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Dharmalaya Hosts First Service Retreat

BIR (HP) INDIA: This month, the Dharmalaya Institute hosted its first service retreat programme on its new Bir campus. Organised in collaboration with SanghaSeva, the retreat welcomed sixteen participants from eight countries for ten days of volunteer work, group activity, meditation, and contemplation.

SanghaSeva Service Retreat at Dharmalaya, March 2011

Service-learning activities during the retreat included the creation of the Institute’s first organic garden beds on the site, landscaping of a landslide area to prevent further erosion, tree planting, and introductory workshops in green building with earthen bricks. Guided meditation sessions were offered in the mornings and evenings, led by SanghaSeva cofounder Zohar Lavie.

 Learning to make mud bricks

As the buildings of the Dharmalaya Institute are currently under construction, the program participants slept in tents and meals were cooked in a temporary outdoor kitchen. Both the service-learning activities and the preparation of meals provided opportunities for interaction between the international participants and the local villagers employed by Dharmalaya.

 Mud masonry workshopMud masonry workshopCreating the herb & veggie garden

The response to the retreat was strongly positive, and the leadership of SanghaSeva and Dharmalaya are planning another service retreat for early 2012. Details will be posted on the Dharmalaya and SanghaSeva websites when the dates are determined.

 Getting together

For more information about the Dharmalaya Institute and how you can get involved, see the Dharmalaya website.

© 2011 Dharmalaya and the Earthville Network. Some rights reserved: This article may be reprinted and distributed freely without permission, provided it is unedited and attributed to the original source as provided in our Copyright Policy.

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