BACK TO NATURE
Some have described cities as urban wastelands, or giant pieces of litter, because almost everything in them is man-made, regulated, and thus, in that sense, utterly artificial. Most people are cut off from their original, birthright resources as ''earthlings'', such as fresh water, non-toxic food, clean air and above all: land. Even though basic necessities seem secure and provided, it's always mediated by money, and by the bureaucratic-capitalist system. Without work and therefore an income, most of us don't own or have anything of intrinsic, or renewable value.
In most cities, one is surrounded with and saturated by constant commercial messages, noise pollution, concrete, steel, and a generally unarticulated but persistent feeling of alienation and isolation - because living in mass society requires, to a greater or lesser degree, that we close ourselves off from each other, except a small circle of friends and family. There is simply too many people to keep truly caring about and connected with.
We experience a lack of being held in the web of life, in it's diversity, and growing beauty. Around us dead things and machines dominate the landscape, and few really feel at home, at ease, and safe, because nature is no longer the background and nurturing womb of our continued existence.
Living in community fulfills our ancient and instinctive longing to belong, to be held in a soothing social matrix of family and friends, all generously supporting each other, whether by deep listening, loving speech, a hug, a smile, eye-contact, or whatever form of care, intuition and intelligence (spontaneously) comes through us.
That's why we have chosen to live in community, and to live on the land - to become more and more autonomous, and self-sufficient. This is about reclaiming our power, and about creating lasting value, surplus, thanks to the Earth, to the Water and our own diligent, daily efforts.
Returning the Land to Nature
Returning to a more symbiotic and harmonious relationship with the Earth, the natural cycles of life and death – sun, rain, spring, soil and wind – we intend to carefully reforest our land, which has been used as a cow pasture for the past several decades. For this, most trees were cut, and only a single type of highly-competitive grass was allowed to thrive.
Now, with intelligent permaculture principles and intuitive-organic common sense, we will plant a great variety of fruit and nut trees, as well as green bamboo, sustainable timber species, nitrogen-fixers to increase overal fertility, and many shrubs and bushes that share their beautiful flowers and smells.
Thus, mixed food forests, medicinal herb gardens and vegetable beds shall emerge, regenerating the original bio-diverse ecosystem, creating micro-climates for wildlife, and offering healthy nourishment all around us.
With the landscape gently waking up, finding it's own depth and wealth once again, , our senses will also spontaneously start re-dediscovering their delightful receptivity and pure potential for being-at-one-with-the-world, flowing into and out of us.
In this way, the land will be a true life-giver and –sustainer, providing all basic needs of our embodied existence: water, food, shelter, medicine, fresh air.
Alternative Energy and Eco-friendly living solutions
In practical terms, we intend and plan to provide for electricity with hydro-power, installing turbine-systems along the strong river that forms the bottom border of Florestral. Gas, in the future, is most likely going to come from one or more bio-digesters, producing free, natural, local methane, used in cooking.
Showers will be fed by rainwater-catchment tanks, and also by water pumped-up from the river with an ingenious RAM-pump – gravity does the rest.
Dry toilets are an integral part of the 'no-waste'-strategy, where our excrements, once properly composted, complete the cycle by returning to the earth (e.g. around the base of fruit trees) whence it came.
In this intricate and intimate balance, as human beings we realize our interdependence with and embeddedness in the living, breathing environment around and within us, every day, with each sunrise, with each sunset. In this growing awareness, joy, gratitude and love are born, in our heart, and in the heart of the landscape, which will beat as one.
We are returning to the way of the Tribe; living in close relation to the Earth and cycles of nature, growing our own food while nourishing the land and living in close, collective and respectful relation to other human beings.
We are creating an alternative to mass-society, the urban anonymity, isolation and alienation. We actively and consciously choose to live together as a community, while simulatenously offering each member their own space and privacy. We intend to voluntarily support one another on all levels, in terms of emerging projects, company, children, spirituality, creative expression, sharing of seeds, plants, fruits, skills and so on. Earth-based, day-to-day living relationships like this have the potential to be truly fulfilling, mutually enriching, and thus a deep feeling of belonging and solidarity can develop between us.
There are 10-12 lots of half an acre, which are owned and used by individuals or families, while the remaining 6 hectares of the land will be in the hands of the collective.
Also, we will continue to foster good connections with other farms, retreat centres and people in our valley, and the surrounding area. There exists already a network of friends, acquiantances and locals, like-minded and like-spirited souls that are cooperating in myriad ways big and small. These will benefit and hold all of us, finding strength and resilience in cooperation and exchange, hopefully making us less dependent on the exclusively commercial-monetary system.
We are envisioning a community that lives in prosperity by the grace of the land upon which we dwell and collectively take care for. By the deep intention of peace and sharing within each person involved , through conscious communication we will create harmony and magic.
We serve the Higher well-being of humanity by living in simplicity and harmony with nature , ourselves and one another and by being a manifestation of the awakening consciousness present in our world.
We have created this land-based Retreat Center to give people the opportunity to experience the healing vibration of the Forest and Spirit-centered Community Life while participating in transformative and soul-nourishing retreats.
We have a humble living space that includes cabins and camping area, ecological showers and toilets, a beautiful central kitchen and dining area. The Forest Temple is where our sacred activities (like yoga, meditations, ceremonies, group sharings and so on) take place.
Our Retreat Centre offers a variety of seminars, retreats and workshops that range from a single weekend to a month, throughout the year. All are in the spirit of sacred quest, healing, joy and truth.
We facilitate :
During these intention-focused seminars we hold guided journeys using the sacred medicine plants in Ceremonial Rituals.
Participants take part in a series of guided ceremonies, workshops, and integration circles as well as daily meditations and music study.
Revolving around the wellness of the body, the quiet mind and the splendor of spirit, we venture into a study of Yoga while immersing ourselves in the tranquility of the forest.
These weeks focus on cleansing not only the physical body, but simultaneously the emotional, psychological and spiritual bodies as well. Through fasting and green juices, freshly prepared with organic ingredients from the land, including various vitalizing super-foods, we will energize the blissful kundalini/chi circuits and chakra's, and release accumulated wastes from our precious tissues and minds.
The opportunity to live in community and work on the land, contributing to the development of the project and receiving knowledge and experience in permaculture and sustainability.
The land is a sanctuary for deep relaxation, contemplation, celebration, sharing, being with nature, so we also invite people to come stay at our Center and simply Be, transmit and receive.
Our Practice of connection in the Forest
Every morning, for whomever feels the call, we will walk to the river, where each can find and choose their after-dawn massage/vortex or dip-in pool, which wakes up and invigorates the whole body, from surface cells to bone marrow, and both relaxes and tones the muscles.
After we will offer warm, herbal teas, and a gentle yoga session or subtle mindful movement practice, completed with either musically guided or silent meditation.
There will be plenty of time to rest, be yourself in nature, listen to the wind, the water, the birds, make music and sing together, read, play with the children, garden or whatever your heart is genuinely drawn to in the moment, to serve your true intention for the week.
We devote a day to partake in a beautiful sweat-lodge, to be reborn into purity from that hot, dark womb, back into the light, into the flow of love and the ease of being - all pores are open now, channels for grace and gratitude.
Come join us at Florestral and experience the soft touch of the Forest that will rejuvenate and replenish your soul, body and mind
The land is like an open canvas on which, together, we are painting this beautiful and revealing vision.
Living as a Medicine Community in the Forest came to us in a vision, which, ever since, kept igniting in our hearts - and now it is manifesting. As this happens, new ideas, that we would love to co-create here in the future, are born.
We have immediate plans for realising our Hosting Facilities and Retreat Center, near-future plans for further developments on the land and a large open mind and heart for new ideas and visions that will reveal and present themselves.
Our Current Projects
- We are, right now, in the pioneering phase of development of this Land. The primary priorities are:
- Creating and building a hosting area, which includes 4-5 guest cabins, a kitchen/dining area, ecological showers and toilets, preparing spots for camping and making walking paths
- Clearing, cleaning and improving the soil in our first greenhouse, building raised beds and working tables, as well as starting seed trays, in order to begin growing a lot of organic greens, herbs and vegetables for the up-coming seminar season
- The Temple for our spiritual activities shall be erected once we gather sufficient funds
- Establishing a drinking water circuit (pipes, tank, pump) from our spring to the hosting area
- Improving the road
- Preparing larger plots of land and a nursery for the planting season in April, May, June (e.g. Banana groove, Yuca patches, passion fruit vine, corn, rice, sweet potato, ginger, turmeric, the first round of fruit trees, bamboo species, nitrogen fixers etc.)
- Constructing a chicken-house (for eggs, manure, weed and pest control services), possibly a place for 4-5 goats (for organic yoghurt, milk and cheese)
- Improving and extending paths and walkways through the land
- Installing long-term water solutions (RAM-pump and hydro-power systems) for agriculture, showers, kitchen, electricity etc.
- Reforestation efforts
Sound of Light Music Studio
A recording studio in the Forest that goes beyond the microphone, joining great musicians, creating music for mediation and healing
Zipline to the River
Yippee! A fun project envisioned by the children. The Zipline will run on the Southern most side of the land going downhill to land in the river. At this point on the river there is a big pool that remains deep enough throughout the year regardless of the season changes.
Some of our members have a great love for Horses! So we will create a horse stable on the land. In the future we envision creating a small center for therapeuitc healing with the horses.
Most of these intentions and hopes are still in the the stage of aspiring and imagining, and thus receptive towards new suggestions, colors, and inspiration. If you have other plans or intuitions for potential projects at the land, please know that we are more than willing to listen - there is plenty of space and opportunities in this regard.