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  1. #1
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    NEPAL - Zisimos Souflas, Mount Everest region, 24 April 2012

    Zisimos Souflas still Missing
    Photo here ( see internet)
    ZISIMOS SOUFLAS has been missing now since April 24th, the date he was last seen in Namche Bazaar. He had stayed at the Hotel Tibet in Namche on the night of the 23rd, and left there on the 24th to go to Everest Base Camp. He has not been seen since.
    Prior to this he left Kathmandu on the 18th April. He took a bus to Jiri, and walked from there to Namche, checking in to the Sagarmatha National Park on 23rd April.
    If you have any information, please contact:
    British Embassy: email: BEKathmandu@fco.gov.uk
    Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London tel (0044) 0207 008 0227 or 0207 008 1500.
    South Yorkshire Police; Missing Person: reference KX/2863/2012.
    0114 2202020 if you are calling us from abroad add (+0044)
    There is a REWARD for information which may lead to his whereabouts.

    Press Release:

    UK Citizen, Zisimos Souflas still missing in Nepal
    A United Kingdom (UK) citizen ZISIMOS SOUFLAS has been missing in Nepal for 4 months. He was last heard of while travelling in Mount Everest region on April 24th 2012.
    His disappearance only came to light just a few days after a young Belgium Debbie Mavea, 23, was found murdered in the Himalayan Mountains. There are at least 12 other missing foreign tourist cases in Nepal.
    Zisimos was reported missing on May 15 by his family when he failed to get his return flight to Manchester Airport. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, through the British Embassy in Kathmandu, South Yorkshire Police Missing Persons Unit, Interpol, and the Nepali Police are all involved in the search for Zisimos and the authorities have not ruled out murder (The Sunday Times report).
    Zisimos is a 27 year old UK national, born in Sheffield. He attended All Saints Roman Catholic High School in Sheffield, Sixth Form at Gordonstoun School and graduated from St Andrews University in Scotland 2010.
    The primary purpose of his visit to Nepal was to attend the wedding of a school friend in Kathmandu, and to do some voluntary work, using his final few weeks in Nepal to visit Sagarmatha National Park and Everest Base Camp.
    According to the press release issued from the British Embassy in Kathmandu Zisimos it is believed he entered Sagarmatha National Park , Khumbu Region on 23rd April 2012, from where he was planning to go to Everest Base Camp. Zisimos stayed at the Hotel Tibet in Namche Bazaar, where climbers start their walk to the Everest base camp. The graduate left belongings at Hotel Tibet in Namche Bazaar on April 24, promising to return for them in a few days. No one has heard from him since this time.
    Local guides and Sherpa’s have searched all the paths he could have taken which are said to be well marked out. Weather conditions at the time were good so his disappearance remains a complete mystery.

    Zisimos’s family and friends are very grateful to all the Nepali people who have given generously of their time and resources in the search for Zisimos. The search to date has not been successful and we are appealing more widely for information from anybody who may have seen him from April onwards to get in touch. Also if people could communicate about Zisimos with mountaineering friends who might have been there, or know other people who have gone trekking in the Himalayas, if they have seen or heard anything, please contact the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London or Britsh Embassy Kathmandu or South Yorkshire Police ( see missing poster for contact numbers)
    The new trekking season will soon be starting. We would like to ask anyone who is planning to go to Nepal if they would like to take some “missing” posters with them to help to extend and assist us with the search. If anyone would like to help posters can be downloaded from the soon to be live website www.zisimos souflas missing in nepal and / or see facebook page “searching for Zisimos” (up and running).

    ----------------

    We need everyones help.

  2. #2
    Family's fear for Sheffield man missing in Nepal

    The family of a man from Sheffield, who went missing in Nepal four months ago, say they fear he is no longer alive.

    Zisimos Souflas went to Nepal in April for a friend's wedding in Kathmandu and to do some voluntary work.

    His family reported him missing when he failed to return home on his flight back to the UK on 15 May. Despite searches there has been no trace of him.

    More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...shire-19311122

  3. #3
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    YouTube video describes Namche, and the trek from Namche Bazaar to the Tengboche monastery. Frequently hikers stay in Namche, and make various side trips for the purpose of acclimatization.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=mEj600LgHCc

  4. #4
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    The link indicated in one of the above posts shows a guy with dreadlocks (who bears no resemblance to Zisimos Souflas), and says something about being under deconstruction?

    http://zisimos.com/

    Souflas has a Facebook page, at least 2 years old. He says he lives in Katmandu.

    http://www.facebook.com/zsouflas

    In my opinion, a typical “missing” poster, which includes a recent photo, or photos, height, approximate weight, distinguishing features, and any other pertinent information may be helpful. On the other hand, some of this information could have been held back by authorities to assist in screening out false reports.

    Important link: Facebook page entitled “Searching for Zisimos”

    http://www.facebook.com/zsouflas#!/g...8238870967573/

    Comment from relative (“SS”):
    Just to update everyone generally. Zisimos was last heard from on 23rd April when he registered his entry at Sagarmatha National Park. He left Hotel Tibet (for a walk perhaps - he didn't check out), where he was staying and never returned, leaving behind his camera, phone, clothes and suitcase etc. He took with him his passport. There have been no sightings since.
    June 25 comment from a friend on the same site:
    I am also waiting for an answer from the vipassanna meditation centers in nepal( there are seven ) he stayed there for 10 days . we dont know exactly which one he went to , so we have to check the dates and if he went alone or with friends. his friends said he really enjoyed it and he was happy about that . if he liked it so much he could hopefully be somewhere , doing meditation again where mobiles, cameras etc are forbidden :http://www.np.dhamma.org/#
    We began discussing this case on the Aubrey Sacco thread:
    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - View Single Post - NEW NEPAL - Aubrey Sacco, 23, Langtang, 20 April 2010 - Missing on trek

    Quote:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by linarclud38
    The following belongings were found at the Hotel Tibet in two clear small plastic bags in the possession of the Hotel Manager- phone, camera, credit cards, travel guide, notebook, receipts by the police in June when searching the hotels in Namche Bazar in June 2012 for Zisimos Souflas. Zisimos is not a naieve traveller and has considerable experience of travelling in many parts of the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walker View Post
    Were the small bags bundled into one big bag with other possessions, which he may have deemed unnecessary for a few days rest at a lower elevation?

    ANS: No, just two small clear plastic bags
    Note: Backpackers will often organize items into clear plastic bags to protect them from dampness & find them easily.

    Were ZS's clothes & suitcases actually found, or was that an early misunderstanding?
    Last edited by KateB; 04-12-2015 at 05:46 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  5. #5
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    Article on Ekantipur.com:

    http://202.166.193.41/2012/06/21/cap...he/355905.html


    According to his friend Siddartha Thapa, owner of the local hotel where Souflas had stayed has been making conflicting statements and not helping in investigation.

    “On April 27, Souflas had made a phone call to me and informed that he left some of his personal belongings, including camera and wallet, at the hotel but when his family member reached there the hotel owner told them that he left the hotel on April 24. It has made us more suspicious,” Thapa said. He also claimed that local police is also not cooperating enough and working in glacial pace.

  6. #6
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    His belongings could not have literally included a suitcase; a backpack is necessary to make the hike from Lukla to Namche Bazaar.

    YouTube of this hike presented by two men from Singapore February and March 2012
    :
    Everest Base Camp Trek 2012 - Part 1 of 6 - YouTube
    Last edited by KateB; 04-12-2015 at 05:47 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  7. #7
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    In Part 2/6, the hiking brothers describe how cold the nights are inside their hotel room at Namche Bazaar -- with temperatures plunging to -15 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

    Beautiful views of the mountains.

    Everest Base Camp Trek 2012 - Part 2 of 6 - YouTube
    Last edited by KateB; 04-12-2015 at 05:47 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  8. #8
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    Dhamma Organization offers its 10-day residential meditation course all over the world.

    Katmandu location.: http://www.shringa.dhamma.org/

    Could be the same organization from which ZS took his meditation course. Beginners must take the 10-day course, but after the initial course, subsequent courses vary in length of stay. The first course has no fee, but at the end, those who finish the entire 10 days, are asked to make a donation towards providing the course (which includes lodging and meals) to new students.



    Niall Doherty describes his experience at a Katmandu Vipassana 10-day course, and explains why he quit after two days.

    Quitting Vipassana - Niall Doherty - YouTube

    The classes are held at official centers run by the organization; however, in addition, courses are sometimes held at non-center sites such as rental facilities and campgrounds.
    Last edited by KateB; 04-12-2015 at 05:47 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  9. #9
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    California guy describes 10 day Vipassana experience as worthwhile:
    Inside the "Vipassana Meditation" 10 Day Course - Part 1 - YouTube

    Rick Ross forum: comments re attachments & stress; intense emotions.

    Participants describe feeling pain, and abandonment afterward.

    It's simply that their instruction method is such: isolate, remove support, put blame on you if you have doubts and even threaten to kick you out, and increasingly throw Goenka's framework and dissing of other methods at you after you're in a vulnerable space from a week of silence, slight lack of food, lack of sleep and pain. There is a very masochistic element to it, promising liberation if you just do it more and more. I was increasingly triggered based on my background. Others found it positive, however …
    Can tell you that from my time doing Vipassana at wilderness retreat centers, I came out of it feeling supersensitized, as though a layer of skin had been removed, leaving my emotions raw and tender and exposed.

    I didnt just appreciate people--I adored them. People one sits next to for the retreat feel like bosom buddies--yet you do not really know them.

    I remember exchanging phone numbers and email addresses and then feeling hurt to the core when Id leave people messages and they never replied, yet had been so marvellously friendly and adorable during the retreat.

    A good pal who had been through a number of these told me, with a very wry smile,
    'This happens surprisingly often. You think you have become best friends for life, you think you have formed a bond, and then after everyone leaves and returns home, all at once they dont want to communicate.'

    'You did nothing wrong. What happens is that the environment intensifies everything temporarily.'

    My friend eventuall[sic] stopped doing these ultra long retreats because he found it was triggering anxiety attacks.

    I stopped going to these isolated retreats because I found it too difficult to adjust to life back home.


    http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,96753


    July 2010: Buddhist monk explains why Goenka Vipassana is a cult. According to his statement, other forms of vipassana (one type of Buddhist practice) do not have anywhere near the same number of complaints as the Goenka Vipassana organization.


    Note (at this point in time): 5377 views.
    17 likes, 197 dislikes, and comments were disabled.
    Seems to have hit a nerve.

    Goenka Vipassana is a cult. Video 2. - YouTube
    ***
    Last edited by KateB; 04-12-2015 at 05:48 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  10. #10
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    Goenka Vipassana Center in Katmandu

    After the 10-days are over, the participants seem relieved, but in a way disappointed. The young woman who then walks through the streets of Katmandu looks terribly smug rather than spiritually joyful. The conclusion suggests that the stark simplicity of the program represents a respite from the hubbub of the surrounding city.


    Describes program at the Goenka Vipassana Center in Katmandu:
    [24 Hours Project] Vol. 59 Vipassana Meditation in Kathmandu, Nepal - YouTube
    Last edited by KateB; 04-12-2015 at 05:48 PM. Reason: repair url tag.


  11. #11
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    Mild Sensory Deprivation?

    The Goenka Vipassana retreat seems likely to induce a state of mild sensory deprivation in the participant; probably merely an annoyance to most people, but possibly dangerous to those who have particular sensitivities.

    I know from personal experience that meditation has the power to both sharpen the mind and stir the soup of madness. In November 2005, I travelled to South-East Asia on a quest for meaning. Like most Western backpackers, I searched for it in the bottom of beer bottles. Every afternoon I awoke with a hangover, chastising my lack of self-control. Finally, I’d had enough. It was time for a mental kick in the pants.
    I took the train to Northern Thailand and enrolled in one of S.N. Goenka’s popular 10-day retreats. For those who aren’t familiar with Goenka, he’s a Burmese industrialist who suffered from chronic migraines until he took up meditation (picture Jabba the Hutt in a sarong). Inspired by this miracle cure, he began teaching others. Starting with a handful of students in 1969, Goenka has now amassed a horde of starry-eyed devotees numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and his spiritual franchise now operates out of more than 100 countries.
    Goenka’s 10-day course is known for its gruelling schedule. Participants slog through 10 hours of meditation per day with no cigarettes, alcohol, meat, TV, books, music, conversation or any other solace. It’s spiritual Survivor, with the million-dollar prize of bragging rights to those who make it through.
    Aside from crippling leg cramps, the meditation programme gave me stomach convulsions … The course played havoc with my mind, too. One moment I was on top of the world, the next I was alone in the abyss of depression. My brain lost the ability to control my body. During a group meditation session, my right hand rose to my throat of its own accord and started squeezing. I swatted it away and exited the hall as reality evaporated around me. In my psychotic state I battled through a medieval mallee with a machete, then found myself in the kitchen brandishing a butter knife. Even at this early stage, it was obvious my road to enlightenment was to be riddled with potholes …

    http://gregfoyster.com/the-meditation-myth/

  12. #12
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    Accommodation at the Dhamma Centres

    A 2010 graduate of St. Andrew's University in Scotland, ZS may have come to the attention of the organization as a "professional," and therefore potentially able to contribute or attract large donations.

    The other subject that's come under fire from former students is the difference in accommodation. Simply stated, some rooms at the retreat centre are more comfortable than others. Often, the older and more professional students are given more comfortable accommodation. Former students have seen this linked to the "dana" aspect of the course. "Dana" means "donation."
    As the course are all free of charges, the charity is run solely through donations. Whilst this is an admirable trait, some have complained about the executive centre that has been built and that professionals seem to get better treatment in hope of receiving larger donations.
    Read more at Suite101: Criticisms of Goenka's Vipassana Meditation Centres | Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/criticis...#ixzz25wk7PFPr

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker View Post
    Dhamma Organization offers its 10-day residential meditation course all over the world.

    Katmandu location.: http://www.shringa.dhamma.org/

    Could be the same organization from which ZS took his meditation course. Beginners must take the 10-day course, but after the initial course, subsequent courses vary in length of stay. The first course has no fee, but at the end, those who finish the entire 10 days, are asked to make a donation towards providing the course (which includes lodging and meals) to new students.



    Niall Doherty describes his experience at a Katmandu Vipassana 10-day course, and explains why he quit after two days.

    Quitting Vipassana - Niall Doherty - YouTube

    The classes are held at official centers run by the organization; however, in addition, courses are sometimes held at non-center sites such as rental facilities and campgrounds.
    Well, looks like Goenka failed at kindergarten level Buddhism.

    It is said that after Siddhartha Gautama left his father's palace, he travelled to various places and tried to gain enlightenment by learning from various teachers. Each time, he eventually left the teacher unsatisfied. Eventually, he decided to try an extreme form of asceticism by gradually restricting his food intake more and more.

    The time came when he was eating only 12 grains of rice per day. All he got for his suffering was almost drowning in a river when he was bathing. After he got himself out of the river, he realised that extremes of asceticism would not lead to enlightenment.

    His first insight was that following extremes was no way to enlightenment and that what he called the Middle Way, the way of moderation, was key. He said "There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable."

    In other words, extremes of asceticism are just as wrong as extremes of hedonism. It's just that hedonism is vulgar where many mistakenly find asceticism admirable or noble.

    The Buddhism I was raised in (which is, broadly, Mahayana) teaches that maintaining one's relationships and connections to one's family and one's community are just as important as striving to better one's self to find enlightenment.

    How on earth a person could possibly maintain one's relationships with family and community while meditating 10 hours a day is beyond me.

    Okay, Buddhists are practically unable to make a point without telling a story, so here is another one that I feel is pertinent.

    A man devoted 20 years to meditation to learn how to levitate himself across the river by his village. One day, the Buddha came to the village and the man demonstrated his amazing ability, clearly expecting great praise.

    The Buddha said "foolish man! You have spent 20 years on doing something that you could have gotten done by an honest hour of labour to pay the ferryman a penny. Then you could have devoted the rest of your time to your family and works of charity, which would have brought you closer to true enlightenment."

  14. #14
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    Anybody having information about the whereabouts of Zisimos are requested to contact the Embassy (Ph: 00977 1 4410583/Global Response Centre: 4422294) or Siddhartha Thapa (00977 98415515070) in Nepal.
    Link:
    http://www.indiamike.com/india/trekk...uflas-t174254/


  15. #15
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    Ill have to ask some of my student mates if they knew him,any idea what he studied at uni?.

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