ZOHAR LAVIE - Retreat Facilitator

Finding Connection through Meditation, Nature, and Service.

About Zohar Lavie

Zohar has been practicing meditation for over two decades and has been leading meditation retreats and events since 2006.

Here in her own words is an overview of her path so far:

"I first came across Dharma teachings and practices on a Tibetan Buddhist retreat in 1995. I was backpacking through Asia, and assumed this would be just one more experience on my trip. It ended up transforming my life.

The teachings resonated with me deeply, and I knew that I wanted to spend more time in India, practicing. So in 1998, after graduating from University, I left my job and took up the backpack again. One of the first things I did was another retreat at the same monastery I had been to 4 years earlier. This love affair with India and Dharma grew and I continued practicing meditation, but moved over to the Vipassana (insight) school of Theravada Buddhism in the Thai Forest tradition, in which I feel deeply at home. During my time in India I also studied and tried to absorb the wisdom of ancient Indian texts, particularly falling in love with the sublime “Yog Vaishist”. Around the same period my partner Nathan and I started spending long periods as volunteers in Dharma centres and ecological projects.

The wish to combine social and environmental care with Dharma practice moved us to offer a new type of retreat bringing meditation into action, and in 2004 we co-founded SanghaSeva.

The name SanghaSeva literally means “community in service” and our retreats include:
- A month of service & meditation in Anandwan; a leprosy community in India
- Peace, human rights and reconciliation work in Israel & Palestine
- Supporting the creation of low impact Dharma and sustainability education centres in the Indian Himalayas (Dharmalaya) and French Pyrenees (Ekuthuleni).

Additionally I regularly lead meditation retreats in India, Europe, Israel and Palestine.

My mother says that as a young child she would often find me hidden in dark, quiet places, seemingly content and happy in my aloneness. Yet as I grew up I became very active and engaged immersing myself in the busy-ness of life. Meditation and Dharma practice brought me back to myself, and showed me a way to be engaged without losing connection. I feel so fortunate to have found a path that answers the deepest calls of my being; supporting me inwardly with periods of silence, meditation and reflection, while equally encouraging active outgoing expressions of care and compassion.

Aside from the richness of teachings and practices my heart and my practice feel deeply nourished by nature, silence and service. For me meditation is a space of love, compassion and clarity.

When I have the privilege to lead retreats my wish is to share what I have found useful and nourishing. Which is to awaken to a life which attunes with, and is for the benefit of, all living beings everywhere.

May all beings live in peace and harmony.

May our lives and our practice be a nourishment for the freedom of all beings everywhere.

I hope that our paths meet sometime on this wondrous journey."