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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.
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Current & Upcoming Events & Programmes


NOW THROUGH FEBRUARY 2016

Sustainable Living in the Himalayas — A Service-Learning Retreat [COMPLETELY FULL]: A ten-day mindful adventure in sustainable and compassionate living, providing opportunities for exploration of both inner and outer sustainability. We will explore meditation not only sitting on the cushion but also in action, performing mindful service work (karma yoga) doing organic gardening, eco-friendly earthen construction, and natural landscaping around the beautiful Dharmalaya campus. (25 November to 4 December 2015 — must attend from the beginning and stay for the duration.)  › More

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. Seven hours per day of hands-on work, with optional meditation/yoga sessions in the mornings and evenings. (7 December 2015 to 5 March 2016 — participants may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of one week.)  › More


MARCH THROUGH JUNE 2016 (Programmes & dates 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. Optional morning/evening meditation/yoga. (7-13 March 2016)  › More

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. (17-24 March 2016 — must attend from the beginning and stay for the entire retreat)  › More

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. (25 March - 5 April 2016 — must attend from the beginning and stay for the entire retreat)  › More

Vernacular Eco-Architecture Intensive Workshop: Unique service-learning programme providing hands-on learning through diverse activities related to earthen building. 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. Optional group meditation sessions morning/evening. (11-23 April 2016 — must attend from the beginning.)  More

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. Seven hours per day of hands-on work, with optional meditation/yoga sessions in the mornings and evenings. (25 April - 31 May 2016 — participants may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of one week.)  › More

Sustainability Course TBA: (1-12 June 2016 — must attend from the beginning.)  Details TBA

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. Seven hours per day of hands-on work, with optional meditation/yoga sessions in the mornings and evenings. (14-30 June 2016 — participants may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of one week.)  › More


JULY & AUGUST 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. 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 August 2016 — participants may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of one week.)  › 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.


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

Yoga Teacher Training Course, Part 1: A forty-day intensive course for committed yogis wishing to refine their understanding and practice of the whole path of yoga to the point where they could be able to begin teaching. The first of a two-part series (the second of which will be held in 2017). Led by Yogacharya Roshan Palat and his assistants. (1 September - 10 October 2016)  Details TBA (If you’re interested, you can contact us to register your interest and we will keep you informed.)

Vernacular Eco-Architecture Intensive Workshop: Unique service-learning programme providing hands-on learning through diverse activities related to earthen building. 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. Optional group meditation sessions morning/evening. (24 October - 6 November 2016 — must attend from the beginning.)  › Details TBA

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). (9-15 November 2016, with optional extension from 16-22 November)  › Details TBA


See the Dharmalaya Events Page for details.