Photo of the Week
North India 6-week
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => Dear family and friends of N India 6 students,

We’re thrilled to report that the student group has arrived safely in Newark. They are on united Airlines flight #083 and should be out anytime through customs or to their connecting flights.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us the office at 303-921-6078. Alternatively, you can email us at update@wheretherebedragons.com.

All the best,
Dragons Admin
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North India 6-week

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Students Have Arrived in Newark

Boulder Administration,North India 6-week

Description

Dear family and friends of N India 6 students, We’re thrilled to report that the student group has arrived safely in Newark. They are on united Airlines flight #083 and should be out anytime through customs or to their connecting flights. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us the office […]

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Boulder Administration

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    [post_content] => N. India 6 week is through security and scheduled to leave on time!  Internet in the airport is a bit slow so the instructors will post a photo if they can.  We will be in touch if anything changes.
    [post_title] => Group Through Security!
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North India 6-week

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Group Through Security!

Hillary Sites,North India 6-week

Description

N. India 6 week is through security and scheduled to leave on time!  Internet in the airport is a bit slow so the instructors will post a photo if they can.  We will be in touch if anything changes.

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Hillary Sites

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-06 22:05:08
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-07 04:05:08
    [post_content] => Just before starting a three-hour appreciation circle of shared sentiments, appreciations, we read Mary Oliver's "Snow Geese" aloud as a group:

Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden. I
held my breath
as we do
sometimes
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us
as with a match,
which is lit, and bright,
but does not hurt
in the common way,
but delightfully,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.
The geese
flew on,
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won't.
It doesn't matter.
What matters
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.

---

I love eloquence with which Mary Oliver can begin to articulate the impossible beauty of impermanence, and it stings with an accuracy in relating to the transformation facing the North India sangha. Today, our group will splinter as we take off for the airport and begin our journeys to the lives we held before embarking on six weeks together, yet instead of checking out, we still grasp to hold on and cherish these last sweet hours together through laughter, through debate, through moments that transcend description.

This group is made up of powerfully loving individuals, and while my heart aches knowing our time is quickly drawing to a close, I can say I simply can't wait to see where these amazing young people go. I can't wait to see in the coming days, weeks, months, years how they let their passions steer their personal compasses, and how many lives they will touch, and how many obstacles they will tackle with poise and grit.

These six weeks have held challenge, opportunity, community, and so much more. And while we may not be a group together in quite the same way that we were this summer, my heart can rest easy knowing that I had the honor to grow, to learn, to be, to see these 13 amazing souls as Mary Oliver saw snow geese....secretly, joyfully, clearly.
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Secretly, joyfully, clearly

Sara Russell,North India 6-week

Description

Just before starting a three-hour appreciation circle of shared sentiments, appreciations, we read Mary Oliver’s “Snow Geese” aloud as a group: Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last! What a task to ask of anything, or anyone, yet it is ours, and not by the century or the year, but by the […]

Posted On

08/6/15

Author

Sara Russell

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-05 10:23:13
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    [post_content] => Hi everyone,

A quick update to share that the whole group has safely arrived in Delhi after taking their domestic flight from Leh to Delhi early this morning.  It was a smooth flight, with no delays.  The flight itself is spectacular - crossing the Himalayan crest, and into the lowland plains.

Tomorrow, the group will be spending the day visiting Agra and the Taj Mahal, and the following day, will continue onwards with their international flights.

With care,

Japhy Dhungana

Himalaya Program Director
    [post_title] => Update - Arrived in Delhi!
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North India 6-week

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Update – Arrived in Delhi!

Boulder Administration,North India 6-week

Description

Hi everyone, A quick update to share that the whole group has safely arrived in Delhi after taking their domestic flight from Leh to Delhi early this morning.  It was a smooth flight, with no delays.  The flight itself is spectacular – crossing the Himalayan crest, and into the lowland plains. Tomorrow, the group will […]

Posted On

08/5/15

Author

Boulder Administration

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-05 10:15:12
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Dear family and friends,
After an epic eight days of hiking and contemplation, team North India 6 is safely back in Leh, freshly showered and beaming.
Our seven day trek began in the village of Stok, and took us up ragged gorges, through verdant glacial meadows, and over two mountain passes. We walked during the morning sun and weathered occasional afternoon storms with hot tea, lessons, and laughter. Every student pushed through the rugged challenge of hiking in the Himalayas with strength and determination, and we instructors couldn't be more proud.
Following our trek, we retreated to the tiny, remote Khaspang Monastery for a day of meditation and conversation. We sat in silence, rang bells, and discussed the perplexing intricacies of Buddhist philosophy. We also had the blessing of having an audience with Gen Tashi Leh, a highly accomplished monk who has spent many years in solitary retreat and is fond of sitting in alpine meadows, feeding wild marmots.
Today finds our team resting in Leh, and tomorrow we look forward to going to the village of Saspol, where we will spend two full days collecting apricots and learning the traditional Ladakhi method of turning these fruits to preserves. We look forward to singling and celebrating the harvest alongside Ladakhi villagers.
It's hard to believe that our time in India is waning with the moon! Each day we have left in this beautiful country is precious, and we are excited to get the most out of our remaining time together.
Julley,
Caitlin, Tashi, and Sara
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North India 6-week

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Celebrating the Harvest

Instructor Team,North India 6-week

Description

Dear family and friends, After an epic eight days of hiking and contemplation, team North India 6 is safely back in Leh, freshly showered and beaming. Our seven day trek began in the village of Stok, and took us up ragged gorges, through verdant glacial meadows, and over two mountain passes. We walked during the […]

Posted On

08/5/15

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-04 11:13:36
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-04 17:13:36
    [post_content] => Dear North India Students & Families,

This weekend marks the end of our North India summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and share their tales of adventure with each of you. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for your reference:

August 7th, 2015
United Airlines #083
Depart: Delhi (DEL) 10:50pm
Arrive: Newark (EWR) 4:35am (Aug 8th)

Should you need any assistance during student travel days, please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078, or email: update@wheretherebedragons.com.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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North India 6-week

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North India Return Group Flight Information

Dragons Admin,North India 6-week

Description

Dear North India Students & Families, This weekend marks the end of our North India summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and share their tales of adventure with each of you. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the return group […]

Posted On

08/4/15

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-02 15:47:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-02 21:47:40
    [post_content] => 
Day three of the trek brought us to our highest campsite with an elevation of 15,500 feet. We were to spend two nights there with the fourth day of trek serving as a rest day. With everyone trying to acclimate to the high altitude and deal with its side effects (such as feeling like an elephant was sitting on your chest or nausea from the pressure change) a rest day for half of the group was much needed. However, for the lucky few who had lesser altitude side effects, an optional hike up to a glacier was offered. It was a small group that embarked on this 4 hour trek straight up hill, but for me at least, (the others too Im pretty sure) even though I couldn't breath for most of the journey with my lungs feeling like they were on fire, it was worth it 100 times over.
I can't truly convey the beauty I saw on this hike through words as it was practically inconceivable when I was physically there viewing it with my own eyes-I don't think my words or even a photograph could possibly do justice to the majesty of this landscape. After around four hours of very slowly trekking up the rocky, sandy, and sometimes snowy face of this mountain we reached a ridge that brought us to an elevation of 17,000 feet. We were parallel to a glacier on our right and had a 180 degree view showing us a myriad of different landscaped mountains that looked as if they stretched on infinitely. There were mountains covered in lush greenery and mountains covered in a sparser desert land scape. There were barren rocky mountains with massive boulder piles and mountains covered in snow. The variety of terrain was incredible and those were only the landscapes my inadequate human eyes picked up on.
The mountains were seemingly boundless, yet we live in a world defined by limits; the concept of beginnings and ends is so ingrained in our understanding of the world. I felt myself at first totally perplexed unable to grasp the vastness of the scene before me, but then I thought about where these categorizations of time and space came from. They were all constructed by humans to help them better understand the world and as we know humans are imperfect and make mistakes. This brought me back to an idea Ive been struggling since our first conversation about Buddhism when I tried to define faith as a religious concept and it was brought to my attention that believing in scientific concepts is technically a leap of faith too because how can anyone really ever prove anything when all the definitions we have came from humans? Going with that train of thought I don't and cant actually ever definitely know anything, but the mountains and scene before me don't care; they'll still be there way after I die and eventually they'll be gone too because everything is changing, always.
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North India 6-week

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Limitless

Chloe Peck-Sanders,North India 6-week

Description

Day three of the trek brought us to our highest campsite with an elevation of 15,500 feet. We were to spend two nights there with the fourth day of trek serving as a rest day. With everyone trying to acclimate to the high altitude and deal with its side effects (such as feeling like an elephant was […]

Posted On

08/2/15

Author

Chloe Peck-Sanders

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-02 14:49:51
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    [post_content] => Through consumption and generational divides, we have experienced tradition in a state of flux.

After spending a week in Leh we transferred into a three night homestay in an isolated village called Tar. In Tar village the people live a very traditional lifestyle. They farm and are greatly able to sustain their own life. However, the tar villagers are sending their children off to boarding school to receive a Western education. Although this creates great opportunities for the children outside of Tar, it does not teach them how to farm and thus survive in Tar village. Therefore, the future for Tar is uncertain.

The increase of American tourism has brought about a cultural shift from traditional foods to a more westernized cuisine. No longer is kalak served at every meal; rather, packaged cookies and cheeses are being served to treat western guests with commodities that our stomachs are used to. However,with packaged foods comes a surplus of trash and a lack of original meals that were harvested from the land. This could potentially bring a slew of problems such as the question of sustainable trash maintenance methods; furthermore, western consumerism and comforts could wipe out the age-old foodstuffs that has fed Ladakhi villages for so long.

Traditionally, Ladahki villages were entirely self sustained. The food grown comprised the food eaten, and all decisions were made within each respective community. Now, more and more the younger generations go off in pursuit of urban jobs, leaving village life behind. Now,more and more villagers eat rice instead of their harvests, because the government provides them with inexpensive rations that people can't refuse in this economy, fostering a dependence on the government that hadn't previously existed. Though the villages stand, there is certainly more awareness of "other," of a lifestyle and world outside of what they know.

As we hiked through the Himalayas we followed old shepherd trails. But this time around the trails were not filled with herders and their animals but people from all over the world. Old, young,beginners, and expert mountaineers were brought together to these rugged trails through the magnificent mountains. These traditional paths were once only used by wondering nomads but through globalization they are now open to the public. As people travel from afar, these routes have consumed by the rest of the world. [post_title] => tradition in change [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tradition-in-change-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-08-02 14:49:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-08-02 20:49:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123814 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => North India 6-week [slug] => north-india-6-week-summer-2015 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => North India 6-week [category_nicename] => north-india-6-week-summer-2015 [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/north-india-6-week-summer-2015/ ) ) [category_links] => North India 6-week )

North India 6-week

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tradition in change

Marlowe Muehlbauer Halle young Pippa Simona Everts,North India 6-week

Description

Through consumption and generational divides, we have experienced tradition in a state of flux.After spending a week in Leh we transferred into a three night homestay in an isolated village called Tar. In Tar village the people live a very traditional lifestyle. They farm and are greatly able to sustain their own life. However, the […]

Posted On

08/2/15

Author

Marlowe Muehlbauer Halle young Pippa Simona Everts

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    [post_content] => Walking down the streets of Leh the old Shanti Stupa towers above, along with the central monastery, built atop a Himalayan hill. The streets are draped in prayer flags, to have the song of the wind carry their prayers over the land. A mosque stands tall at the end of the street, with chants echoing throughout town. Devot monks wonder the streets, repeating their mantras and spinning their prayer wheels round, and round, and round again. The smell of traditional Ladakhi food pierces the dry mountain air. But when you look around you see ATM signs plastered on every street, a poster labeled 'Leh Beutification' and below it a street in shambles supposedly under construction. No longer is traditional clothing worn, but shirts that say 'Subway,' 'SWAG,' or 'Ask me why Jesus has my back.' Amongst the traditional icons of Leh it seems as though the cracks of Leh are filled with change, and outsider ideas.
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North India 6-week

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Streets of Leh

Mary Gibbs, Nic Manship, Chloe Peck-Sanders, Nate Hochman,North India 6-week

Description

Walking down the streets of Leh the old Shanti Stupa towers above, along with the central monastery, built atop a Himalayan hill. The streets are draped in prayer flags, to have the song of the wind carry their prayers over the land. A mosque stands tall at the end of the street, with chants echoing […]

Posted On

08/2/15

Author

Mary Gibbs, Nic Manship, Chloe Peck-Sanders, Nate Hochman

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-02 14:49:27
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    [post_content] => One of Buddha's central teachings is the concept of impermanence. This is the idea that all compounded things within the universe are inherently transient - the ultimate truth at the heart of the dharma is that nothing lasts forever, and all things are destined to eventual disappearance. We as humans are not exempt from this impermanence - on the contrary, in fact, the argument could be made that we are perhaps some of the most transient parts of this universe. Far from the Himalayan mountains we hiked through, which have stood for eternities before our existence and will continue for eternities after, or even beyond that the stars we slept below on cold Ladakhi nights, which may very well outlive the entire human race before they meet their eventual decay, we are mere blips on the face of the cosmos, most of us wrapped up in our respective egos' delusions of illusory significance, unaware of the continual cycle of impermanence that we are all party to.

Beyond that, even in our time on this planet we are perpetually in flux; we are transitory, cosmogyral karmic rivers of continual change. The idea that we hold of a concrete Self is also an illusion - perhaps you define yourself by your family, your job, the university that you attended, etc. All of these concepts and more are poured into the futile task of endeavoring to constantly define our identities as a permanent, graspable Self. In reality, every passing moment changes us, and every new experience creates a new Self - indeed, teaches the Buddha, within the context of impermanence, even we as concrete beings are an illusion. Before this trip to India, I was Nate Hochman, 17, from Portland, Oregon, about to embark upon a 6-week trip to India to learn about Buddhism, live with families on the roof of the world and trek through the Himalayan mountains. No longer am I that person - rather, now I am Nate Hochman, 17, returning to Portland, Oregon after having embarked upon a 6-week trip to India. I have learned about Buddhism, lived with families on the roof of the world and trekked through the Himalayan mountains. This is a different Nate Hochman, for Nate Hochman isn't really anything at all except for a concept - I am impermanent in every passing moment, as are all forms of life beneath the stars.

After the last 6 weeks in India gradually became our new reality, our group of young travelers must once again come face to face with the truth of impermanence as we prepare to leave India and return to our respective homes. Far from nihilistic, I find Buddha's teachings on impermanence to be freeing in the same way that Existentialists do. Touché, impermanence means that all joy and happiness we experience is transient. However, doesn't that mean that all of our pain and suffering is also transient? Touché, again, our ultimate fate is death and that is beyond terrifying for creatures such as us who are so tightly and passionately bound to living. But what would life be without death? As with the Yin and Yang, all things only exist in the context of their paradoxical dualities. Without death, living would have no value. Similarly, our trip to India would lack any significance without am expiration date - as we draw ever closer to that date, I find myself drawn to the beauty of the impermanence in all things, although I will miss you all and the time that I spent here. In the words of my great Beat hero of impermanence, Jack Kerouac: "What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies." [post_title] => On Impermanence [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => on-impermanence [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-08-02 14:49:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-08-02 20:49:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123816 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 93 [name] => North India 6-week [slug] => north-india-6-week-summer-2015 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 93 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => North India 6-week [category_nicename] => north-india-6-week-summer-2015 [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/north-india-6-week-summer-2015/ ) ) [category_links] => North India 6-week )

North India 6-week

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On Impermanence

Nate Hochman,North India 6-week

Description

One of Buddha’s central teachings is the concept of impermanence. This is the idea that all compounded things within the universe are inherently transient – the ultimate truth at the heart of the dharma is that nothing lasts forever, and all things are destined to eventual disappearance. We as humans are not exempt from this […]

Posted On

08/2/15

Author

Nate Hochman

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