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Ian Baker Bhutan

Buddhist scholar to co-lead Snowman trek this fall

We’re pleased to wel­come Bud­dhist schol­ar and Bhutan expert, Ian Bak­er, to co-lead the Oct. 7th Snow­man trek along with Deana Zabal­do. We’d like to intro­duce you to Ian here.

As much as we’re all drawn to the phys­i­cal beau­ty and grandeur of the moun­tain places we vis­it, in some places it’s as much about the peo­ple that inhab­it these incred­i­ble places. Such is the case with Bhutan, where cul­tur­al and reli­gious tra­di­tion offer every bit as much intrigue and beau­ty as the majes­tic Himalayas of Bhutan. Both Ian and Deana’s insight into the cul­ture of Bhutan will make this year’s Snow­man Trek an expe­ri­ence of a life­time to be sure.

Ian Bak­er holds advanced degrees in His­to­ry and Anthro­pol­o­gy and is the author of sev­en crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed books on Himalayan and Tibetan cul­ture, includ­ing Tibetan Yoga: Prin­ci­ples and Prac­tices, The Heart of the World, The Tibetan Art of Heal­ing, Bud­dhas of the Celes­tial Gallery, and The Dalai Lama’s Secret Tem­ple, a col­lab­o­ra­tive work with H.H. The Dalai Lama illu­mi­nat­ing Tantric Bud­dhist yoga and med­i­ta­tion practices. 

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Ian is an inter­na­tion­al fel­low of The Explor­ers Club and was des­ig­nat­ed by Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Soci­ety as one of sev­en Explor­ers for the Mil­len­ni­um” for his field research in Tibet’s Tsang­po Gorge and his team’s dis­cov­ery of a water­fall that had been the source of myth and geo­graph­ic spec­u­la­tion for more than a cen­tu­ry. He has designed and led edu­ca­tion­al tours in Tibet, Nepal, India, and Bhutan for Smith­son­ian Insti­tu­tion, Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Expe­di­tions, and the Vic­to­ria and Albert Muse­um and is an active board mem­ber of the Inter­na­tion­al Soci­ety for Bhutan Studies.

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Who bet­ter to show you this amaz­ing coun­try than Ian and Deana, a coun­try like no oth­ers in the world. Ancient and nev­er col­o­nized, Bhutan is bor­dered by Chi­na, Tibet and India, and is a con­sti­tu­tion­al monar­chy. Tra­di­tion­al Bud­dhist val­ues are the foun­da­tion of gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and per­son­al life. The phi­los­o­phy of​“Gross Nation­al Hap­pi­ness” guides the gov­ern­ment and the for­mer King stat­ed,​“Gross Nation­al Hap­pi­ness is more impor­tant than Gross Nation­al Prod­uct.” Bhutan is cau­tious in allow­ing growth and devel­op­ment and tourism is strict­ly lim­it­ed to main­tain the coun­try’s pris­tine val­leys and peaks of the East­ern Himalaya — we feel priv­i­leged to be able to show you this amaz­ing place and hope you can join us in this mys­ti­cal place.