Step by step, as we move with integrity to following our dreams, our visions become tools that guide our journey towards the self, and towards a deeper more intimate connection with the Earth and with the Elements that make us who we are and that gave into the manifestation of the world as it exists.
I have been raw now for 5 years, and along the process, something quite magical is happening, step by step, I am getting the opportunity to work towards my dreams and my intuitive visions are guiding the way into the creation of a more solid, beautiful, nourishing & healing ground to stand on.
As I began to align more with the energy and consciousness that comes with eating a raw and clean diet and the pursuit of alignment of body, mind and soul through yoga, I wanted to learn and become more self sustainable, I wanted to eat local, organic, grown with the awareness of love and the life-force in our foods, I wanted to ground my body with the energy of the Earth and surrender to my heart felt responsibility to be a part of the solution to the problems of Earth's sustainability we face today.
I started reading all about permaculture, forest gardening, but most importantly I started listening to my heart and to the guidance that comes from it as I sit in meditation. I had the vision of the Mandala Garden about 3 years ago, but at the time we had just moved into our new space, and I knew the time wasn't right. I knew I had to get to know the land, before I could help it reveal itself. I knew I had to observe and witness its charm & its character and allow the dream to unveil.
All sorts of serendipities found their way to me, and great people, teachers, organic farmers are all a part of my new found community that has become so much of my foundation and that has allowed me to follow my intuition on this new path. Last fall 2013, I started laying down the cardboards for the base of the garden, I started building the soil, making the beds and feeling my way through my Mandala Garden. I chose to include the 5 Elements that stem from the Ayurveda tradition and the 4 directions that are a part of the Native tradition as essential core principles of the Garden. I started to sit in meditation with the focused intention to create a place of healing, a place of nourishment, a place of self sustainability, a place of teaching, a place of meditation, a place of realignment, a place of integration, a very special Sanctuary! This spring I had a serendipitous chance meeting with Phil Collins from Foggy River Farms with whom I collaborated for the final stages of the design and who gave me the final push I needed to make it all happen!
Traditionally the word Mandala comes from the Hindu and Buddhist Traditions and it means "circle", or a geometric figure representing the Universe, even though it may have squares and other geometric shapes in its design, it is a concentric structure. It offers balance of visual elements, symbolizing unity and harmony. The goal of the Mandala is to serve as a guide on our spiritual journey for completeness and self-unity as it symbolizes cosmic and psychic order. It is also a tool that serves to quiet the mind in meditation and tune into the wisdom and knowledge that is within ourselves.
Adapting the design principles of the Mandala to create a Mandala Garden, brings all the elements of energy flow, unity, harmony, symbolism, purpose and guidance for the spiritual journey and personal transformation into the garden and it embeds the physical three dimentional space with a healing, supportive, meditative, nourishing vibration as its core.
The inner core of this Mandala Garden is the Herb Spiral (temporary home of the garlic this year) and it is also a circular representation of the Element of Ether, the Original vibration that set all manifestation into being. Surrounding the Herb Spiral are 4 square raised beds that symbolize the 4 other Elements- Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Aligned with true North are 4 rectangular raised beds in each of the 4 directions, North, East, South, West. There are also 4 rectangular raised beds towards the outer layer of the garden, that keep the Elemental raised beds energy within the garden. All the raised beds are home to Annual vegetables such as kale, green onions, leeks, broccoli, broccoflower, tomatoes, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts. Surrounding this inner core of the garden are 4 circular beds that keep the energy of the garden within. There are only 4 - 3 foot wide- entrances to the garden. On the outer layers of the garden we have made key holes and arches where the perennial plants are- blueberries, strawberries, currants, goji berries, blackberries, rhubarb, raspberries and where the fruit trees will soon find their home.
As I find myself in August already, we have been eating from the bounty of our garden and continue to build beds and prepare the soil for the next phase of planting fruit trees, and more perennials that will continue to sustain us and with whom we look forward to being in relationship with. It has been a beautiful journey to witness my kids getting involved in the garden, digging, planting, putting mulch, and running to get the first couple of blueberries, or the biggest cucumber or that foot and a half overgrown zucchini that makes great zucchini noodles!
Selfishly I have made the garden for them. I think their generation and the generations to come are going to HAVE to know how to grow their own food in order to sustain their health. It is in the spirit of HOPE that going back to the land and to growing Real Foods without the use of animal byproducts, pesticides, herbicides, hormones and the long list of chemicals that is making our bodies, our community and our society sick, we can start rebuilding our selves and our societies and transcend beyond the limitations and crisis we find ourselves in and continue to evolve towards health, towards inner and world peace. I believe that for there to be peace there has to be health, for there to be health there has to be a greater awareness of what makes our multidimensional being healthy, and out of acting with integrity upon that personal exploration, peace will arise. Taking it one step further, if we can not make peace with ourselves, if we cannot create peace from within, how can we achieve peace in the world?
So I leave you to ponder.. with images from the creation of the Mandala Gardens at the Realign Ranch.
Sunday September 21st, 2014: Rawllygood Potluck Fall Equinox @ The Realign Ranch. 4-7pm.
It's time to gather and share the bounty of the season!
For this very special gathering we will be doing a ceremony in the Mandala Garden, we will be planting our Tree of Life in the middle of the Herb Spiral, which is at the core of the Garden. We will be doing a short ceremony that I am calling Planting the Soul Dream. Please take 10 minutes out of your busy lives and come prepare for it. Find a quiet space and time, sit in meditation and connect deeply with your inner self. What is it that your soul dreams of manifesting? what is it that your soul's desire? What is your purpose and how do you see it coming forth at this time? write it all down. Bring your Soul Dream with you, as we will be planting them underneath the Tree of Life, to nourish, heal and continue to transform the tree and the Mandala Garden. As I mentioned before the Tree and the Soul Dreams will be planted at the core and energetic centre of the Garden.
If you can not make it to the potluck, but do wish to have your Soul Dream planted, well, send (email) it my way and onto the earth it will go. If you wish to keep your Soul Dream private, than mail it my way as well, but make sure to do so sooner than later. Our mailing address is : The Realign Ranch, 8641 Concession 2, Mt Albert, ON, L0G1M0. Make sure you write Soul Dream on the envelope so that your privacy is respected!
Saturday October 18th & Sunday October 19th- H.O.P.E. Permaculture Tour!
Welcome to the first Homesteading Organically to Produce Eco-systems Permaculture Tour!
“Learn and be inspired by how we’re doing it!”
Times: 9:00 to 5:00 each day
Location: York & Durham Regions (Lake Simcoe Watershed)
Registration Fee: Early Bird Special of $125.00 if you register by September 12th
After September 12th $150.00
2014 Tour Sites:
John’s Garden, Uxbridge
Foggy River Farm South, Uxbridge
Foggy River Farm North, Uxbridge
Tycoed Restorative Farm, Uxbridge
Mandala Gardens at The Realign Ranch, Mt Albert/Uxbridge
Cavallieiro Farm, Schomberg
We HOPE this tour will inspire you to consider how you are living now and what changes you could potentially make to help create a better ecosystem for the Earth and all living creatures. We will demonstrate and give you experiences of the way this community of homesteaders are using permaculture principles to make changes. At the conclusion of the weekend, you will have discovered unique ways of applying permaculture principles in your immediate environment, from backyard to an operating farm! Little changes, big changes…all make a difference in your own life and the life of your community.
A shuttle bus will be available for the tour with pick-up at the Uxbridge Train Station (GO Terminus at Railway St. & Spruce St.). If you wish to stay in the area, camping will be available at Foggy River Farm North and there are also Bed and Breakfast places available. Lunch on both days will be available for purchase or you can bring your own.
Please join us!!!
"Teach me to trust my heart,
My mind, my intuition, my inner knowing,
The senses of my body,
The blessings of my spirit,
So that I may entertain sacred space,
And Love beyond my fear
And thus walk in balance
With the passing of each glorious sun.
- Lakota Prayer