The challenges of making our own coconut oil

A specialized climber needs to be hired to take down the ripest nuts, which can be used for producing the cold pressed famous health food coconut oil.

Our climber goes up the tree with bare hands an feet and can climb 15 trees in one day. After which the nuts are each opened by hand from the outer shell and then the inner shell and the meat removed by hand as well.

After which the grating procedure and making of the oil can begin. See our coconut movie on the complete production .


The temple snake

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This beautiful snake  with its yellow rings is considered sacred by the Balinese. it lives mainly in the the,plus and is called the temple snake. Having this snake in your house under the roof is considered a blessing. It show itself on the average once a week coming down from the roof to go hunting for food. Its main food are the frogs it finds around the ponds.It nourishes itself from mice as well.

We have a special approach to the snakes here. Since we are the ones taking the living space away from them, we are respecting and honoring them. The Balinese do make offering for the snakes at the house temples. This way a peaceful co-existence is initiated.

Connecting to myself

I had the privilege of having an incredible volunteer experience in October 2018. I will be eternally grateful to Margret for allowing me to stay 30 days in this little paradise called Jiwa Damai. In this experience, I had the chance to connect even more deeply with nature and myself, in a very transformative way.


The days were calm, quiet, always surrounded by birds and silence. With yoga practice in the morning, afternoon meditation and plenty of time to read or walk in the garden, enjoy the fruits and plants and play with the animals.


The food was magical, curative and very delicious. I was looking forward to it every day by the time of meal! The kitchen girls and the others staffs made me feel at home and allowed me to experience some of the local culture through our conversations and mutual help.


In addition to the immeasurable exchange I had with my volunteers friends, I was able to improve my English, discover new cultures, exchange experience of life and advice from people with realities so different from mine.


I can say that it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Thank you Margret and the whole team Jiwa Damai. I bring you in my heart.

With love ... Paula

The pineapple harvest

We wish you an interesting, fascinating and at moments peaceful 2019!

How to ride the waves of all these various global and local and personal events will be the challenge. All points to many changes and new approaches and discoveries. On this note, we will remain with the first item in our gardens, the incredible wealth of our pineapple growth and harvest. The sweetness of its taste. What a difference.

This year’s harvest of pineapples stretches for several months. we grow two types, a Javanese and a smaller Balinese one which is of an exquisite sweetness. After being cut from the plant, which is left to grow another fruit, the tops are removed and replanted and will grow into another pineapple. We have several ways of using the delicious fruit. one, to open and eat. One of our kitchen fairies, Jani, made for the first time a pineapple marmalade , trying out with sugar and with stevia as a sweetener. Made and Nyoman dry the pineapple slices and package them to sell and replant the removed tops in the garden..

The new born star

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Here we have the new born star creating a future world. Having spent several months together at Jiwa Damai, two years ago, Romina and Vali married and now have this beautiful son. Congratulations, many blessings and much gratitude. We would like to extend this to the Mama as well, since Romina has been our steady support for the past 2 years with Jiwa Damai website, blog and Facebook.

A Journey into My Life – Emily Ren

A Journey into My Life – Emily Ren

When King Lear asks the blind Gloucester how he sees the world, Shakespeare has him say,””I see it feelingly”.

Travelling through all these years, I found myself always attached to the nature deeply somewhere inside of me. It is not only about green mountains and the blue ocean. Even though I took a lot of time and energy carrying my heavy photography equipment, hiking miles after miles, waiting in the freezing night, just to take a picture of starry milky way. Whenever I look up at the countless stars in space, I would be always awed by the magnificence of universe and could not stop crying. The vast ocean of stars can always carry infinite imagination. How beautiful this great nature is, and how small we as individuals are.

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Herbal garden at Jiwa Damai

At this time, at the beginning of the raining season, all is blooming and growing in leaps and bounds. See some of the pics…

We are nearly fully self-sufficient at Jiwa Damai, excluding the electricity. our watering systems are working via gradual flow form the highest area to the lowest. This year we have an extraordinary pineapple year. As soon as a pineapple is harvest , we are replanting the top green part of the fruit immediately. We also began anew herbal garden with 22 different herbs as well as a new medicinal garden with medicinal plants and are researching the healing qualities of the herbs as well as the medicinal plants. In general most of the plants for food in the garden also have healing and medicinal qualities.

Basically our whole garden is a healing field of plants and trees. From the Moringa trees, we dry and make powder, to the mint, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and rosella we use as teas or smoothies, all have special healing qualities.

Our organic corn, with is much smaller that the general brands is carefully harvest, dried and the replanted.

If you want to find out more about our garden, send us an email at contact@jiwadamai.net.

Fulfilling stay beyond any expectations

I came to Jiwa Damai to teach Yoga and learn about Permaculture. I planned roughly to stay for a couple of weeks and ended up staying until the very last day of my 60 day visa. This place is pure magic. I felt a little challenged by the quietness the first week but my persistence paid off and rewarded me with an experience that touched me very deeply. The place itself is beyond beautiful. It is true paradise where you do not hear any man-made noise (besides the temple that you hear 3 times a day like in any other place in Bali). The nature that Margret, the owner, is protecting and allowing to flourish here is incredible and so soothing for the soul. It doesn't matter where you look you only see beauty and lushness. As if that wasn't enough already to make this place truly special, you will also meet the most amazing people.


Margret the owner has become very very dear to me over the course of my stay and I got to support her with very exciting projects. She lead an amazing meditation every evening for us and I am so grateful for having been introduced to her technique. She is also really great at picking people for the volunteer programme and the other volunteers quickly became close friends. The staff is incredible and so sweet and kind and friendly. I feel I have gained a new home and a new family with lots of new brothers and sisters, cousins, aunties and a granddad ;) I had so much fun, I learned a lot of new skills and also a lot about myself and I made meaningful and real connections with people and nature.

My heart is so full after my stay, I was not ready to leave when the visa expired and feel almost homesick now after I left. I can highly recommend staying here. If you come here with an open mind, ready to learn about yourself and ready to challenge yourself and understanding that how you perceive reality is always up to you, you will be rewarded with a very beautiful and profound experience.

This article was written by Kerstin, our volunteer. If you would like to join us, send us an email at contact@jiwadamai.net

The mushrooms are back

Laura, our lovely volunteer from Borneo, revitalized again our mushroom production.

The mushrooms need a dark and humid atmosphere so we set them this time in our tool shed, which we emptied out. Laura ordered the mushrooms already set in bags in nutritious food soil As you can see, they are beginning to sprout.



Borneo Tattoos

"The tattoo image for the Kalimantan Dayak community is not just a decoration, but has a very deep meaning ". As it has for our volunteer Laura presently at JIwa Damai 

Borneo's illustrious tattoos are considered sacred, magical and are tied closely to the beliefs of the Dayak community. For the people of Borneo, as with all indigenous cultural practices of the world, getting a tattoo is closely associated with physical power and the spiritual world. Borneo tattoos are usually the intricate combination of images of humans, animals and plants in a single design, expressing the integration of all living things in the world.

 

 Just as a great warrior was tattooed to mark his achievements in the human hunt, women were tattooed as proof of their accomplishments in weaving, dancing or singing – as well as for protective purposes.

 

The Bungai Terung, which translates to the eggplant Borneo flower, is the first tattoo an Iban individual would receive.. The tattoo is located on the front of the shoulder (never the chest) to show where ones bag straps lie, to prepare the individual to carry the weight of their own world (passage of a person into adulthood). The Bungai Terung has a spiral at the center of the eggplant flower the Tali Nyawa, which means the rope of life and is identical to the underside of a tadpole which symbolizes the beginning of a new life.

 

The scorpion symbol, also sometimes known as kala, isactually based on the highly stylized image of the aso, the mythical dog/dragon associated with protection from malevolent spirits.

 

This tattoo is typically used by men. This tribal scorpion is still a very popular tattoo in Borneo, even if its original meaning got lost in favor of its spiritual meaning: originally Dayak warriors, who used to cut off their enemies´ heads, got the scorpion tattooed as a protection in battle. The same design, when tattooed on the throat, should protect his bearer from undergoing that same fate, by giving strength to the skin of the throat. Luckily, heads are not in danger anymore, but the meaning of valiance and courage is still deeply connected with this design.

 

 From each place the tattoos have different styles so the regional differences in his tattoos would tell the story of his journeys in life. A tattoo on the arm of a man is said to be helpful to other people.

 

All the tattoos, following the eggplant flower, are like a diary. A young male would go out on his own to find knowledge and from each place he went to he would get one tattoo to mark not only where he is from but also where he has been. Therefore, the more tattoos, the "torch" will get brighter and the path to the realm of eternity

 

Kalimantan is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. In English, we call it Borneo. Politically divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia (73%) to the south. The island is politically Antipodal to an area of Amazon rainforest, Borneo is itself home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Six major, and numerous minor, navigable rivers traverse the interior and function as trade and communication routes for the indigenous peoples who live here, namely the Dayak. Dayak, meaning “interior” or “inland” person, is the term used to describe the variety of indigenous native tribes of Borneo, each of which has its own language and separate culture. Approximately three million Dayak – Ibans, Kayans, Kenyahs and others – live in Borneo. Most groups are settled cultivating rice in shifting or rain-fed fields supplementing their incomes with the sale of cash crops: ginger, pepper, cocoa, palm oil. However several hundred Penan, nomadic hunter-gatherers, continue to follow a traditional lifestyle in the jungle, one that is rapidly vanishing.

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