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Baltic Sea Region Dharma Trip 2021
September 8, 2021 - September 20, 2021
Baltic Sea Region Dharma Trip
A Dharma Voyage, from Stockholm to Amsterdam
Bring your dharma to the road, or in this case, the water! Join Doug and Catherine Sensei for a twelve day cruise of the Baltic Sea Region, in September 2021.
Dharma trips provide an opportunity to spend precious time with your teachers and sangha outside of more familiar contexts. On Dharma trips, you are constantly moving, seeing and experiencing new things. This takes us outside of our comfort zone, and provides a rich environment for growth. You might even discover things about yourself you never knew, and find new ways of being and communicating.
Where will we visit on this trip?
Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), St Petersberg (Russia) (2 nights), Tallin (Estonia), Riga (Latvia), Copenhagen (Denmark), Berlin (Germany), Malmo (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), Amsterdam (Netherlands). Enjoy some photos of these destinations below:
Baltic Sea Region Dharma Trip 2021
Q1: What kind of dharma voyage is this?
Q2: Where does it stop?
Q3: What are the dates?
Sept 8-20, 2021
Q5: How much does the trip cost?
- cabin type (see the webpage to choose your cabin type);
- whether or not you also purchase round trip air fare from your origin country as part of the cruise package;
- how many and what kind of tours you choose to go on in each port
- whether or not you purchase medical and travel insurance from Oceania.
Q4: How many days of sightseeing will there be?
Q6: When do I have to book? Will the fares go down if I wait?
Q7: How do I book a cabin?
Q8: What currency do I have to pay in?
Q9: Are Doug and Cata Senseis definitely going?
They have made reservations and paid deposits. They’re planning to go unless it’s impossible to travel or the cruises are not sailing (i.e., due to covid).
Q10: Will the boat sail, with covid?
That remains to be seen. At present, all cruises have been suspended until November. Oceania is now developing a plan with major health organizations so their passengers can sail safely.
Q11: Can I cancel and get a free refund?
A: Yes. The date until which you can get a full refund depends on when you pay your deposit. For a deposit made on Oct 7, a full refund is available until May 10.
After that, you can cancel and receive a full credit for any sailing through 2022 up to 15 days before the cruise departs (Aug 23, 2021). Confirm at time of booking.
Q12: Is the air fare package with Oceania a good deal?
Q13: What kind of boat is it?
Q14: Are meals included?
Q15: What do we do in port?
There are many different tours available in each port for you to choose from, for an extra fee (some tours may be included as part of your OLife amenities package, depending on the one you choose).
Q16: Can we explore on our own without a tour / what tours are available?
Q17: If we’d like to explore on our own, are there concierge services available on the cruise ship?
You’re welcome to ask staff for recommendations. If any arrangements need to be made, that falls under customized travel arrangements. Oceania can help you with this based on your requests 180 days prior to sailing. Oceania can procure tickets, services, and provide pricing, etc.
Q18: How big are the tour group sizes?
Q19: When do I need to decide which tour excursions I’m going on?
Q20: Do I need visas for each country?
Q23: How can I find out more?
See the Oceania webpage for this tour here.
Q24: Are there prerequisites to attend?
This trip is open to existing Dharma students, or those who have attended classes/courses with us before.
Q25: Dāna / Generosity Practice?
This trip is offered on the basis of dāna (generosity).
Dāna is a Sanskrit term meaning “generosity”, and is the traditional way in which Buddhist teachings are offered. With dāna, we give as a mutual exchange of generosity. You may have come across this in the form of “pay from the heart”. It’s our joy to offer this opportunity to practice your Dharma ‘on the road’, and we trust you’ll match our time, energy, and passion by giving an amount of money that feels good and healthy to both you and us.
For more information on dāna click here.
Q26: How do I register?
Contact Andrea Netscher if you’re interested in coming on the cruise with us. Andrea will let Doug and Catherine Sensei know. Her email is: [email protected]
About Dharma Trips
How is a Dharma Trip different than a holiday?
It’s easy to mistake a dharma trip for a holiday somewhere exciting. However, dharma trips are not really about what you might see or do. Sure, sightseeing is great (and we will do a bunch of that), but dharma trips are really about bringing your growth and unfoldment to the road and to new environments. These trips are an opportunity to spend precious time with your dharma teachers and community in a new environment. It might be exciting, challenging, joyful and exhausting – all in one day, but whatever happens, we have an opportunity to practice and grow more conscious.
What are some ways to approach the trip?
- The trip is an opportunity to practice Meditation on the Fly
- Stay focused on the teachers, as they teach 24/7.
- Practice being in conscious community with sangha, as they are indispensable mirrors for our unfoldment. You might say that we can learn from ‘group guru’.
- An open mind and heart, and a spirit of adventure are excellent things to bring. It’s human to have some apprehensions about doing something new, meeting new people, or going to a new place. Particularly when all three happen together.
- Attention to details and schedules – always arrive early, 10 minutes before the teachers to keep the group moving as planned.
- Arrive with a spirit of generosity and a constant state of question – how can I grow? How can I support and engage with my Teachers and community as a bodhisattva in training?
Past Dharma Trips Photo Gallery
Doug and Catherine Sensei have travelled widely with students over the past 20 years. Trips destinations have included Mongolia, Peru and Galapagos, Jordan and Egypt, South Africa (twice), Cambodia and Burma, Laos and Bhutan, India and Ladakh, Costa Rica and Guatemala, Antartica and Argentina, Brazil, Ireland and Scotland, Greece and Israel, Mexico, Grand Canyon USA, Germany and Japan…
Here are a selection of photos from 2019’s trip to Mexico (courtesy of Ava MacLean) and 2008’s trip to Bhutan (courtesy of Sarah Brayer):
And, it is a tradition…
Namgyal Rinpoche’s Dharma Trips
Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche spent a great deal of time travelling with students, often on ships (usually freighters). They would sail from port to port, on an unpredictable schedule. The ship provided retreat-like conditions – a contained environment with nowhere to run (!), alongside opportunities to see new and interesting countries.
Doug Duncan Sensei speaks fondly of the many travel experiences he had with Namgyal Rinpoche:
I was on many of Namgyal Rinpoche’s freighter trips, at least 5 or 6 – the freighter’s job was to deliver goods, so you weren’t going to Paris, you went to unusual, obscure places in Africa, India, remote islands… While on the boat, there wasn’t a lot of distractions. Your meals and housekeeping were taken care of by the boat crew. There was no entertainment. There was no internet. You were there to do your dharma work, to study and meditate.
When we arrived at port we’d get off and do a tour or some exploration for a few days or a week, depending on how long the ship needed to be there unloading. The contained environment with no more than 15 students made for an intense ongoing day in day out experience. Everyone who had that experience came away more awakened than when they got on the boat.
Rinpoche later graduated from freighter style transport – he got involved with more exotic places and ways to travel. He took dive trips off the coast of Thailand and the South Pacific, he was on one of the first commercial trips via the North West Passage to the North Pole, he visited Antarctica. This was all by way of getting students away from their home country and typical engagements, getting them meditative, quiet, exploring and discovering.
–Doug Duncan Sensei, November 4, 2020
Meet the Teachers
What Do Previous Dharma Trip Travellers Say?
On Dharma Trips, you are out of your comfort zone, you’re not held down by habitual patterns and you get the joy of receiving training when you are more open and vulnerable. I love the stimulation of seeing and learning new things, tasting new food, speaking new languages. It is exploration and dharma training combined.
I have been on several dharma trips – to Burma, Cambodia, Costa Rica and Bhutan. I saw how Lama-mind can change course to respond with compassion, that might be outside expectations or ‘the written plan’. There are many liberating moments between Lamas and students. Being part of a group lets one witness many teachings on the spot, and have time to integrate and absorb them together.