Giant Orchid in Bloom

Walking along San Marga, one encounters many living creatures, not the least of which is this Grammatophyllum orchid, a baby that will grow to be a giant in the decades ahead. It has an interesting rooting habit, grabbing onto the tree's trunk and forming a nest of white, upward thrusting roots which trap the debris from the tree and feed on it. They do not like to live on the ground.

Our Picture-Perfect Pali

For those unaware, the Monastery recently acquired an official 65 year lease for the small section of state land, which surrounds this unique section of the Wailua. "Pali" means "cliff" in Hawaiian. This large dip in the land is a well-known part of what makes many of our daily visitors so awestruck by the Aadheenam's beauty. The naturally river flows into this basin, which happens to be a giant lava tube. To get an idea of its depth, take the distance from the surface of the water to the treetops and multiply it by two and a half. After that it splits into several tubes which go even further down. Here are a few photos of this unusual spot.

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

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