We are very pleased that you are interested to join us on this retreat at the Dharmalaya project. On this page there is some more practical information to help you get a feel for the retreat. We have tried to keep it as brief as possible, and such things as how to get there will be sent to you upon registration.
If you feel like joining us please fill out the registration form by following the link at the bottom of the page.
What's going to happen on the retreats?
The Dharmalaya retreats are composed of two different but complimentary retreats; a silent meditation retreat and a work retreat.
The work retreat is preceded by the silent meditation retreat. We find this helpful towards the experience of the retreat as a whole; to slow down and connect before engaging with the work. In many ways the two parts of the retreat support each other.
You are also welcome to do only one of the two parts of the retreat; just the silent retreat or just the work retreat, please choose the appropriate option on the registration form.
The Silent Retreat
The daily schedule begins at about 6 am, and ends at around 9 pm, with a break in the afternoon. This will include sitting and walking meditations, teachings, a morning yoga or chi gong session, walks in nature, chanting, and the opportunity for one-to-one-meetings with a facilitator.
Following is information about the work retreat if you are not interested in this please skip to Facilitators
On the Work Retreat
Throughout the work retreat we will offer simple instructions to bring together contemplation and meaningful action to integrate spiritual, ecological and social transformation. By combining ecological work with sangha support and meditation, the work retreat can be a time to practice care and positive action with like minded people.
We will be participating in the Dharmalaya Institute's sustainable development work. This will include green building, organic gardening, and permaculture landscaping. We will work about 5 hours a day on the project. We see the work as an integral and important part of the retreat, allowing each of us to explore our relationship to being and doing and our sense of connection.
There will be time for meditation together at least twice a day, and group sharings and dharma discussions several times a week. The work days will include some silent periods and there will be two full silent meditation days during the retreat.
Aim of the retreat
Being in nature and working on the land can be a deeply satisfying and healing experience. When combined with contemplation, presence and spirited company, caring for the earth can become a profound and symbolic act of giving and receiving, of nourishing and being nourished, a celebration of life, a gesture of love. We hope this opportunity to work communally, close to the earth, will allow us to be open and directly experience our inter-connectedness with all of life.
Suggested Schedule Work Retreat
|07.00 - 07.45||Meditation|
|17.00||Group activity on some days|
|19.30 - 20.15||Chanting and Meditation|
The Dharmalaya project
The Dharmalaya Institute is an innovative educational and charitable institution. In the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram, which united social service with personal development, the Dharmalaya Institute will offer an integrated programme of experiential learning, economic empowerment, traditional wisdom and volunteer service.
The Institute will provide 'green' job skills for rural labourers and will serve as a model showcasing sustainable living practises such as eco-friendly construction, high-yield organic agriculture, renewable energy and more. It will also serve as a destination for altruistic ecotourism where international visitors will work side-by-side with villagers to develop and implement solutions for sustainable village development while learning about Himalayan culture and its wisdom traditions.
For more info about the Dharmalaya project see www.dharmalaya.in
On the Silent Retreat
The facilitators will be offering teachings and practices based on the spiritual traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism.
In addition to the silent meditations, the facilitators will offer a mediation with suggestions of techniques to explore, and a daily talk on a theme for contemplation. They will also be available for personal interviews to individually explore your practice.
On the Work Retreat
The facilitators have more responsibility as far as holding the structure, but their goal is to allow each of us to freely offer our wisdom and support. We envision this retreat as an experiment of living and working together, with each of us participating and contributing to the fullness of the retreat.
To this end we wish the facilitation of this retreat to provide a safe and supportive foundation for this temporary community, empowering all of us to share what we bring as individuals to the whole.
The facilitators offer their time and energy freely and do not receive any payment for what they do. You are welcome to offer them a donation at the end of each retreat.
The Dharmalaya project is located near the town of Bir in the Himalayan foothills. Bir is 2-4 hours travel by taxi/bus from the more well known town of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh
Accommodation and Food
Three vegan meals a day will be served, and accommodation is in shared tents.
500 rupees a day. Making it a total of 9,500 rupees for the 19 days. Or 3,500 rupees for the silent retreat, and 5,500 for the work retreat. (The extra 500 is for the day between the retreats.)
This covers all your accommodation and food costs.
What happens next?
Fill out the registration form and you will receive an email with more information; such as how to get there. If you do not hear from us within a week, please check your spam / junk mail and if our message is not there please contact us again.
To register your interest for this retreat please fill out the form.
For any questions please contact us