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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.


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!


Dharmalaya Inaugurates Green HQ with Service and Meditation


BIR (HP) INDIA: After a marathon rush of construction activity through the winter, Dharmalaya held its first programmes in the new (and still-unfinished) main building of the Dharmalaya Institute. Over thirty participants from ten countries made the journey to Bir for the occasion.

Read the whole story on the Dharmalaya News page 


Growing Skyward

Raising the Roof of the Dharmalaya Institute

When we left you with the season finale cliffhanger last June, we had just bundled up our baby building with prayers that she’d survive the monsoon rains without a roof. That was asking a lot from a big mud sandcastle, and we put her fate in the hands of a few well-fastened tarps, some slate shingles at the tops of the walls, and a whole lotta flax husk in the mud plaster in which we dressed her up for the occasion. Well, the monsoon was merciless: It was the longest and heaviest in recent memory at nearly four months of battering downpours. But it turns out flax is up to the task!

Read the full story at the Earthville Blog »