Touch the Earth - work program for volunteers
Calling all hands and hearts
Let Earth be your teacher.
Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy.
                                                              Astrid Alauda
Air is the breath of life, water the drink and earth the food of life.
The green earth is the meadow we graze in, the ground we are shaped from,
the daily bread that keeps body and soul together.
Preserve Nature,
and nature will preserve us.
Whether we inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
or borrow it from our children,
think green, act green, connect green.
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 Retreat Sanctuay, helping to accomplish our habitat restoration and gardening projects. The Shanti Yoga Community at Nirvana invites you to join us for a little time on Saturdays. We are made of interstellar dust, ultimately. 

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
                                                                                               Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • 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. 
2019 Touch the Earth volunteer dates (* indicates Contemplative Garden Day)
Jan 5, 12
Feb 2*, 16
March 2, 16
April 6*, 13
May 18
June 1, 8*, 22
July 6, 13, 27
Aug 10*, 24
Sept 7, 14, 21, 28
Oct 12*, 26
Nov 16
Dec 7*
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
Jan 11-13, 2019                  Gratitude: Uncovering and Receiving the Path through Grace
Feb 1-3                               Calm Abiding. Silent Meditation retreat
Feb 15-17                           Believe in Yourself, Transform your Life
Mar 1-3                               Ayurveda - From the Earth to the Table
Mar 15-17                           Finding Meaning, Passion, Purpose in the pursuit of Happiness
Apr 5-14                              Mindful living, Mindful Being, DETOX AVAILABLE     
   Apr 5-7                             Intensive Peace (noble silence). Vipassana. Silent Meditation retreat
   April 8-12                         The Yogas of the Bhagavad Gita, the original conversations with God
   April 12-14                       Body, Mind and Spirit … and the seven spiritual laws of healing     
May 17-19                          Emotional Wellbeing: Spiritualising Anger, Cultivating Shakti. Lojong
May 31-2 June                   Ayurveda - From the Earth to the Table
June 7-9                             Cultivating Mindfulness. Silent Meditation retreat.
June 21-23                         Cook, Taste, Heal - Healthy Mind, Healthy body - Cooking retreat
July 5-14                             Profound Healing, Sustainable Wellbeing. DETOX AVAILABLE     
                                           Where Science meets consciousness. 
July 26-28                           Cook, Taste, Heal  - Healthy Mind, Healthy body - Cooking retreat
Aug 9-11                             Mind Training in Relational Intelligence. Silent Meditation retreat
Aug 23-25                           Believe in Yourself, Transform your Life
Sept 6-8                              Ayurveda - From the Earth to the Table
Sept 13-15                          Finding Meaning, Passion, Purpose in the pursuit of Happiness
Sept 20-29                          Profound Healing, Sustainable Wellbeing. DETOX AVAILABLE     
                                            Where science meets the healing arts.
Oct 11-13                            Love is the answer. Peace is the way. Silent Meditation retreat
Oct 25-27                            Emotional Welllbeing: Spiritualising Anger, cultivating Shakti. Lojong
Nov 15- 17                          Ayurveda - From the Earth to the Table
Dec 6-8                               Peace in every breath. Silent Meditation retreat
27 Dec-3 Jan 2020             The Calling of Joy: How to live, love, laugh and last a lifetime
31 Dec 2019-1 Jan 2020    New Year's Eve Dinner by Candlelight
January 1, 2020                 The Breathing Space. Day of noble silence: In silence we grow, in stillness we heal.
Jany 3-10, 2020                 The Sacred Balanced. Wellness Retreat. DETOX AVAILABLE      
Jan 10-12, 2019                  Gratitude: Uncovering the Path to Grace
Youth Expansion Program
     The Divine Yoga Child
     Peace begins with You
     Recording and Listening Training.
Youth Leadership Development Program
     Education for Peace
     Children's Yoga Instructor Training
Yoga Teacher Professional Development
Healthy Back Care: Facilitator Training.
Remedial Yoga: Yoga for Neck, Shoulders and Back Care
Remedial Yoga: Yoga for the Pelvic Floor
Transforming Ageing
 Chair Yoga
Asana, the next level. Hatha Yoga. Vinyasa
Pranayama, the next level
Yoga Nidra - Facilitator training
Yoga Sutras
Abundance and Creativity
Ayurveda practicum training:
     Kati Basti & Shirodhara
     Ayurveda Health and Beauty
     Ayurvedic Vegan Cooking



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. 

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