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January Open Dharma Newsletter


~ January Newsletter

( Para ir a la versión en castellano desplázate al rincón latino situado al final de la página.)

(Photo: At Sattal, by Katurah.)

In this newsletter

~ News
~ The Monthly Theme--Gaps, by Jaya
~ Books of 2012, by Jaya
~ The Dormouse, by Jenny

~ Interesting Links
~ The Stillpoint, a quote shared by Jenny
~ "Translucence," a poem sent by Jaya
~ Upcoming Events
~ Rincón Latino


~ News

 & Radio Dharma
Jaya will not be offering interviews in January, due to the retreat schedule and the lack of internet at the ashram in India. Times for interviews and a radio show for February will be announced in the next newsletter. If you've missed previous shows, you can always tune into the archived podcasts via blogtalkradio.com.

Jin Shin Jyutsu
The dates have changed for Jaya's scheduled Jin Shin Jyutsu course in India and are now 5-12 March, in Rishikesh. The non-residential, intensive course will take place next to the spectacular river Ganga. For more information, email opendharma (at) yahoo.com.

Dharmaloca Apprenticeship
In 2013, Jaya has a new offering at Dharmaloca. She will offer 1-2 apprenticeships during each of these 3 time periods-- June-July, September-October, and November-December.

The apprenticeships are 1 to 2-months long and integrate meditation, Permaculture, and depth in daily life. We will focus the apprenticeship according to each person’s calling, but can include art, leadership, and/or Jin Shin Jyutsu and other areas of particular interest for each person.
This rare opportunity to work together allows experiential depth to emerge from real-life situations. There is work involved, but this is not a work exchange. 

The cost is 20 Euros per day to cover food, other expenses, and a contribution towards Dharmaloca facilities.  Teachings, as usual, are offered on a donation basis.
To apply, please email jaya(at)opendharma.org
Rincón Latino
This month marks the debut of our newly formatted bi-lingual newsletter! Please scroll down to the second half to find news, upcoming events and monthly inspiration, as well as monthly reflections by Gemma, in castellano, in the Rincón Latino. 

~ The Monthly Theme

Jaya offers the monthly practice theme for January ~ Gap

I learn something in India every day--something cultural, something spiritual, something practical.
In the last 25 years, one of the most helpful things I have learned here is how often a simple gap in communication gapes into conflict. How often have tourists here, tired of bargaining for every banana, missed human kindness and hospitality by walking India in a haze of suspicious rage? Foreigners may have seen dirty streets and thought that "India is dirty" while some Indians who do not even take a bite of food before their morning bath may have thought "do these hippies never bathe?" Countless times I have seen tourists enraged at someone who was trying to help them.
The first time I arrived at the Lucknow train station in 1991, I asked someone in the station restaurant how much it would cost to go by rickshaw to my hotel. "4 Rupees." My partner and I stepped out to the front of the station with our heavy backpacks and I tried to negotiate the deal in my decent but imperfect Hindi. The swarm of rickshaw drivers melted away at the mention of "char rupaye" until finally one strong man agreed to take us.
The way to Hazrat Ganj seemed very long for a 4-Rupee ride.
At our destination, when I held out 4 Rupees, the driver was so genuinely enraged that he nearly upturned his rickshaw. As for myself, I had been cheated (with the "white skin tax" for tourists in India) enough times to stick to the price I thought we'd agreed on.
Luckily, somehow, as if out of nowhere, a family in a car pulled over, and someone got out, listened to the driver and gave him the 2 more Rupees he expected; not 4 "char" but 6, "chhai rupaye." 4 Rupees was the price for an auto rickshaw, and I had come by cycle rickshaw.
I am a humbler traveler now of course. Maybe all of us are now that it's clear we don't know how to live harmoniously on our planet. Shall we leave more room for 2-Rupee gaps--the fact that different backgrounds make us perceive very different worlds? I say rickshaw and you think auto; you hear 6 and I said 4.
Can we even leave room for the potential fruitfulness of gaps? Shall we leave a roomy gap--not only tolerance or respect for each other's distinct priorities and directions?
The day after the rickshaw fiasco, I met Poonjaji, a master of the communication gap. He used to make his tongue slip or pretend to misread a letter or question to help people giggle their way out of the small mind.
Shall we let our differences and even disagreements to encourage us to drop out of time, to sink below discourse, blocked thinking and mechanical behavior? Less dominated by our emotional forces and our stiff thinking, we leave a gap for life to come through.
Lastly, as a long P.S. I'd also like to recommend some practical tools for finding and harvesting from gaps.
A friend once said, after learning "nonviolent communication" in a workshop (nvc.com), she felt she could flow through any situation. She is a woman of intensity and extremes, so that is quite a statement. The basic idea is to stick to 4 steps: specific event, triggered thought, ensuing emotion, and underlying wish. The main trick is not to let our thoughts blame or make us victims. 

I heartily recommend tapping into these tools in our speaking, listening, and and even in our thinking, and especially to notice the difference between a thought and an emotion. The steps they recommend in a little more detail are:
1) Start with a specific event ("Last Tuesday when you…" rather than "You always" or "never.")
2) The event(s) triggered a certain non-blaming thought ("I thought I should…" rather than "You made me angry.")
3) The thought brings out a certain non-blaming emotion: anger, sadness, fear, etc. The emotion is just an emotion, not force or blackmail. There is room for contact.
4) And the whole situation rests on an underlying wish or direction, such as "I wish for your respect."




by Jaya

(Photo: Nainital Lake, by Katurah.)

~ Books of 2012

Jaya sent in her list of memorable books she found in 2012 for us to share:

Good books that came to me in 2012--some were gifts, some were recommended by friends. One is Jess Huon’s book of excellent fictional short stories, which made the short list of 4 out of hundreds for "Most Underrated Book of the Year" in her native Australia.

1) Jess Huon, The Dark Wet

2) Sandra Reeve, Nine Ways of Seeing a Body

3) Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment, an anthology by Paper Monument

4) Gangaji, Freedom and Resolve

5) Krishnamurti, 1940s

6) Denise Levertov, This Great Unknowing

~ The Dormouse

I recently told Jessica about some little dormice I found and she liked the story and asked if she could put it in the newsletter.  For anyone who has never seen a dormouse; they are very cute....smaller than a normal mouse but with a black "zorro" type mask on their faces and they have fluffy white tufts on the ends of their tails.  So here is the story...

I was standing in the meditation barn at the Amida France retreat centre in the middle of France, near St Amand Montrond, recently and heard what sounded like a baby bird peeping.  I looked around a little surprised as it was late autumn and the sound eventually led me to the sandy floor in front of one of the shrines. There was a tiny dormouse sitting there shivering with cold and squeaking with all his might. He looked quite miserable. I put my hand down and he sniffed it and then climbed onto it -- obviously desperately needing the warmth.  So I held him in my hands until he warmed up and then put him in a little box with sand and rocks and a hot water bottle underneath. You should have seen him trying to flatten himself onto the floor of the box !!!  Soooo cute.  The heat perked him up and I realised that he hadn't been sick but just very cold. 

I looked them up on the net and was surprised to read that they are one of the most carnivorous species of mice!!!  I obviously didn't want to give him slugs or snails to eat, but luckily they also eat grains, fruit and nuts so that's what he got.  I also read that it is an endangered species so worth saving although some people wouldnt think so.  They don't have anywhere near as many offspring as normal mice and they prefer to live outdoors. 

The next day I found a second one the same way...  squeaking in the meditation barn in the same corner but this one was in a small glass jar on the shrine itself.  When I picked him up his little feet were like blocks of ice.  So I warmed him up then put them together and they seemed very happy to find each other. Apparently they normally hibernate from November to about March so I made up a nice comfy hibernation box for them with thick polystyrene and a hollow in the middle surrounded with moss.  Then I made a hole for the entrance and having been told that mice can fit through a hole the size of ones index finger thats how big I made the hole.  They are pretty small mice so I thought they would fit through. Well, one of them did. The other one had eaten so much that he got stuck halfway in.  It was pretty funny to see him there with his fat tummy and hind legs sticking out the hole. There wasn't much I could do.  Eventually I thought of putting a rock behind him so that he could push against it with his back feet and that worked.  

On the third day I found a third one pretty close to dying of hypothermia I would say -- he was lying in the grass outside the barn quite wet. I warmed him up too and put him with the others.  All three of them managed to squeeze into the box I had made only just big enough for the first one, so it must have been pretty cosy in there.  But then I found a fourth one and had a problem.  This one couldnt get into the box !  The same day I saw a viper outside the barn and realised that they would be quite vulnerable in their little box with only one entrance.  So I made up a new improved version big enough for the four of them with an escape exit out the back just in case. I think their hibernation burrow must have been dug up by the neighbour's dogs -- there were signs of a dug up burrow in the barn.  Poor wee things.  Well, hopefully they will survive the winter now anyway, those little bandits.


by Jenny

(Photos: One of the dormice, top, and below, one of the dormice trying to enter the polystyrene hideaway, by Jenny.)

~ Interesting Links

~Jaya sent in this link to a New York Times article on mediation and yoga. (Click here for more.)

~Rachel has this quote by Steve Jobs pinned to her morning desk: "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." To read the rest of the transcript of the speech he gave to graduating college students in the US, please follow this link.

~From Julia we have a video called "Where the Hell is Matt? 2012." She writes: A friend just sent me this link, and it brightened my day, so I thought I'd pass it along to all of you. It stars a guy named Matt who describes this series of videos as, "Dancing Badly Around the World." Check it out after the link.

~ The Stillpoint

Jenny offered this quote to share...

"Silence is the context where communion and communication with the world is born.  This silence has a voice.  And from it issues the many songs of the Earth.  These songs carry the energy that flows from nondual awareness.....Standing in a storm or the pounding surf, laying hands on the stick, sitting peacefully in the midst of confusion, energy is moved, and in the movement is transformed.  The challenge for shaman and meditators alike is to find balance in the current. When equilibrium is realized, harmony, beauty and then joy arise.  This mindfield in Buddhism is called meditative stabilization and in shamanism, shamanic equilibrium. It is at this still point that clear awareness arises."

(From Joan Halifax's essay "The Third Body: Buddhism, Shamanism, and Deep Ecology," in Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology.)

(Photo: Ramana Maharishi's cave, Tiruvannamalai, by Katurah.

~ Translucence

Jaya contributed this poem by Denise Levertov, from her last book of poems, This Great Unknowing.


"Once I understood (till I forget, at least)

the immediacy of new life, Vita Nuova,

redemption not stuck in linear delays,

I perceived also (for now) the source

of unconscious light in faces

I believe are holy, not quite transparent,

more like the half-opaque whiteness

of Japanese screens or lampshades,

grass or petals imbedded in that paper-thin

substance which is not paper as this is paper,

and which permits the passage of what is luminous

though forms remain unseen behind its protection.

I perceived that in such faces, through

the translucence we see, the light we intuit

is of the already resurrected, each

a Lazarus, but a Lazarus (man or woman)

without the memory of tomb or of any

swaddling bands except perhaps

the comforting ones of their first

infant hours, the warm receiving-blanket…

They know of themselves nothing different

from anyone else.  This great unknowing

is part of their holiness.  They are always trying 

to share out joy as if it were cake or water,

something ordinary, not rare at all."

—Denise Levertov

(Photo: Ganga Rishikesh, by Katurah)

~ Upcoming Retreat Dates & Details

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 retreats, respectively.
opendharmainfo (at) yahoo.com

16 - 17 February, 2013, Meditation with horses workshop, in Valls, Tarragona, Spain
Teachings will be in Spanish and English, if needed.
Facilitators: Gemma
Equine expert Francisco Rodriguez will co-facilitate.
For information and registration, write to:
gemmaji (at) gmail.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
23 - 24 February, 2013, Non-Residential Weekend Retreat in Barcelona, Spain
Deep rest, silence and genuine inquiry.
Teachings will be in Spanish or Català, and English if needed.
Facilitator: Gemma
For information and registration, write to:

5 - 12 March, 2013, Jin Shin Jyutsu in Rishikesh, India
This non-residential, intensive course will give an experiential depth in the Japanese art of harmony. The spectacular river Ganga will help us get into the flow!
for more information, write to:
(Please note that this is is different from the usual opendharmainfo(at)yahoo.com.)

8 - 10 March, 2013, Diving into Meditation Retreat, in Eastbourne, UK
Deep rest, silence and genuine inquiry.
Teachings will be in English.
Facilitator: Gemma
For information and registration, write to:

1 - 8 & 9-19 April, 2013, meditation retreats at Sattal Ashram, North India
Seven-day and 10-day silent meditation 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
11 - 12 May, 2013, Non-Residential Weekend Retreat in Barcelona, Spain
Deep rest, silence and genuine inquiry.
Teachings will be in Spanish or Català, and English if needed.
Facilitator: Gemma
For information and registration, write to:

31 May - 2 June, 2013, Awakening with Horses workshop at Dharmaloca, Spain.
Teachings will be in English and Spanish
Facilitator: Gemma.
For information and registration, write to:
gemmaji (at) gmail.com

June through December, Ongoing 1 to 2 month apprenticeships at Dharmaloca, Spain
Facilitator: Jaya
For more information write to:
 Jaya (at) opendharma.org

5 - 17 June, 2013, Silent, down to earth retreat at Dharmaloca, Spain.
Transformation through simplicity and beauty.

Teachings will be in English & Spanish
Facilitator: 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:

7 - 11 August, 2013, Retreat in Catalonia, Spain
Teachings will be in English & Spanish
Facilitator: Gemma
For more information write to:

9 - 10 November, 2013, Non-Residential Weekend Retreat in Barcelona, Spain
Deep rest, silence and genuine inquiry.
Teachings will be in Spanish or Català, and English if needed.
Facilitators: Gemma
For more information write to:
hedykramer (at) yahoo.es


For more information about retreats organized by our sister organizations visit www.SanghaCalendar.org

~ 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

Rincón Latino

En esta newsletter


~Carta de bienvenida al rincón latino

~Reflexiónes Mensual por Gemma

~Próximos eventos

~ Noticias

Entrevistas Personales
Gemma pronto ofrecerá entrevistas de 10-15 minutos vía skype o teléfono en castellano, catalán o inglés. Más detalles próximamente.

Culdador de Dharmaloca
durante todo el año ofrecemos una posición de cuidador de Dharmaloca con un compromiso mínimo de entre 3 y 6  meses y con el objetivo de cuidar el lugar y en ocasiones alimentar a los caballos, así como profundizar en el propio proceso personal  y dar la bienvenida a la gente que viene para hacer retiros personales. Si estás interesad@ contacta Gemma: gemmaji @ gmail.com 

Bienvenida al Rincón Latino

Bienvenidos a todos en esta nueva aventura llamada rincón latino y con la cual esperamos que os animéis a compartir vuestras reflexiones y otras cosas que os hablan y que amáis.
Recuerdo con cariño mis años de adolescencia en los que el hecho de escribir mi propio proceso me salvó la vida y me izo comprender muchos de mis patrones y desenredar mi mundo emocional y psicológico, para dar luz y espacio al proceso espiritual.

Os animo a escribir y a compartir! El rincón Latino sólo será rico y se mantendrá vivo con las inspiraciones de todos!

Este nuevo espacio dentro de la newsletter de Open Dharma que ya hace unos años que funciona, es también una gran oportunidad para estar y sentirse conectado con la sangha, es decir, con otros que cómo tu, tienen el corazón apuntando a una realidad más ancha y vibrante. Esta conexión y este reconocimiento de uno mismo como parte dé, parece ser vital en algunos momentos de nuestras vidas. Si lo es para ti, entonces el rincón latino puede darte ánimos y alas…
Es también un punto de encuentro donde noticias que nos pueden ser de interés estarán presentes y dónde cada mes podréis encontrar  una lista de los eventos que ofreceremos en castellano y/o catalán.

Con el ánimo de que cada uno se sienta lo más libre posible a compartir, siento que podemos dar espacio a otras lenguas de la península sabiendo que lo que la mayoría entenderá será siempre el castellano pero que quizás algunos disfrutarán más o entenderán más profundamente si es en catalán, gallego, euskera, valenciano, aranés… y todos podremos disfrutar de la belleza de la diversidad!
Con la pasión de un corazón que sabe de la posibilidad humana.
by Gemma

  (Photo: Irises, by Gemma.)

Reflexiones mensual por Gemma

“No voy a aceptar un no como respuesta,” me empezó a decir Dios

abriendo sus brazos cada noche esperando que bailáramos.

Sta. Caterina de Siena

A veces oímos gente hablando de la dureza del camino, de la disciplina, de las dificultades y las horas de sequía…

Quizás esto sea cierto en la mente de muchos e incluso la experiencia de algunos, pero más allá de este empuje forzoso hacia la libertad, existe una gran ventana que ofrece un baile dulce con Dios, existe la posibilidad de empezar a amar el camino en sí y abrazar lo que verdaderamente somos en su totalidad. Lo que nos gusta y lo que no nos gusta tanto, lo que nos da alegría y lo que nos entristece.

Si no dejamos nada a la orilla del camino…

Si no nos dedicamos a seccionar nuestra realidad, cortándola y llamándola bueno o malo, entonces existe la posibilidad de abrazar sin condiciones y empezar a amar.

Solo podremos andar lejos si amamos el camino, si celebramos más que practicamos, si ponemos nuestro corazón más que el poder de nuestro deber, si empezamos a percibir este dios entregándose, que se muere por bailar cada noche contigo y que solo espera tu sí.

Un sí que no necesita de ningún arreglo previo ni de maquillaje alguno.




by Gemma

(Photos: Flower and rock, by Jaya.)

Próximos Eventos

(Aquí listamos solo los que se harán en castellano y/o catalán)

16 - 17 Febrero, 2013, Curso de meditación con caballos en Valls, Tarragona
Las enseñanzas de darán en castellano e inglés si es necesario.
Facilitadores: Gemma Polo y el experto equino Franciso Rodríguez.
Para más información y para inscribirte, escribe a:
gemmaji (@) gmail.com

23-24 Febrero, 2013, Retiro no residencial en Barcelona.
Invitar a la meditación a través del profundo descanso y la conexión auténtica con el anhelo.
Las enseñanzas de darán en castellano o català y en inglés si es necesario.
Facilitadora: Gemma
Para más información y para inscribirte, escribe a:
hedykrames (@) yahoo.es

11-12 Mayo, 2013, Retiro no residencial en Barcelona.
Invitar a la meditación a través del profundo descanso y la conexión auténtica con el anhelo.
Las enseñanzas de darán en castellano o català y en inglés si es necesario.
Facilitadora: Gemma
Para más información y para inscribirte, escribe a:
hedykrames (@) yahoo.es

31 Mayo - 2 Junio, 2013, Taller de meditación con caballos en Dharmaloca, Cataluña.
Las enseñanzas de darán en inglés y castellano
Facilitadora: Gemma
Para más información y para inscribirte, escribe a:
gemmaji (@) gmail.com

5 - 17 Junio, 2013, Retiro de meditación en Dharmaloca, Cataluña, España.
Transformación a través de la simplicidad y la belleza

Las enseñanzas de darán en castellano e inglés.
Facilitadora: Gemma.
Para más información y para inscribirte, escribe a:
dharmalocaretreat (@) opendharma.org 

7 - 11 Agosto, 2013, Retiro de meditación en España.
Las enseñanzas de darán en castellano e inglés si es necesario.
Facilitadora: Gemma
Para más información y para inscribirte, escribe a:
retirosopendharma (@) gmail.com

9 - 10 Noviembre, 2013, Retiro no residencial en Barcelona.
Invitar a la meditación a través del profundo descanso y la conexión auténtica con el anhelo.

Las enseñanzas de darán en castellano o catalán y en inglés s es necesario.
Facilitadora: Gemma
Para más información y para inscribirte, escribe a:
hedykramer (@) yahoo.es

Bienvenidos a todos!

Nos encantaría compartir tu inspiración en las próximas newsletters.  Puedes mandar fotos, poesías, dibujos, reflexiones,  comprensiones que vinieron durante o después de un retiro… (lo puedes hacer incluso de una forma anónima y en castellano o catalán). Por favor, manda tus inspiraciones a gemmaji @ gmail.com. 

Recuerda  que si quieres recibir nuestros próximos eventos y posibles actividades de última hora vía email, puedes unirte al grupo informativo enviándonos un correo electrónico en blanco a la dirección: opendharmalatino-subscribe @ yahoogroups.com


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