Archive for August, 2010

Wanted: Eco retreat builders

Yesterday I talked with Lia and Eduardo about the plans for a silent retreat by Omassim. To make it possible we need three volunteers who can help us set up the facilities on our land in a 6 week period, starting mid September to end of October 2010. We will be building a wooden platform with a dome for the meetings, a wooden kitchen and restaurant structure, personal tent spaces, a drinking water system, solar heated showers, compost toilets, a solar cooker, an evaporation fridge and solar lights. Volunteer workers will be living here for free and can also participate in the silent retreat that will be held at the end of October at a reduced fee, just covering expenses. For traveling here, cheap charter flights to Faro are available in this (low) season. If you are interested or know anyone who might be, please let us know (see How to join tab for info). Click on this link for info on Omassims workshops. Their blogsite is not yet available in English, you may use Google Translate to read it in your language. They speak English, German, French and Portuguese.

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No Mind

There was a feeling of melancholy this morning because it was time to say goodbye again. But like so many of those who have been here our Latvian friends intend to return to what they now feel is like their second home in Portugal. Then Lia and Eduardo who recently moved from the Algarve to a house not too far from here came visiting and after lunch we again watched the video of the Latvian song festival, where half of the stadium is listening to the other half singing. Click on this link to hear our favorite song. Before everyone had to go we had time for the sixth and last of our present series of introductions, today it was the Osho No Mind meditation. Lupo did not participate, he says woof is No Mind already. But he said hello to Lia and Eduardo who happened to know that he is of the local breed Rafaeiro Alentejano. And then I said hello goodbye to two angels from Latvia at the station where most of you are coming and going, just two minutes from our house. I can hear the train announcing your arrival.

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No Dimension

We meditate in an old barn which has thick Taipa walls and a nice atmosphere but it had an uneven earthen floor. Earlier we removed tons of earth and loosely laid floor tiles as a first step to create a more beautiful space. This picture was taken today during the instruction for the No Dimension meditation, the fifth of a series of introductions in Osho active meditation techniques.

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Zen and the art of chipping wood

A Zen proverb says: Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. The world has changed and at Osho Garden Zen student Monta presently chops wood with an electric wood chipper on her way to enlightenment. A lot of garden waste is so converted into mulch which can be used for weed control and to improve the soil.

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Strauja, strauja upe tecēj

It’s Latvian for Fast, fast river flows. Tonight Monta was playing the flute and we were singing this and other Latvian songs. Song and dance is popular in Latvia. We watched a YouTube video of a choir made up of 30,000 people, that’s more than 1 percent of their population. I don’t expect the Osho Garden Choir to be that big anytime soon but whoever and wherever you are, come sing and dance with us here in Portugal.

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Osho Gardeners

The Alentejo landscape turns brown in summer because it does not rain and this also happens in much of our garden, except along an irrigation channel that we started some months ago where all kinds of weeds now grow in abundance. In these pictures Monta and Annija are taking some of it out and transplant it to the still mostly barren hilltop that we created this spring as a barrier between our house and the road. The N266 is not a very busy road but it carries some traffic from the Monchique mountain area in the Algarve to Lisbon and the north of Portugal. In order to further reduce the traffic noise we are growing a natural sound barrier of different tree types and Portuguese bamboo. But we also need ground cover with many smaller plants to prevent erosion later this year when the rains start. We are irrigating this hill daily in the evening and some of the weeds that we transplanted in the past months are doing very well as you can see in the second picture.

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Yesterday was Dome Day. We moved the half dome that was assembled several weeks ago onto the Bashodome platform and bolted the last 30 tubes together, an extension that raised the height in the center from 2m to 2m85. It is now a two thirds Icosahedron. In the picture from left to right: Pujari, Sono, Annija and Monta, who recently arrived from Latvia, and Navino.

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Without ruler

Osho has often critized politicians and governments. If we have inner discipline and moral integrity, then freedom is possible and we have no need for outer authority and rulers dominating our lives. This can be considered anarchy and many are afraid it will be a lawless society but Osho explained that the absence of authoritarian figures does not mean an absence of discipline. He said: Authority is slavery for you. Discipline is living an organic, harmonious life. In the picture: Prince Kropotkin (1842-1921), one of the first advocates of anarchist communism. He wrote a book about cooperation as a survival mechanism in human societies. We at Osho Garden are aiming to attract participants who do not need much outer discipline.

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Our natural swimming pool was waiting for some more digging and today Anudip instructed Abhinandan in the use of Ozone, a powerful lady with many joysticks that need to be handled with some sensitivity. Meanwhile Anna, Tine and Savya were clearing the undergrowth around the fruit trees, Esmeralda surprised with, among other things, a harvest of grapes and apples and Latifa baked a fruit cake, while Sono cooked and Carl and me were cutting and cementing the last tiles of the Bashodome floor. With all these activities plus the Dynamic in the morning and the Osho Kundalini meditation at 4 p.m. it felt like what once was a vision is now starting to become a reality. How silly of me, it’s all maya isn’t it? In the picture at right: Our new living room at lunchtime today.

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Willing Workers

The floor of the Bashodome platform was waiting to be finished and yesterday we had our first experience of how to lay the floor tiles. Savya and Sono had arrived on Wednesday so our construction crew now consists of 6 workers, very willing but equally inexperienced at this job. But we made a good start and today we are making progress like a team of almost experts.

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