Explore SanghaSeva.org

Dharmalaya Sustainable Living Work Retreat

Himalayan foothills, India
18 March - 6 April, 2019

Silent Meditation Retreat
18 - 26 March, 2019

Dharmalaya Work Retreat
26 - 6 April, 2019

Return to Coming Up Events


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 a silent meditation retreat. We find this deeply beneficial for tuning us in to new ways of working. The meditation retreat helps us to slow down and connect before engaging with the work. But there are so many ways the two parts of the retreat support each other.
You are invited to come to both parts of the retreat, yet if you prefer to just attend one, you can come for just the silent 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.

To know a bit more about the aims and ideas for the silent retreat read What is Meditation?

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 develop 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

  06.30 Wake Up
  06.45 - 07.30 Meditation
  07.37 - 08.25 Connected Movement (Chi Kung)
  08.30 Breakfast
  09.30 Work
  12.30 Lunch
  13.00 Silence ends
  14.00 Work
  16.00 Tea
  17.30 Group activity on some days
  18.30 Dinner
  19.45 - 20.30 Chanting and Meditation
    Silence begins

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.
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.

Both retreats will be facilitated by Nathan Glyde and Zohar Lavie

Practical details


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 home town of the Dalai Lama; Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.

Accommodation and Food

Three vegan meals a day will be served, and accommodation is in shared rooms and tents.


To make the retreat accessible to all we offer three tiers of costs:

  • The standard rate is 1,000 rupees a day this covers the actual costs of the retreat.
  • We also have a reduced rate of 750 rupees a day for people who cannot afford the standard rate.
  • Additionally we have a sponsors rate of 1,250 rupees a day for people who can afford to give a little more to support those who cannot afford the standard rate.
  • Making the standard rate a total of 19,000 rupees for the 19 days.
    Or 8,000 rupees if you're just coming for the 8 days of the silent retreat.
  • The reduced rate comes to a total of 14,250 rupees for the 19 days.
    Or 6,000 rupees if you're just coming for the 8 days of the silent retreat.
  • And the sponsors rate, a total of 23,750 rupees for the 19 days.
    Or 10,000 rupees if you're just coming for the 8 days of the silent retreat.

  • This covers all your accommodation and food costs.


    To register your place for this retreat we require a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total cost.

    What happens next?

    Fill out the registration form and you will receive an email with more information; such as how to get there, and how to pay the deposit.
    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