Deep Ecology: An Experiential Workshop

Date/Time: Apr 9, 2014 - Apr 16, 2014, 12:00 am
Location: Dharmalaya Institute (Bir, HP, India)

What: A week-long residential workshop in Deep Ecology, exploring the larger story of our times, and finding our place within it.

Activities: Inquiry, reflection, contemplation, sharing, connecting

When: 9-16 April 2014 (Participants are expected to arrive by the morning of the 9th and stay for the duration of the programme.)

Where: The Dharmalaya Institute for Compassionate Living, Bir, HP, India

Language: English

Facilitators: Rupert Marques, Gazala Singh, Roy Jacob

Cost: Rs 4200 (600 per day) plus voluntary donations to support the facilitators and the Institute

Description: Come join a small community of fellow beings in the beautiful foothills of Himachal Pradesh to take a deep look at what is happening in the world, and what our own story is, and what life is asking of us now.  This exploration will entail engaging with the challenges and anguish of living in these times, as well the opportunities inherent in being alive at this critical point in the human story.

What is Deep Ecology?

Deep Ecology, in its broadest sense, is the experience of being part of the living earth, rather than apart and separate from it.  It is also a recognition that humans are important, but are not the only important beings in the world.  In the deep ecology worldview, Nature is not just something ‘out there’, but something of which we are a part and in which we have a role to play.

What will we do at this Deep Ecology workshop?

Through the support of community and contemplative time in the natural world we will reflect on our personal story and how it relates to the wider story.  This will include looking deeply at our own lives. We will explore our calling and vision, asking, ‘What are my gifts, and to whom or what do I offer my life?’  Modes of exploration will include:

  • Sharing in Council (an ancient way to share authentically in a circle and listen deeply to one another)
  • Despair and Empowerment activities of Joanna Macy
  • Contemporary Rites of Passage work as experienced in the School of Lost Borders
  • Inquiry into the relationship between our personal story and the wider collective story
  • Contemplative time in Nature
  • Deepening our relationship with the wider natural world – including a whole day solo
  • Council of All Beings (a ritual to connect deeply with the non-human world)
  • Overcoming blocks to living out our heart’s longing.

Other Details

  • Language will be English.
  • Please read about Dharmalaya’s principles and guidelines for visitors.
  • Note that accommodation for this workshop will be in tents (spacious, with comfortable mattresses, pillows, sheets, and blankets, a light bulb, and lovely views!)

Cost & Dana (Donations)

To cover basic living costs and food whilst at Dharmalaya there will be a basic charge of 600 rupees per day (for a total of 4200 Rupees).  Beyond that, participants will be offered the opportunity to donate voluntarily to support Dharmalaya and the facilitators at the end of the program.


Please read 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.


Space is limited, so advance registration and 50% nonrefundable deposit (Rs 2100) are required.  To request registration, use this form. [SORRY, NOW FULLY BOOKED]


  • Rupert Marques is originally from the U.K. and is an experienced and passionate facilitator and teacher with specialties in experiential and outdoor education, eco-psychology, Joanna Macy’s Despair and Empowerment work, and Rites of Passage. He has worked at the School of Lost Borders in California, U.S.A., Krishnamurti schools in India and England, and now teaches at Bhoomi College for Sustainability Studies in Bangalore. He has been practising meditation in the insight meditation tradition for over 15 years and enjoys contact improvisation dance.
  • Gazala Singh’s guiding inquiry of what it means to be human has taken on multiple trajectories: from studying historic cultural patterns and social structures through double Master’s in Archaeology, Indian History and Culture and Social Anthropology to inquiring into modes of wellbeing. Gazala  has lived in various sustainable and spiritual communities in the UK and India exploring the rich edges of deep ecology, non-violent Communication, permaculture and (re)emerging of the deep feminine. She has curated and organised workshops on Conscious Living and Mindfulness, is a yogini, earth lover and follower of her own bliss.
  • Roy Jacob is of Indian descent but grew up in the U.S., worked as a software engineer and left during the Iraq War, in search of more harmonious ways of living. He has been practicing organic farming and simple living in the Wayanad district of Kerala, and has been a facilitator for the India Youth Jam programs for the past three years.  These programs are sponsored by Yes! ( and involve holistic work at the personal, interpersonal, and systemic levels.  He loves throwing a frisbee, deep conversations with friends, and watching for shooting stars at night.