Lukas and Analee are leaving and they gifted us with the most wonderful divine chocolate mousse cake for their goodbye celebration. This was their last evening Jiwa Damai. We are so grateful for their presence and wish them all the best in their new life. They will get married in the USA. We wish them lots of love!
Another lovely visit form an International School in Bali to our permaculture gardens.
These young ones, ranging form 7-11 years were extremely interested in our gardens and especially all the animals they encountered during the garden walk. Butterflies, Tokes, all kinds of lizards and some of our beautiful birds, like the kingfisher, which resides here.
Opening a coconut, trying the meat of the coconut, cacao fruit, tasting basil and mint and then enjoying for lunch a banana pancake with cinnamon and honey. This was topped with a dip in our pool. Everyone left joyful and very happy. We really enjoy having young people discovering our garden.
We received students form the International School of Canggu. 12 youths from 12-14 and 2 teachers wanted to learn more about where their food is coming for. They were very interested in our gardens. From trying cacao beans fresh from the tree to each planting a set of pepper seedlings after mixing the soil with sand and sawdust and compost, to trying to open a coconut, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. So did we. A powerpoint presentation about healthy and unhealthy foods, a healthy lunch and an after lunch swim complimented the visit. It is so wonderful to see our young people interested and quite knowledgable about heir food and health.
Arabella was our volunteer from Amsterdam. She stayed at Jiwa Damai for 5 weeks and shared with us her enthusiasm and positive energy. After her program was over we wanted to share with you her story because we found it genuinely inspiring.
„Previously, I worked as a project manager and marketing consultant at an advertising agency in Amsterdam. But I had a wake up call after travelling the world and hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, I shifted my career with a focus on sustainability and circular economy, and started working at Blue City in Rotterdam.
One of the reasons I do wwoofing and came to Jiwa Damai in Bali, is to learn from nature and reconnect. And also work with the context and come up with possible solutions within that context.
I found this quote by Antoine Lavoisier very intruiging... "In nature nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes.”
During the 5 weeks I worked on several projects; restarting the mushroom project, shaping the compost areas, seeding and transplantation, organizing the seedbank and planning a family veg garden as an empowerment project with the purpose of making them less dependant on external sources.
My time at Jiwa Damai was wonderful and so much more then just a wwoof experience. It was a gift that kept on giving. The place is magical with endless (sometimes hidden) learning opportunities and the possibillity for cultural exchange.” Arabella, our volunteer from Netherlands.
To understand that you will be having an experience is one thing, and then to live it is something completely different…
When I initially agreed on a work-trade exchange with Jiwa Damai, I knew I would be in for an experience of personal growth, learning new skills and refining others, healing wounds, and making positive relationships. What I had yet to know was how the life-giving and infinitely deep energy of Jiwa Damai would work its way into every fabric, mental frame, and atom of my being. Sure, I had indeed supposed the concepts of these things – like the personal growth, healing wounds, etc. that I mentioned – yet, to be living and working here and feeling these things as alive, vitalized truths is something one cannot simply “know” or “understand” …it has to be lived.
“Ah…yes,” I thought to myself when I first started waking up to what is Jiwa Damai’s life-giving energy working its way into me, “this sounds familiar.” Collectively, we have heard these same constructs before, such as - the meaning of life cannot be merely named, or understood, it has to be lived; theory is only 10% of learning while experience is the other 90%. “I have found real life! I have found real life! Life is expressing through me!” I exclaimed to myself when my first epiphany at Jiwa Damai occurred.
Simply, what I am speaking to can be accessed because everyone and everything already is. The beauty of the process of connecting back to this truth here at Jiwa Damai is that Margret doesn’t bludgeon you over the head and tell you to “wake up, pay attention, or remember”’ in order to experience this life-giving energy. The collaborative energy of Margret and the Earth here move in such a way that Jiwa Damai already, definitely is without you having to do a single thing to it. It’s like a 5-star luxury retreat resort where everything is already taken care of for you, and every whim, want, and need of yours will be immediately granted. Then, as soon as you can release your grip to drop your baggage, relax, and open into what services Jiwa Damai has to offer that you, you will then begin your unforetold and insufficiently anticipated process of immaculate, energy healing. The magic of Jiwa Damai is also that regardless of your recognition or not, it will still indeed be able to work its way into you subconsciously on cellular and multi-dimensional levels, so that no matter what, you will leave here better off than what you were when you first came in.
Even though, as I just mentioned, the special life-force of Jiwa Damai works in unconscious ways, I still relish all the opportunities I can get to interact with Margret so that I may consciously connect to this pristine, powerful energy vortex that she has cultivated throughout this space. Whether through our conversations at meal times, working on projects together, attending her nightly Heart-Self meditations, or just randomly seeing her about, learning from Margret is one of the greatest gifts, privileges, and honors of my whole life. And I say of my whole life not only because this experience is thriving with what is life, but also because she taps into the many dimensions of life – past, present, future, personality, psyche, professional, personal, emotional, energetical, etc. – and revives the present, raw energy of what life is truly supposed to be back into my “higher, deeper, most innermost Self,” as Margret likes to say. Not forcefully, like I mentioned earlier, but softly and of my own initiative and engagement when I’m able to trust-fall back into the arms of Jiwa Damai.
Beyond being a place for retreats, organic and permaculture gardening, yoga, and meditation, Margret has created a space for individuals to practice, to play, to explore, to unravel, and to go evermore, infinitely deeper within their hearts and Selves. Literally and figuratively, waking up to this sacred, unconditional source-energy of Life is my reality every day here at Jiwa Damai. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Written by Analee Scott - resident yoga teacher and volunteer at Jiwa Damai. Analee was also a teacher at New Earth Nation’s Bali festival – Ancient Futures – this April. This August, Analee will be leading a Dreaming Consciousness Retreat at Jiwa Damai.
An appropriate hole is being dug to place this beautifully decorated Bamboo in the ground and it is fixed with stones. Looking down the street your sees all these beautiful Penjors lined up in front of each house. Like a Balinese version of the Christmas tree. The woman are on their way to take their offerings to the temple. They look incredibly graceful while balancing the loads on they heads. The Penjor stays up for at least one month.
Galungan is for the Balinese like Christmas for the West. A time of celebration and meeting with friends and relatives, traveling everywhere.
The preparations for the festivities takes place 2 days before, with the man preparing the sate, chicken and tuna. Well mixed version with coconut flakes and cream stuck on a wooden small spear to be seared over and open charcoal. Every family produced masses of these.
The next step is to find the right bamboo branch, very long and flexible on the top. It involves very intricate decoration work. Ours, at Jiwa Damai, is about 9 meters high and the tip is supposed to be flowing in the wind.