Silpi at the Forge

The bronze memorial of Iraivan Temple builders is being worked on in Hawaii and Colorado. In Hawaii, Holly Young is finishing the wax of two silpis on a pillar stone. And in Colorado Debbie Bakel is putting the patina on the Silpi at the Forge. As our slideshow proves, the creative process is dynamic, and the sketches we began with evolved. In particular, Holly made the entire forge! It so gives the authentic feel of the heating of the mild steel chisels over the hot coals. Debbie used special metallic mixes to get the color of fire. Here is the artisan's short notes sent with the photos.

The sculpture was patinaed using the same methods as the other sculptures. I used Acrylic paints and pastewax with oxide powders mixed in layers in to mimic the colors of the oven and fire.

This piece like all of Holly's pieces almost did itself. That means all the textures I needed to make a surface believable were already there, in the bronze.

I especially liked this figure. It must take strength and patience to do this job. Holly captures the strength in the figure's arms and shoulders without making it look like anything is forced. It makes me think the man has done this many times before and is one with the endeavor.

He has a peaceful confident face, another indication that the person is a Master. I love the way Holly finds the beauty in faces and especially eyes.

On April 23rd I will be applying the final wax coat to protect the bronze from your elements. It gives the last depth and I will take nice photos at that time for you.

Until then,

Debbie Bakel

Enjoy the slideshow as our fourth masterpiece nears completion

April 2014 News Video

Our April 2014 news video covers events in March 2014, including: Iraivan Temple landscaping project update, the visit by the Kawaikini Charter School students, the visit by David Steindle-Rast, a Benedictine Catholic monk and the arrival of our newest two cows.

Siva’s Sacred Garden

Some great little botanical gems blooming in the garden today. We particularly focus on the new family of plants recently brought in from a Kauai collector--the cycads. These are among the most ancient plant lineages on earth, dating back some 230 million years. When we got a few dozen of them a few months back, we thought it would be a couple of years before they recovered and bloomed. But no, last month it began right outside the new Media Studio.

The name is derived from the Greek articles "en", meaning "in", "cephale", meaning "head", and "artos", meaning "bread".

This Encepholartus whitlockii started sprouting three cones, which became giants within three weeks, then the fronds started to appear.

We just learned today that foods derived from this plant are common in India. here is the Wikipedia description:

Cycad meal known as Eenthu in Malayalam is a common food in Kerala. Traditionally, the seeds were sliced and kept in direct sunlight or near the hearth during rainy season to promote drying.

The drying process is carried out to reduce the toxin levels and as a means of preservation. The outer shell is subsequently removed and inner portion is ground into a flour. Properly dried cycad seed flour may be stored for several years without deterioration.

Food items like Puttu, Eenthu kanji, Eenthu payasam etc. are made out of cycad seed powder.These food items are particularly prepared in heavy rainy seasons in Kerala.

Enjoy the slideshow....

April 17 Homa

Recently the monastery observed its weekly homa. The sacred fire ceremony is a wonderful way to start off each new phase. The monks and any guests can write notes to the devas, which are burned during the ceremony. The paper then become visible in the inner Lokas for the devas to read and act upon. The act of prayer writing is a very important way to keep communications with the inner worlds strong, creating a smooth and successful flow of projects and personal growth throughout the monastery and in other people's lives. This phase is a short one, of just four days. On Sun 3 the monks have Ashram Sadhana Day, for which their time is spent cleaning the monastery. This coming retreat will be Iraivan Day, when the monks work to mail the aadheenam newsletter, write the next one, as well as create the monthly news video and a variety of other Iraivan, mail-related projects.

Garden Produce

We keep a record of the weight of our garden harvests and how much we use. Our daily monastic consumption of vegetables has been increasing while the consumption of rice and other starches and carbohydrates has decreased. We find that often people who eat a lot of processed food and starches will not appreciate the taste of the vegetables, but as they switch over to eating fresh vegetables the more they discover and appreciate the rich taste.

This Day's Harvest:
Swiss chard 16 lbs
Green beans 16 lbs
Chaote 39 lbs
Purple long eggplant 48
White eggplant 9
Luffa gourds 8
Kang kong  6 lbs
Pakwan 9 lbs
Broccoli 2 lbs
Cabbage 10 lbs

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

September 2014
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