Touch the Earth - work program for volunteers
Calling all hands and hearts
Let earth be your teacher.
Whether we inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
or borrow it from our children,
think green, act green, connect green.
Preserve Nature,
and nature will preserve us.
Simplify life,
and make nature thrive.
Plant trees,
And make our planet green.
The natural world is far more diverse and complex than we can ever know. 
Every day is earth day.
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.
We are not going to comprehend it. It comprehends us. 
A special welcome and invitation is extended to volunteers who have an inclination and are able to join us to touch the earth for a 4-hour work day where we undertake a wide variety of small projects, long term fire mitigation, deferred maintenance, landscaping, weeding and overall cleanup, cleaning, organising and transforming the outdoor area into a contemplative garden. We need a small contingent of willing-to-do whatever people to help us by joining our programs and services to promote a healthy economy and sustainable living practices in order to reduce our collective impact on the environment. 
The world is becoming increasingly polluted, over populated and facing global challenges like never before.
People in the world will face death by malnutrition, hunger, poisoning and war. To resolve this we must heal the mind, heal the land, awaken the dreamer and change the dream. Divine, awakened being exists as the basic stream of all life. Reminding ourselves of this invites this reality into our mindstream. We relate once again to our human decency and potential for good. 
The eco mind arises from changing the way we think (the idea of lack) to enable us to live in the world we want, and bring forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on the planet as a guiding principle of our times. We can make a start to restore nature where we live, work and play and consider organic farming. May human activity in the world turn towards harmony and wisdom with all other residents of the planet. Let us come together to find ways to ameliorate, moderate and restore what we have damaged. Volunteers need to be appropriately attired for the weather, terrain and retreat, non-smoking and mindful of speech and language. The property is alcohol and drug free. 
On Contemplative Garden Days (during our silent meditation retreats), we practice while we work together. The practice begins with walking meditation and ends with mindful sitting. 
The Permaculture Project has been designed by Jean. The plan provides a blueprint from which together we construct a permaculture garden that replicates the ecological functions of nature. This include the relationship between the utilisation of native plants in green spaces, ponds and natural water filtration, the removal of weeds and toxins, provide habitat for wildlife together with landscaping. 
See a world where earth's soils are restored to abundant, vibrant health; where soils that have been depleted and eroded away are soothed and healed; where desert boundaries are shrinking again and true soil is restored to each wounded place; where microbiota, plants and animal life unique to each place returns home to thrive; and where the plant and animal life that have been displaced return home, or to the soil, each to its place, in balance in spirit and space. 
Renewed soils and forests call out to the mists, the rains, and the dew, and they respond in kind. Streams and springs are running full, clean and healthy. Our reefs and coastal stretches are cleansed of decades of soil and oil. We harvest and recycle the plastic patches in the sea. Our oceans and all that exists there are cleansed of toxins, and teems with life again. The amazing biotic and energetic networks that once held all ecosystems in graceful and elegant balance are reconnected. 
Our hands work together and we all take up this loving work, this healing, in recognition of the blessed relationship we have with the earth and the universe. Our gardens and farms are restored to the wealth of diversity they once knew. We no longer need or use chemicals to grow food because we are tending the soil in the way that it needs us to. We are receiving bountiful, healthy, delicious food in return we care for that which feeds us. Everyone is fulfilled in body and spirit; we all have access to clean water and good food. We share and support each others' wellbeing and in doing so, we need less and our abundance deepens. We place our care of the earth at the centre of all our decision making and in that way we are also supported. We are listening, hearing and understanding the messages of the universe. In so doing, we become family once again.
                                                                                                 The Intenders of the Highest Good
                                                                                                 Vision Alignment Project by Pua in Hawaii
Each year volunteers joyfully donate many hours to the 'Living Laboratory' at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuay, helping us accomplish our habitat restoration and gardening projects. The Shanti Yoga Community at Nirvana invites you to join us for a little time on Sundays. We are made of interstellar dust, ultimately. 
  • Gardening gloves 
  • Gardening tools for weeding and pulling plants out by their roots
  • Stacks of newspapers and cardboard for preventing re-growth and weeds in some garden beds
  • Saw for cutting larger plants and small trees
A Nation that destroys it's soils destroys itself.
Forests are the lungs of our land,
purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
                                                Franklin D. Roosevelt             
If you cannot make these specific dates but would like to join in, let us know and we can consider your availability. It is important to inform us 24 hours before the day, as to how many family/team members are attending, and so that you do not miss out if you want a meal. We cook just enough for the day, so we need to know for how many. Cooking in the kitchen often starts before 4 am and the beans etc. are soaked the night before.
If you need overnight accommodations (fees apply), Reservations (1 week in advance) are required. 
2018 Touch the Earth volunteer dates
Jan 6
Feb 3, 17
March 24, 31
April 7
May 12
June 2, 16
July 7, 14, 28
Aug 4, 18
Sept 8, 22, 29
Oct 13, 27
Dec 8
Have you hugged a tree recently?
Or connected with nature lately?
Nature is antonomous. She lives, moves and grows without us being involved.
Almost everything that happens on our planet can happen without us being involved.
The trees will continue growing.
Animals and plants will continue breathing.
The grass in your garden, the shrubs in your neighbourhood, the mountains, the ocean, the food we eat: everything is and comes from nature.
And this is what ultimately connects us with our core.
Run some earth through your fingers.
Mix some leaves and twigs in the soil.
Think about what went into that branch, that leaf, the soil.
The leaf came off a tree, that needed soil, water to grow.
The wind blows through her connecting branches
and her face touched the sun everyday.
The tree needs the sun and the wind,
and everything that connects our entire planetary system
to live..
It's as if you are touching a whole system, feeling it, observing it, understanding it, loving  your relationship with nature.
Profound Healing, Sustainable Wellbeing
31 Dec 2017 - 7 Jan 2018   Live, love, laugh and last a lifetime
January 1        Day of noble silence: In silence we grow, in stillness we heal.
Feb 2-4            Calm Abiding. Silent Meditation retreat
Feb 9-11          Mindfulness meditation - SHANTIJI IN THE YARRA VALLEY (Jumbunna Lodge, Launching Place)
Feb 16-18        Believe in Yourself
Mar 2-4
Mar 9-11          Yoga under the Bodhi Tree - BOOKED OUT
Mar 23-25        Meaning, Purpose and the pursuit of Happiness
March 29-8 April  Mindful living, Mindful Being: EASTER RETREAT
Mar 30- 2 Apr  Intensive Peace (noble silence). Easter Vipassana Retreat. Silent Meditation retreat
    April 3-6       The original conversations with God: Bhagavad Gita discourses 
    April 6-8       Mind, Body, Spirit and the seven spiritual laws of healing
May 11-13        Emotional Wellbeing: Spiritualising Anger, cultivating Shakti. Lojong
June 1-3           Cultivating MindfulnessSilent Meditation retreat.
June 15-17       Cook, Taste, Heal - Healthy Mind, Healthy body - Cooking retreat
July 6-15           Exceptional Wellbeing: Where Science meets consciousness. Ayurvedic DETOX retreat
July 27-29         Cook, Taste, Heal  - Healthy Mind, Healthy body - Cooking retreat
Aug 3-5             Mind Training: Katha Upanishad in Relational IntelligenceSilent Meditation retreat
Aug 17-19         Believe in Yourself
Sept 7-9            Meaning, Purpose, Happiness
Sept 21-30        Exceptional Wellbeing: Where science meets the healing arts. DETOX
Oct 12-14         The Heart of Understanding. Prajnaparamita Hrdaya, The Heart Sutra  Silent Meditation retreat
Oct 26-28          Emotional Welllbeing: Spiritualising Anger, cultivating Shakti. Lojong
Dec 7-9             Peace in every breath. Silent Meditation retreat
Dec 27-3 Jan    The Calling of Joy: How to live, love, laught and last a lifetime
Dec 31- 1 Jan   New year's eve vegetarian feast by candlelight - overnight residential $450
Jan 1, 2019       The Breathing Space. Day of noble silence  7:30am-8pm. Non residential $250
Jan 3-10, 2019  The Balanced Life Wellness Retreat
Jan 11-13           Gratitude: Uncovering the Path of Grace


24-25 Feb        Sat & Sun     11am-5pm           Education for Peace
05 Mar             Mon                2-5pm                Sanskrit  
17-18 Mar        Sat & Sun       11am-5pm          Healthy Back Care: Facilitator Training.
                                                                          Remedial Yoga: Yoga for Neck, Shoulders and Back Care
                                                                          Remedial Yoga: Yoga for the Pelvic Floor
19 April            Thurs              2-3:30pm           Yoga Sutras: Vibuthi Pada
22 Apr              Sun                11am-5pm          Abundance and Creativity
28-29 April       Sat & Sun      10am-5pm          Children's Yoga Instructor Training
12-13 May        Sat & Sun      10am-5pm          Ayurveda practicum training: Abhyanga
19-20 May        Sat & Sun      11am-5pm          Asana, the next level. Hatha Yoga. Vinyasa
16-17 June       Sat & Sun      10am-5pm          Ayurveda practicum training: Kati Basti & Shirodhara
23-24 June       Sat & Sun      11am-5pm          Transforming Ageing.
                                                                           Chair Yoga
21-22 July        Sat & Sun      11am-5pm           Yoga Sutras 
25-26 Aug        Sat & Sun       11am-5pm          Pranayama, the next level
15-16 Sept       Sat & Sun      11am-5pm           Yoga Nidra - Facilitator training
20-21 Oct         Sat & Sun      11am-5pm          Children's Yoga Instructor Training
3-4 Nov            Sat & Sun      10am-5pm          Ayurveda practicum training: Abhyanga
10-11 Nov        Sat & Sun      11am-5pm          Yoga Teacher Professional Development
5 Nov               Mon                2-5pm                 Sanskrit
24-25 Nov        Sat & Sun      10am-5pm          Ayurveda practicum training: Kati Basti & Shirodhara





About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

India-Nepal Tour

Travel with Shanti & Peter Gowans this November for a trip of a lifetime. 

india tour taj mahal