About the Heartbeat

There is a hearth  that beats in the Universe

For ages people have told to those who were willing to hear that the human belongs to the Earth that each creature is a child of the universe. As a child in the womb , each creature lives under the heart of the mother. We can know the heart of the mother beating. As an unborn child we knew it, and we still remember.

It is a great step in our growth when we can deeply connect with the heartbeat of Mother Earth. It is a life changing moment and true homecoming. Some can really feel the heart beat of Mother Earth and others can only sense it and they know!

When our heart beats in the same rhythm as the rhythm of the heart of Mother Earth, everything becomes light and easy and we will feel a great harmony and strength. Then we can work in union with Mother Earth for the wellbeing of the whole. When we live inn balance with the heart beat of the Earth, we can help to restore the balance of life on Earth, because we are now in balance.

Voices-of-the-Grandmothers                                           photo: source internet

Playing the Heart Beat  on a drum, we connect with an Ancient Universal Knowing. It is knowing the Rhythm of the Earth and  helping others to know and recognize it. We can connect with the ancient pulse of life.  We can know and feel in our bodies the rhythm of the Earth. It is grounding ourselves in the mystery of the Universe…the dance…flowing from the Beginning. Intimate, tender….The heartbeat can bring us back to the wisdom of the Earth and her rhythms, the seasons, the skies. The first peoples tell us about that.

“The first sound every human being hears is the double heartbeat. In our mother’s watery womb, we experience a sense of security and belonging because we hear our own heartbeats echoed by that of the mother who carries us for nine months. When we are drawn into Earth walks  through the miracle of birth, the second heart beat disappears. Human beings know on a deep level that something is missing and many times go through life looking for the missing heartbeat.

The missing heartbeat is found when we listen to our Earth Mother and enter Tiyoweh ( Stillness) In that place of silence, we can hear the small, still voice within our hearts, and through that experience, we can rediscover our sense of security and belonging.

The Earth Mother’s heartbeat reminds us that we are never alone. Our true Mother, the Earth, is always present to nurture us and give us rest. All she asks is that we stop to listen for the second heartbeat.”

The drum and the heartbeat

Since the beginning of civilization drums were the main universal signals for calling people together in circles. The drums were and are the common pulse of humanity. Drums connect, to all of life and all time and to the heartbeat of our bodies, here and now.

When we listen to the drum or even more so when we drum in relation to Mother Earth’s heartbeat our conciousness moves into inner worlds of vision and learning. We connect with the wisdom that is in all of creation. The drum takes us into the center of our being and when we are together in a circle we all are drawn in a deeper awareness.  and feel her attraction.

Retret Ekologi 2013 Pilihan (10)

                          “When the top of the maple trees start dying, women take up the drums   and that time is now”

                                                               An old prophecy






Jamie Sams: In Earth Medicine

Visit Staf Ecolearning Camp to The Netherlands


October 12-13 , 2015 Ferry Sutrisna Wijaya pr, A. Sarwanto SJ, Alexander Iskandar and Shierly Megawati visited Tilburg. The purpose of the visit was to connect again and continue the training in ecological consciousness/spirituality that had been started already during earlier visits of Elly in Ecocamp Bandung, in 2013 and 2014.

The program consisted of introduction to the history and happenings around De Gaarde Udenhout, The Netherlands, ( 1999 -2011), a visit to the place where De Gaarde in Udenhout was and an encounter between a group of us of the circle of De Gaarde, co workers, board etc. to share our experiences. The team of Ecocamp Bandung shared with us how they have started Eco learning Camp in 2013 and work with the inspiration and learnings of De Gaarde ( and other sources) in Bandung now.

Before the group left Tilburg, Ferry Sutrisna asked me to write about this wonderful and surprising event.

October 13, 2015

Quite a group of the circle of De Gaarde had responded to the invitation to come and meet the group of Ecocamp Bandung and to exchange our experience and learnings in our care and concern for the future of life on Earth.

Ect 2

Those who are part of the story of De Gaarde ( 1999-2009) started to share their story of how they got to know it, participated in and how what we know now how those years are still so much a part of our life now. One by one  through special moments if we became part of the circle It was as a wake up call, an invitation. And no one who came could have been missed, we all had and have a very special contribution and role in this great story.


In front of Molenhoefstraat 7, Udenhout. 13-10-2015. De Gaarde now given back to the Earth. Nature takes over! Though this place is now deserted. Now De Gaarde is in our hearts and souls. And the story continues.

We were so surprised how much we are changed and have grown through this experience and how this story is still part of our everyday life. We are pioneers in our own ways. We shared a meal together and continued the getting to know our friends from Bandung.

The story of Eco-Learning Camp, in Bandung.

Our inspirations and experiences of all those years in De Gaarde are shared and taken up in an experiment at the other end of the world, in Eco-learning Camp in Bandung, Indonesia.

Alex and Shierly shared about the beginnings of Eco Camp in Indonesia. In 2002 their second child was born and this event was the beginning of a remarkable process of waking up. ‘What can we offer this child” was the question of Shierly. “Good education” was their answer together. Together with Fr. Ferry Sutrisna they started Eco-spirit camp. A project a Bandung, where they offered programs to children to play in nature, to work on character building and to help children to reconnect with nature and Earth. Places were offered, as a 600 hectare ancient forest at the outskirts of Bandung. Based on these experiences Ferry Sutrisna, pr. wrote in 2012 his dissertation for a Ph. D. in “ Ecological Values in Education” .

In 2012 Ferry Sutrisna, wrote an E-mail to Elly Verrijt asking for ways to learn from my experience and for materials. He got my address from a Jesuit priest, ecologist with whom I had already worked together in retreats since 2010.. He also asked me to give a workshop for the board, staff, volunteers of Eco-spirit camp. It was quite a group that gathered in September 2013 in Bandung. The DVD The Universe Story from Brian Swimme, the Shambhala Warrior Story as passed on by Joanna Macy and told by an Indonesia Sufi Story teller, the words on conveying a cosmic vision to children for their future, through words of Thomas Berry and some sharing about the story of De Gaarde brought to them a broadened vision and set a whole range of happenings in motion. When hearing about the Gaarde they “saw” a Gaarde in Indonesia. It was the right time and the right moment. Not long after that Eco-Learning camp Foundation was born, founded by Ferry Sutrisna and Shierly Megawati and many others. A piece of land was obtained and within a year the first energy neutral building of Indonesia surrounded by a herbal garden and permaculture garden was realized. Many organizations, corporations have sponsored and are still involved in the running of this megaproject.


Ferry Sutrisna, a priest and architect gave a presentation about the project, the many ways in which the principles of green building are put in practice and  the first programs that have been developed. Alex Iskandar, who teaches at several universities ( Quantum Physics) explained about the program and the components of the eco-learning camps. In meantime they have fifteen years of experience.

In the past year, since September 2014, 6000 visitors came to Ecocamp, in programs of a few hours to a few days. They recently finished an Ecological leadership training for 51 teachers ( 10 days) from all parts of Indonesia. And they have trained children for ecological leadership. ( Children of Earth program) The Shambhala Warriors are the students who get a training to help conduct the many programs and groups for the children.


The team showed some movies with snapshots of the programs. It was such a deep experience together: of amazement, of seeing what can happen when the time is ripe and so many people connect to work for a better future. It is remarkable that such deep processes of change happen in such a short time.

The Story continues

On our way home from Schiphol to Tilburg Shierly said: “De Gaarde has a child in Indonesia”. Yes and that child has grown up, finds an own expression of the insights and learnings of a new Earth consciousness, now in the context of the history, culture and Community of Life in Indonesia. Again we see that once each of us responds to the invitation of Mother Earth and the challenge of this moment there is all the guidance and help to move on. And like it happened in De Gaarde before, it continues now here in Indonesia, while all of us, each in our own ways,  gifts and consciousness  are bound together in a common commitment. Though De Gaarde in its physical way does not exist anymore, deep in our hearts there is a Gaarde, a haven of consciousness and love for life and Earth. We carry it within us, wherever we are and go.

We ended the evening with a meaningful ritual, guided by Alex. Like in the workshops they give there, we gave each other a bracelet and put it on, as to affirm our common concern and commitment. So we brought together the Old and the New Gaarde, …..and the Story continues…


Nov. 2015, Elly Verrijt

Laudato Si: Call for Ecological Conversion



A Call for ‘Call for Ecological Conversion’



A summary of Pope Francis’ plea for humanity, as expressed in his new encyclical, Laudato Si.


VATICAN CITY — In his encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis has issued a lengthy warning on the “destruction of the human environment” that draws on theology and “the best scientific research available today” to challenge all people to be better stewards of creation.

The six-chapter, 184-page document, whose subtitle is “The Care for Our Common Home,” also uses environmental concerns to provoke wider discussions on the deeper questions of human existence, as well as the need to safeguard all creation and all people, however poor, small or vulnerable.

“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” is the question at the heart of a document that the Pope directs at all people, not only Catholics.

The encyclical, which has a chapter dedicated to the “human roots of the ecological crisis,” clearly accepts the science of anthropogenic climate change — the first such papal document to so overtly endorse the science. But at the same time, it says the Church has “no reason to offer a definitive opinion,” knowing that “honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views.”

The encyclical frequently speaks on behalf of the poor, while often chastising governments for poor governance and businesses for placing “speculation and the pursuit of financial gain” ahead of the common good.

As per tradition, the encyclical takes its title from its opening words — “Laudato si, mi Signore” — (Praise be to you, my Lord). The words come from the canticle of St. Francis of Assisi that “reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us,” the Pope writes.

wildflowers beaty 1

He then cites further words of his namesake on creation, stressing that “rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.”

The Pope often refers to teachings on the environment from his recent predecessors, as well as Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I. And, throughout, he draws on previous papal and Church documents, as well as the teachings of some of the doctors of the Church: Sts. Thomas Aquinas, Benedict, Thérèse of Lisieux and Bonaventure. The 20th-century theologian Romano Guardini, a favorite of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, is frequently cited, as are statements from various bishops’ conferences.

Rejecting ‘A Throwaway Culture’

Calling on the “whole human family” to seek a sustainable and integral development, the Pope urgently appeals for a “new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.” In the face of this, Francis criticizes “obstructionist attitudes” and calls for a “new and universal solidarity.”

The encyclical’s first chapter presents the crisis affecting the environment, saying that the Earth “is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth” and that its environmental problems are “closely linked to a throwaway culture.”

Climate change, it goes on to say, is a “global problem with serious implications” that represents “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” It notes other factors, such as volcanic activity, variations in the Earth’s orbit and axis and the solar cycle, but adds that “a number of scientific studies” show that “greenhouse gases” are released “mainly as a result of human activity.” This unsettled issue is shaping up as a main criticism by analysts.

“If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us,” the encyclical says, adding that the “worst impact” will probably be felt in developing countries. It goes on to call for the drastic reduction of carbon dioxide and other polluting gases, substituting fossil fuels and developing renewable energy.

It points to the “tragic rise in migrants,” escaping poverty caused by environmental degradation, and tackles shortages and the poor quality of water in many parts of the world, saying it is a “basic and universal human right” and that to deprive the poor of water denies them the “right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.” The loss of biodiversity and extinction of species are also mentioned.

It speaks of the decline in the quality of human life and the breakdown of society, citing the “unruly growth” of cities, the effects of technological innovations and the omnipresence of the media. The encyclical also focuses on global inequality and calls for a “true ecological approach” to hear both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.

Lack of Leadership

The encyclical draws attention to “weak responses” and a lack of leadership, noting, “It is remarkable how weak international political responses have been.” It criticizes a “superficial ecology which bolsters complacency and a cheerful recklessness.”

In Paragraph 60, Francis places the Church in between two ideological extremes: those who “doggedly uphold the myth of progress,” thinking that ecological problems will solve themselves, and those who view mankind as “no more than a threat, jeopardizing the global ecosystem.”

Early on, Laudato Si also rejects population control as a means of helping the environment, saying demographic growth is “fully compatible” with an integral and shared development.

“To blame population growth, instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues,” the encyclical says.

The document then draws on the “wisdom of biblical accounts” in relation to the environment and rejects the notion that, having been created in God’s image and given dominion over the Earth, mankind is justified in having “absolute domination over other creatures.” Furthermore, it says that when we see God reflected in all that exists, “our hearts are moved to praise the Lord for all his creatures and to worship him in union with them.”

In a later section, the document criticizes those who show “more zeal” in protecting other species than in defending human dignity or addressing “enormous inequalities in our midst.” Every act of cruelty “towards any creature is contrary to human dignity,” the Pope writes.

The Gaze of Jesus

Under the title “The Gaze of Jesus,” the document notes that Jesus lived in “full harmony with creation” and that the destiny of all creation is “bound up with the mystery of Christ.”

Chapter 3 is given over to what the encyclical calls technocracy — the dominance of technology over everyday life — and economic and political life. The Pope says this is reflected in architecture that “reflects the spirit of an age.”

He argues for a “bold cultural revolution,” in which society needs to slow down and look at reality in a different way.

Also in the chapter, it says modernity has been “marked by an excessive anthropocentricism” that actually obstructs ways of strengthening social bonds. It calls instead for “responsible stewardship” and says failure to acknowledge the worth of “a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities” makes it difficult to recognize that “everything is connected.”

Failure to protect the human embryo, it says, makes it impossible to teach concern for the vulnerable.

The document further decries a culture of relativism that objectifies others, and Francis stresses the need to protect employment, saying it is “essential” to “prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone.”

Laudato Si steps back from issuing a definitive statement on genetic modification, but it does say that a “number of significant difficulties” should not be “underestimated.” It also criticizes those who wish to impose limits on such research, while failing to “apply those same principles” to issues, specifically citing experimentation on human embryos.

Human Ecology

Chapter 4 is given over to “human ecology” and stresses the importance of “relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment.” It says it is “not a healthy attitude” to “cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it.”

“The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home,” it says, “whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation.”

Chapter 5 concerns “lines of approach and action,” in which the Pope proposes dialogue to achieve a “broad consensus” on action. He says there is an “urgent need of a true world political authority” to deal with these global problems and that the environment cannot be “adequately safeguarded or promoted by market forces.”

The final chapter discusses education and spirituality and invites everyone to “ecological conversion” and a “new lifestyle,” even through small actions, such as carpooling and turning off unnecessary lights.

“Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction,” it says. “If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society.”

It also calls for “sobriety and humility.” And towards the end, it says the Eucharist is a “source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.”

Closing Marian Reflection

Ending with a reflection on Mary, the Queen of All Creation, he says that “we can ask her to enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom,” as well as implore St. Joseph to “teach us how to show care” for the world.

The Pope ends with two prayers, one from Basil the Great and the other by Pope Francis himself, to close what he calls his lengthy, “joyful and troubling” encyclical.

Edward Pentin is the Register’s Rome correspondent.


Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/a-call-for-ecological-conversion/#ixzz3dUNCTyaH



The Rainforest as Teacher

 “John  Seed 1

John Seed ( Australia)  gave up his practice of insight meditation after the rainforest suddenly took over as his teacher of truth.  Since hearing the call of the wild some decades ago, Seed has become a leading environmental activist as well as a theoretician and teacher of deep ecology.

https://youtu.be/eiKGHS7pzmw See his talk in this video on Youtube

Let us listen to him as he speaks.   “In 1979, although I had no knowledge of, or conscious interest in, the issue, I got involved in a demonstration to save a rain forest located about five miles down the road from where I lived. Somehow I found myself involved in what turned out to be the first direct action in Australia—or in the world for that matter—in defense of the rain forests.  When he stood in front of the big chainsaws  “All of a sudden, the forest was inside me and was calling to me, and it was the most powerful thing I have ever felt. Very soon after that I stopped meditating. My practice just dropped away. I wasn’t looking inside anymore. And I didn’t have any particular explanation for this. I must say, at first it caused me quite a lot of anguish, and for awhile the only reason I was sitting was some kind of vague dread or guilt that if I stopped something terrible would happen. But all the other motivation to meditate had gone, and pretty soon the guilt was gone too, and then I was just out there in the world of direct action. I was getting a very strong message from the rain forest and I followed it.


sacred grove

I receive great spiritual nourishment from the forest itself. Furthermore, I have the scientific understanding that we humans spent 125 million of the last 130 million years evolving within this rain forest, and that our cells and our very psyche are infused with the intelligence of the forest. The fact that the forest communicates so strongly to me is not surprising.

What also turned me toward the forest were the statistics I began reading from the United Nations Environment Program and from various ecologists, which indicate that we are the last generations of human beings that are going to be in a position to turn this thing around—to prevent the destruction of complex life on earth. That kind of information burnt away all the distractions in my life, the kinds of things that at one time had been obstacles to my meditation practice. But again, it was not so much the intellectual knowing as it was just being in the forest. That experience was what made it possible for me to apply myself to the environmental work with a kind of urgency and commitment that I was never able to apply to my sitting practice.

I find myself surrendering completely to the rain forest. The closest thing to meditation practice for me now is to lie down in the forest when it’s dry, cover myself in leaves, and imagine an umbilical cord reaching down into the earth. Then I visualize myself as being one leaf on the tree of life, both as myself personally and as a human being, and I realize that the sap of that tree runs through every leaf, including me, whether I’m aware of it or not.

I don’t believe this to be a mystical notion. It’s very matter of fact. In reality, every breath of air we take connects us to the entire life of the planet—the atmosphere. I feel it very physically. I’m part of the water cycle. The sun lifts the water up into the atmosphere and then it comes down, lubricating and giving life to everything. Eighty to ninety percent of what I am is just this water.

I help organize and lead gatherings called the Council of All Beings, and the exercises we do at these gatherings give us a sense that we are not so much a personality as an intersection of these great cycles. We begin to break the illusion of being separate from the rest of creation. I can lay on the ground and feel the vibration of this earth which gave rise to me and which has sustained my ancestors and everything else for four thousand million years in incredible intelligent harmony.

It’s only recently that I as a human being have lost the ability to dance to that tune which promises hundreds and thousands and millions of years of continued evolution. I started creating my own tune, the human tune, which has become so loud in my ears that I can’t hear the sound of the earth’s cycles or the music of the spheres. We need to check into those other tunes through ritual and ceremony.


Recognizing our connection with nature is very simple and accessible regardless of where we are living. We may think we’re surrounded by concrete and plastic, but then we think a little further and realize that the concrete is sand and the bodies of shellfish. The plastic is a product of the rain forest laid down during the carboniferous era 130 million years ago and turned into oil. Look just under the surface and the unnaturalness of things starts to disappear.

That’s what we work on in the Council of All Beings. We present a series of rituals and ceremonies intended to dispel the illusion of separation and alienation. All indigenous cultures have, at the very center of their spiritual life, similar kinds of ritual and ceremony that acknowledge and nurture human interconnectedness in the larger family of life. What has happened to modern humans is that we have become arrogant. It stems perhaps from the Judeo-Christian idea that we are the center of it all, the crown of creation, and the rest of the world is just resources. We look at the nature rituals and ceremonies of indigenous people as nothing but primitive superstition and pagan mumbo jumbo. We think we’re enlightened, and that means we are above nature, and out of that arrogance we are threatening to destroy ourselves.

Everything about our society is based on this idea of ourselves as specially created apart from the rest of nature. We don’t have to believe this intellectually to be completely enthralled by it. As long as we think of “the environment” we are objectifying it and turning it into something over there and separate from ourselves. Even if we don’t believe in any particular theory of economics, our whole life is conditioned by an economic system based upon the principle that the earth has no value until human labor is added to it. The earth is just a bunch of dirt, and we are so clever we can mold that dirt and turn it into spaceships and into great long electric wires to carry our messages. We ‘ve refused to recognize the miracle of the dirt which composes us. Any miracle that we have is only miraculous because we are made of this incredible dirt—miracle dirt which will agree to do everything we ask of it. We refuse to recognize any of that. All that we know is “aren’t I fantastic?” That’s our downfall.

Of course, everything dies, and we’re going to have to let go of this planet sooner or later. The sun is going to go into nova in four thousand million years, and then the earth is going to fry up in a crisp. So what am I going to do about it? Tear my hair.

Once I was swimming at sunrise on the coast of New South Wales when I was attracted to a rock that was covered with incredible life: sea weed, crabs, shellfish. And as I began to embrace this life, all of a sudden I was embracing the living rock underneath, and I could feel the molecular continuity between the rock and the life it was supporting and my own physical being. I experienced that all of the molecules and atoms were the same, and that somehow the rock had the potential and, I would have to say, the desire or the propensity to transform itself into all kinds of soft stuff, like sea weed and human flesh. I realized that the sharp distinction between cellular life and what preceded it was actually just in my mind. The universe was miraculous and seamless. The miracle didn’t start when humans came along or for that matter when life began. When a bolt of lightening fertilized the bowl of molecular soup, it was ready and waiting. I have a visceral understanding of this process, and a deep feeling of connection. Therefore I don’t have a great deal of anxiety about the result.

I was afraid to accept that realization at first. I struggled against it. I was afraid that I might lose my motivation by letting in the good news that everything was all right whatever happens. The atoms which had done this before, for whatever imponderable reasons, were obviously capable of doing it again. And nothing I did could touch those bigger processes.

SONY DSC Photo R. Kok

But my motivation to save complex life was undiminished by this realization. Somehow I have surrendered the interests of my personality, I say regularly to my DNA, “Just tell me what to do. I’m working for you now.” I’m not working for “the man” anymore.

The music that evolved me for four thousand million years— I can hear that again. It says to me, “Save the planet. Save complex life. Protect biological diversity. Try and keep gene pools intact wherever possible. That’s what I want you to do.”

Meanwhile, what I notice is that when I live committed like this, my life is full of joy. I was sitting on a train in Tokyo on my way to do a Council of All Beings and I looked around at the people on the train, the wealthiest people in the world, and saw that they were so unhappy. I don’t want that life. My life feels very joyful and exciting to me right now. In this day and age, if you end up with a joyful and exciting life, feeling at one with all things, you really can’t complain, regardless of the outcome.

This article is excerpted from an interview with John Seed by Wes Nisker in Inquiring Mind, a semi-annual journal of the Vipassana Community, P. O. Box 9999, North Berkeley Station, Berkeley, CA 94709.

For information about John Seed’s workshops write to R. G. Steinman, Rainforest Information Center, 9009 Fairview Road, Silver Springs, MD 20910.


A dream of the Earth in Transylvania / Rumania

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Transylvania, a part of the S.E. European country Rumania. In Tilburg I met Borbola Szabo, a Rumanian woman, who had to leave her country in the nineties of last century, and has live in The Netherlands till 2015. In her country she lives in a small farm. She shared with me and others her dream of starting an Ecological Learning Centre there. Together with her and several others we looked into possibilities for such a centre.

Touched by her dream and with hope that such a centre can be founded there, in July 2012 I travelled to Praid, a small town in the heart of Transylvania. A place with high mountains, plains and large woods with wild animals. And also a beautiful culture and old traditions of a people who live in a very sustainable way, very connected with the Earth. I found it a pity that I could not communicate with them, because of the two foreign languages for me: Hungarian and Rumanian. Transylvania is an area inhabited by people of Hungarian origin. After World War One  this area is part of Rumania.

Trans-sylvania: the land “between the woods”.  High mountains embrace the land from all sides. Old forests, castles, rivers and lakes and the small farmers villages all over where people live a simple life, like long time ago. A country with a long history of cultures. You find there the Sun temples of Romans, the art of the old great Otto-German empire and the many traditions and festivals that are still alive. The connectedness with land and seasons are expressed and celebrated and also the great moments of life. A very religious people as can be seen in the many cloisters and convents, churches of different denominations and the crosses along the roads.

I was deeply touched by the way the people live. The country is still very agrarian. Farm yards full with fruit trees, corn, vegetables and herbs. It was time for harvest and preservation of the many fruits of the gardens, kept for the long winters with lots of snow and cold. People live very closely with the seasons, as can be seen in the ways of housing: a little house for the family in the summer, when they live mostly outdoors and in the fields, a big house for the long winters with a stove and several rooms for weaving and other handicrafts for gathering to tell the many old stories, and a stable for the hay and the cattle.

A local sustainable economy. Besides the work on the farm the people help each other; one is baking the bread for the village, others earn some extra money with repairing cars or building houses etc. or producing beautiful pottery and other handicrafts and many other ways.  The local community takes care of the commons, meadows for the cattle that are cared for together. In the bigger cities modernity has come to some extend.


I was struck by the effects of climate change and global warming. Five hundred meters up in the mountains every day the temparature was about 30 degrees C. For two summers now the rains had not come and there was an alarming lack of water. On the mountains the fir trees were dying and the other trees were dropping their leaves already. In the train from Boedapest to Rumania, I saw the dried up corn and wondered if there be any harvest in autumn. I sensed the anxiety in the hearts of the farmers as the wells run dry. Cattle is also thristy!

I felt the power of the healing Earth energy: the saltmine in the little city of Praid. Five hundred meters under the surface people sit for hours in the cool air and breathe in the salty air to cleanse their bronchial tubes. And the pools with hot saline mud, in the countryside. You cover yourself all over with the mud and then let it dry in the sun till you sparkle as an ornament in a Christmas tree. Then to dive in the cool river and be cleansed and relax. Or swimming in one of the many lakes with salt water. I saw the tradition of healing herbs: making teas and ointments from  them.

We saw the old cities with the fortified churches, houses, squares. I sensed how it is to be in the heart of ancient Europe and how properous these areas must have been. I saw the gypsies, of several kinds. They live peacefully amidst the local people there.

An International Ecological Learning centre in Transylvania?

In this time of worldwide ecological crisis it is important and very necessary that people of our time rediscover how they can inhabit the Earth in ways that do not destroy or deplete the Earth. Finding and embracing new ways to live  in harmony with the whole community of life. To help the Earth to continue in her basic functions to provide food, healing, wisdom, balance,  fulfillment, governance.

This understanding and knowledge has disappeared in so many places and groups, especially among the younger generations all over the globe. Economic growth at all price and technology of computers and other kind,  ask for all the attention of the modern human and Earthwisdom disappears. The villagers are still very much in touch with the Earth and nature. But also here modernity will come along some day. What a gift will it be to the Earth there and to the people, if they could skip the times of the economic growth imperative I thought. A transition from their present situation into a sustainable way of life of our times. These people could offer  the example and experience of a simple and harmonious lifestyle and share their age old wisdom.

That is part of the vision of the Ecological Learning centre to be. To support and rejuvenate the present villages there and invite the people to share their wisdom and knowledge with many “modern people”. Permaculture, community building, safeguarding culture and traditions. We saw so many possibilities when we gathered in a circle to “dream”  this place. Most of all to build a strong community of local people and people from other places in the world, who can develop and carry all this.

On website www.yogibori.ro and http://firtosh.wordpress.com ( still under construction) you can find more information about these developments.

Bori in the entrance of her yard in Ocna de Sus ( area of Praid) foto C.de Bruijn

Who knows are you touched too, because volunteers are welcome with their expertise and right motivations. Finances are still a bottleneck. Where to find the money to rebuild the stable and make it into a holistic centre for courses? Still there are many possibilities and what is there already is the farm on the yard.

The Earth is dreaming in this place and if people will pick up her dream, it will happen, I am convinced of this. I have seen it happen before and in many more places all over the world.

Western Europe with the many problems about financial crisis, corruption, banks falling down, etc was far behind me and I realized that this land and these people is also the European continent. They are our brothers and sisters, hoping for a sustainable life in the future, not necessary riches but enough to have a “good” life. A life in balance and in connection with the land and nature and .

Shambala Yard, Ocna de Sus: will it happen? It has started already.

NB: Update 2017: I was there in 2013 and in 2016. The dream still exists and first steps are taken toward a centre for preserving the old and traditional handicrafts. A centre has been opened where visitors can learn traditional handicrafts.

July 2017 , Elly Verrijt

Alchemy of Food…

Alchemy of Food

This article is taken from a daily magazine Earth Matters.
The article is written by Liz Blake. More information about the author you find at the end of this article.
May you enjoy learning about the wisdom of Earth as she nourishes us.

At the heart of Alchemy is the dynamic relationship between psyche and matter. We access our transformational potential, both for the individual and the collective, by cultivating an alchemical relationship with our food.  By eating intentionally, we generate the abilities to co-create ourselves and our world.

1. Eating is an ACT OF CREATION.
You are, quite literally, what you eat.  Eating the fruits of the earth is a beautiful becoming, an elevation of matter, as they integrate into your conscious being.  The fruit is conscious itself.  Molecules of the earth’s creation are re-organized and integrated into your physical and subtle energetic bodies, directing and framing your conscious experience.  Becoming aware of this molecular consciousness allows you to actively co-create with the molecules you are made of.  They are gifts of the earth.  Create yourself with love.

2. Discovering our Earthly Selves
Once you fully acknowledge that you are what you eat, you discover your body is made of the earth; your physical being is a reorganization of earth molecules directed by your DNA.  Understand that your material existence is rooted in your food.  Every bite presents the opportunity to make a conscious choice.  You choose the materials for your own creation.  I suggest choosing high quality, highly intelligent, highly evolved materials, they will serve you.  They will fuel your individual evolution.  They will awaken your transformation, your becoming of the best possible self that you have the potential to be, that is the work, the opus.  This is alchemy.  Eating is alchemy.

3. Welcoming the Earth as Teacher
Once you understand the earthly wisdom flowing through your body, you are able to receive her teachings, her intelligence, her healing embrace.  The Earth is here to teach humanity.  Your body is a vehicle to receive her teachings, her transmissions of intelligence.  The teachings flow through your veins, encoded in the nutrients in your blood, they are inherent in your being.  Awaken your awareness to feel her.  Listen to her whisper.

4. Attuning to the Subtle
Awaken your awareness to the subtle.  Learn to listen beneath the sounds, attune to the vibrations, the intelligence in your being.  Assimilate the subtle, allow it to easily pass through your digestive system, into your blood, and illuminate your cells with information.  Hear your whole being’s response; there is infinite information in the dialogue of the subtle.   Different foods have different energetic qualities, knowing this difference empowers you to know your medicine.  You are your own medicine.

5. Micro is Macro Cosm
Your evolution is your opus.  The great work, the opus, your personal transformational journey, is yours to do as a service to all of humanity.  As we heal ourselves, we respect ourselves and create the space to respect others, to respect our mother, this beautiful planet that hosts our being.  A micro universe exists inside of you; it is a cell of the macro universe.  We are to take responsibility of the cells that we are made of and influence, the cells that we co-create.  As we awaken our individual cells, we support the awakening of all humankind.  Our every action of taking care, of consciously loving ourselves, inspires those around us.  This is the viral energetic upshift and it is beautiful.   We are all designers of the future, creating our world with our thoughts.  Nourish your thoughts with the consciousness of the earth to support a thriving future.  Awaken on a cellular level.  Bring in the light.  Be solar powered.  Eat plants!  They eat the sun.

6. Taste the Sacredness of the Earth
Our mother planet is endowed with an intelligence we have yet to comprehend as a species.  She knows our past and our evolution.  She has co-evolved us, she is our co-evolutionary partner, and she is the master manifestor in the created universe.  Allow yourself to deepen into this knowledge.  When you take a bite of food, honor this highly intelligent biological ecological system, allow the information to flow through your being. Olfactory communication is a core element in the language of the earth.  Learn to smell the truth in the air, the flowers, and your food.  Attune your senses to taste the sacredness of the earth.

7. Honor the Container
The container is the physical, the matter, the mother, the earth, the feminine, the receiver.  The holder of the magic.  Honor this space.  The physical body is the container for our evolution of consciousness.  You must have energetic integrity in the physical to be able to receive and assimilate the frequencies of higher consciousness that are coming to earth.  This is key to the evolution, to the upshift, to the way forward.  This is honoring and listening to your mother.  She is here to heal, she is here to teach, she is here to help us grow.  She wants to create with you.  Love her, she knows best.

8. Fasting in Silence
It is simple; to know how to eat properly once must cease eating.  To know how to speak properly, one must stop speaking.  By fasting, mono dieting and juice cleansing, you eliminate the energetic chaos, the noise, the clutter, the many paths and directions that pull you.  You then create the space to settle into simply what is, this is medicine.  Food has a powerful pull; eating many different kinds from many different sources can scatter your energy field.  When you give your system a rest from overload of information, it reprograms itself to awareness.  Suddenly you become aware of things you never noticed before, the depths of the scent in a carrot, the sensation miso has in your stomach, the digestion and assimilation of your beloved chocolate, the nutrients of kale in your blood, the feeling of clean water nourishing the energetic strength of your chakras.  Attuning to the subtle provides unlimited information on your Self, your inner being, your body and your soul.  Your soul knows how your body wants to be fed, so does your body, your work is to access its intelligence and support the body’s communication with your conscious mind.

9. The Secret Ingredients: Love And Intention
All matter holds intention.  Working with this universal truth is alchemy.  Transformation in matter is a container, a support structure and a symbol for transformation in the psyche or spirit. Understanding how these energetic transformations occur give you the power to create, create yourself, create our future.  When you grow, harvest, cook and eat with love, you nourish on an energetic level.  This realm is more subtle than the densely physical, this is the psyche, this is spirit, this is a powerful place to access, this is the source of creation.  And yes, you can access it through the way of your food.  Allow your food to support the intentions you have in life.  Ask your food to nourish your true self, your higher self, the all knowing you.

10. Mastering the Art of Being
Whether you’ve embraced it yet or not, you are a creator, you have the power to create, all of humanity is evolving to embrace this power.   Love it, be it, and emanate it, responsibly.  Mastering the cellular response of your inner being to the outside world, to the wonders of the earth, is the initial step.  Your body wants to support your evolution, but you must support your body.  Your body moves towards balance, and you must nourish its moving towards center.  Once you master the creation of yourself, mind and body, in matter and in spirit, you are an alchemist, you are a master in the art of transformation, which is the way of creation.  You are embracing the Great Work, you are the artist creating your life, you become the opus.   You are creator.

11. As Below, So Above…As Above, So Below
“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.  And just as all things have come from this One Thing, through the meditation of the One Mind, so do all created things originate from this One Thing, through Transformation.”  – The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation by Dennis William Hauck

About the Author
Liz Blake is a designer of conscious culture and evolved lifestyle, inspiring a co-creative healthy future.
She is a graduate of NYU, with a self-designed BA in Holistic Health and Alchemy, focusing in Jungian psychology, nutrition, energy healing and shamanism.  She is a practicing Reiki Master.  She also earned a certificate as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as a Yoga Teaching certificate, 200 hr RYT.
As a conscious chef, she nourishes our evolution through alchemically integrating healing energy into the kitchen and creating food with love.
She is committed to nurturing community and healthy relationships to the earth and is an active member and healing center visionary of The Source Farm Ecovillage in Jamaica.  She is also a friend of Growing Heart Farm in upstate NY.
Guided by sacred plant medicine, she traveled to Peru, Brazil and England to pursue her shamanic studies.
Liz is currently based in New York City and is offering services in nutritional and transformational coaching, focusing on personal transformation through working with the subtle energetics of food and balancing the inner ecosystem.  She also offers Reiki and subtle energetic healing work.
Bron: www.wakeup-world.com

Building ecological awareness in South East Asia

Since the middle of July I am in South East Asia; in Indonesia and the Philippines. Giving retreats and workshops on ecological awareness and an ecological life commitment.

The first two months I was in Indonesia and mainly worked in Central Java. Giving three retreats for in total more than 90 people. People of all walks of life, but mainly with a Christian background.

I saw and experienced the great changes in the environmental situation. Java, that I knew from my time there in the seventies, when I worked as a nutritionist in the poorer parts of Java, has changed tremenously. Development everywhere and more wealth for the people, though still one third of the people live in poverty in Indonesia. The beautiful rice plains are now turned into housing areas and industry. The infrastructure has been developed and beautitiful roads full with Indonesian made cars. If not a car yet then a motorcycle and the bicycles, so typical in the past, have disappeared.

Coming from the west, I realize my favorite position: a place to live in  that is relatively free from pollution of air, water and soils. Especially in the big cities the traffic is so heavy that a quiet place free from gasoline gasses is rarely found. The mystical East has given way to the developments of modern life.  There is not much difference I see with modern western youth in lifestyle, clothing, recreation and the use of technology.

Where to start with building ecological awareness? And what can I see as some one coming from the West? I have felt it as a precious fact that I lived and worked here in the seventies. The Indonesian language has not left me and I could express myself still in bahasa. I encountered people who are awakening to what is happening to their country, so rich in natural resources. The sadness about what happened and is happening to the forests. The mining and the peoples driven from their ancestral lands because of that. The “theft ” of the primal sources of water: large foreign companies that exploit the water in the aquafiers and put it in plastic bottles. Gone the tradition that where ever you go you find fresh water in earthen water jars.

Weeks of study and input on the present situation of the ecological crisis. Understanding the causes and finding a vision that leads us into the future.  Where to start building a more sustainable Earth community? What lifestyle and spirituality can sustain that work and the tremendous changes that this askes for. We focussed on processes that can restore the lost connection with the life processes of the Earth and nature. And most of all how to find a fulfilled way of life in a true concern  for the Earth and all her life.

It was a  most touching experience to see how much new life it gave to all of us. Discoveries, new understandings, new visions of doing things differently. Mother Earth herself made our hearts burn with fire to protect life and help to build a future for all Earth children. We were deeply touched by the promise of Jesus who came to make all things new and help to bring creation to the fulness intended from the Beginning.

At the moment I am in  the Philppines, in the midst of one tyfoon after the other. People in  the floods, harvests destroyed, houses blown away by the strong winds. The inconvenient truth of the global warming as one newspaper said in the headlines. I am deeply touched by the beauty and richness of this country, especially the days in Mindanao. And everywhere the same message; global warming is doing unpredictable things. The serious dawning awareness that we already have to prepare now with searching for new foodcrops to plant for the time when there will be no water anymore for the ricefields.

New awareness is arising and it puts hearts and hands in motion. It is a very deep experience to see the realities here and be with the people in  this. It will give direction and fuel to my awareness building work once I will be back in my homecountry The Netherlands somewhere next month. And for sure I will try to speak about the situation here once I am back.


Heart consciousness and the wellbeing of the Earth

The Power of the Heart

If  we would give the other person(s) we live with, two minutes of undivided attention a day-  a presence from the heart, the relationship will continue to deepen and become more healthy and wholesome. (Cosmic Law: what we will give attention will grow) What will not get attention will wither and die.

Remember moments when you received full attention, when you were “seen”  from the heart by another person. You feel strong, grounded, radiant. It is the most normal way of being and it should not be the an  exception!

People nowadays have lost the heart connection. The ecological crisis can  come to people at large losing their connection with the heart. If we are not seen, we will not see and loose our contact with the flow of life. Just imagine how our Earth can change if each person receives 2 minutes of loving attention a day! Let us not just search solutions for problems, but give attention to what is really there. The wisdom of the heart will bring the solutions. All wisdom is in the life we live from the heart.

When we give full attention life energy (Prana) flows and is passed on. We give the other person the great gift of life-energy. This energy comes from the zero -point field of ( free ) energy. When we open our heart we open the door to an immense field of energy. The open heart is connected to a field beyond space and time; an enormous field of information. ( see heart coherence science, internet)

Feelings of compassion and love, care, respect, full attention, honor bring a coherent heart rhythm, while feelings of frustration, anger, insecurity and fear can lead to an incoherent heart rhythm.

If you experience love, respect, honor, full attention a hormone called DHEA is produced and helps in the process of slowing down the process of aging, Alzheimer, loss of memory, diabetes, depression, tiredness.

A loving body absorbs less cholesterol and produces more immunoglobulin A and blood pressure is lowered.

How to open the heart?

Bring your attention to the area of your heart. Visualize that you breathe in through the heart and breathe out through your solar plexus, right under your breast bone. Allow positive feelings to come. E.g. precious memories. Your heart rhythm will change immediately.

Heart energy heals the world.

Not the brain will ’save” the world, but the heart. It has been proven scientifically that the heart is much more attuned to the situation than our brain.  Feelings in the heart are much quicker and powerful than our brains. Positive thinking helps but positive feeling is a much stronger impulse for health: both personally, communally and for the life of the Earth.

Our heart has a very strong electromagnetic field; 5000 times stronger  than the field of our brain. Our heart has a great impact on electromagnetic radiation all around us. The start you want to see in the world starts in your heart.

Global warming, climate change, poverty, massive loss of life, dying environment, fear insight of great disasters…what will help ? A heart that is open and peaceful can give us more power to deepen our desires and intentions.

Inspirations: H. Andeweg in his book “Scheppend leven”.




To meditate with Thomas Berry: The Meadow across the Creek

“My understanding of the Great Work ( call in life) began when I was quite young. At the time I was some eleven years old. My family was moving from a more settled part of a small southern town ( in the USA) out to the edge of town where the new house was being built. The house, not yet finished, was situated on a slight incline. Down below was a small creek and there across the creek was a meadow. It was an early afternoon in late May when I first wandered down the incline, crossed the creek, and looked out over the scene. The field was covered with white lilies rising above the thick grass. A magic moment, this experience gave to my life something that seems to explain my thing at a more profound level than almost any other experience I can remember……

Yet as the years pass this moment returns to me, and whenever I think about my basic life attitude and the whole trend of my mind and the causes to which I have given my efforts, I seem to come back to this moment and the impact it has had on my feeling for what is real and worthwhile in life.”

This experience of Thomas Berry might be something that has happened in your life too. The beauty of nature, the magic of a place can change and direct an entire life..A moment of deep connection with the Earth leaves an imprint on our soul that will last a life time. As you take time to connect with nature, just sit quietly and close your eyes. Your let your consciousness drift to a place that is very precious to you. Let all the memories come back…see the place with your inner eyes, smell it, hear the sounds and feel the Earth in that place. Realize that all  that happened in that place is still with you. See how this place has become part of the inner landscape of your soul. And allow yourself to be touched again by the power of this place. See the person you have become since that moment and hear Mother Earth speak to you about the deeper dimensions of your relationship to her. See what has come about in your life, perceive it as the gift of this now.

The Aboriginals welcome the guest with the question: “Where is your name written in the Earth?” Where is that place for you and what do you find in that place for your life now? Write about it, visit that place, if it still is there. So many of htese places have been destroyed, cemented, etc. Connect with it in your heart.

“A viable future for the Earth will only happen if we rediscover our place on Earth: not a geographical place, but a place in our heart that is connected with the inner “heart” of the Earth. This was perhaps something I vaguely experienced in that first view in the meadow across the creek” ( Thomas Berry, in ‘The Great Work,” ch.2)


Meditation: To Eat with Gratitude

A meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk and peace activist. You can find it in  his book :” Touching the Earth” .

“Lord Buddha, each time I sit at the table, I promise to be grateful. I know that the time to eat is also a time to meditate. When I eat I not only my body is nourished, but also my mind. When I fold my hands before the meal, I follow my breath to bring my body and mind to oneness. And in this state of pure awareness I will look at the food on my plate and I will meditate on the next five points:

  1. This food is a gift of the whole Universe – the soil, the air, and hard work.
  2. May we take our food in consciousness so that we are worthy to receive this food.
  3. May we transform our imperfect state of awareness and learn to eat with moderation.
  4. May we only take that food that really nourishes us and prevents illness.
  5. We accept this food to realize the path of insight and love.

…I see that this food is a gift of the soil and the air. I see the rice field, the vegetable garden, the sunshine, the rain, the manure and the hard work of the farmer. I see the beautiful fields of golden wheat, those harvesting , those threshing the wheat, the ones baking the bread. I see the beans sown in the soil growing up. I see the apple orchard, the plum orchard, the tomato garden and the workers taking care of those plants. I see the bees and butterflies flying from flower to flower and gathering pollen and preparing sweet honey. I see that every element of the cosmos has participated in this….My heart is full of gratitude and happiness. When I chew my food, I nourish my consciousness and my happiness and I take care that my mind is not occupied by the past or by the future or by senseless thoughts of the present. Every bite nourishes me and my ancestors and my descendants, who live in me. Food for my senses can give me compassion and joy while eating. When I eat with full awareness, I bring forth compassion, freedom and joy. In this way I feed my family and my sangha (  community).

I will take care that I will not eat more than I need, because it is harmful for myself and for my discipline.

Lord Buddha, three times I touch the Earth on behalf of you, who are worthy of all respect and sacrifice. In this way I express my gratitude for the soil, the air and all kind of living beings and feed my happiness.

I nourish myself with true food and the food that feeds my senses. True food gives nourishment for my body.

Translate »