"In the Footsteps of the Buddha," with Stories of Buddhism's First Women, co-leaders Shantum Seth and Wendy Garling, presented by Buddhapath.
In February 2018, Buddhapath will present an unprecedented new approach to the traditional Indian Buddhist pilgrimage. As we travel through the fertile plains of the Ganges and the lush foothills of the Himalayas to the sites where the Buddha was born, spent his childhood, practiced austerities, became enlightened, taught dharma, and passed away, we’ll tell his stories as well as those of the women in his life: his mother Maya; stepmother Gautami; principal wife Yashodhara and harem wives; the cowherd Sujata; chief patron Visakha; the first nuns; and other women who influenced his life and the emergence of early Buddhism. Our journey will take us to the remains of ancient monasteries, exquisite art galleries, living temples and ancient villages where we’ll encounter diverse lifestyles and meet local people in their homes. The creation of a traveling sangha will be an important aspect of this trip, with daily dharma discussion and meditation, as well as personal contemplative time. Pilgrimage is a rare opportunity to see and experience India in ways that have hardly changed since the time of the Buddha. We invite you to join us on this transformative journey in the footsteps of the Buddha and the first Buddhist women.
Dharmacharya Shantum Seth, an ordained dharma teacher, is the foremost expert on sites associated with the Buddha and has been leading pilgrimages since 1988. He worked with the United Nations on volunteering, peace, and social development for more than 15 years, and is currently Senior Advisor to the World Bank on pilgrimage tourism. He has co-authored books such as Walking with the Buddha and consulted for films like BBC-Discovery’s Life of the Buddha and BBC-PBS’s The Story of India.
Wendy Garling is the author of the acclaimed new book, Stars at Dawn: Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha’s Life, published in 2016 by Shambhala Publications. She has a BA from Wellesley College and MA in Sanskrit language and literature from the University of California, Berkeley. For 20 years she has taught women's spirituality focusing on Buddhist traditions. A Buddhist practitioner and teacher, she has traveled for personal retreats and pilgrimages in Tibet, India, and Nepal.