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Autumn 2018 Season Begins with Reflections on Compassion

After the invigorating monsoon season, autumn is a natural time for reflective engagement as we return outdoors to work with the earth. 

Dharmalaya Institute’s autumn 2018 programme season began with a five-day silent meditation retreat, led by mindfulness trainer Ellen van Iersel, which set a contemplative tone. We then welcomed a lovely new group to embark on a nine-day Compassionate Living Intensive workshop-retreat, in which we explored a diverse range of possibilities for reducing our harm footprint and expanding our help footprint.

After an introductory day exploring the campus and its concepts, we jumped right into the mud. 

We created a beautifully pugged mud pile, blessed with marigolds and auspicious leaves.

We then spent some time with Pushpa di in the gardens, making new beds and tending old ones.

And we had a bit of help along the way… 

After our mud mixes enjoyed their fourth morning of pugging, they were ready for us to make adobe bricks with them.

And, of course, after all this activity we had worked up an appetite, and everyone enjoyed preparing our delicious, healthy, plant-based meals together on our food-themed Sunday, while discussing food our relationships with it.

One of the most meditative activities was applying earthen renders (mud plaster) to Dharmalaya’s new retreat cottage.

And, as usual, one of the best aspects of the experience was simply being together as a group, discovering new friends while exploring new ideas and possibilities for compassionate living.

And by the last day we all felt like old friends.

It’s such a joy to meet kindred spirits from across India and around the world who make the journey to Dharmalaya Institute because they care, because they want to learn ways to put compassion into action in our world — at a time when our world has never needed it more.

Would you like to join us? You can find our schedule of upcoming programmes on the bottom half of our homepage.

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