Category: Sustainable Living

  • Himalayan Roots & Global Fruits: The Humble Birth of Earthville

    Himalayan Roots & Global Fruits: The Humble Birth of Earthville

    This story was written in response to a request from my friend Rodger Kamenetz to post to his popular Jew in the Lotus page. An unlikely path How did an artist and activist fresh out of college wind up opening a vegetarian restaurant and community center just up the street from H.H. the Dalai Lama,…

  • Help Dharmalaya Open Its Doors

    Help Dharmalaya Open Its Doors

    The first building on the new eco-campus of the Dharmalaya Institute is just two steps away from being ready to welcome the public, and Dharmalaya needs your help to reach the finish line. The neo-traditional adobe-and-bamboo building survived its second heavy monsoon season in perfect shape, thanks to the dedicated team of Himachali craftsmen, local labourers, and…

  • Dharmalaya Inaugurates Green HQ with Service & Meditation

    Dharmalaya Inaugurates Green HQ with Service & Meditation

    After a marathon rush of construction activity through the winter, Dharmalaya held its first programmes in the new (and still-unfinished) main building of the Dharmalaya Institute. Over thirty participants from ten countries made the journey to Bir for the occasion. Organised in collaboration with SanghaSeva, the inaugural programmes included a one-week silent meditation retreat led by…

  • Zen and the Jazz of Green Building in India

    Zen and the Jazz of Green Building in India

    From the Earthville Blog: The biggest news on the construction of the Dharmalaya Institute is in regard to our race against time to get the roof on our baby building before the onslaught of the monsoon rains this month… and the update is that, well, we couldn’t win, so we’ve done our best to change the…

  • Planting a Vertical Orchard

    Planting a Vertical Orchard

    From the Earthville Blog: For our first service retreat program at the Dharmalaya Institute in Bir, our friends at SanghaSeva brought sixteen wonderful, hard-working volunteers from all over the globe to work with us, so we took on a major project that could only be done with that kind of person power: landscaping a landslide to…

  • A Picture of Progress

    A Picture of Progress

    From the Earthville Blog: We’ll be posting a detailed update on the construction of the Dharmalaya Institute soon. For now, here’s a little picture of progress… 🙂      

  • Our First Service Retreat in Bir

    Our First Service Retreat in Bir

    From the Earthville news page: This month, the Dharmalaya Institute (a project of the Earthville Network) hosted its first service retreat program for international volunteers on its new eco-campus near the remote village of Bir in the Indian Himalayas. Organized in collaboration with SanghaSeva, the retreat welcomed sixteen participants from eight countries for ten days of volunteer work, group…

  • The Earthville Orchards

    The Earthville Orchards

    From the Earthville News page: The Earthville Network is pleased to announce the launch of the Earthville Orchards, a win-win-win-win opportunity for conscientious global citizens and responsible businesses to sponsor tree plantings in order to offset their carbon footprints while creating green jobs for Indian villagers and more…   Read the whole story here.  

  • Fueled by Kindness

    Fueled by Kindness

    So much in life can’t happen without the kindness of others, and this is especially true here in the Himalayas. In a “subsistence-plus” economy such as we have here in Himachal Pradesh, most villagers have enough land to feed their families, more or less, so they don’t necessarily need to work for anyone but themselves in order to…

  • A Passage Through India

    A Passage Through India

    A familiar sea of humans, cows, and three-wheeled auto-rickshaws… with some new features: People of all stripes gathering around giant outdoor projection screens to cheer every turn of the Indian athletes in the Commonwealth Games… Brand new Delhi Metro terminals, still not-quite-finished and already falling apart, teeming with hurried passengers, mostly unfazed as twelve more press themselves into the…

  • Rocking the Foundations

    Rocking the Foundations

    We finished filling the foundation trenches just in time. 🙂 From the Earthville news page: Earthville’s Dharmalaya team is happy to report the completion of the foundations for the Dharmalaya Institute, an eco-friendly service-learning campus in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. The Institute is being constructed in a style based upon the traditional vernacular architecture…

  • A Groundbreaking Event!

    A Groundbreaking Event!

    It’s on… 🙂 From the Earthville news page: After a year of preparation, today the Dharmalaya team in India broke ground for the construction of a new, eco-friendly service-learning campus in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Dharmalaya Institute will serve as the base for our sustainable village development projects in the Himalayas and will also…

  • The Road to Mudville

    The Road to Mudville

    Merhaba from Konya! Arriving in this ancient Anatolian city, once a fertile garden of cross-pollination among the great mystics and scholars, philosophers and poets from all over Eurasia, my warm-hearted tram driver, Mehmet, asked my views about Islam and Linux… I grinned. I had spent the whole night on a bus to reach this place…

  • The Rising Canal and Other Changes

    Buongiorno from Venice, which i thought i’d better see before it sinks much further. Lately, it’s flooding more frequently and more severely, and it’s chilling to drift around this jewel of history and imagine that, within as few as 20 years (if some scientists’ predictions come true) the first floor or two of every building…