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:

  • Workshops and retreats: Explore the contemplative life in harmony with nature while living in a community of kindred spirits. Workshop and retreat topics include natural building, organic gardening, permaculture, creativity, yoga, meditation, and other topics related to sustainable and compassionate living. › More
  • Volunteer and service-learning opportunities: Dharmalaya Institute offers a variety of opportunities to explore sustainable living, contemplative practice, and Himalayan culture and ecology while offering your time and skills to support the work of the Institute. › 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

    Earthen masonry workshop

    Earthen masonry workshop at Dharmalaya Institute

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 Institute’s events calendar for program schedules.

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


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