A gift that kept on giving

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.

volunteer at jiwa damai

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.

Life at Jiwa Damai

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.

Penjors 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. 

The waran from Jiwa Damai

This is the very rare WARAN, in Balinese called Alu, which lives in our permaculture gardens. This one is  a small one. It hides in hollows under the tree roots and lives mostly on fish. Its beautiful lines on its back are yellow ad black and its head is shaped a bit like a tortoise.

Galungan, a time of celebration

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. 

Coconut production

Our coconut oil production is in full swing. Presently we have many requests for coconut oil. We will export for the first time and are quite pleased to be able to offer our high quality totally hand crafted cold pressed coconut oil to be used for many purposes. To be taken orally, used as a cream, for cooking and many other uses. It is actually, aside from being a health food and food supplement a powerful alternative medicine.

Rains at Jiwa Damai

We not only lost many trees and bamboos, the gardens top soil, being beaten daily by extremely powerful rains has diminished a lot. Deep trenches were dug to allow the masses of water to drain into the river. Presently we are trying to recuperate as much soil as we can. All is very muddy and the rains are still coming down.

Algae have taken over everywhere, due to the high humidity and are flourishing on walls and stones.

Fruits growing on our graden

These fruit grow directly on the stem  of our huge “ tree spirit”, Asking the local people how we can use these fruit, looking a bit like figures, no one has been able so far to advise us on this. In the meantime, they fall to the grouse and we use them to enrich our organic compost. Do you know them?

A Monarch butterfly

A Monarch butterfly chrysalis is mainly emerald or jade green in color highlighted by bright metallic gold trim – a horizontal line about 1/3 of the way down and raised golden bumps set apart symmetrically on its lower portion. About 24 hours before the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, the surface will darken and then turn transparent. Through this process and even after the butterfly has emerged, the golden stripe and spots remain.

This description was written by Arabella, our volunteer.