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Travel Diary | Day 8 : A day in Sadhana forest

Ray of Hope

14.10.2014 [ Tuesday ]

At Sadhana, a weekday starts at 5.30 in the morning. I really don’t like a queue, either  short or long  in front of toilets. I wasn’t sure how things were atSadhana as it was my first morning. So to be on a safer side, I woke up before 5.30 and got ready by 5.30.

Then at 5.30 in the morning, this guy came with a guitar to our dorm, singing some songs. That was our wake up call! I loved this idea. I guess at Sadhana, everyone loved to wake up to a beautiful song everyday morning like this. Well who doesn’t love such an idea!!  By 6 am everyone got ready. By the way, at Sadhana, we have an organic tooth power that we use instead of the usual toothpaste that contains harmful chemicals. Yes, this is Organic living!

At 6, we had something called morning circle. It is the time when everyone comes together in a big circle and we all starts our daily activities. Morning circle starts with some stretches and some simple exercises. And it ends with Sadhana stretch, means hugging each other.  During that morning circle everyone will be assigned their first seva for the day.  First seva is from 6 to 8.30 am.  First seva can be breakfast cooking, gardening, composting, going to forest etc. So one can choose the seva that they want to do in that day.

I chose to be in the forest team. We went to the tool shed to get the necessary tools like shovels, crow bars etc. And then a group of  10 people headed towards the forest.

The forest : The place was a complete barren land some 10 years ago. This was a useless land with no traces of greenery anywhere in the vicinity back in 2000. Then a family decided to make some changes, with absolutely  no clue about forestation, reforestation or conservation of land and ecology.

Aviram and Yurit started their ambitious project from December 2003. This small family was given a section of land near Auroville. They didn’t have much help from outside world. But soon they developed a community. People got attracted towards their ambitious projects and came voluntarily to help them. Slowly a community of volunteers was forming.  And the main aim of that community was restoring the indigenous tropical dry evergreen forest  in that area. By trial and error they progressed. Now the community consists of roughly 1000 volunteers per year. Also Sadhana Forest India is one of the largest residential volunteer projects in the world!

So we were heading to this forest which was the result of 10+ years of hard work and dedication. Don’t get an idea that this is a forest like amazon or anything, but you wouldn’t believe it was an arid or a barren land a decade ago. The main activities in forest will be digging holes for planting trees, making bund or trench to collect water, planting trees etc. There will be a short banana break in between during these activities.  We did some digging and trench making. And by 8.30 we came back to main hut after keeping our tools at the tool shed.

Breakfast was ready by that time. During the breakfast, we were assigned our second seva. Second seva is from 9.30 to 12.30. Second seva is mainly taking care of the huts, compost toilets, garden, the paths, cooking lunch, breakfast cleaning etc.  At 9.30 volunteers splits in groups depending upon their seva and together they finish the task for the day. And they come back at 12.15.

The gong was sounded at 12.30 signalling everyone that it was time for lunch. The gong is sounded every time when the meals are ready or if there is any special function or workshops  happening in the main hut. Lunch was served. After the moment of silence  I had my second completely vegan lunch.

I was lucky again, because there was a workshop on that day too. It was on personal development. It discussed  how various parts of our personality helps and hinders our success. It was interesting.  After the workshop, soon it was time for dinner. Gong was sounded at 6 and everyone assembled at the main hut for dinner. After dinner there were no special event for that day. So we spent time having some interesting conversation in the main hut.

Main hut at night time
Main hut at night time

I was just enjoying my experience at Sadhana. I wasn’t interested in documenting each and everything I did there. So sorry I don’t have so many pictures to share with you

The life was really simple there. I wasn’t worrying about anything. I wasn’t thinking about tomorrows. I wasn’t even bothered about my travel plans. I was in the present, enjoying every minute of it, making new connections.

One more amazing day became part of memory. Time to sleep.

If you miss the previous day

Travel Diary | Day 7 : Hitch hiking to the Forest

Travel Diary | Day 7 : Hitch hiking to the Forest (contd)

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21 thoughts on “Travel Diary | Day 8 : A day in Sadhana forest

  1. HI, very nice blog with excellent pics. I would be there at Sadhana from 23 Dec for a week with my 6 yr old. I am a little worried about safety aspects etc. What are your thoughts

    1. Rejuvenate. I think this is the word that I was missing! 😀 Indeed it was a refreshing experience. Glad you could relate with my feeling. Thank you for reading 🙂

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