A deeper view of Jiwa Damai everyday supportive energies, animals and humans, set in the lush and abundant gardens of the foundation. The daily routine, feeding the animals, Yoga, garden work and Chi Gong and meditation
During my journey I met a lot of yogis that have this natural desire to travel and seek and understand the world we live in. Practising Karma Yoga and Seva (selfless service) is a great way to grow in your teachings and meet like-minded volunteers.
With delight and gratitude I’d like to share my experiences of the last four weeks, as a volunteer yoga teacher at Awan Damai, an Earthship inspired build project in the north of Bali, Indonesia.
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.
"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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Jiwa Damai we host yoga teacher training groups. Our guest get to experience the beautiful place we have here. You can see some wonderful photos from the garden tour offered by Margret to the Kula Yoga teacher training group. We also have photos from the yoga training area and the final group picture with all the participants in the youga teacher training.
If you are interested in hosting a yoga group, contact us!
Dr. Margret Rueffler introduces the HeartSelf-Intelligence to a very attentive yoga teacher training class taking place at Jiwa Damai. We love the positive energy that Anita brings to Jiwa Damai!
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.
Kadek, one of our Balinese Team member is picking and packing the shells left after opening the coconuts in bags. We use them in our gardens or we sell them.
Tyron is opening the kernel of the coconut and Sabine our Austrian Yoga teacher is harvesting the precious water which makes a most nutrient rich drink.
Our lovely yoga teacher volunteer, Bee at Jiwa Damai is sharing some of her thoughts with you regarding her experience here. She has been our “busy bee” for the last couple of months helping us start the day with yoga in the morning and teaching our local team English. Originally from Austria, Bee has been traveling in order to find her path as a yoga instructor. We are very grateful for all the positive energy she has brought to this place.
You can find out more about our volunteer program here or just follow the stories from our volunteers on the Jiwa Damai blog. In the meantime, we invite you to discover the way Bee has experienced her stay at Jiwa Damai.
What made you chose Jiwa Damai? I was searching for a place to practice yoga and to teach, for a healthy environment. I believe that yoga is a lifestyle and in order to follow it, you have to select carefully your surroundings. At the same time, it is hard to find a place where you can start with teaching when you don’t have prior experience. I was reading that Jiwa Damai is looking for volunteers and that they offer yoga in the morning so I thought that I could start to teach and also learn more about yoga here. The beautiful part is that they offered me this chance! I’ve been at Jiwa Damai for almost two months now. And I am happy to say that I had my first yoga students here.
What are the things that you appreciated most in your experience at Jiwa Damai? At Jiwa Damai I liked the fact that I could get new experiences. Not only as a yoga instructor. Margret asked me if I can teach also English. When you are not very confident with speaking a language, you would not expect such an invitation. My English is not perfect but by preparing the lessons, I had the chance to improve it and share my knowledge with others. I could develop new skills in an area where I could not imagine that I would be able to do so.
I also appreciated the fact that I could eat food from the garden. At the same time, I worked in the garden and saw how the things are growing. I’ve cleaned the elephants and the stones. One does many things. But this is how one gets a feeling for plants, for the environment, for the nature. I think there is a lot to learn at Jiwa Damai and two months is not enough.
It is nice to see how the plants grow, how people grow, not only the volunteers but also the local team. Even after the first three weeks, you can see a difference.
What should a yoga teacher volunteer expect coming here? I think a yoga teacher volunteer should just be opened. If you want to learn something, there are so many things you can learn. It can be gardening, teaching, interacting with people with different cultural backgrounds. I believe everyone experiences Jiwa Damai in their own way.
On the one hand, you live here, you find new friends, you feel at home (when you are traveling you really need this), and on the other hand you are traveling in your days off and you can discover Bali and its rich culture.
What do you think it is unique about the volunteer program at Jiwa Damai?
What I really like actually is that people get here their own projects and Margret lets them discover it by their own. People get here projects according to their interests and skills. Cat did a wonderful research on the coconut beetles, Cedric is researching on cacao. I was developing teaching skills. So if you are curious, Margret gives you the space and the support to explore and create something nice on your own.
Bee (yoga teacher volunteer)