UNLOCK A MODERN JOURNEY WITH ANCIENT TRADITIONS MYSTERIES
PRACTICING MEDITATION AS PART OF SCENIC TRAVEL
In Buddhist Mongolia, the practice of meditation, especially Tantric meditation was always linked to traditions and has been until this day an undiscovered mystery. Even at the time that Buddhism started to be well accepted in the Mongolian Society, meditation was not yet practiced by many people. It remained therefore a mystery to most. It exists many legends and tales of the past depicting the stories of great meditation practitioners, but who never became a major leader to the general population.
WHY WE CHOSE MEDITATION PRACTICES ON THE TOURS?
In its offer, on most of the tours provided by Gobi Mountain Lake, short guided meditation sessions are part of the adventures. This practice dates back to the time of the Hunnu Empire and was unveiled and became an official practice from the 16th century, Mongolia being at that time one of the first Mahayana Buddhist countries in the world. The Buddhism practiced in Mongolia took time to become the form we know today, and its very own identity is very different from the Buddhism seen in other countries. Because of its special link with the history of the country, it came to be very respected and appreciated by the Mongolian people and is since that time part of the National traditions and the Culture of the country. Why the Mongolian form is very special and unique in this world? Because it has been mixed with other Mongolian ancient practices and cultures such as Shamanism and Nomadism to name a few, to adopt a very different final form. This made the Mongols adapt to Buddhism officially and brought a new period of prosperity.
Buddhism is now becoming back the #1 Religion of the State today, with about 50% of the Population being declared Buddhist practitioners. Also, during all major Buddhist celebrations, Mongolia is officially allowing National holiday periods. Meditation is part of Buddhism, and it is a personal choice given to the people to meditate or not. It is not a forced practice. During our adventures, we take the same approach by supporting those who voluntarily want to try a guided meditation, in the untouched nature and mountains. This is a very important part of our concept, and to help improve the lives of our participants, staying connected to Nature, to enjoy and have a great experience of the country while traveling together. We focus our meditation on Nature’s elements which are the Fire meditation, the Water meditation, and following the 7 Chakras.
We also help to support other practices of meditation if the participants would like, and we pay great attention to educating our highly skillful tour leaders, and the other people of our staff on location in order to coach and instruct our travelers from around the world. We will discover those ancient meditation practices when people use to go to caves, sand dunes, water shores (lakes), and mountains to feel and appreciate this part of Mother Nature that is still untouched today. The Buddhist meditation that we teach and practice on a daily basis is definitely compatible with Nature and the physical act of traveling. It is very beneficial for anyone’s mind and body enhancement.
There are two main schools of Buddhism, and while both are mastered for centuries in countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, or Mongolia, the philosophies are very distinct. The Sutra is based around the learning of the Buddhism philosophy mobilizing the mind and knowledge as a base, whereas Tantric Buddhism is more focused on the practice of meditation at its core, and the natural experience of life. Read further about Tantric Buddhism below!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION?
Meditation practitioners develop this skill to be easily flexible and have the great ability to combine their mind and body into one entity. The meditation itself helps anyone to be aware of their own situation and contribute to adapt to the changes in life in an easier way. It contributes to developing anyone’s self inner power and clear thoughts, making the decision an easier task. Through Meditation, the mind will always be brought into a state of self-awareness, for a clear vision of reality, and the practitioners develop a sense of sensitivity. We then become more positive, respectful to others and our situation since we can see and project ourselves into another point of view, another angle.
Many people have a tendency to lose the connection between the body and mind, thus becoming less sensitive. It also can create itself some more trouble, as the mind can also harm the body physically, even indirectly through thoughts and actions that are not necessary. We can call it stress, depression, and other forms. Meditation tends to correct those to bring balance and has a long-lasting positive effect. Therefore, when heading out on a different journey, the mind can be easily changed and exploring new sensations and we encourage our travelers to seat even for short meditation periods in many locations crossed in the countryside, in order to get that sense of peace. Far from the stress of our homes and jobs, Gobi Mountain Lake introduces the concept of meditation and the real connection to Nature so that everyone will enjoy, develop, and become a better version of themselves. If you travel to a Buddhist country such as Mongolia, it will be useful and interesting to initiate yourself into this world. Sure, you may be surprised, but we will have great fun with us!
MIND RELAXING MEDITATION AMONG THE NATURE
The feeling about Nature in Mongolia is like a second Mother. Mongols as people with Nomadic lifestyles and roots, are naturally connected to Nature and developed all the knowledge around it, predicting the weather, behaviors of animals, and wisdom surrounding the living conditions outdoors. Thanks to passing this unwritten tradition, Mongols successfully survived the harshest conditions of life in the country. In Time, when the Mongols could predict harsh weather conditions and approaching winters, they became to pay respect to Buddhist traditions to overcome the difficult situations that may occur. For most of their life, Nomads spend their time outside of the comfort of their home, preparing to gather the animals.
Nowadays, many Mongols settled in the cities in a hope of an easier modern life, but in their heart, they still carry their home country, and the Land as being one of the most treasured pieces of their life, and try to go back to their roots as much as possible. This way, they are able to fulfill this feeling and get back to this spiritual feeling called the "birthplace energy" in the Mongolian language. Everyone in the country can relate to this feeling, especially when they are traveling abroad.
WHAT MONGOLIAN PEOPLE DO OUTDOORS
Local herders and families from the child to the elderly often go to sacred mountains, offerings, and express feelings and thankfulness to Mother nature through various rituals (offerings of animals, dairy products). While doing so, they learn how to respect their land, and it is very common to sing for the country to make its spirit happy and its people as well.
There are specially marked places dedicated to those gatherings, often on the hills around the camps of the Nomads, sometimes identified with ovoo erected on top of the mountain and hilltops. Those practices often relate to asking for good fortune and safe life for the months or years to come. Those forms of reflection and meditation when performing those offerings are essential and even more present today than before as the Nomadic life depends on those beliefs that were introduced while Buddhism and Shamanism combined in ancient times.
The Concept of Gobi Mountain Lake travel is deeply rooted in respecting this way of life, and we introduce the true Mongolian Nomadic culture and traditions to our guests/travelers. During our journeys, we shall peacefully discover and get inspired by those incredible sites that we will visit, and when the time is right, we will meditate on-site and reflect on this beautiful historical culture unique in the World. We will get more conscious about the land, our actions, and the places visited by the short guided meditations (about 15-20 minutes each) that we will organize.