Journal January 2023

The year has come to an end. Or the year has just begun. It’s a matter of perspective and convention. Living in an Asharum means living in service of what is. Realising that all seperations are an illusion makes one encounter a multitude of perspectives. With the practise of non-judgement, one is more or less forced to give up the attachment to one’s own perspective, to be open to other perspectives and to find a way forward in harmony. Some say the year has ended, while others say it has begun, and some people agreed to make the year-mark on a totally different date. It’s all true at the same time. In the Asharum we agreed to have a feast marking the solar return in this period; the Feast of the Lesser Light.

Winter Solstice Sunrise at
The garden of the Asharum Nijar: Back to the Roots

The trees we added to the garden have been planted in a rich soil mixture, but the surrounding soil is still poor and compacted. To make sure the roots of the new trees have room to expand, we are currently planting certain annual plants around trees that help open up the soil so there is space for the roots to grow outside the hole we planted the tree in. Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius), Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata) and Oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus var. oleifera) are all plants with a long taproot that opens up the soil. When these plants die off at the end of the season, there is a small channel in the soil which the roots of the trees can use to grow outward. Besides that, Lupin is also a nitrogen fixer, thereby enriching the soil with nitrogen. We also planted rye around some trees to have more green manure for the soil covering and to make compost. This crop grows very well during winter time in Nijar.

After the successful harvesting and processing of the olives, the time has come to prune them. The old owner of the olive grove at the end of the garden came with a specialist to show us how this is done in this area. The specialist pruned all trees in the south eastern, lowest part of the garden, where most olive trees are. Maria is pruning the remaining trees that are scattered throughout the garden.

More building and improving

The builders have been mainly busy rebuilding the big barn into the Asharum Nijar Shrine (or meditation hall), which is now expected to be completed around the end of January. An extra door and some windows have been created, the walls are reinforced and the floor is leveled. We are looking forward making use of the space for our daily meditations, as well as for visits from Yoginâm and the yearly festive events during the summer and winter solstices. And it is finally time to offer a more extensive program to serve a wider variety of guests; Yoga weeks, meditation courses, poetic dance, veg. cooking and philosophical adventures complement the already well established Nâm Silence Retreats with Yoginâm.

Preview annual agenda Nijar 2023: https://asharumnijar.org/retreats

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