MINDFUL RECOVERY SERVICE EXPERIENCE
17 Days| 5/12/20-5/29/20
Travel Overland from the Food Capital of China, Chengdu, through some of the most beautiful landscapes and diverse cultural areas into the Tibetan Plateau. We will land in the village of GarGon, where we will stay to offer some service work and learn from Tibetan Nomads.
Domestic airfare and overland travel, 3 meals a day (mostly vegetarian) and accommodations for 2 people per room. Soft drinks and extra snacks not included. Daily yoga and meditation instruction as well as AA meetings and sober support.
*Additional personal expenses: RT Airfare to Chengdu, China (CTU) China from SFO/LAX approx. $1,100 + Chinese Visa $130 + Personal travel Insurance (1 month) $80 + Spending Money $300 (special additional day tours to go to a Panda sanctuary etc. are offered through the guest house)
Deadlines: A $500 deposit will be due to the Pureland Project by March 11 to hold your spot. Final payments of $2,100 will be due on March 31st. This trip is limited to 10 students
Air Travel: We will work with students and parents to select flights to arrive in Chengdu. Molly and the TreeHouse team will be flying together or in small groups starting either from Prescott/Phoenix or from San Francisco. Some students may be coming from a home visit and meet in San Francisco. Participants will arrive in Chengdu, China (CTU) on May 13th and to depart Chengdu, China on May 29th.
THE TRIP TO TIBET:
The area of Tibet we will journey to is known as Kham. It is considered the wild west of Tibet, inhabited mostly by nomads, as the rugged mountains are not hospitable to any other way of life. Tours to the region are quite rare, yet as roads are built, the area is subject to rapid change.
We will begin the tour in Chengdu in Sichuan Province of China. Chengdu a culturally rich and diverse city in the Western region of China. We will be meeting with college students at the Minorities College there to speak about the issues of cultural sustainability. From Chengdu we will travel by van to Nangchen, Kham. We will stop in Yushu to see Tibetan resilience in action and observe how the city is rebuilding from a devastating earthquake in 2009.
Our time in Nangchen will be spent primarily at the Garchen Institute Tibet in Gargon village. Every day will begin with Yoga, meditation and Tibetan lessons,followed by Tibetan Philosophy teachings and end with a 12 step meeting or “circle”. During the day, our adventures will range from hikes into the mountains, to tours through historic monasteries. The trip includes service opportunities for participants. We arrange with the community to build and create things like greenhouses that will serve them in the future. From Gargon we will head back to Chengdu via Yushu. We will have a final celebration dinner in Chengdu before boarding our flights back to the US
Expectations and Conditions: This trip includes 4 days on the road. In order to reach the monastery of Gargon, the group travels over roads that are long, bumpy, and dusty. We may need to cross rivers in jeeps, wait for landslides to clear, push our vehicles out of sticky spots or make detours. The altitude is high, the food choices are limited, and the group may camp for one night. Hot showers are mostly in Chengdu and toilets on the road are mostly outhouses. The travel is challenging and rewarding! Stamina, patience, and good teamwork are required. Students will learn to become skilled international travelers. Any student with some wilderness experience will feel at home. Photo opportunities are unparalleled.
Requirements: Students and leaders and any participants must be drug and alcohol-free and abstain from any and all use of mind-altering substances. All participants will be given a portfolio of 10-12 articles to read that cover the foundational aspects of the culture and history of Tibet.
Margaret “Meg” Ferrigno PhD Founder and Executive Director of the Pureland Project and Molly McGinn PhD Managing Partner, TreeHouse Learning Community
Meg voluntarily organizes the tours to raise funds for Garchen Rinpoche’s village school projects which she manages under the Pureland Project. Meg speaks Tibetan and spent several years in Tibet at GarGon.
Molly is the co-founder of TreeHouse Learning Community in Prescott and Tempe. She is in long term recovery, has her doctorate in Anthropology and did some of her fieldwork in Tibet. She taught at the Academy of Science in Chengdu for a year in the 80’s before working in Tibet.