Amanjiwo Unveils Vesak Experiences

Guests can join Buddhist monks at Borobudur and enjoy a private dance performance from a high-profile Indonesian maestro.

Central Java’s Borobudur temple at sunrise. (All photos courtesy of Amanjiwo)

With Vesak, the most important day in the Buddhist calendar, coming up in just a few weeks’ time, travelers can look forward to marking the occasion with Amanjiwo in the Central Java countryside. From May 15–17, the resort will offer a special three-day, two-night itinerary inspired by the spirit of Vesak, created in collaboration with Veluvana Vihara — a Buddhist monastery in the Central Javanese town of Boyolali.

Didik Nini Thowok in action.

The evening of the 15th sees vacationers invited to a lecture titled “The Birth of Buddha” by Amanjiwo’s resident anthropologist, Patrick Vanhoebrouck. At sunrise on Vesak day, monks from Veluvana Vihara will lead guests in a Pradakshina ceremony, circumambulating Borobudur temple several times in step with devotees from all across Indonesia. An afternoon tea session with a lecture on Buddha’s enlightenment and Nirvana, also led by Vanhoebrouck, add more flavor to the experience. This will be followed by a guided Semedi meditation, a method practiced by generations of Javanese ascetics. That night, a hearty Vesak vegetarian dinner curated by the Veluvana Vihara’s monks will be enjoyed with a performance of the Mahakarya dance. As a form of gratitude, 10 percent of the dinner’s profit will be donated to the monastery.

On the third day, guests can expect a yoga class by the Pool Club and a picnic lunch on the banks of the Progo River. But the highlight will come during a Javanese-inspired afternoon tea at the Rotunda. Here, Didik Nini Thowok, one of Indonesia’s foremost traditional dancers, will put on a mesmerizing private performance. Narrating the human life cycle from birth to death through the Apsara dance, he will use movements and colorful costumes inspired by the Buddhist murals adorning the ancient Mogao Caves outside the Chinese city of Dunhuang.

More information here.

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