Discovering the Balinese nature

"At Jiwa Damai I felt as part of the nature, not apart from nature", says Bernardo, our volunteer.

Bernardo is a yoga teacher but he also had the chance to work closely on our mushroom project, taking care of them and planting them. He also worked with the coconuts and prepared the natural coconut oil. For Bernardo, Jiwa Damai was the place where he had his first woofing experience. 

"Jiwa Damai starts from the idea of a retreat. I felt that I could work on my emotional part, even having people around. It offered me the time to reflect on my own life. I visited Bali, I went to the south, the east, the west, but Jiwa Damai is the only place where I managed to reconnect with the Balinese nature. It is the nature that really creates the uniqueness of this place", says Bernardo. 

While Bernardo was a volunteer at Jiwa Damai, a yoga teacher training course was also taking place. "As a yoga teacher myself, I can see why doing the course here is more interesting. This place enhances the experience of the training. You get more connected to the environment", says Bernardo.   

Originally from Brazil, Bernardo has traveled before to India and Thailand. His next stop is Malaysia. We wish him all the best and we are very grateful to having him as a volunteer at Jiwa Damai. 

Review of 2016 at Jiwa Damai

Time seems to speed up and the intensity increase. So many different activities are taking and took place at Jiwa Damai and the Lagu Damai Foundation.

The garden, aside from going us our wonderful virgin coconut oil is now providing for our health the powerful Moringa leaves, dried and filled in capsules. The mushroom production is growing slowly and we held the first organic market in our village. 

We invited the whole village in the village meeting hall to share with us a health day, providing nourishment for body and mind in the prevention of diabetes and high blood pressure. Power point combined with healthy foods were welcome by old and young. During this year, three intensive long term Yoga teacher training were hosted by our team and all organic nutrition provided from our permaculture gardens were transmuted into wonderful, much reclaimed vegetarian dishes by our cheerful kitchen fairies. A  certification training (Permaculture through the Heart) was offered as well.

The sacred painting class with our local priest was another means of going into a deep meditative state while working.

Aside from hosting guests and retreats, the first small building will be erected at Awan Damai (peace of clouds) in the mountains at Gunung Sari. It will be simple, built partially with bottles and natural materials and provide the basis for our next adventure, the Earthship. Situated on a wonderful site, overlooking the sea from high above, sunrises from the east to the sunsets in the West. The access is only possible by motorbike. The land is of immense beauty and more land is available for sharing with like minded.

Margret, our founder, a transpersonal psychologist is offering now the HeartSelf-Intelligence meditation online on our website. Please sign up to unfold the qualities of the heart and learn how to love yourself on a deep level and live well in these turbulent times.

The cleaning process

The cleaning up process after the powerful storms is done by 12 daily workers and our own team. There is so much to clean and to rearrange. Here we are burning some the Bamboo left overs from cleaning the more than 200 Bamboo which were felled by the storm.

The new salad plants, after re-creating our garden soil which was flooded away by the large storms are waiting to be reinserted lovingly into the earth in our mandala and butterfly garden. They will need initially protection with a plastic roof until the plants are big enough to not be destroyed by the strong rains.

Balinese ceremonies

Wira, our president of the Lagu Damai Bali Foundation, held a very important celebration and ceremony in his compound. Being the eldest son in the family, he inherits all what comes with this. The responsibility to take care of the property, the parents and the family temple. In this particular ritual he was handed the rights to hold ceremonies in the house temple from his father and was blessed by a very high Brahman priest.

Building at Awan Damai

On January 15 we will begin with the first small building in the mountains at Awan Damai which stands for piece in the clouds. It will be a hexagonal structure, the same as the trial project at Jiwa Damai with bottles as windows. This will be followed by an Earthship inspired building later this year. Award Damai is also the home of the dragon who resides there in another dimension.

Access is quite challenging since there is only a small path only accessible for motorcycles. All building material has to be transported via motorbike form the top down to the area. It is located about 600 m above sea level.

If you are interested to volunteer, send us an email at 

Storms at Jiwa Damai

May we share with you the impact of the last two storms in an extremely heavy rainy season which led us to close Jiwa Damai center for at least until the end of January? This is also part of having a wonderful garden, to see the changes brought by a dramatically changing weather and their effect on the soil, trees and buildings.

We have built over the past 10 years our fertile soil on an underlying clay layer. The rains flooded most of our topsoil away and we have begun again from scratch so to speak. Nata and Komang are cutting the broken bananas for compost in our quite funny looking compost area after the storm.

Many hands are helping and we are seeding in our nursery. After sprouting they are placed individually into the containers made from banana  leaves to be later transplanted into the garden.

Our beautiful Mandala garden has changed its face. It is coming along again, with a net spanned overhead in Mandala design, to protect from too strong rains and too strong sun, as well as with plastic tents until the smaller plants are able to take the strong rain.

The ant natural cycle

This is a yearly phenomenon and very fascinating to observe. After the first heavy rains, at the beginning of the rainy season, the one night ants come out from the grouse in huge numbers and fly into the light, where they dance and then loose their wings and die. At Jiwa Damai we have to eat early at night, before the dark comes. Once the lights are on the invasion is incredible. Again all is recyclable, the lizards and our Toke have a feast day sitting next to the lights on the ceiling and gorging on these ants. In the morning, all the wings and ants on the floors are brushed into the pond, where the fish are waiting to receive their share. This event can last for 3 - 4 days, appearing every evening.

The garden crew and the mud bath

Here is our new garden crew, consisting of Komang, Ketut, Made and joined by our volunteer, Remy, from France. All are working very hard to make deeper channels to allow the immense rain waters to be drained properly. A hands on job, a mud bath actually. :)

If you would like to volunteer, please let us know at!

Karma Yoga in the kitchen

One of our wonderful Yoga teacher participants was joining our kitchen team for Karma Yoga. During the stay of this group, many participants offered Karma Yoga, such as garden work garbage disposal, cleaning the Shala, the dining area, and of course, last, but not least, the kitchen. Thank you ladies all for this support at Jiwa Damai!

If you are interested in holding a workshop at Jiwa Damai, do let us know via

Mushroom research

Alejandro Llano, one of our wonderful volunteers wrote a paper in which he described the process he used in order to grow mushrooms at Jiwa Damai. He offers valuable information about early cultivation and the role of mushroom in the nature. He also provided details about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms for both for humans and for the environment.  We invite you to read more!

The mushroom paper