Cloves, once the most valuable spices in the today Indonesian, then called the spice islands, sought after by the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and others.

Today the cloves are still sought after her in Bali because of their high quality.

The clove tree harvest begins in the northern part of the Bali island which is covered in clove trees during the dry season when the tree is blooming for some time. It represents the main income for the local Balinese, this season. It lasts about 2 months and everyone in the family is involved.

The trees are climbed by each family member, mother daughter, father, son and whoever is available. Small branches and leaves which came with the harvesting are removed, and the actual clove is shines brilliant in its many colors. Once dried it turns a beautiful brown. The most amazing thing is its incredible fragrance during the drying process and after.

The cloves are used for cooking spices, here the local people use it as a medicine mixed with raw coconut oil. Now the clove are extracted and become the wonderful clove essential oil. this can be used for diffusion, and many other ailments.

The internship: Each day was different from another.

Hi everyone! My name is Jana, I’m Russian-Estonian living and studying in Denmark. I’m yoga teacher and therapist but came to Jiwa Damai for an internship as a part of my Danish education (Global Nutrition and Health).

intern jana.jpg

When I chose Jiwa Damai I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought I’ll study permaculture and teach yoga but eventually it turned out to be so much more.

First of all, the place where Jiwa Damai is located is just magical. Peaceful and tranquil, surrounded by lush vegetation. People who are working here and other volunteers and interns make this place even more special. We were always together, chatting and laughing. Here you’re literally fell yourself like home.

I also feel grateful and blessed to had an opportunity to be supervised by Margret. She is a super women. Her life and professional experience is countless (and priceless). She was directing me throughout my entire stay - explaining, giving suggestions and recommendations about my project. What I really liked about her supervision is that she was interested in finding ways to make the internship valuable and beneficial for ME.

During my 2,5 months stay I was doing my own project of retreat center. I was learning how to manage, maintain and promote it. I learned different aspects of running your own center in another country. I learned how to do permaculture design and how to be responsible and sustainable in what you’re doing.

Each day was different from another.

Some days I was working more in the garden: making compost, preparing soil and planting seeds. Some days I was more focused on paper and computer work. Some parts of my project also involved traveling around, meeting with a culture, observing different places and getting inspiration from them.

But what was even more valuable is my personal transformation. I feel myself more calm and peaceful after almost 3 months here. I got some clarity about things I want to do in my future, I got inspired and ready to create new things.

I recommend this place to everyone who want to learn more about permaculture and sustainable living. Who is ready to transform, get inspired and immerse into Balinese culture. I had so much fun and gained so much knowledge! I couldn’t wish for a better place for my internship.

Thank you Jiwa Damai and Margret for a life-changing experience

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


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


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

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