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Welcome to Dharmalaya

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


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 JUNE

Open Volunteer Period: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities doing various kinds of service work related to traditional earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. (15-29 April 2015, subject to change — participants may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of one week.)  › More

Sustainable Living in the Himalayas — A Service-Learning Retreat [ALMOST FULL, JUST ONE SEAT LEFT]: A week-long 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 doing organic gardening, eco-friendly earthen construction, and natural landscaping around the beautiful Dharmalaya campus. (1-8 May 2015 — must attend from the beginning and stay for the duration.)  › More

Open Volunteer Period: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities doing various kinds of physical service work related to green building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. (10-30 May 2015 — participants may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of one week.)  › More

Vernacular Eco-Architecture Workshop [COMPLETELY FULL]: Unique service-learning programme providing hands-on learning through diverse activities related to earthen building and natural landscaping, with an optional group meditation programme. 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 of esteemed eco-architect Didi Contractor. (1-15 June 2015 — must attend from the beginning.)  › More

Hatha Yoga Pradipika CourseA ten-day residential course exploring the rich world of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (one of the most influential of the great classic texts on hatha yoga), through both practice instruction and philosophical explorations. (17-27 June 2015)  More


JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER

Open Volunteer Period: Informal, loosely-structured volunteer opportunities doing various kinds of physical service work related to traditional, eco-friendly earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. It is very wet during 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 13 October 2015 — 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. (1 July to 1 October 2015) Please contact us to let us know if you are interested.


OCTOBER THROUGH NOVEMBER

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 of esteemed eco-architect Didi Contractor. Optional group meditation sessions mornings/evenings. (15-29 October 2015 — 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). (1-7 November 2015, with optional extension from 8-14 November)  Details TBA

KhanaNirvana — A Heavenly Food Retreat: Yes, you read that right: By popular demand, we’re hosting a food retreat! Five days of meditation and mastication. We’ll be growing, cooking, and (last but not least) eating our way to liberation! Enjoy mindful organic gardening and cooking delicious and nourishing meals while exploring the many health and ecological benefits of a plant-based diet through experience, discussion, books and films. Gardening meditation, cooking meditation, eating meditation — what’s not to love?! (9-14 November 2015) Details TBA

Red Lotus Women’s Retreat: A week-long meditation retreat just for women, hosted by Leigh Taylor. (16-23 November 2015) Details TBA

Sustainable Living in the Himalayas — A Service-Learning Retreat: 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 5 December 2015 — must attend from the beginning and stay for the duration.)  Details TBA

Earthen Building Workshop: A week-long, hands-on introduction to building with earth, including adobe (sun-baked mud bricks), earthen renders (mud plasters), earthbags, and more. (7-14 December 2015) Details TBA


DECEMBER 2015 THROUGH FEBRUARY 2016

Open Volunteer Period: Informal, unstructured volunteer opportunities doing various kinds of service work related to traditional, eco-friendly earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. (16 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 introduction to building with earth, including adobe (sun-baked mud bricks), earthen renders (mud plasters), earthbags, and more. (7-14 March 2016) 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. (17-24 March 2016) 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. (25 March - 5 April 2016) Details TBA

Open Volunteer Week: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities doing various kinds of service work related to traditional, eco-friendly earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping. (7-14 April 2016  — participants must arrive on the 7th and stay until the 14th.)  › 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. (15-30 April 2016 — must attend from the beginning.)  Details TBA


See the Dharmalaya Events Page for details on these programmes.