Last week the entire team at Belipola participated in a shramadhana to cleanup, inventory and redesign the nursery. We have been wanting to do this for ages – the nursery is a special place in Belipola and holds a lot of energy there and we’ve been wanting to harness that for a long time.
Shramadhana,which literally means, to offer (dhana) one’s labour (shrama). Anything can be offered as a dhana, whereas shramadhana is offering help that is unique to you as it cannot be bought or copied or owned by another. It is often practiced as a community effort to contribute to a single person or to the community in general.
We had 9 people working on the nursery and it was a beautiful sight to see the whole team coming together, working alongside each other and laughing together. I was so happy to be there and to share in that. Along the way we cleaned weeds, organized nursery bags, while Piyal took an inventory of everything that we have. What he found was that we have approximately 9,500 plants from 75 varieties. However, because the nursery has not been attended to in many many years, a significant amount of these plants have their roots in the ground. We have developed some preliminary plans to move some of the plants into the arboretum for landscaping and/or cultivation. We have also identified many plants that can be re-bagged and put up for sale (if you have an interest in buying plants, we will have an inventory available in a few months).
One of the exciting things to come out of the day’s work was the inception of a new design. We planned out a design that is cosmically alighned, spiritually grounding and pleasing to the eye, mind and taste. The nursery platform was originally cut from the hill to build a house. Dr. Ranil said that he chose the location because from that landing, looking down the ravine you can see the stellar constellation that we know as the southern cross. A house was never built in this location and it became one of several plant nurseries at Belipola (today it is our only nursery).
In the past there were apparently some land disputes and according to some, a curse was placed in this place.
I was speaking with Trudy at the end of the day and we were reflecting on how important it was for our team to come together and work alongside eachother in this way. Then we got into talking about our roles and what we are doing here at Belipola, but really we were asking, what has Belipola been doing without us? And in our conversing we realized that Belipola has not been neglected, or forgotten, or left to nature’s course, rather, it has been fermenting, sitting, waiting, ageing and purifying. And we have come here with a new energy and the space is ripe for that, because it is all coming together and positive vibrations are abound in the forest these days! We are blessed to be here.
So in the spirit of cleansing and realigning what has gone astray, we designed a cosmic alignment in the nursery. We planted a herb spiral, with a large quartz stone in the center. The spiral is aligned with a circular formation at the entrance of the nursery which we aim to turn into a medicinal circle garden. And we have chosen the site for a third circle which will be small and complete the alignment to the southern cross.
We can believe whatever we experience, whatever we feel, this is the meaning of real.