Nepal-Himalayan Experiential Shamanic Pilgrimages 2024
Authenticity is the key to truly understanding Shamanism. It is so often missing from the group ‘Shamanism’ experiences which people are offered, most often advertised by those who may have no deep experience of it themselves.
These pilgrimages, organised by Bhola Banstola, are not only enriched by his own experience as a 27th-generation Dhami-Jhankri Shaman but also by other Nepali Shamans who are visited in their ritual spaces and the breathtaking sacred sites and landscapes which nourish their practices. These unique Nepal-Himalayan Experiential Shamanic Pilgrimages are offered to aspiring, curious and interested participants who cherish and understand Shamanism and Animism and are curious about the diverse and deeply rooted Shamanic lineage practices that abound in Nepal.
As the world continues to change, there is a growing need for healing and for us to remember the spiritual legacy of our ancestors and our role in today’s world. We can only achieve this healing by bridging ancient traditions across into our modern times. To restore peace, harmony, co-existence and a healthier life, Elders and other leaders of our practices must unite to preserve, share and transmit our ancestral wisdom. It’s time to protect, achieve, and spread our Shamanic teachings, knowledge and culture in unity, as much as the lineages and groups may wish to share.
Shamans, both men and women with diverse cultural backgrounds, will allow us to experience their lineage rituals and traditions in an eco-friendly village nestled on the slopes above Bhaktapur’s medieval UNESCO heritage town. Traditional presentations and ceremonies will be conducted indoors and outdoors in a natural and safe setting. The teachers and elders will be local and from the far-off hills and plains of Eastern Nepal.
These exciting proposals are built on previous highly successful events. They are an intimate and powerful experience for everyone, focusing specifically on Nepal’s rich and varied Shamanism.
To allow interested individuals and groups from different corners of the planet to participate, itineraries have been designed to suit a wide range of people. Because of the reputation of these events, they soon become full, so early booking is advised.
The Proposed Programmes
The following proposals have been carefully developed after considering how participants may vary in their physical and spiritual needs.
Each day of these experiential pilgrimages will offer new revelations and opportunities to explore the richness of Nepali culture and practice, presented in morning, afternoon and night sessions with lunch and dinner breaks. All participants are encouraged to participate in ceremonies and in the group cleansing and healing processes within the most conducive possible time and space.
The programme for August 24 to September 08 opens up the doors to Nepali culture, history, and the religious lives of the Nepali people, with visits to the sacred power places within the Kathmandu Valley. There will be a three-day retreat in Nagarkot with Shamans from different cultural backgrounds and lineages and a five-day pilgrimage to the holy Sayalung Mountains (for which the participants must be physically fit to walk). The maximum height reached during this pilgrimage is 3100 meters.
The other two programmes exclude a mountain (trekking) pilgrimage and are less reliant on physical fitness. They are focused on the Valley of Kathmandu, with longer retreats and experiences with the Shamans and elders, short excursions to the Garuda Waterfall, and other walking visits to sacred power places.
An expert cultural guide and other necessary assistance will be provided during all retreat days, visits and excursions. For an enhanced experience, all the presentations, discussions and ceremonies conducted in Nepali or any regional language will be translated into English and vice versa (simultaneously translating rituals and sacred songs as much as possible). If known in advance, it may be possible for arrangements to be made for other foreign language translations and interpretations. As the Nepali Shamans and elders have their own individual rhythms and ways of working and sharing, there will be time to ask questions and get clarity about their practices.
In these events, you are not merely spectators but are expected to be active participants who dive deep and merge into the world of Nepali Shamans. We stand firm in the Nepali Earth Mother’s bosom and explore everything from the local perspective and understanding. We don’t mix or confuse our Shamanism with practices from other countries or places – we will focus entirely on the point of view of Nepali Shamanism.
In this way, your time with us will be a total focus on authentic experience, and we really hope that you seize the opportunity to be an active part of all you encounter. In this way, you will bear the fruit of it back to your own lands, where you will plant the seeds for your own practice to be nurtured.
All the potential participants are requested to send a short biography about their health, previous experiences in the Shamanic path and family backgrounds while sending an email for inquiry about pilgrimages.
None of the Shamanic cultures in Nepal use any mind-altering plants, psychedelics or substances to induce trance or healing, and if you are looking for that, this trip is not for you. Neither do the organizers promise to ‘make you a Shaman’ or ‘certify you as a Shaman’, which of course you will understand comes with initiation, practice and training over time in the lineages with service to the community, and is not an instant accolade to be awarded. To aid this process, Bhola offers training in the various ceremonies, working with the spirits, throughout the year, which are very accessible and powerful for participants worldwide.