Journal July 2024

Living in the Garden of Nâm

In this early summer edition Andree shares her impressions of living in the Garden of Nâm and invites you to come and have a taste yourself. As a resident she not only facilitates excursions, but also takes care of the guest rooms and the vegetable gardens.

The vegetable garden

After struggling with grasshoppers, slugs, fungus, small worms that eat the onion roots the time has come to harvest the last veggies in the vegetable garden: red onions, broccoli, cauliflower, a sort of pak choi and a lot of red and green cabbage. This summer we are doing research for the installation of a water-system to irrigate the vegetable gardens. At the moment we are doing this by hand with garden hoses and this takes a lot of time. The summer months are for the vegetable gardens here like the winter in Northern Europe. We will have to wait until the end of September when temperatures drop, before we can plant the gardens again. You’re welcome to come and help to shape the new gardens, while sharing in the beauty and tranquillity of the Andalusian surroundings.

Looking forward

At the beginning of November last year, the garden gave us well over 900 kilograms of olives of which we made more than 100 l delicious “aceite de oliva virgen extra”. September, October and November are the months to harvest figs, pomegranates, apples, pears and all the olives. As a communal effort the harvest is a very nice and fruitful work as is the processing; like drying the figs, making chutney, marmalade without sugar, canning fruits etc. Also here help is welcome, so if you would like to contribute and join in the ´fruitful living´ of the Garden of Nâm for a while, don’t hesitate and book your stay in time. As there are also other activities like Pantanjali yoga and a Shamanic workshop so you can make combinations while you stay and meet new friends in the loveliest garden you can imagine in the desert. Please check our agenda for more information.

Weekly Gathering

Did you know already? On Thursdays we have a Gathering in the Garden of Nâm. These Gatherings are a magnificent healing event for all of us. First we are welcomed by the beautiful lute play of Human. When Yoginâm enters a deep and quiet silence emerges, inner chattering ceases and a special meditation starts where Yoginâm plays drum and harp. The monastics are present, guests of the Garden, people from the village or farther away from Almeria and the residents in the nice and cool space of the meditation hall. If you plan a trip to the Garden you may want to include as many Thursdays as possible!

Long Stay Option

The Garden of Nâm offers the possibility of Long Stay, 1 or 2 months for instance or even longer. With a long stay you give yourself the opportunity to change the focus of your attention; when you are suffering of mourning, grief, fears, you are burnt- or stressed out, in the Garden of Nâm you will find rest and patience and slowly, slowly forget your sorrow and focus your attention on the unknowable totality within you, around you and beyond you. You share in the meditations, 3 times a day and assist (if possible) in the kitchen, the garden, with the cleaning and you enjoy the blue skies and sunny days and avoid the grey of the North European winter. It is affordable for most of the people. If you want to know more, please contact the Garden of Nâm: contact@nijar.org.

Sharing in Silence

In the Garden of Nâm we are in silence during three periods every day. In the morning it is nicely quiet until after the first meditation at 10 o’clock. After the second meditation at 2 pm again we enter Silence and keep it until lunch is finished. In addition, after lunch, when everything is cleaned it is time to enjoy siesta time. At 6 pm the meditation bell rings again and the 3rd period of Silence concludes after supper. These periods of Silence carry the tranquil and serene atmosphere in the Garden of Nâm. We enjoy the singing of many different birds throughout the day and the evening songs of the frog population, the chirring sound of crickets and locust, and sometimes the cry of a cat and the bark of Toby and Sammie or neighbouring dogs. We are surrounded by volcanic desert mountains. When you climb the mountain behind the Hermitage and reach the top, within 10 minute you come into an empty landscape of a wonderful mountain range that stretches for many kilometres… You can see wild goats and boars and sometimes an eagle flying high. There are many small paths and remember how you walk because everywhere there is nothing but nature and… silence.

Our Dogs

Toby was living all alone in the deserted farm (now the Garden of Nâm), when the foundation bought the house in the beginning of 2020. When we first met him, he was very sad, thin and scared. Neighbours gave him some food, but obviously he also had bad experiences with people. It took some time before he trusted us.  Now Toby is protecting the Garden and a motivated active participant of our daily meditations. When the bell rings, he is the first to enter the meditation room. On time he was a little late… then he shared in meditation outside from the windowsill. Toby lives with a friend Sammie, the white one, who is already 15 years old, deaf and has some cataract. But thanks to Toby Sammie shares in hunting, running and doing all the things dogs do. Toby protects Sammie. When Sammie barks his special bark of: Come, I need help! Toby runs, helps him, and leads him back to his room, when necessary. We are all very glad and thankful that Toby lives with us.

The Feast and 21 December

On 21 of June, we had a wonderful event in the Garden of Nâm: The Feast of Greater light.  Yoginâm was present all day. After a monastic morning Attunement Yoginâm shared a beautiful and inspiring talk. “Being together in one community, being present and actively contributing to the whole, is what makes the Feast into a feast.” And “Remember the Breath, it is a powerful instrument in daily living and also during meditations.” We recited the complete book of recitation, made music and were singing. This longest day of the year felt like the shortest, the company and the peaceful atmosphere made it easy to step out of the daily hustle and bustle. I feel grateful and blessed to be part of this Feast. At the end of the Feast Yoginâm made an invitation: “I see you all again on the 21st of December to celebrate the Feast of Lesser Light!” So, note this date in your agenda to join this day of great Joy! Be in time, book and arrange your transport to be in the Garden of Nâm on the 21st of December 2024!

Final News-Items

A few weeks ago, during the last Silence Retreat we witnessed a mountainside in flames near the village of Níjar. The fire was caused by lightning during an enormous thunderstorm, the fire could spread quickly due to the wind and the dry vegetation. During the night there was a spectacular view over the mountains. Luckily nobody got hurt and no village houses or farms were burned. Next day small airplanes and helicopters flew over and over again to extinguish the fire.

Last month the activity-rooms are realised, 2 halls from about 5 x 10 meters for activities like music, yoga, Qi-Gong. Next to the halls and on the same floor a new shower, toilet and a studio have been built. If you would like to organise an activity with a (small) group in the Garden of Nâm and want to inquire options, please feel free to contact us via info@livingnam.org.

We want to make it possible for all to come and stay. Therefore, a low-budget room will be installed where up till three persons can rent a bed and sleep under freshly hand-ironed sheets. Enjoy waking up with the sound of singing birds. We invite you to come and taste the fruits of living in the Garden of Nâm for a while. To nurture yourself with delicious and healthy meals, to unplug and rewind and be together in meditation. And to actively contribute to the flourishing of the Garden of Nâm.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi, I am interested in visiting in September. I am travelling alone, I’d like some time for meditation and very interested in shamanic healing..unfortunately I do not speak Spanish.. is it easy to get there from the airport..

    1. Dear Brid, thank you for your message. We have send you an e-mail in reply. Warm regards, Team Garden of Nâm

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