Sustainable Living in the Himalayas — A Service-Learning Retreat (1-8 May @ Dharmalaya Institute)

What: Sustainable Living in the Himalayas — A Service-Learning Retreat
When: 1-8 May 2015
WhereDharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala Village)
Who: Mark Moore, Sourabh Phadke, et al.

Raising the roofA 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.

“A Darshan in Vimalakirti Sutra” with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche (28-29 April @ Deer Park)

What: A Darshan in Vimalakirti Sutra
When: 28-29 April 2015
Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir
Who: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra (Sanskrit: विमलकीर्तिनिर्देशसूत्र) or Vimalakīrti Sūtra is a Mahayana Buddhist sutra. Sometimes used in the title, the word nirdeśa means “instruction, advice”. The sutra teaches, among other subjects, the meaning of nondualism. It contains a report of a teaching addressed to both arhats and bodhisattvas by the upāsaka (lay practitioner) Vimalakīrti, who expounds the doctrine of śūnyatā to them. This culminates with the wordless teaching of silence. The sutra has been influential in East Asian Buddhism for its “brash humor” and flexibility. It has also been influential in Mahayana Buddhism for its inclusiveness and respect for non-monastic practitioners as well as stating the equal role of women in Buddhism.

Darśana (also Darśan or Darshan; Sanskrit: दर्शन) is a term meaning “auspicious sight” (in the sense of an instance of seeing or beholding and being seen or beheld at the same time; from a root dṛś “to see”), vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for theophany, “manifestation / visions of the divine” in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity (especially in image form), or a very holy person or artifact. One could also “receive” darshana or a glimpse of the deity in the temple, or from a great saintly person, such as a great guru.

Nagarjuna, one of the most important Indian Buddhist philosophers, wrote in his Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way) that the wise person perceives true reality (tattva-darśana). In Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, darśana came to be an important concept. As scholar Paul Harrison has noted: “By the second century CE, then, the vision of the Buddha (buddha-darśana) and the accompanying hearing of the Dharma (dharma-śravaṇa) are represented as a transformative experience of decisive importance for practitioners, be they renunciants or householders.”  The term darśana-citta (a seeing mental event) became an important term in Sanskrit Abhidharma literature. Indian Mahayana philosophers Vasubandhu and Asanga divided the Buddhist path(marga) into five paths, of which the third is the “path of seeing” (darśana-marga).

For more information, see www.deerpark.in/programs/schedule/a-darshan-in-vimalakirti-sutra/

Open Volunteer Period for Sustainable Living (15-29 April @ Dharmalaya Institute)

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.

Raising the roofDescription: 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.

Madhyamakavatara Retreat (14-23 April @ Deer Park)

What: Ten-day Retreat on Madhyamakavatara (Entry into the Middle Way) by Acharya Chandrakirti
When: 14-23 April 2015
Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir
Who: Ven. Geshe Dorji Damdul

Acharya Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakavatara is a classic commentary on Arya Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika. It elucidates the true import of Arya Nagarjuna’s mangnum opus by clearly bringing out the meaning of the Ultimate Reality through an insight into Dependent Origination. Madhyamakavatara also expands upon several points in the Sutra of the Ten Bhumis (Dashabhumika Sutra).

The path to enlightenment can be viewed in terms of the ground, path and result. The ground is the two truths of emptiness and dependent origination. The path consists of the wisdom and method, which one engages in through understanding the two truths; emptiness being the basis of the wisdom aspect and dependent origination of the method aspect. The result can be seen as two-fold as well, the realisation of wisdom gives rise to the dharmakaya and of the method aspect of the path to the rupakaya. Thus, understanding the two truths leads to the two paths, which in turn leads to the two resultant states of the dharmakaya and the rupakaya. This text covers the profound aspect of Arya Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika, whose subject matter can be understood in essence as emptiness, as well as the vast aspect related to the paths and the bhumis.

Ven. Geshe Dorji Damdul la will also bring in explanations from “‘Thorough Elucidation of the Intent: An Extensive Exposition of ‘Entering the Middle Way’”, by Lama Tsongkhapa, one of the most elaborate and precise commentaries on Acharya Chandrakirti’s text.

For information, see www.deerpark.in/programs/schedule/madhyamakavatara-entry-into-the-middle-way-by-acharya-chandrakirti/

An Introductory Buddhist Retreat with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo (3-5 April @ Deer Park)

What: Easter Retreat, “An introductory Buddhist retreat” (View, Meditation, Action)
When: 3-5 April 2015 (9am-12noon & 3-5pm)
Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir
Who: Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

An intensive study-practise retreat aimed to introduce new students to Buddhadharma and refresh “old”students!

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 (www.tenzinpalmo.com).

For information: www.deerpark.in/programs/schedule/easter-retreat-an-introductory-buddhist-retreat-view-meditation-action/

Open Volunteer Period at Dharmalaya Institute (8 Dec – 6 Mar)

What: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities

Activities: Earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping

When: 8 December 2014 through 6 March 2015 (Volunteers may arrive and depart anytime during this period)

Where: Dharmalaya Institute

Languages: English & Hindi

Facilitators: Various (Raju, Shekar, Sourabh, et al.)

Raising the roofDescription: 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.

Since there is no formal instruction during this period and there is no organised programme, one simply jumps in and does whatever needs doing on a given day, learning by watching others and then doing it yourself. In such an unstructured or loosely guided situation, sometimes one needs to ask for help if one needs it, so a certain degree of self-motivation and initiative makes for the best experience. It also helps to bring a healthy sense of flexibility, since the work to be done might vary from one day to the next, depending on circumstances. If that appeals to you, you’re welcome to come and go anytime during this period.

For more information see Dharmalaya’s volunteer page, read the FAQ, and then complete the volunteer application if you’re interesting in volunteering.

Sustainable Living Retreat (26 Nov – 6 Dec @ Dharmalaya)

2012 work retreat

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.

Information & Registration
For details and registration, visit the Dharmalaya Institute’s website.

Lojong: Mind Training with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo (22-23 March @ Deer Park)

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

http://www.tenzinpalmo.com

For information: www.deerpark.in/programs/schedule/mind-training-lojong/

Sustainable Living Work Retreat (25 Mar – 4 Apr @ Dharmalaya)

2012 work retreat

What: Service-Learning Retreat with SanghaSeva
Topic: Living in Balance: Contemplation, Compassion, and Sustainability
WhereDharmalaya 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.

For details and registration, please visit the SanghaSeva website.

Silent Meditation Retreat (17-24 March at Dharmalaya)

Group Sit

What: Silent Meditation Retreat with SanghaSeva
WhereDharmalaya Institute in Bir, HP, India
When: 17-24 March 2014
Who: Zohar Lavie & Nathan Glyde
Language: English

Description: Residential silent meditation retreat led by Zohar Lavie and Nathan Glyde of SanghaSeva. Simple accommodation in tents/dormitory in a beautiful Himalayan setting.

Note: Space is limited, so advance registration and deposit are required. 

For details and registration, please visit the SanghaSeva website.