Dharmalaya Institute for Compassionate Living

Dharmalaya InstituteDharmalaya Institute is devoted to education and empowerment for compassionate living, with a practical focus on sustainable village development, contemplative service-learning, and immersive ecotourism.

Tradition + Innovation = Sustainability, Health & Joy

Dharmalaya’s mission is to unite the best of traditional wisdom with creative innovation to produce compelling possibilities for compassionate living and sustainable development.

Development & Empowerment Through Learning & Service

The Institute’s programs for the local and international communities help us empower ourselves to improve our world. It offers a variety of programs to the Indian and international communities, including sustainable development programs, vocational education, literacy programs, service-learning and volunteer opportunities, cultural exchange and more. It provides green job training, volunteer opportunities, contemplative practices, service-learning retreats, and more.

The Dharmalaya Institute’s Himalayan Eco-campus

Dharmalaya ConstructionDharmalaya Institute is  developing a six-acre eco-campus for the study and practice of compassionate living and sustainable thriving. Perched in the Indian Himalayan foothills above Bir, Himachal Pradesh, this campus serves as a showcase for sustainable living solutions, including earthen building, natural landscaping, organic horticulture, rainwater harvesting, creative waste-management solutions, and more. The development of the campus itself serves as a real-world “classroom” in which local villagers and Indian and international volunteers learn the arts of sustainable living by working side-by-side, and learning about themselves in the process.

Dharmalaya Institute  serves as the principal venue for Earthville’s service-learning and ecological programs in India. Dharmalaya offers a variety of service-learning opportunities including internships, workshops, retreats, volunteer programs, and more. Current educational and training programs of interest to Earthville citizens include:

  • Compassion in Action — Holistic Service-Learning Immersion for Caring Contemplatives: A long-term, residential service-learning immersion opportunity conceived to provide a supportive environment for caring contemplatives to take a deeper dive into the possibilities of compassionate, sustainable, and sensible living, integrating the outer work (improving our world) with the inner work (improving ourselves) through mindful volunteer work approached as karma yoga, augmented with discussions and reflection. (Four-month minimum commitment) › More
  • Leadership for Sustainable Thriving — An Experiential Training Program: A long-term residential service-learning program for personal and professional development through real-world experiential education and on-the-job training for people with serious interest in practicing and promoting optimum sustainable living solutions for our own lives and for our planet.  (Six-month minimum commitment) › More
  • Earthen Masonry Training (Certificate Program): A formal training program in the masonry aspects of earthen building (including adobe brickmaking and bricklaying, cob, mud renders, stonework, etc.), providing hands-on, on-the-job training and supervision by master masons and a theoretical component to explore the “why” of earthen building. (Six-month minimum commitment for Level 1 certification, and longer for higher levels)  › More
  • Internship in Vernacular Eco-Architecture: A formal, academic internship program providing architects and students of architecture with both practical experience and deeper theoretical knowledge in the arts and practices of sustainable building in the neo-traditional Kangra vernacular style of venerated eco-architect Didi Contractor. (Four-month minimum commitment, with longer commitments strongly preferred) › More

The Dharmalaya Institute was initiated in 2008 by an international team led by three of Earthville’s Directors (Mark Moore, Mai-Linh Leminhbach, and Dara Ackerman) in partnership with several members of the local community. It welcomes members, students, and volunteers from India and around the world to participate in its courses and retreats. Check Dharmalaya’s events calendar for program schedules.

Visit the Dharmalaya website and follow Dharmalaya on Facebook and Twitter.

Earthen masonry workshop

Earthen masonry workshop