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The Dharmalaya Blog

While our News page reports on the biggest stories in Dharmalaya, our blog gives you a wider window into life and work at Dharmalaya, from a more personal perspective.

We hope you enjoy our blog, and we invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section of each story.


Himalayan Pilgrimage: An Architect's Reflections on Her Internship at Dharmalaya 

Editor’s Note: Anujna, an architect from Pune, recently spent some time at Dharmalaya Institute for the Internship in Vernacular Eco-Architecture. She wrote about the experience on her blog and kindly allowed us to republish her eloquent story here.

Himalayan Pilgrimage, Part I: Dharmalaya

When I look back on my summer study travels, often it is the flavor and tenor of those places, light and coziness of spaces, people, their pasts and so many interlinked stories, that fill my heart with some unknown affection, as though I have spread my roots into those places and people, as though they are very much part of my being…

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Putting Meditation into Action with SanghaSeva

Friends new and old from all corners of the globe (five continents!) came to Dharmalaya to participate in our fourth annual SanghaSeva retreats. As usual, we were feeling like family by the end, and mountains were moved — both outside and in.

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Now That I Know You, What Is Your Name?

Smiles all around at the close of our second annual silent meditation retreat with SanghaSeva.

It’s always fascinating to spend a week with people without hearing their voices, and then finally get to ‘meet’ them, while having a sense of already knowing them in a way.


Shakti Man

We don’t know what’s more amazing — the way this gentleman climbs the electric pole to string up the wires, or the fact that it only took them a week from the time we submitted the application for our new electrial connection.

Of course in the long term we hope to be able to use solar power as much as possible, once we can raise the funds for photovoltaic panels. Meanwhile, we’re happy to be able to turn on the lights.


Help Dharmalaya Open Its Doors

The Hall

BIR (HP) INDIA: The first building on the new eco-campus of the Dharmalaya Institute is just two steps away from being ready to welcome the public, and Dharmalaya needs your help to reach the finish line.

The neotraditional adobe-and-bamboo building survived its second heavy monsoon season in perfect shape, thanks to the dedicated team of Himachali craftsmen, local labourers, and many Indian and international volunteers who did great work to complete the roof and the most important windows from March through June. Thanks to all of you, the building is about 90% complete.

The two remaining steps are finishing and furnishing. First up are a few last windows and doors, and then a lot of interior work, including electrical, plumbing, carpentry, tiling, final plaster, and other finishing touches. Then, with all that done, we’ll need to furnish the building and equip the kitchen. We intend to build our own bamboo furniture and, as with everything else we do, we’re inspired to make a workshop out of it (details to be announced).

Most of this work must be completed by March, when we have two more retreats scheduled with our friends from SanghaSeva. And there’s where the request for help comes in.

To make the last two steps to opening day, we need your help, and there are three things you can do to support us:

  1. First, we need to raise at least Rs 3,20,000 (approximately US$6000) by the end of 2012 to complete the construction. We will be very grateful for any donation you can give, whatever the size (it will probably be many small donations that help us reach our goal).  To donate by credit card, visit our fundraising campaign page on (To donate by cheque, visit our donate page.)
  2. As always, we need volunteers to help us build and beautify the campus. For details, see our volunteer page.
  3. Please share the link to this page with your friends by email and on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social networks you may use, and ask them to consider donating and/or volunteering.

And whether or not you donate or volunteer, please do share this with your friends who might be interested. Thank you!


UPDATE: Thanks to all of your support, our goal was reached early and surpassed. We’re very grateful to all of you!