Siberia – Mongolia: Journey of the Heart

“I have seen and felt things in Siberia that were beyond my wildest dreams” – Charline Souffrant, frequent trip participant.

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This journey is longer, more ambitious, and thus more expensive… but is deeper and more sophisticated than any of my previous trips. The more I imagine it, the more powerful it becomes.  There are no other tours that follow this itinerary. It is a sacred journey of higher consciousness that aligns with my core values. Here is the map and timing for the trip.

The trip direction is moon wise. As you can see, both Lake Baikal and the Altai are included, as well as time spent in Mongolia. (We will not be going to the city of Irkutsk. I just selected that so the app would give a short description of Baikal.)

My Siberian partner for almost 20 years, Erjen Khamaganova, has written a daily itinerary for our latest eco-spiritual pilgrimage (see below).  Over the next couple of months, as she and I fine tune the possibilities, I will present more detail. The Altai portion of the journey  is similar to previous trips. See map at bottom of that link and notice Gorno-Altaisk-M52 is the highway south back to Mongolia.

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Erjen and I talked about the higher purpose of the trip. Here is how we broke it down:

1) It’s a peace mission. The Paris bombings/shootings, the Syrian tragedy, the war in Africa underscore that the world is saturated with madness. Citizen diplomacy is a powerful tool to cut through government and media enemy images and stereotypes. We can all remind each other of our common aspirations for clean food and water and a healthy, peaceful place for our children to grow up… and sanity.  And to not succumb to the fear whipped up by terrorists of any kind.

2) Continuing our participation and observation of what it means to be indigenous.

3) Demonstrating that citizens from the wealthy nations respect and admire shamanic culture wherever it is practiced…. that we want to remind young Native people that their traditions and Elders matter. In so doing, mining for the spiritual gold that enriches the Earth-honoring culture we want to build at home.

4) To undertake non-ordinary research through regular inner journeying ( at home and over there) in order to bring valuable information back to the “surface.” For example, petroglyphs, rock art, and sacred sites are a treasure trove of HOW our ancient ancestors viewed the world. Using shamanic methods we may be able to “decipher” their messages and bring back medicine for our time.

5) We are each involved in intensive soul development spanning lifetimes and have an intention (whether we know it or not ) to align ourselves, moment to moment, with Source energy and intelligence. This journey is a catalyst to accelerate the best in in us.

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Cost: $4500 pp includes all land costs, translation, transportation, 3 meals/day, accommodations (mostly double occupancy), 2 internal flights (Ulan Ude to Novosibirsk and Ulgii to Ulan-Bator), and my fee. Trip officially starts from Ulan-Bator, Mongolia. I’m considering flying to Seoul to get to Ulan Bator which is why the map shows that.   The trip cost does not include international flights in and out of Ulan Bator or a Russian visa. Visa prices vary from country to country and become more expensive closer to departure. They average $200-$250 pc.in USA. The Mongolia visa is free.

A REFUNDABLE deposit of $500 will hold your place. If for any reason, you decide this trip is not for you I will return your check by December 15, 2016.  After that date the deposit is non-refundable (when I start incurring expenses). I will give you an email receipt to that affect.  A check should be made out to Sacred Earth Network and sent to 93a Glasheen Rd, Petersham MA 01366 or use registration page and Paypal your deposit. The balance is due by May 1, 2017.

Dates: June 25th- July 11th.

Group size: 6 minimum, 12 maximum

Physical condition: In general all “hiking” is moderate. No packs. No elevation over 7500 ft… usually 4000ft or less. The aiir is always easy to breathe. I’m never sure exactly what we will get ourselves into 🙂 but I always figure a way to involve everyone and, if needed,  split into a couple of groups with both groups doing powerful, interesting work regardless of physical condition. The most important personal quality is open heartedness/ability to get along with others and the second is stamina. Not aerobic stamina but stamina to endure jet leg, border checks, and not enough sleep (periodically), occasional drives that seem like they go on forever and eating food outside of one’s comfort zone ( not bad food, but different food). That is: life lived without our usual ability to control our environment… in other words, not a cruise, but ultimately ecstatic.

Interview and application: In addition to filling out a small questionnaire I will be interviewing everyone for this journey. Even those I have known for a while. I am particularly looking for those who are able to get along with others in a very different, and sometimes challenging, environment.

Itinerary (If US-Russian political tension is too high during June/July 2017, we will travel in Mongolia only.  There is plenty of powerful shamanic activity there)

Day 1: Ulan-Bator: arrival evening, hotel check-in

Day 2: Ulan Bator: breakfast, program orientation,

 spin the prayer wheels at the Tibetan monastery,

lunch, afternoon departure by night train on

Trans-Siberian railroad to Ulan-Ude

Day 3: Ulan-Ude: arrival at train station 7.30 am

 hotel accommodations,  rest,

lunch (traditional Buryat food), meeting with local guides

Visit Geserei Buusa (camp of Geser)

Ceremony to “open the road”  led by a local shaman

Day 4 Ulan Ude-Baikal: breakfast,

drive to Lake Baikal, village of Gremyachinsk,

boat trip to Tolonki Cove,

set up camp, internal work, contemplation, meditation

preparation for the ceremonies

Day 5 Lake Baikal: breakfast

Ceremony for the Spirits of Lake Baikal

Lunch, personal interaction with Baikal,

nature connection, camping

Day 6  Lake Baikal: breakfast,

return boat to Gremyachinsk, lunch,

departure to Ulan-Ude, dinner,

reflection on Baikal’s messages

hotel accommodations

Day 7   Ulan Ude Breakfast

Departure to Tarbagatai rayon.

Visit  and honor sacred water spring in the steppes. “Tiled Graves,” culture i.e. archaeological site of the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.

lunch in the forest

Set up camp

Hike to the energy portal at the top of mountain top. Meditation.

Dinner

Reflections

Forest camping.

Day 8  Ulan-Ude Breakfast

Return to the city. Meetings and discussion with local shamans and artists.

Dinner. Retrospective on Baikal leg of the trip

Day 9  Departure to Novosibirsk. Flight on S7 airline.

Arrival in Novosibirsk, Drive to Karakol Sacred Valley

Lunch in Gorno-Altaisk Arrival in Uch-Enmek Ethno-Nature Park,

Dinner, meeting local hosts. Accommodation in the park.

Day 10 Breakfast.

Fire Ceremony.

Visit the sacred Karakol Valley, archeological and historical sites.  Overnight on the ranger cordon Arukem.

Day  11 Breakfast. Hiking back  to the reserve base-camp. Banya, relaxation, meditation.

Day 12 Meeting with jarlykchis (shamans/spiritual messengers)

Day 13 Breakfast.

Drive south on the Chui tract. Visit sacred sites. Dinner and over night in Kosh-Agach

Day 14 Departure from Russia, cross the border. Arrival in Bayan-Ulgii, the center of Bayan-Ulgii aimag in Mongolia, stay in Kazakh yurt.

Day 15 Departure to Ulan-Bator.

Lunch.   Hotel check-in.

Meeting at the shamans center “Dunger.”  Restrospective gathering.

Day  16  Return on international flights