. From Dzongkhul also starts the route through the Paldar Valley. Also Zorawar Singh, who took Ladakh from the hands of the Maharaja of Jammu, started his campaign here, leading ultimately to the loss of independence of the country.

Holidays also mean good food and drink, taking time to slow down and enjoy a coffee and a cake. There are many restaurants and cafes in Leh during summer, where you can meet people from all over the world and enjoy really good food. But whoever is looking for an authentic Ladakhi food experience has to search carefully. We strongly recommend eating at the guest house not in the hotel, where the situation is similar to that of the restaurants or to find a way to eat at a Ladakhi family. In addition, when in Ladakh we recommend caution with dairy products, especially cheese!

The many power cuts in Leh usually affect the refrigeration and proper conservation of food. Please be especially careful regarding Yak cheese, because it comes — with a few exceptions — mostly from Nepal, and during the transport the cold chain is regularly broken. Once it has arrived to Leh, it is often no longer fit for human consumption. Even the popular Mango-Lassi is at first not very well received by the untrained European stomach. For the meat eaters the situation is similar — meat is hardly cooled and is therefore a source for diarrhea and other annoying bowel movements. Whoever stays longer in Leh, gets used to it quickly.

For me, as a sweets-loving spoiled Austrian woman, used to the fine bakery of my homeland, the advertised goods never come close to the original. Our absolute favorite for lunch and dinner. In typical Nepali fashion, the chairs and tables are made of plastic, and the decoration still needs some work… in spite of what this restaurant offers a really comfy and quiet place in the middle of the noisy city.

In the shade of apricot and apple trees, you can choose between a variety of Tibetan, Indian and continental dishes, and be served by its noticeably helpful and nice staff. Definitely the most chic restaurant that Leh has ever seen. With well designed chairs and tables made of wood! The view is excellent and the atmosphere, relaxing. The restaurant is tucked away, has a lovely terrace and a brilliant interior. Here they are keen to experiment a bit — with a touch of continental Asia.

Note: The prices are slightly higher and the portions relatively small. This is a place for people who have been in Leh for a long time and want to treat themselves to something special. Thai-food in Leh. Also one of the nicer restaurants in Leh, with no plastic chairs and a mostly clean toilet.

As the name implies, the food here is mainly eaten with chopsticks. We particularly recommend the Thai food. We would also advise against the Ladakhi dishes on the menu: they rarely deliver what they promise. Our tip: Thai noodles dishes, fries really yummy. Tingmo at Tibetan Kitchen. One of the best restaurants in Leh, when it comes to Tibetan cuisine. Very popular in the evening, it is often difficult to get a table, so reservations are recommended. Our tip: Momos, tingmo, Thukpa — all Tibetan! Right on the Main Bazaar, there is a small restaurant perfect for those looking for the authentic Indian cuisine.

So nothing for those who favor the mildness of European dishes, since Chilli is here a component of virtually all foods. Our tip: Thali. Unobtrusive, not even provided with a proper name, the room has just space for four wooden ;- tables. Tashi, the Tibetan head of the house, is a very friendly lady, and the food served is cooked by her husband in the room at the back. The kitchen is simple, vegetarian and cheap. Not a big choice of dishes, but the food is always fresh and really tasty. Our tip: kava tea and fried rice. Here you can find really delicious coffee!

For those who are looking for real coffee. The Open Hand is quite modern and sells fair-trade products from Ladakh and other parts of India. It is commonly visited by younger travelers. We recommend it as a cafe rather than as a restaurant. Our tip: coffee, breakfast. With its rooftop terrace, this is probably the most popular restaurant in Chanspa. The variety of the menu is remarkable, with anything from Tibetan to Indian, Chinese and Continental. The breakfast is especially recommendable here. The coffee tastes good too! Our tip: Breakfast. A very cozy and nice furnished small cafe in the district of Chanspa.