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Open Dharma Newsletter


~ November Newsletter
 Please enjoy this newsletter, full of the latest on Jaya's next round of skype interview and the retreat cottage at Dharmaloca. Lenny shares his thoughts on the way our moods change, and Julia tells us about her trip to see the Dalai Lama plus lots more. We hope that it will all bring nourishment to you.

(Photo above: Trees in Slovenia, by Dave.)


by Jessica

In this newsletter

~ News from Spain 
~ The View at Dharmaloca
~Mood Changes
~ Off to see the Wizard 
~ Dharmaloca and Thoughts of Separation
~ Volunteer Opportunity
 Upcoming Events

~ News from Spain

One-to-one interviews with Jaya

Jaya will offer one-to-one interviews of 10-15 minutes each via skype on 14 November from 4:00 - 5:30 pm (her time, in western Europe).
If you would like to schedule an interview, please email Alison at: interviews (at) opendharma.org

~The View at Dharmaloca


Nanda's colorful May prayer flags across the front of the caravan
have all turned white, while 
on Halloween, the pear trees turned yellow.
Wood piled next to the retreat cottage, ready for its first full winter of solitude, rest, and depth.

A big thank you to the person who funded this work and to Denis, Lydia, Gemma, Jonathan, and all the other friends who have made this building into a spirited home.

(Photos of the retreat cottage at Dharmaloca and friends.)

by Jaya

~Mood Changes

Lenny shared his thoughts below on the way moods can change on his blog recently. For more of his writing, please follow the link

"I continue to go through intense mood changes
I tend to become aware of bad moods quicker than before
And do different meditation practices to become aware of them
And view them as incorrect thinking
Even though they seem impossible to change
I witness them and somehow mystically they change before my eyes
And I return to “normal”
Recently one notable event
Became aware of bad mood
I picked up my notes from the last meditation retreat
As I have done before
And again read Jaya’s instruction
To view bad mood thoughts
Simply as thoughts imprisoned by the mind
That are crying out for release and freedom
Reading the words and understanding
Thinking about them for a moment
Again brought release
As simple as that
Good bye to all that
And hello to life
Her exact words:
[Give] tenderness for the pain of thinking a thought that is not true,
For example, I am a failure.
The pain is the freedom of life wanting to burst out of its prison,
Even the prison is bursting with this life freedom.
Last night I enjoyed walking down the road
In pitch black darkness
Turning off my flashlight
And seeing the woods light up by lightning bugs"

(Photo: leaves on the beach, by Nico.)

by Lenny

~Off to See the Wizard

A few weeks ago I had the great fortune to attend a three-day conference at Emory University in Atlanta with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In the weeks leading up to my trip to Atlanta my 93 year old cousin who has severe short term memory loss kept asking me again and again, “So, when are you off to see the wizard?”
It felt wonderful to be in a room of almost 5000 people who had patiently waited in long lines to hear what this radiant and delightful person had to say.  I ran into someone who was at the last Deep Rest retreat here in NC, adding to the feeling of home. 
Some of His Holiness’ suggestions, from my notes:
“Have a positive attitude.”
“Expect problems and obstacles… and do something about them. Remember that people have always faced problems.”
“Be realistic. Have realistic goals and make realistic efforts.”
“Everything is always changing.”
“Life is short- make it meaningful and useful.”
“If you have too much darkness, pain and anxiety you can’t use all your knowledge.”
“Warm-heartedness gives you inner strength.”
“Keep a calm mental state. Too much up and down isn’t good.”
“Rather than fight, use compassion and reason. Sometimes compassion is more powerful than reason.”
“You need to allow space and time to integrate information. Think and analyze, this makes real knowledge. Don’t misunderstand information to be knowledge.”
“A strong sense of self, willpower and confidence are needed for strong practice.”
“We must pay more attention to our inner world.”
“If a situation is such that there is no resolution, there’s no sense in worrying.”
“When you suppress emotions you distrust. Compassion meditation increases trust and awareness of interdependence.”
(Photo: The Dalai Lama)

by Julia

~Dharmaloca and Thoughts of Separation

After a recent visit to Dharmaloca, Yoav wrote about his experience there, elaborating on the ideas of his teacher, Yemima, and musing on the composting toilet for a big internet newspaper. "If we look closely in human life, we find that just as we reject and oppose parts of nature," he writes, "so we are working against ourselves...."

The article is in Hebrew, but you can get some of the meaning in English, too, by using google translation. Follow the link here.

 (Photo: Cooking at Dharmaloca, by Yoav.)

from Yoav


Open Dharma is looking for two volunteers

Position: Yoga video editor ~ Edit video of Ajaya yoga demonstrations. (Not an ongoing position.)

What is needed in a volunteer?: Someone with knowledge of editing videos, or someone willing to learn. Familiarity with Ajaya yoga practice would also be helpful.

How it works?: Jaya will send you video footage of Ajaya yoga demonstrations. You will edit these into a cohesive video that communicates the basics of the practice.

If you're interested: Please contact Alison Easter at alisonreaster (at) yahoo.com

Position: "Sound editior" ~ Likely not as technical as it sounds; basically someone is needed to run talks from retreats through a computer program that removes background noise.
What is needed in a volunteer:  Someone with knowledge about sound editing (or someone willing to teach themselves how to use a program like Gold Wave) and willing to commit to the position for 3 years.  The editing is only to remove background noise and not to edit the content of the talks.
How it works?: Gemmaji sends a DVD to the volunteer after every 2 or 3 retreats with the recorded talks (already with titles). The volunteer will pass the recordings through a sound editing program like Gold Waves or any other program that is similar. After the editing the volunteer sends the DVD with the edited talks to Benoitji in Quebec and he puts them online.
Preferable: Someone who has a fairly stable living situation = a consistent mailing address.
If you're interested: Please contact Alison: alisonreaster (at) yahoo.com

by Alison

Upcoming Retreat Dates & Details

25 January - 3 February, 2010, Silent retreat near Arunachala, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, South India.
Teachings will be in English 
Facilitators: Ajay and Jaya. Jess Huon will assist with teachings.
For information and registration, write to:
opendharmainfo (AT) yahoo.com

9 - 19 February, 2011, Dharma gathering in Sarnath, India
Come any day, leave any day.
Offered completely on a donation basis.
Teachings will be in English
Teachers, Christopher, Jaya, Jess, Zohar, and others...
For information check bodhgayaretreats.org

20 - 27 February, 2011
Possible 7-day retreat with Ajay and Jaya
Jess Huon will assist with the teachings.
There is a possibility that we will lead 2 retreats instead of one.
Location is still unknown!

20 - 24 April 2011, Deep Rest retreat in the hills near Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain.
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma
retirosopendharma (at) gmail.com

21 - 28 May 2011, Deep Rest retreat at Le Moulin de Chaves, France
Teachings will be in English & Spanish
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma
For information and registration, write to:
mail (AT) moulindechaves.org

3 June - 1 July 2011, One month retreat in Dharmaloca, Catalonia, Spain
Teachings will be in English & Spanish
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma, and we hope Ajay will come.
For information and registration, write to:
dharmalocaretreat (at) opendharma.org

16 - 23 July 2011, Deep Rest retreat in Holland
Teachings will be in English
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma
For information and registration, write to:
opendharmaholland (at) hotmail.com

19 - 21 & 21 - 28 August 2011, Deep Rest retreat in the hills near Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
One weekend and one 7-day retreat back to back.
Teachings will be in English & Spanish
Facilitators: Jaya and Gemma
retirosopendharma (at) gmail.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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