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~ January Newsletter
One of the best parts of working on the newsletter is receiving beauty from all corners of the world. This month there is much to share—big love and big news from Spain, and more from all over. May it bring you a glow.

(Photo above: Arunachala wearing a foggy scarf, by Bat-el.)


by Jessica

In this newsletter

~ News from Spain
~A New Light
~Books to Savor
~ The Momentum of Sarnath
~ The Power of Vulnerability
~ 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 13 January starting at 11 am her time, in western Europe.
If you would like to schedule an interview, please email Alison at: interviews (at)opendharma.org

~ A New Light

On 2 December, 2010, Gemma gave birth to a healthy girl named Gayatri (GAA-yuh-tree) --"light that shines in all the realms, even under the earth."
2 December was also Gyan's third birthday.

The beautiful gestural drawings you see here are a few that Jaya made of Gemma while she was pregnant.





~Books to Savor

Jaya has shared with us some of her favorite books of the year....

I am struck with gratitude as I look over the year and feel all the generosity in the sangha.  Over the year, I have received so many great books as gifts and recommendations.  Here are a few.
1) One afternoon on the way home from picking up Gyan from school, there was a big envelope on TOP of our mailbox at the beginning of our dirt road.
The post officer Antonio knew we were expecting a package, so he made it easier for us.
At home, we opened the package sent from another rural address on another continent:
Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, published on Nov. 2, 2010!
We keep it at hand on the dining table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, when some literary dessert is needed.  Mmmm, delicious.
Thank you, Jessica.
2) Sensing, Feeling, and Action by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
Single most fascinating and helpful book of the year for me.
3) These Matisse biographies may be more of a personal quirk of mine, but I am still digesting some of the hidden spiritual details of the life of this painter.
Some parts read like a detective novel.
4) Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings, by Edward Espe Brown
Funny and deep, with recipes included.
5) Passionate Enlightenment by Miranda Shaw
Slower reading, but mind-blowing, as Shaw rearranges our thinking about women in India and women lineage-founder who have been forgotten.
6) Vayu's Gate and the Ten Vital Winds by Orit Sen Gupta.  This book by Odelia's yoga teacher unveils simple, life-changing practices that she diescovered by studying ancient texts and practicing herself in infinite detail...Her simple practices reach to the roots of posture problems, energy imbalances-- a deep, centering way of practicing yoga.  I would love for everyone to read this book.
An easy read, I kept it by the fireplace and read a few pages while holding Gayatri in the mornings.
8) Introduction to Integral Education by Shraddhalu Ranade, great for those who love learning.
9) Gardening at the Dragon's Gate by Wendy Johnson for gardeners.


by  Jaya

~Momentum of Sarnath

Chad remembers the Dharma Gathering at Sarnath, the Indian town where the Buddha once walked, and where open teachings will take place next month, 9 February - 19 February:

I have always said that the Dharma Gathering in Sarnath has been the most important thing I’ve ever done for my spiritual enrichment. I attended it annually for several years and looking back, I can see that a combination of factors steered my practice in a powerful direction.  I always enjoyed the dynamic environment; deep listening and speaking in groups followed by meditation in the simple and quiet hall under the trees, and then chai or lunch with friends.  The program has been a reminder to me of the importance in having “one foot in the world and the other in the monastery” and it seems that playing with this dichotomy is still a basic principle in my life today. 
I remember the sense of respite Sarnath promised in its green spaces, wide and clean streets, not to mention the best yogurt in India.  I made life long friends there eating at street stalls and discussing the teachings which were first delivered by the Buddha, literally across the street.  I also recall the soft “tinking” of the stone carvers at the monastery as they hand constructed an enormous statue of the great sage, block by block, year after year. Tink, tink, tink.  But most of all, I remember transformation- insights, wisdom and a care for life which emerged out of the deep textures and energies of the environment.  Many of us have been moved by that special something in Sarnath and I hope many pilgrims will join the Dharma Gathering in years to come.

(Photo: The Buddha statue at Sarnath's Thai temple.)

by  Chad

~The Power of Vulnerability

A wonderful OD friend in New Zealand sent a link to this video talk done by an American researcher and storyteller, Brene Brown.
The main focus of her research is on connection--or, as she says, the reason why we're here. I like the way she laughs with so much love, even as she describes her own pain, and the way she speaks so persuasively about the beauty and the power of vulnerability, as well on as the consequences of numbing ourselves to it. She's a true champion of whole-heartedness and her 20 minute message is a wonderful enthusiastic reminder. Check it out via the link here

by Jessica

~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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