“To live in a beautiful place is a privilege, and to live to create beauty is an honor”
By Sunisa Jamwiset Deiters, Gaia Ashram,
15 Nov 2018
It’s been five years since we started to envision, design and put our dreams into action. During these past five years, Gaia Ashram projects have hosted education and volunteering programs for over 1000 international and local students and travelers. That gives us a little sense of surprise as in our day to day living we only pay attention to how many people are here today (that is because we have to cook for each other). Why do people come here? and what do they do? How do they live and spend their time here? This is a story I will surely talk about in another writing.
What I want to write here is a reflection on our journey of regenerating life with Gaia – the mother earth.
When we first dreamed and envisioned Gaia Ashram project as a nature regeneration project to regenerate biodiversity on the land, we came to see the place where the project is now. The land was a rice field among acres of other rice fields. We (both myself and my husband) came to look at the land together on the hottest day of summer in Thailand. It was the time where all the rice had already been harvested. On that day, what we saw was acres and acres of brown and very dry field. Everywhere the soil was cracked open. The river dried out, and we could just walk across the cracked river bed. Even to walk from the village to the land took us quite an effort because of the heat.
That was the first time Tom visited this land with me. He was born and grew up in a different climate in Europe. Spending a day in the Northeast of Thailand on the hottest day of summer was quite a hit– straight onto his genes.
“This is a desert!” he shouted out. The whole body sweat out, and the blood vessels became visible. “It is going to become a desert.”
This was both of our impression when we first saw it.
“It won’t, if we live here,” I believed.
We both discussed the difficulty to live and work on the land here, considering that only to walk around in such heat made us feel like our blood was boiling. So we started to think of other possible life choices we had. We could find a different piece of land that would be more beautiful, closer to the beach, the mountain, the forest or a waterfall—beauty that would inspire us to realize our spiritual path together by connecting with nature. A place close to our friends and in a community of like-minded people.
However, although we had ‘better’ and more beautiful choices in mind, we were not convinced. We found ourselves motivated by the cracked soil, the dried river, the brown rice field that would soon be burned, and the sweat and tears of local farmers. We felt called and pulled by the land that we believed was on its way to becoming a desert in a few generations.
We found that although life appeared to be dying or vanishing from the land, something was still there. “This” had always been here, and it will forever be here. It will never die, and cannot be wiped out. And “This” is what we have to hold onto especially in the middle of the desert. “This” is the magic of how life can be created or regenerated. You can wipe out the creations but you cannot wipe out the law of creation. You can kill and wipe out life, but you can not kill and wipe out the law and truth of how life is made and regenerated. It is “This” that brought us and made us feel so close to the mother earth. We told ourselves, “To live in a beautiful place is a privilege, and to live to create beauty is an honor.”
Our feelings changed. We felt that it would be a pleasure to learn the magic of creating and regenerating life and beauty from the mother earth. It’d be a great honor to co-create and work alongside her. It’d be a great joy to put vegetation on her cracked skin to protect it from the heat and create a habitat for her beings. It’d be a great fun adventure to manifest what wants to be manifested on this land. And yes, it would be more than a great privilege, honor, and joy when we sit back at the end of the day, looking at the sunset at dawn, knowing that we are with our mother. It is “This” that would closely and deeply connect us with nature, the mother earth – Gaia.
Throughout the past five years, we have learned so much of the magic of life regeneration. We learned and are still learning how she works in her systems. We learned and are learning her complexity, simplicity, consistency, patience, flow, and rhythms. Strength, wisdom, resilience, etc. We found both playfulness and seriousness in her way. Both chaos and order, growth and death, etc.
For the honor, privilege, and joy we have had, we would still love to spend the rest of our lifetime living and learning “This” with her.
I wish to write more on what we learned and are learning, please follow.