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Calming the Mind — Joy of Living 1 Retreat (7-12 Oct 2019)


What: Meditation retreat (residential)

Topic: Calming the mind with meditation

Where: Dharmalaya Institute in Bir, HP, India

When: 7-12 October 2019 (see below for details)

Language: English

Facilitators: Tsunma Kunsang Palmo and Mark Moore, with yoga led by Daphne Charles

Description: A six-day meditation retreat designed by world-renowned meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, with special features unique to the retreats at Dharmalaya, including a yoga programme integrated with the meditation instruction.

Awareness meditation empowers us to use any situation or experience, even difficult emotions and pain, as a gateway to joy and inner peace. In this first retreat in the Joy of Living series, we explore ways in which awareness meditation can be used to create a peaceful mind and joyful heart.

Over these six days, we will explore the landscape of our experience with mindfulness and presence, learning how to use the body, sensory experiences, thoughts, emotions, and even awareness itself as supports for meditation.

This retreat is suitable for people of all backgrounds, including experienced meditators and those who are new to meditation.

Note that, as this is a meditation retreat, accordingly we will be turning our attention inward for the duration of the retreat. Most of the retreat will be held in silence except for the teachings and discussions about meditation practice. To maintain an environment supportive of the retreat experience, everyone will remain at the retreat center for the duration of the programme, and we will be unplugging from the world of mobiles and internet, so please let your loved ones and colleagues know that you will be completely unplugged and won’t be in touch for these six days.

Note: For those considering attending the ‘Yoga of Nature: Embracing the Boundless Universe’ retreat (23 Oct – 3 Nov), attending both retreats is recommendable as this Calming the Mind retreat will serve as an excellent preparation for the Yoga of Nature retreat, which in turn will expand upon the practice developed in this retreat and provide opportunities for deepening and integration.

What to expect

  • Balanced programme: A combnatiion of instruction, group discussions, and silent meditation time.
  • Mind and body awareness: There will be a unique yoga programme integrated with the meditation instruction and practice.
  • Natural simplicity: Rustic accommodations in natural earthen buildings or comfortable tents in a beautiful forest setting. 
  • Yogic lifestyle: Clean and simple ashram-style lifestyle in which everyone contributes to the running of the place, including cleaning, washing dishes, etc.
  • Healthy food: Natural and mostly organic, purely vegetarian meals (100% plant-based, vegan).
  • Digital detox: There will be no use of mobile phones or internet during the retreat.


The retreat will begin at 11:00am on 7th October. We request all participants to arrive at 10:30am on the 17th itself.

As this is a traditional ‘closed’ retreat, all participants will stay on the Dharmalaya campus for the entire duration of the retreat.

The retreat will conclude at 3:00pm on 12th October. Participants who are leaving after the programme may plan either to leave after 3:00pm on the 12th or to spend the night of the 12th at Dharmalaya and leave on the morning of 13th (breakfast will be provided for those who choose to remain).

Those remaining for the workshop-retreat that follows this retreat (beginning 21st October) will have the option to stay at Dharmalaya for the week in between (to do personal retreat and/or to volunteer to help with the work at Dharmalaya) or to leave for a week and then return on the morning of 21st October.


The fee for the retreat is Rs 9000, inclusive of healthy meals and comfortable accommodation in shared dormitories (or in comfortable tents if you prefer being closer to nature). A very limited number of private rooms are available at extra cost.

In addition to the base fee of Rs 9000, there will be an opportunity to offer dana (an optional, voluntary donation of support), as per tradition. Dana can be offerred to the teachers, to Dharmalaya Institute, and/or to Mingyur Rinpoche’s monastery in Nepal, Tergar Ösel Ling.

Transportation costs to and from Dharmalaya are not included. For low-income participants, a limited number of subsidized positions are available (please contact us for details).

About the facilitators

The retreat will be led by facilitators from Mingyur Rinpoche’s Tergar Meditation Community, with some material presented by Mingyur Rinpoche himself in video form.

Tsunma Kunsang Palmo is a nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition who has completed several years of retreat practice.





Mark Moore is a Tergar retreat facilitator and cofounder of Dharmalaya Institute. He has been leading retreats for a decade.




The yoga aspects of the retreat will be led by Daphne Charles, an experienced yoga teacher who will be offering yoga instruction and practice in a special way designed to integrate closely with Minygur Rinpoche’s meditation instructions.



Important Information

Before you pack for your trip to Dharmalaya Institute, please read the very important information on our Visitor Info page and our FAQ. If you have a specific question that is not answered there, contact us here and we’ll be happy to answer.

Application, Registration & Deposit

Enrolment in this retreat is by application only and space is limited, so advance registration and 50% nonrefundable deposit (Rs. 4500) are required. Registrations are confirmed only after receiving the deposit, on a first-come-first-served basis. To apply, use this form. If your application is accepted, we will reply with further instructions and information. The remaining balance of Rs 4500 will be payable upon arrival at Dharmalaya Institute (so be sure to bring enough cash with you).

For Participants with Indian Rupee Bank Accounts

You can make your nonrefundable 50% deposit either by in-person deposit at any HDFC branch, or electronically by bank transfer (intra-bank transfer for HDFC accounts, or NEFT for non-HDFC accounts). We will send bank details after your application is approved.

For Participants without Indian Rupee Bank Accounts

After we have approved your application and requested you to make the deposit, you can make your non-refundable 50% deposit securely by credit card, debit card, or Payal. Just click the button below:

Practice Milestones for the Joy of Living Series from Mingyur Rinpoche

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