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Welcome to Dharmalaya Institute

Dharmalaya Institute is devoted to education and empowerment for compassionate living, with a practical focus on sustainable village development, contemplative service-learning, and immersive ecotourism.

Brick ParadeTradition + Innovation = Sustainability, Health & Joy

Dharmalaya’s mission is to unite the best of traditional wisdom with creative innovation to produce compelling possibilities for compassionate living and sustainable development.   › Learn about Dharmalaya Institute


hOMe-BuildingDevelopment & Empowerment Through Learning & Service

Dharmalaya’s programmes for the local and international communities help us empower ourselves to improve our world. Vocational education, volunteer opportunities, meditation, yoga, and more.   › Explore our programmes


Sangha Join the Dharmalaya Community & Get Involved

Join Dharmalaya on our membership page.
Donate on our support page.
Leap into the action our volunteer page.
Stay informed via the news and our blog.
Follow us on our social networks.



Current & Upcoming Events & Programmes


NOW THROUGH JUNE 2016 

Sustainable Living Workshop: Eco-architecture, Organic Gardening, & Meditation: [REGISTRATION FULL] Unique service-learning programme exploring a sustainable and holistic approach to living through diverse activities related to earthen building, growing organic food, and meditation. Explore the theory and practice of vernacular eco-architecture of the Himalayas, with a focus on the Kangra style as expressed in the neo-traditional designs and methods of esteemed eco-architect Didi Contractor. Enjoy organic gardening with views of the Himalayas. Group meditation sessions morning and evening. This will be an intensive programme, with hands-on workshops during the day and presentations/discussions most evenings. (Tentatively scheduled for 6-19 June 2016 — must attend from the beginning.)  More

Volunteer Work Period[REGISTRATION FULL, WAITLIST ONLY]  Learn and practice the arts of sustainable living in the Himalayas by doing various kinds of service work related to traditional, eco-friendly earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. Four to seven hours per day of hands-on work, with optional meditation/yoga sessions in the mornings and evenings. (20-30 June 2016 — participants may apply to volunteer anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of two weeks.)  › More


JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2016 

Monsoon Volunteer Work Period: Learn and practice the arts of sustainable living in the Himalayas by doing various kinds of physical service work related to traditional, eco-friendly earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. Four to seven hours per day of hands-on work, with optional meditation/yoga sessions in the mornings and evenings. It is very wet during most of the monsoon period, so most of the work will be indoors, such as interior earthen renders (mud plaster), wood/bamboo work, slate tiling, and fine finishing work. (1 July to 30 September 2016 — participants may apply to volunteer anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of two weeks.)  › More

Rains Retreat: A traditional three-month meditation retreat period for experienced meditation practitioners. There are no teachings or programmes; just a serene and beautiful place to do your own practice. (July through September 2015)  › Please contact us to let us know if you are interested.


OCTOBER THROUGH DECEMBER 2016 (Programmes & dates subject to change)

Volunteer Work Period: Learn and practice the arts of sustainable living in the Himalayas by doing various kinds of service work related to traditional, eco-friendly earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. Four to seven hours per day of hands-on work, with optional meditation/yoga sessions in the mornings and evenings. (1-22 October 2016 — participants may apply to volunteer anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of two weeks.)  › More

Sustainable Living Workshop: Earthen Architecture, Organic Gardening & Meditation: Unique service-learning programme exploring a sustainable and holistic approach to living through diverse activities related to earthen building, growing organic food, and meditation. Explore the theory and practice of vernacular eco-architecture of the Himalayas, with a focus on the Kangra style as expressed in the neo-traditional designs and methods of esteemed eco-architect Didi Contractor. Enjoy organic gardening with views of the Himalayas. Group meditation sessions morning and evening. This will be a two-part programme: The first week will be an intensive training with hands-on workshops during the day and presentations/discussions most evenings; the second week will be a practicum with morning and afternoon work sessions, and the evenings of the second week will be free. (24 October through 6 November 2016 — must attend from the beginning.)  › More

Nada Brahma — Music & Meditation Retreat: An exploration of creativity as expressed through music, and of the nature of reality as expressed through the vibrations of sound. The retreat will include workshops in individual and collaborative songwriting as well as instruction in sound meditation with daily practice. The retreat will be in two parts: The first week is required for all participants and the second week is optional, so that those on tight schedules may leave after the first week while those who wish to stay longer to deeper their explorations and continue their creative projects can stay for the full two weeks. Open to everyone (whether or not you are an experienced musician). (Tentatively scheduled for 10-16 November 2016)  › More

Mindfulness in Action — Integrated Meditation & Yoga Retreat: Details to be announced soon (21 November - 4 December 2016) 

Volunteer Work Period: Learn and practice the arts of sustainable living in the Himalayas by doing various kinds of service work related to traditional, eco-friendly earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. Four to seven hours per day of hands-on work, with optional meditation/yoga sessions in the mornings and evenings. (7 December 2016 through 11 March 2017 — participants may apply to volunteer anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of two weeks.)  › More


EARLY 2017 (Programmes & dates are tentative and subject to change)

Earthen Building Workshop: A week-long, hands-on workshop in building with earth. Learn traditional, eco-friendly earthen construction in the real-world context of helping to build a few new structures on the Dharmalaya campus. Activities will depend on the needs on site (and the weather), but are likely to include adobe (sun-baked mud bricks), earthen renders (mud plasters), stonework, earthbags, and possibly other methods and techniques of earthen building. Seven hours per day of hands-on work to gain experiential understanding of the materials and methods. Optional morning/evening meditation/yoga. (Tentatively scheduled for 13-19 March 2017)  (Details TBA)

Silent Meditation Retreat with SanghaSeva: A one-week, (mostly) silent meditation retreat in the Insight Meditation tradition, led by Zohar Lavie and Nathan Glyde of SanghaSeva. (23-31 March 2017; details TBA)

SanghaSeva Work Retreat: A ten-day ‘meditation in action’ retreat, providing those who have completed the silent meditation retreat (see above) with opportunities to practice mindful engagement doing various forms of service work related to earthen construction, organic gardening, natural landscaping, and more, helping to build and beautify the Dharmalaya campus.  (1-11 April 2017; details TBA)

Sustainable Living Workshop: Earthen Architecture, Organic Gardening & Meditation: Unique service-learning programme exploring a sustainable and holistic approach to living through diverse activities related to eco-friendly earthen building, growing organic food, and meditation. Explore the theory and practice of vernacular eco-architecture of the Himalayas, with a focus on the Kangra style as expressed in the neo-traditional designs and methods of esteemed eco-architect Didi Contractor. Enjoy organic gardening with views of the Himalayas. Group meditation sessions morning and evening. This will be a two-part programme: The first week will be an intensive training with hands-on workshops during the day and presentations/discussions most evenings; the second week will be a practicum with morning and afternoon work sessions, and the evenings of the second week will be free. (Tentatively scheduled for 17-30 April 2017 — must attend from the beginning.)  Details TBA


See the Dharmalaya Events Page for details.