Effortless Mind Meditation

Himalayan Meditation Retreat

Himalayan Meditation Retreat to the Source of the Ganges

Join Ajayan for a once in a lifetime Himalayan meditation retreat to the source of the Ganga

Those joining us for this sacred Himalayan meditation retreat will experience much more than an ordinary tourist sight-see. Our intent is a relaxed but focused 14-day pilgrimage and meditation retreat to the Source of the Ganga high in India’s Himalayas, one of the great remote spiritual centers of the world.

Imagine you, September 21 – October 3, 2024…

This Himalayan meditation retreat will include an abundance of sacred sights—temples, ancient caves, ceremonies—intimate encounters with sadhus, swamis, and saints, delicious local North Indian cuisine, Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis by authentic Ayurvedic Doctors, comfortable and clean accommodations (single and double available—see below), and optional river rafting on the Ganga. 

Most importantly, you will receive expert instruction from Ajayan in the profound meditation and yogic practices indigenous to this region of the Himalayas. This is a rare opportunity to advance your meditation practice to a level that would normally require many years of instruction–provided you could find such instruction at all, which is rare today, even in India. Ajayan will instruct you according to your level of practice. All are welcome, from beginner to advanced yogis.

“The journey with the group to the Source of the Ganges was so enlightening for me…. a great experience, the best experience for personal growth I’ve ever had.” —Caroline Sophonow, Aesthetician and Yoga Teacher, British Columbia, Canada

“Ajayan, I cannot believe how much my meditation practice is now influencing my life (you were talking to us about some after-retreat effects)—it is truly sensational! I am happy and content and my days go by in sheer admiration of all the wonderful things I have in life.”—Dr. A. Cornelius, Switzerland

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Cost of the Himalayan meditation retreat

Meditation Retreat/Tour Cost (in US dollars):

Includes accommodations, all meals, ground transportation (see detailed itinerary below), and in-depth meditation instruction from Ajayan (some optional yoga instruction will be included from local teachers); does not include airfare or travel insurance.

Registration, Deposit, and Early Registration Discount

Early registration allows all participants to make travel arrangements long in advance of the retreat and to get the best pricing on airfare. For that reason, we offer an early registration discount. If you submit your retreat registration form with a $1500.00 (USD) deposit by June 1, 2024, you will receive a $300 discount off the cost of the retreat.

You receive a free year’s subscription to my meditation membership site

Register for the Himalayan Retreat and get 1-year free subscription to my meditation membership site with hundreds of hours of video instruction and audio guided meditations–at the Ananda level! This is for you to use to prepare for the Himalayan Retreat, if you wish (recommended, not required).

For more information

See detailed itinerary below and email ajayan@ajayan.com with any question.

Day 1—September 21, 2023

Arrive in Delhi and transfer to hotel. Rest.

Day 2—September 22

Ride to Rishikesh situated on the banks of the Ganga in the Himalayan foothills. Dinner and rest. We’ll stay in a modern and comfortable hotel on the banks of the holy Ganga. Rishikesh is well-known for its many ashrams, temples, and yoga centers. For centuries yogis have retired to the banks of the holy Ganga here to do their sadhana in quest of direct realization of the eternal, infinite Self of all. The atmosphere is tangibly vibrant with spiritual energy, yet today it also bustles as a quaint commercial center.

Day 3—September 23

Our meditation retreat begins with a morning of rest and relaxation, bathing in the Ganga (it’s quite clean here, upstream of Rishikesh proper, where we will go to a secluded sandy beach surrounded by jungle), and preliminary instruction in yogic practices especially conducive to meditation (pranayama and bandhas). In the afternoon, we’ll have our first meditation instruction, and in the evening, we’ll enjoy an early dinner and observe a traditional puja performed on the Ganga’s banks.

Day 4—September 24

Morning optional hatha yoga instruction, plus group meditation instruction.  Over the course of this retreat/tour, you will have the opportunity to learn several exceptionally effective forms of meditation readily accessible to beginners. (Advanced practitioners will learn advanced techniques.) These styles of meditation, indigenous to this area of the Himalaya, are collectively referred to as Effortless Mind meditation.

Day 5—September 25

After individual practice of yoga, meditation, and breakfast, we’ll drive to Uttarkashi (6 hours of travel). You’ll get a first taste of the gorgeous foothills of the Himalayas and the life of India’s mountain farmers, which has remained much the same for hundreds of years—unforgettable scenery and equally unforgettable glimpses of a charming and ancient culture.

On the way, we’ll stop and climb the several hundred steps to the mountaintop Kunjapuri temple, said to be the place where a part of Sati’s body (Shiva’s wife) fell to earth (Her breasts; you’ll hear the full story on the drive).

Arriving in Uttarkashi (at 3,500 feet), a quaint Himalayan village on the banks of the Ganga, we’ll stay in a newer comfortable hotel: meditation, dinner, and rest. Here, we’ll visit the famous Vishvanath temple (one of India’s 12 major temples for the worship of Shiva) and observe a powerful Arati (worship with the waving of oil or camphor lamps).

The large natural lingam here is a natural wonder. It is said to have emerged from the earth spontaneously. Before the temple was constructed around it, locals tried to dig to find its root, but all efforts have failed, so deep into the earth does this lingam descend. There is also a temple in the same complex dedicated to Shakti-Devi.

Day 6—September 26

After morning meditation, we’ll drive to Gangotri (4 to 5 hours) at just over 9,000 feet—a breathtaking trip as we continue to follow the Ganga upstream, whose waters here explode with power, cutting through the vast maze of mountains. Colossal peaks lushly forested with jungle and pine, towering cliffs, and cascading waterfalls all make for otherworldly dramatic beauty. In Gangotri: meditation, dinner, and rest.

The remote Himalayan hamlet of Gangotri is considered to be among India’s most sacred pilgrimage sites. Natural beauty provides a spiritual haven for resident and visiting yogis and holy men. The Gangotri temple serves as focus for devout Hindu pilgrims. Dramatic canyons, surrounding mountains and forest, a cascading waterfall, the virginal holy waters of India’s most sacred river, an atmosphere soaked in centuries of devotion and meditation, and typically sunny weather, make an ideal setting for enjoying the bliss of meditation and yoga. Our days here will include:

  • Final instruction in meditation, pranayama, and other yogic practices–the height of our meditation retreat.
  • Participate in puja and bhajans in the evenings at the Gangotri temple.
  • Group meditations and discussions about the spiritual culture and philosophy of India.
  • Leisurely nature hikes along and within picturesque canyons.
  • Visits to the Gangotri temple, and to the caves and huts of local holy men.
  • Free time to relax and enjoy the exquisite sights of the area.
  • Optional bathing in the Ganga flowing in its pristine purity.
  • Optional hike to the Gaumukh Glacier 18 KM above Gangotri.

Day 9—September 29

After individual yoga/meditation practice and breakfast, we’ll drive 4 hours back to Uttarkashi. Individual meditation, dinner. Rest or optional shopping in town or visiting the temples.

Day 10—September 30

After yoga instruction and individual meditation, we’ll drive 6 hours from Uttarkashi to Rishikesh. Individual meditation, dinner, and free time.

Day 11, 12—October 1, 2

We will complete our meditation retreat at our ashram/hotel in Rishikesh where yoga classes will be offered in the morning, as well as group meditations both morning and early evening. Activities here will include:

  • A trip to nearby Vashishtha Guha, said to be the cave of the great ancient rishi, Vashishtha, who was a mind-born son of Brahma the Creator—a most powerful spiritual spot. The deep spiritual silence in this natural cave is incredibly profound, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We’ll also see another adjacent cave, said to be the cave where Vashishtha’s wife, Arundhati, lived.
  • You will have the option of taking an 8-km river rafting trip on the Ganga from Brahmpuri to Rishikesh.
  • We will drive through a natural reserve (home to wild elephants and tigers) and see a local hilltop temple in a beautiful, sylvan setting.
  • Free time to relax, take scenic walks, and shop for gifts, souvenirs, and fine arts and crafts–some of the finest you will find in all of India.

Day 13—October 3

Ride to Delhi, lunch, dinner, and relaxing in hotel. To Delhi international airport to fly back home (late night of 10/3 or early AM of 10/4).

For more information

Please email ajayan@effortlessmindmeditation.com