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Open Dharma Newsletter


~ September Newsletter

(Photo: A late afternoon rainbow that appeared outside of the hall during the North Carolina retreats this summer, by Jessica)

In this newsletter

~ News
~ The Monthly Theme--Atmosphere, by Jaya
~ A poem, from Andy
~ Andromeda, by Ulrike
~ Meditation for me, by Efrat
~ Exploration of Intimate Space, by Whitney
~ Upcoming Events

~ News

Announcement for the Upcoming Season
Ajay will not be teaching retreats anymore.

Please Note: The March retreat in Saptarishi Ashram, Hardwar, will be cancelled.

All other retreats in India will happen as scheduled, except we will probably change the final retreat of the season in Sattal from a 3-week retreat to a 2-week Jin Shin Jyutsu and Meditation Retreat ending on 4 May.

If we find an affordable and suitable place for a retreat in March, we will re-instate the 10-17 March retreat.


Jaya will conduct one-to-one interviews of 10-15 minutes each via Skype on Sunday, 16 September, between 4pm and 5:30pm Spain time. If you would like to schedule a time for an interview, please email Alison: interviews (at) opendharma.org. 

Radio Dharma
Jaya will give a radio dharma talk over the free internet radio site blogtalkradio.com on Sunday, 16 September at 6:30 Spanish time. (The site lists the start time differently, as it's based in the Eastern US.) To join in click this link. If you don't want to miss these events, then click on "follow," just under the Open Dharma logo.  

~ The Monthly Theme

Jaya offers the monthly practice theme for September ~ Atmosphere

A radiant scientist named Sraddhalu Ranade outlines an alternative to conventional education which is based on an industrial mindset. I think his ideas can help us in our meditative education: to be free from habit energies and other limitations.

He asks us to consider the importance of the atmosphere we live in. I ask you to consider what makes up that atmosphere. We are most influenced by those people we are near to--physically or emotionally near, or near by seeing and hearing and reading; or through love and remembrance.
Even one person near us can make a difference: someone who meditates, speaks kindly, takes care of things or people. Or someone who does the opposite. Who are the people of influence in your life? And whom do you influence?
In his book Introduction to Integral Education, Ranade says:
"The environment…moulds us more powerfully than any conscious effort. How? When we try to learn something consciously, the mind’s effort itself becomes a kind of filter, a limiting layer. If I ask you to sit down and learn new words to enrich your vocabulary, you will struggle to try to learn by heart. By your very effort, the new words remain stuck in the surface conscious mind. But the subconscious mind learns differently. It has no filter--it just soaks up like a sponge. If I leave you in front of a TV with a movie channel for just a few minutes, you will find that you can easily repeat all the swear-words that you have just heard. How did that happen? When you watch TV, the conscious mind becomes passive, and the subconscious mind is exposed. All that you watch is just…soaked into the subconscious, and later comes up spontaneously."

by Jaya

(Photo: The Maine shore, near the zendo where Open Dharma held a retreat this summer, by Jaya.)

~A Poem

Andy sent in this poem for us to share....

Soul sensitive soul,

break your boundaries

and move with the wind,

hold your breath as you dance with the life

and bring a new energy in

your delight is his brightness shining through,

allow it all to happen, take refuge in the heart

and let it all happen again again and again



by Andy

(Photo: The misty treeline in North Carolina, by Jessica.)


Ulrike sent in these thoughts about the big universe for us to share.

 What inspires me these days is the universe. I try to grasps its existence, its age and size, understand its beginning and working, and because this is just so much over the limits of my mind’s capacity to understand and see I often just let my mind be blown away by the few simple facts I know.

For example Andromeda: a galaxy, the one closest to our own galaxy. We can see it on clear nights as a faint and tiny blurry if we draw some lines between Cassiopeia, the w -shaped constellation and Pegasus. What we can see looks like a star, a tiny little dot shining. But in fact it’s trillions of stars unimaginably far away. It’s so far away, that its light took 2.5 million years to arrive on Earth. So what we see is far, far away and long ago in the past. It is older then human mankind. 2. 5 million years ago we were just in our beginnings. Is it maybe the oldest object we can see?

The Andromeda galaxy is approaching our galaxy at 140 kilometres per second. Both galaxies are expected to collide in 4.5 billion years.

Or the magic tale about the elements: all matter on Earth and in the universe is made of 92 different chemical elements. They are born in fusion, which needs incredible amounts of energy. This energy is only reached when a star dies, when gravity makes it fall in onto itself and the star finally explodes in a supernova. That is the process in which elements are fused, and we and all which exists as matter on this Earth and everywhere are made of these elements born in a dying star. All now more complex combinations of matter, we came from a supernovas in the beginning of our existence and then took the time the Earth exists to form things so incredibly wondrous like cells of the eyes which are sensitive to light...

I am not a scientific person, so I am afraid my view of these things is amateurish and maybe even incorrect. 
It puts things in a different perspective for me. I try to find this perspective, which is the hugest and widest I ever caught a glimpse of, and it’s so much bigger then I could ever really behold... 

by Ulrike

(Photo: North Carolina bloom, by Jessica.)

~ Meditation for Me

Efrat sent in this beautiful piece about meditation. She says, "I carry in my heart the retreat in Tiruvannamalai, India, last January wherever I go."

Meditation starts with looking at what is, and resolves into simply being.
Sometimes it seems that simply being, by its own course, gradually or instantly, resolves into love.
Like yoga asanas, when those natural movements become familiar, they tend to intensify themselves and create a non-return point that directs the heart toward silence and love in an effortless way.

by Efrat

(Photo: by Tahel Christina Brody.)

~ Exploration of Intimate Space

Whitney, seen above, has sent these striking images of a college installation she did called "Exploration of Intimate Space" in the forest in Zürichberg, Switzerland this May. 

"I attended three Open Dharma retreats in India in 2010," Whitney says. "I am currently an Master of Fine Arts student at Zürich University of the Arts (a path in life I chose during/shortly after these retreats). My spirituality continually informs and inspires my artwork, which continually informs and inspires my life... I feel deeply grateful to the Open Dharma teachers for the space they create."

(Photos: Whitney's installation in the woods.)

~ Upcoming Retreat Dates & Details


October 2011 thru October 2012, Freedom of Movement Lab 
in Cyberspace
Facilitator: Jaya
For information and registration, write to:
interviews (at) opendharma.org


7 September - 5 October, 2012, one-month retreat at Dharmaloca, Spain
Teachings will be in English and Spanish.
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma
dharmalocaretreat (at) opendharma.org

27 & 28 October, 2012, two one-day meditation retreats in Melbourne, Australia
Teachings will be in English.
Facilitators: Jaya

2 - 6 or 2 - 9 November, 2012, silent meditaiton retreat in Melbourne, Australia
Teachings will be in English
Can be taken as a four-day or a 7-day retreat
Facilitators: Jaya
5 - 15 January, 17- 26, and 27 January - 6 February, 2013, Silent meditation retreats near Tiruvannamalai, India
Near Anantha Niketan Ashram
Teachings will be in English.
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma. Guest facilitators Zohar and Nicole will join us on the second and third retrats, respectively.
opendharmainfo (at) yahoo.com

21 - 28 February, 2013, Dharma Gathering, Sarnath, India
At the Thai temple in Sarnath, India
Facilitators: Christopher Titmuss, Jaya, Zohar and others.
For more information check: bodhgayaretreats.org
1 - 8 & 9-19 April, 2013, meditation retreats at Sattal Ashram, North India
Seven-day and 10-day silent meditaiton retreats at Sattal Ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas in India
Teachings will be in English.
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma
For more information write to:

20 April - 4 May, 2013, Two-week Jin Shin Jyutsu and meditation retreat at Sattal Ashram, North India
Teachings will be in English.
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma.
opendharmainfo (at) yahoo.com
June, 2013, Two-week retreat at Dharmaloca, Spain
Teachings will be in English & Spanish
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma
For more information write to:
dharmalocaretreat (at) opendharma.org

25 - 29 June, 2013, Silent Deep Rest Retreat at Le Moulin, Cubjac, France
Teachings will be in English.
Facilitators: Jaya or Gemma
For more information write to:
mail (at) moulindechaves.org

13 - 20 July, 2013, Deep Rest retreat near Ter Apel, Holland
Teachings will be in English.
Facilitators: Jaya or Gemma
For more information write to:

31 July - 4 August, 2013, Diving into Meditation Retreat, in Eastbourne, UK
Deep rest, silence and genuine inquiry.
Teachings will be in English.
For more information write to:
For more information about retreats organized by our sister organizations visit www.SanghaCalendar.com

~ Welcome to Everyone
We would love to share your inspiration in an upcoming newsletter. Photos! Poems! Drawings! Musings! Reflections on a recent--or not so recent--retreat! (You can even tell us that you'd like to contribute anonymously.) Please feel free to send any contributions  to newsletter (at) opencentre.es



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