What: Intensive Service-Learning Workshop in the Vernacular Eco-architecture of the Himalayas Activities: Hands-on training in earthen architecture When: 15-29 October 2015 (must attend from the start) Where: Dharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala) Languages: English (with Hindi translation if requested) Facilitators: Dharmalaya faculty and artisans, e.g. Mark Moore, et al.
Description: Residential service-learning programme at the Dharmalaya Institute with hands-on training in earthen building and more. Learn to build eco-friendly structures in the neo-traditional Kangra style of esteemed eco-architect Didi Contractor, while contemplating our relationship with nature and the values of sustainable and compassionate living.
After the introductions, orientation, and general overview of the programme, we will get straight to work doing various hands-on projects around the Dharmalaya campus, including work on several earthen structures that are in various stages of construction. The two main focal points during this programme will be raising the walls of a new earthen structure while doing some finishing work on another. The work will include adobe and other earthen techniques, and may also include stone, bamboo and slate, as well as mud plaster, landscape architecture, and possibly other activities. We will also have theory discussions and other presentations and explorations. If circumstances allow, we may also have a small participatory design process (depending on the needs on site at the time).
What: Vipassana Meditation Retreats When: 2 September- 23 September 2015 (2 retreats from 2-10 & 14-23) Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir Who: Ajarn Kanchana Punyesi & Ajarn Kanya Dhammapalee
Upcoming Program of Punyesi Vipassana Retreat on September 2015
Arjan Kanchana Punyesi (Yoobamrung) is a vipassana-insight meditation teacher at Punyesi Vipassana Retreat, Loei, Thailand. Arjan Kanchana was born on August 6, 1970. She is 44 years old and has experience to study Dharma with Sayadaw Pattantavirojana, NguTao U Temple in Chan State, Myanmar.
What: Bodhicitta Retreat When: 24 July – 2 August 2015 Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir Who: Geshe Dorji Damdul
This retreat will focus on practise of “Boddhicitta,” the “awakened/altruitic mind,” which is ever-present as a seed in us, all sentient beings. The path to nurture and awaken this, will be based from the Buddha Shakyamuni’s teachings, specifically the Four Seals.
About Geshe Dorji Damdul
Since 2005, Geshe Dorji Damdul has served as the official translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama. Geshela, has completed his studies from Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) in Dharamsala, Drepung Monastic University and Gyumed Tantric College. Serving as a fellow in Cambridge University, England in 2003, he was appointed as a visiting fellow at Delhi University to give lectures in three of the University’s departments – Philosophy, Psychology, and Buddhist Studies. Presently, he is serving as the Director of Tibet House, Cultural Center of H.H. the Dalai Lama, New Delhi. He gives lectures and leads philosophy classes and meditation retreats in Tibet House, Delhi University and other venues. He also travels widely in India and abroad, to teach Buddhist philosophy and practice.
What: Introduction and Retreat-Seminar in the tradition of Nondual Kashmir Śaivism When: 15 May 2015 (Introductory seminar) and 16-21 May 2015 (retreat-seminar) Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir Who: Dr. Bettina Sharada Bäumer, Varanasi
The Vibration of Consciousness:The Spanda Kārikā with Commentary by Kṣemarāja
A Retreat-Seminar in the tradition of Nondual Kashmir Śaivism
The Spanda Kārikā or “Verses on Vibration” by Vasugupta (9thcentury, Kashmir) is one of the foundational texts of Kashmir Shaivism which teaches the dynamic nature of the Absolute, of the cosmos and of human consciousness. Its Nirnaya Commentary by Ksemarāja, direct disciple of Abhinavagupta (11th century) adds a lucid spiritual interpretation to the concise verses of the text.
Spanda means creative vibration and the inner divine dynamism which pervades everything, and which can be mystically realized in one’s own essential nature. The text teaches an analysis of consciousness and a way to full awakening (suprabuddha).
Two sessions of text teaching daily
4-5 hours of meditation
Walks in nature
Recitation of hymns and ślokas (Sanskrit)
Silence from dinner time till next day lunch included
Note : Silence is essential for the practice of the teaching and for maintaining an atmosphere of retreat.
Requirements for participation:
Basic knowledge of Indian spirituality and philosophy and basic knowledge of Sanskrit is an ideal preparation, though not a necessary condition for participation.
Experience in meditation is a necessary requirement.
Text editions and translations recommended:
Spanda-Kārikās. The Divine Creative Pulsation, ed. and transl. by Jaideva Singh, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1980 ff.
Dyczkowski, Mark S.G. : The Stanzas on Vibration. The Spandakārikā with four Commentaries, Albany: SUNY Series in the Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir, 1992.
Dyczkowski, Mark S.G.: The Doctrine of Vibration, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 2006
Silburn, Lilian: Spandakārikā. Stances sur la vibration de Vasugupta et leurs gloses, (French transl.), Paris: Ed. de. Boccard, 1990.
What: Sustainable Living in the Himalayas — A Service-Learning Retreat When: 1-8 May 2015 Where: Dharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala Village) Who: Mark Moore, Sourabh Phadke, et al.
A week-long mindful adventure in sustainable and compassionate living, providing opportunities for exploration of both inner and outer sustainability. We will practice meditation not only sitting on the cushion but also in action, performing mindful service work doing organic gardening, eco-friendly earthen construction, and natural landscaping around the beautiful Dharmalaya campus.
Groups sessions may include the following:
Sitting meditation (instruction and practice)
Explorations of various aspects of sustainable and compassionate living
Conscious movement: Hatha yoga and/or chi kung (morning/evening sessions)
Hands-on workshops in traditional earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping
Space is limited, so advance registration is required. For information and registration, use this form.
What: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities Activities: Earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping When: 15-29 April 2015 (Volunteers may arrive and depart anytime during this period) Where: Dharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala) Languages: English & Hindi Who: Facilitated by Mark Moore, Raj Kumar (‘Raju’), Naresh Kumar Sharma, et al.
Description: Informal volunteer opportunities at the Dharmalaya Institute open to both residential and non-residential participants. During this period, there is no structured educational or training programme as such, but there is plenty of physical work to do — including earthen building (adobe, bamboo, etc.), organic gardening, natural landscaping and possibly some tree planting — and Dharmalaya is a beautiful place to get your hands dirty and learn about green living and Himalayan culture in the process.
For more information see Dharmalaya’s volunteer page, read the FAQ, and then complete the volunteer application if you’re interesting in joining.
What: Residential Retreat and Service-Learning Workshop Topic: Sustainable Living in the Himalayas Where: Dharmalaya Institute in HP, India When: 26 November – 6 December 2014 Language: English (and Hindi if requested) Facilitators: Mark Moore, Sourabh Phadke, et al.
Description: A ten-day inner/outer adventure in sustainable and compassionate living, providing opportunities for hands-on learning of various skills and concepts related to traditional earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping, integrated with mindfulness, meditation and other inner explorations.
Workshops and groups sessions may include the following:
Hands-on education in traditional earthen architecture of the Himalayas
Natural landscaping and organic gardening
Meditation and yoga/chi kung (morning/evening sessions)
Cost: Rs 1200 per day (Rs 12,000 total) including comfortable tent/dormitory accommodation and healthy meals.
What: Teachings on mind training (Tib: lojong) When: 22-23 March 2014 Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir Who: Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is a renowned Buddhist teacher, popular worldwide for her warm, clear and down-to-earth presentation of the Dharma and its application in daily life. The inspiring story of her life, including 12 years of secluded retreat in a Himalayan cave, is the subject of a well-known biography, “Cave in the Snow”. Jetsunma is the founder and abbess of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery near Tashijong, H.P
What: Service-Learning Retreat with SanghaSeva Topic: Living in Balance: Contemplation, Compassion, and Sustainability Where: Dharmalaya Institute in Bir, HP, India When: March 25 to April 4, 2014 Language: English Facilitators: Zohar Lavie, Nathan Glyde, Mark Moore, Mai-Linh Leminhbach
Description: Residential service-learning retreat program at the Dharmalaya Institute. Possible workshops and groups sessions include the following:
Hands-on education in traditional earthen architecture of the Himalayas
Organic gardening and permaculture landscaping
Meditation and yoga/movement
A mixture of silent practice and group connection and activity
Please note: Space is limited, so advance registration and deposit are required.