Permaculture provides a design system which allows to move deeply into our abused eco-systems and release its inherent potential. Ethics of earth care, people care and sharing surplus are one of its unique contribution in our today world. They actually point the way to a new paradigm, from survival and lack of, to abundance and sharing.
Permaculture caught my attention quite a number of years ago, when searching for a system to develop the Jiwa Damai gardens in Bali. The book that introduced the practice touched me deeply. I came to respect permaculture’s inherently intelligent and wise approach to regeneration as a way to return to a healthy balance with the earth as a living being.
For the past 10 years, I immersed myself into Bill Mollison’s design concept, translating it by learning through doing into our beautiful Jiwa Damai garden. Over time, inviting known teachers, participating in various trainings, and delving deeper in its principles and methods, I introduced permaculture training into Jiwa Damai’s/Lagu Damai foundation educational offerings as well.
We offered a garden tour during the moment the rains stopped for a moment. Margret took our Kula Collective Yoga Teacher Training class of lovely ladies on an extensive garden tour. Here they are standing in front of the butterfly garden, which has been recently mulched with rice straw. The other photo is in the Mandala garden with its flowers and various greens.
You can always take a tour at Jiwa Damai, but you have to book in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margret Rueffler, our founder and caretaker of Jiwa Damai agro-permaculture and retreat center and the Lagu Damai Bali Foundation, discovered the art of permaculture 9 years ago. A transpersonal psychologist and therapist as well as an acupuncturist, it seemed a very organic move to expand from learning to love one’s Self, to uncover the deep love for the earth as a living being.
Permaculture is a wonderful way to ground this deep love for the earth through a hands on approach, coming from the heart, touching the soil, plants and aligning with nature. It offers an intelligent approach to live the values of gratitude, apprecition on a daily basis. Its intelligent design incorporates the expansion from the personal growth to the landscape, buildings, communities as well.
Finding like minded who share and wish to deepen the inner knowledge in combination with a healthier style of living, the food becoming again true nutrition, a gift from the earth in its natural abundance. Letting the earth and nature experience our deep love by treating them with respect and care. If you wish to know more about the work of Dr. Margret Rueffler, please see Lagu Damai Foundation projects and her website www.pppi.net.
At Jiwa Damai we are happy to host many yoga groups who are training in order to become yoga instructors. Here are the lovely thoughts of Mindi.
"Jiwa Damai is a place that contains so much radiant beauty. This mystical, magical place is where true transformation occurs. Margret Rueffler, the founder of Jiwa Damai, has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to preparing the land for guests who desire to do the deep internal work. I have witnessed countless people who visited and stayed on the land and who have healed in very powerful ways. I highly recommend a visit to Jiwa Damai for those who are looking for an exploration of the heart and of the Self", Mindi, our lovely yoga trainer instructor
And this is a surprise song from our February’2015 group.
Internships at Jiwa Damaiare a special experience. Our interns are invited to really live the difference. The focus is a personal growth process offering people an in-depth learning on several levels: personal inner growth, conceiving, designing and implementing their own project, cross cultural interaction with a very different Hindu culture, as well as with our international interns form all around the world. In addition to the personalized support, we offer daily morning yoga classes and evening Heart meditation.
Each intern designs his/her individual project with supervision and based on the aforementioned in-depth learning. The internship can cover a wide range of topics. See more about topics, application procedure and more details here.
We talked to Marie Thimm our intern from Germany about her experience. It was not really an interview but more of a discussion about her project and about how she lived the difference at Jiwa Damai.
Why Jiwa Damai?
I wanted to make a change; I wanted a shift in my work path. Jiwa Damai attracted me because of its variety: a place to do an internship, a permaculture farm, a retreat, the Lagu Damai Foundation and also the work of Dr. Margret Rueffler– the peace psychology. I wanted to experience it and see how they were all working together, how they are inter-connected.
I was also very much interested in foundations because I didn’t want to work in money making oriented companies but in places that take care of the surrounding: be it the nature, the community or the planet, in general.
The location had no impact in my choice, but it was a nice side effect
It was already dark when I arrived at Jiwa Damai but from the very first moment it felt like being in an oasis. When one comes from Denpasar, with all that terrible traffic Jiwa Damai unfolds like a peaceful and beautiful oasis.
A process of connecting with the inner most self
My internship consisted of a personal project. What we developed was a process through which I could really differentiate all the skills I have into the ones relevant for my future work by applying the Heart-Self Intelligence method. At the same time, I defined my values and I put them into an application letter so that gained a different power and energy.
It was really interesting for me because I discovered that some skills that I thought were important were not really relevant for my future path. However, new ones came up. It was a process of connecting with the inner most self and from there working towards finding a new path in life.
I also learned about self-awareness. I learned what it is needed for my self/ for my project in the moment and thus to enjoy the things that I am doing instead of just finishing them. I learned to transform the “I have” into “I want to” or “I would love to”.
The perfect environment for the process to take place
I really appreciated the structure of the day and what opportunities the intern has besides the personal project: yoga classes in the morning, meditation in the evening and three delicious Balinese meals with vegetables from the garden in between.
During a normal internship you are not working on your own project or on your personal growth. The special thing about Jiwa Damai internship is that you can choose on what you would like to work. Could be permaculture projects in the garden or a personal life shift/career shift. And you still have the daily supervision and support.
Moreover, I could chose where to do my work, for instance next to a pool or in a hammock. I had the opportunity to take a break whenever I needed and go in the garden and feel the earth under my hands. I didn’t have to stick to office ours.All these aspects set the perfect environment for the process to take place.
A genuine exchange of knowledge with people from all over the world
I studied international business communication and I am very interested in cross-cultural issues and would love to work with people from all over the world in the future.
Here you have the opportunity to meet people with different cultural backgrounds who are like-minded, who want to make a difference. The daily discussions with Margret and the volunteers create a genuine exchange of knowledge. One can also get in touch with local people and learn about the local challenges and how to deal with them.
The little light spots
At JiwaDamai I learned that it is important to create places in the world as Margret says “little light spots” everywhere, just living the difference or living a life connected to nature again. I also discover the beauty of welcoming people who are working in their own way for a sustainable and healthy future.
The little light spots are an inspiring example for people because they reveal that we can live in harmony with nature again by building and creating eco friendly homes and communities, not relying on governmental systems.
Bali:the place for adventures
Bali is such a beautiful spot on Earth. The people are always friendly. They are happy if you talk to them, even if it is only a few words in English. The nature is amazing: rice fields, mountains and beaches. And there is also place for little adventures such as riding the motorbike or climbing a volcano to see the sunrise from the top of the mountain or snorkeling to see an underwater temple. It is hard to believe that it is only one island of the thousands that exist in Indonesia.
Future: we make a difference already
I will definitely use the Heart Self Intelligence for future steps along my path.
Before I already used to rely on my feelings rather than my mind but really to trust in the wisdom of the heart brings a new perspective. The entire process gave me self-confidence that there are other people who are out there having the same goal or the same interest.
Jiwa Damai was a nice booster to following the dreams that really fit me. It would be difficult to change entire systems such as the governments, food supply, the world economy, but we can create spots of light. We can focus on a positive approach towards a sustainable and healthy world. We make a difference already by finding new ways of living in harmony with nature, by focusing on the true needs of people, by listening more to the wisdom of our heart.
Find out more about the internship at Jiwa Damai in Bali here.
Less than one month to go until the February Permaculture Through the Heart Design Course begins! Here, at Jiwa Damai we are getting very excited. Our international team of specialists is waiting for you!
Although we are very eager to know you, let’s first introduce our facilitators: Neil Willmann, Daruma ecofarm founder in Thailand; Margret Rueffler, founder of Jiwa Damai permaculture center Bali and Lagu Damai foundation and Johanes Wibowo, head of Green School Bali gardens. Find more about the structure of the course here.
In this blog post we will talk about Neil Willmann but follow us. Soon we will come back with information about our other facilitators.
Neil Willmann is originally from Chicago. Neil’s academic studies include a degree in oceanography from the university of Hawaii where he worked on recirculating, marine aquaculture systems. Later, he returned to his hometown to complete another degree in physics. Physics, particularly thermodynamics, serves as much of the foundation for ecology in general and even specifically the origins of much of permaculture design theory.
Neil has traveled, lived and worked in many parts of the world and recently (2007) settled down in Thailand, about an hour outside of Bangkok. He currently teaches physics, energy studies, and engineering design methodology at Asian University of Science and Technology where he also conducts research in ecological system engineering using engineering mathematics to validate eco-agrology methods (such as organic farming).
Additionally, Neil is the executive manager of Daruma Eco-Farm and co-founder of the Mosaic School, the first full-time primary school based on permaculture principles offering an alternative, holistic ecological conscious education. Daruma, under Neil’s direction, has hosted numerous permaculture courses, natural and earth building courses, Thai massage courses, and more. Neil has led and instructed many students in permaculture including many credited undergraduate and graduate study programs with universities in the USA, Canada, France, Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.
Neil is passionate about life-long learning. “The only true ‘expert' in ecological engineering design is Nature. Because of this, permaculture design promises a creative, lifelong learning capacity that will always be rewarding.” As for teaching permaculture, Neil says, “When it comes to teaching subjects like permaculture, ‘rewarding’ doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling of giving the gift of a more complete understanding of a complex subject such as ecology, and a foundation of design methodology that allows others to confidently go forward and effect meaningful change in the world.”
Permaculture – giving love to the earth
When searching for a system to develop the Jiwa Damai garden, quite a few years ago, an introduction to permaculture came to my attention. This book touched me deeply, and determined the direction and the system I would introduce here at Jiwa Damai.
As a result of this choice, for the past eight years, I immersed myself into this design concept, translating it bit by bit into the garden..
Looking back, meeting with various teachers, participating in various classes, acquainting myself with permaculture principles and methods, I introduced permaculture trainings as part of our educational offerings.
I came to respect its inherent healthy and wise approaches to regeneration and as a way to return to a healthy balance with the earth as a living being.
There was one area, however, which stimulated me to reflect for quite some time.
Permaculture provided a design to move deeply into our eco system and release its inherent potential. Its ethics seemed to remain on a theoretical level and I was unable to see the inherent potential of its values shining through and coming alive in its practicing. Yes, there were general values, called ethics, however they did not correspond to the depth of the guidance to working with the land and earth.
I am a transpersonal psychologist, having worked for many years in various international contexts with individuals and groups with empowerment and raising self –esteem. This work is based on an approach I developed and facilitated over the past 30 years: HeartSelf-Intelligence method, which allows to access and the inner voice of the heart and the unfolding of the infinite love within.
After several years of acquainting myself with PC approaches, it became more urgent to deepen the permaculture ethics and the question arose how to integrate the heart energy, the love for the earth and each living being into the intellectual design approach. One way is, of course , to have participants in classes working directly in the garden and while doing compost using this as a meditative approach. However , in the several classes I participated and witnessed, I saw participants refraining from getting their hands into the earth and connect with its living multitude of beings.
After much reflection I have developed a training which is called Permaculture through the heart, integrating Self awareness and personal growth with the rich PC content. Its purpose is, to let the ethics become alive and vibrant while touching and working with the earth.
Integrated with the learning of the PC curriculum is now how to love myself and to allow this love to flow into the earth while practicing the PC techniques and approach. To honor and respect ones Self and as a consequence to honor and love flora and fauna and the life-giving earth I am working with.
It is well researched, photographed and documented How plants react to sound, emotions, rejection anger and love by retracting their energy field or extending it to interact.
This means I need to become aware of the intricate energetic interaction of plant and environment, the powerful influence through my own state of mind and emotions , i.e.my vibrations exert on everything around me.
I can vibrate in a loving energy and thus amplify the PC approach taken in by the plants.
The frequency of my personal vibration influences all interaction and enhances plant growth (adding to the PC compost making as well).
Thus, by integrating the unfolding the HeartSelf-Intelligence method with the Ethics and applied PC a whole new level of awareness and care for myself, others and Earth is unfolding, leading to a rich, multidimensional interaction effecting flora and fauna directly.
Margret Rueffler is the founder of Jiwa Damai Agro-permaculture center and Lagu Damai foundation in Bali.
Aligning with the Heart of the Earth Monday 16— Sunday 22 December 2013
The seminar setting is in a natural tropical environment which provides a conducive space where a deep connection with one's own heart and the heart of the earth may unfold. An alignment with the own potential and the earth's potential means to welcome the present changes as symptoms of one's own and the earth's growth process. A profound acceptance is needed to align with the heart of the earth's vibrational frequency and welcome the process of moving into the new. The seminar is based on The HeartSelf-Intelligence® method, a transpersonal psychological approach.
Included in the cost are seminar, daily morning yoga class, heart meditation in the evening, accommodation, transfers, excursions, three meals per day .
Price: $US 1220
For more information on seminars please visit our website: http://jiwadamai.net/activities—seminars/ E-mail: email@example.com