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....

Flowers in Our Garden

Today we offer some photographs of a few of the beautiful flowers blooming in our Gardens. As Orchids are the most diverse species of flower, they offer a beautiful array of variation throughout the year.

"The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers." Rabindranath Tagore

Observing Sadhu Paksha

For the next two weeks, the monks of Kauai Aadheenam will be observing Sadhu Paksha. A time of retreat when the mathavasis break their normal, morning temple and meditation routines, to wonder through the sacred gardens in the early morning hours. In the morning quiet, they find a serene place in nature, a rock by the river, the top of a hill, or perhaps under a sacred tree. The gardens invite the monks to go within, amongst the peace of the flowing waters, the flutter of the windy leafs and the beauty of the early-morning bird songs. Coming out of mediation their eyes open to the warm light of the rising sun. Here are but a few of the sights that this time of year brings to the monastery's sacred gardens.

Whatever you see, see as Śiva and do not be distressed, O mind! Those who are free from agitation and who the senses five control will surely win the bliss of Śiva. The path prescribed by your religion you should always tread, and live in changeless, silent contemplation. Whatever you see, see as Śiva.
Siva Yogaswami

Stones for the Iraivan Temple Gardens

Recently, the monastery has received more large boulders for the ongoing temple landscaping project. The Boulders all come from Kauai's one-and-only quarry on the south-west side of the island. Each boulder is so large that only one at a time can be trucked up to the monastery. The flatbed truck had to be specially fitted with a steel plate for the boulder to sit on. Pradeep, our excavator operator who has been helping with the deliveries, uses his large machine to roll the stones off the truck and into place. The plan is to use the boulders to create a ridge on the north side of the temple to mimic Mount Waialeale's majesty. Some of the boulders will also be interspersed among the garden's plants, making for fun experience as pilgrims are dwarfed by their massive presence.

Life with Lizards

Today, while working in the Woodshop, one of the monks found this little guy relaxing on his shoulder. Unlike some lizards around here, he was very laid-back and content. These reptiles can change their color in a matter of seconds, but usually remain either green or brown most of the time. It is well known that the sound of a lizard or gecko chirping is auspicious, and often times a monk will make a good point in conversation, only to have it confirmed by the sound one of these little creatures.

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

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