09 April 2012

Writing the Wild by Janet Thomas

March 31-April 1, 2012

At Deer Park Institute I experienced an environment of trust where one lived simply bonded easily and slept peacefully amidst nature.

The workshop titled "Writing the Wild" exposed us to the writings of Gary Snyder and facilitated a nature connect where I felt one with nature and myself. Janet was a wonderful guide to the group that came together mystically in time and space. We walked up the mountains, through the village upto the waterfall in silence, conversing with nature, stopping now and then to write on our little notepads-recording life as we experienced it in the moment.

Janet's gentle yet profound guidance, life to life exchange and Snyder’s “In The Snow” poetry and compelling essays on compassion inspired original writing and underlined the importance for each individual to have a ‘voice’ .

“It is your responsibility in this lifetime” stated Janet as she encouraged me to come from a place of authority in my work as a film and theater writer. Reassuring, Reflective and Refreshing! I had tears in my eyes as I left Deer Park, as if being separated from Mother Nature, yearning to reconnect more and more.

Thank you so much for providing such thoughtful programs and such a pure and stimulating environment for all those who are seeking!

~Jigyasa Taneja Sethi (Delhi, India)

28 March 2012

To The Happiest Kitchen Staff in The World…

March 26, 2012

Keep laughing!!!
The food is delicious…always. It (food) make my stay here very comfortable. For me, it is a very important element – of the day. To make the day comfortable.
Guys, I hope all your dreams come true.

Take care, stay safe & be happy.

Thank you,

Dec 03, 2011

A big ‘thank you’ for cooking such delicious meal for us everyday. I really enjoyed the time I spent with you guys. I have a huge respect and appreciation for the way you all are living your life!
May you all always be happy & keep smilling :) !!
With lots of love and a big hug :) !!

PS - Thank you for acting in my movie.

~Tejal Rajyogor

26 March 2012

Travel Writing with Meaning by Janet Thomas

March 23-25, 2012

When Reena asked me if I’ll be interested to attend travel writing workshop offered by Deer Park Institute, I had no idea about Deer Park Institute but I told her instantly, "yes". Today I am so glad about my intuition. I went on the net to check where exactly is ‘Bir’. I booked immediately our train tickets and blocked six days on my calendar. Unfortunately Reena had to cancel her plan but I was determined to go. I was little skeptical about arriving at Chakki Bank station at 3:30am but was assured by Praveen that the driver will be there at such odd time.

The first glance at Deer Park, you feel so excited and elated that all the strain of journey vanishes. Welcoming smile of Praveen and friendly welcome at dining table, I felt I am really at home.
Janet started her class in such a way that all of us felt comfortable to open our heart and the ice was broken. I am going back with such confidence and almost all of us started writing by the evening. Almost all the participants had things to write but there was some sort of block. Janet managed to get us out of it. She had very skillfully cleared our inhibitions – our language skills, structure and presentations. Her guidance to “let our writing come from inside and let it flow” was very essential part which made me get out of writing block.

When Melitis asked me to write about the workshop, it was so natural..I am really thankful to Janet and Deer Park Institute and hoping that this is the turning point of my life. Looking forward to be here for more workshops.

~Kalpana Bandiwdekar

25 March 2012

Intensive Classical Tibetan Language Course by Dr. Kurt Schwalbe

Feb.27-March 23, 2012

Kurt Schwalbe is a very charming teacher. Besides the Tibetan alphabet he introduced us to particles and dots and shegs which are, as we learned, the essence of Tibetan language. We learned to search for the verbs, which come mostly but not always at the end of a sentence.

We learned to read backwards. And we learned to find the mistakes, translators did. We enjoyed his company not only in class. Kurti (in Tibetan there are not two consonants without a vowel, the “I” was added by himself), well, Kurti is a great storyteller. He was always ready to talk about Tibetan kings and scholars, but even If he would have talked about chrysanthemum – we could not be more attentive to listen to him.

Deer Park is a wonderful place to study. Our invocation of Manjushri provided the right atmosphere. Class in Kangyur Hall couldn’t be at any place better. Only the timing, in my opinion, was not perfect. February in northern India is still very cold and none but professor-gji had moonboots.

~Karin Herold, Berlin, Germany

Subtle Consciousness Meditation Retreat by Ven.Sudhammacara

December 8-12, 2011

24 March 2012

Four Noble Truths by Ven. Dhammananda

March 7-11, 2012

I am very grateful to Ven Dhamananda and Deer Park Institute for giving me the opportunity of attending the course of the Four Noble Truth. I felt that Ven. Dhammananda presented us with a deep connection with Shakyamuni Buddha. The stories reliving the life of Buddha inspired me very much. With her words, she brought to life the relationship between Buddha and Ananda in such a beautiful way that I felt like transported into those times.

The passion of her presentation of the situation of women made the seminar also very contemporary. I think that is precisely the richness of the seminar: going back and forth on time, from times of the Buddha to the present century. We explored the challenges we face as sentient.

I felt inspired by her struggle for the recognition of ordination of women in Buddhism and her engagement in society. I also admired her scholarship and how important it could be for me as a Buddhist to engage in study. For me she was a living example on how study and practice come together to serve a higher purpose.

I hope that I can attend another presentation by Venerable here again in the future.

Poem inspired by my stay at Deer Park Institute

Ground of creativity and insight
Guarded by snow mountains
Fresh air and the fragrance of freedom
Invites you to dwell in relaxation
Seeker of truth, you are welcome!

Happiness and freedom lie nowhere else but within you
In this fertile ground, the music of bells and prayer flags will be your companions.
The company of others won't be an obstacle to your awakening.
Release deep within ...and share even in the silence.
Rejoice in the path of others.

~Juan Pablo Restrepo

24 December 2011

Tuning Fork Film Workshop

November 26-30, 2011

The Tuning Fork Films workshop took place in the Tara hall on the last week of Nov 2011. There was a total of 21 participants. Most of them were young Indian. The group also had Asians and Europeans.

The workshop was conducted by Ankit, Sachi and Sumit. The daily schedule was packed with little breaks. The first three days where light which was mainly about watching films and learning how to look at it from a film makers point of view. The last two days where the longest and went into the late hours of the night, which made it mentally changeling. There was lots of interaction with the stall and participants mainly cause the staff played lead roles in almost all of the film that were made.

As a part of the practical part of the workshop we had to make our own film with only a day and a half in hand. We were put into groups of four which only made it harder as we all four had different ideas on what the same film should be.

After lots of long hours we managed to come up with films that most of us did not think was possible. A link to the films made by all first time film makers can be found here

~Elroy Fernandes