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Open Dharma Newsletter


~ April Newsletter
 The sun is warming those of us who have been in the cold for the past few months, and this newsletter brings a warmth all its own, from poems to reflections to a Sarnath photo album to a soundscape from Dharamloca--a newsletter first. We've also included, for the first time, buttons to help you share articles you enjoy via social media outlets, and, at the bottom of this page, a big blue button that links to Open Dharma's facebook fan page. Have you seen the facebook page yet? Beautiful things are blooming there every week, with thoughtful contributions from many dear sangha friends.

(Photo above: The Tiruvannamalai hall, by Tom.)

by Jessica

In this newsletter

~ News from Dharmaloca & All Over 
~ A Letter from Jaya
~ Sounds of Dharmaloca
~ Reflecting on Open Dharma
~ A Poem 
~ Rumi and Inspiration
~ An Interview with James Gleick
~  Upcoming Events

~News from Dharmaloca & all over

One-to-one interviews with Jaya

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

Dharmaloca opportunities

1) Caretaker position available at Dharmaloca
We need a caretaker at Dharmaloca. Responsibilities could include maintenance work around the property, care of animals, and/or welcoming retreatants.  Specific areas of responsibility will be decided with Jaya and Gemma depending on individual strengths and challenges of the caretaker. Valid driving license and 6 months to 1 year commitment needed.  In exchange: room plus food and/or a modest stipend, as well as the silence, solitude, wildness, and freshness of this place. If you would like to apply for the position, please contact: jaya (at) opendharma.org
2) We are now welcoming applications for retreat at Dharmaloca this season.
We have plenty of space still available in April, and from July onwards.
For those who feel ready for a self-retreat: to explore, define, and establish one’s own individual path without the structured context of a group retreat.
Please visit www.dharmloca.org for information, and fill out the form linked to the bottom of the Dharmaloca page.

By the numbers
Here is a quick rundown of some of Open Dharma quantifiable successes in 2010: Last year Open Dharma teachers and over 50 dedicated volunteers helped offer 12 retreats and other events with a total of 375 participants over a total of 117 days. The website welcomed an average of 167 daily visitors with around 6,000 hits per day, more than double the amounts for 2009. Good news!
Website Updates
 There's a new interview with Ajay, called "Krishna on a Scooter" posted on the Open Dharma website (follow this link), as well as new additions to the creative sangha pages. Jaya has also posted an essay in the new Dharma Child section of the website (via this link).

~A Letter from Jaya



by Jaya



Sarnath 2011 was one of my favorite Dharma Gatherings. A new phenomenon: some India fans normally in India for months at a time came this year for only 2-6 weeks.  And they chose to include Sarnath in their plans.
Here are a few photos taken by Evan Walker and me...for more see the Open Dharma facebook fanpage.




~Sounds of Dharmaloca

We are happy to share this with you--a newsletter first! Following this link will bring you to Dharmaloca at dawn, where you can hear the birds waking up and singing for several minutes in the morning light.

(Photo: Budding branches at Dharmaloca.)



by Brian


~Reflecting on Open Dharma


Brian, writing from Peru, reflects on Jaya's letter about her experiences at the Tiruvannamalai retreats, included in last month's newsletter, and offers his thanks.
...to any and all...this message is in reply to Jaya's most recent reflections on the Tiru retreat...having participated in two retreats there, most recently two years ago, I have so many fond memories of silence, people connections, walking barefooted on that wonderful ground, and of what I learned from you, Jaya...I appreciated your wisdom through your words and actions, and am happy that you continue to give open-heartedly to those in your presence...and these days your wisdom is coming through your little friend and companion...

As a father I know very well the lessons that young ones bring to those who listen...they constantly reflect our inner emotions, often the ones that we aren't ready to look at, the ones we run away from...and what they show us is are we really devoted to showing up in this moment, right now?..this is the work, this is the opportunity being gifted to us to stop, to be, to look, to listen, to open...one doesn't need to travel to Tiru, to a meditation retreat, to know about and grow from the universal potential in all of us, though I am so grateful that Anantha Niketan and Open Dharma exist and are available to those who desire...my life since India has been focused here in Peru, and maybe one day I will return to Tiru and begin again in that place that I almost daily reflect upon...and I am open to anyone who finds themselves in the high Andes, looking for like-hearted people...thanks to the Open Dharma newsletter that helps me remember those on this path...be well and open, Brian (bspirit3 (at) hotmail.com)

(Photo: Tiru sand painting, by Tom.)
(bspirit3 (at) hotmail.com)

by Beka


~Soft Enough to Walk Through Walls

Beka writes that this poem is "something I wrote recently inspired by many things, including a talk that Jaya gave 8 or 9 years ago called 'Walking through Walls.' I finally realized what she was talking about."

"Soft Enough to Walk Through Walls"

 'Sshh', said the full moon gently,
'Softness and Power are your guides now.
Listen to them,
follow their light.
They will not fail you.
Grace will make her presence known to you
before long
and your lifetimes of healing will begin ~
a forgetting of the cells,
a remembering of the soul.
Quan Yin will reveal
everything you need to know.
Your deep communion with her
will raise eyebrows.
Her secret is unwavering and stark in its truth:
If you're soft enough to walk through walls
your quest for freedom will soon bring treasures'.

(Photo: Statue of Quan Yin, at the Nelson Atkins Museum.)



~Rumi and Inspiration

Inspired by last month's newsletter Ellya sent in this poem by Rumi...

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

(Image: An ancient manuscript depicting Rumi and his followers.)


Upcoming Retreat Dates & Details

1 - 11, 11 - 21, and 21 - 30 April 2011, Three consecutive retreats in Sattal, Uttarkhand, India.
Teachings will be in English
Facilitators: Ajay and Nicole Christin
For information and registration write to:
opendharmainfo (at) yahoo.com:

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
For information and registration, write to:
 retirosopendharma (at) gmail.com
16 - 19 September 2011, retreat in Lewes, near Brighton, UK.
Facilitators: Jaya 
For information and registration, write to:
odbrighton (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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