Recently the monastery received a wonderful boon. A housing development project just 15 minutes away has cut down several nice trees. Kumarnathaswami, Arumuganathaswami, Brahmanathaswami and Sadhaka Jayanatha have spent the last few days collecting the logs and transporting them to the monastery to eventually be milled and used for future projects. So far we've acquired dozens of camphor logs as well as several other large pieces. These few photos were taken at a funny moment when two giant (and very heavy) logs had to be lifted off the trailer using both the tractor and the skid-steer.
On July 4th the monks celebrated the completion of the monastery's new solar array, and its partial independence from the Island's diesel-generated power grid. A short blessing was performed and the array switch was turned on by Bodhinatha. You can see our array's activity live online at: enlighten.enphaseenergy.com In the ensuing months the monastery will monitor its daytime power usage and begin to adjust energy use for maximum solar effectivity. For example dehumidifiers can be timed for peak solar power hours rather then running at night. The hope is that a very large percent of all our power usage will be from our new array. The whole monastery and the Siddhidata Kulam especially want to thank Kulapati Easvan Param for all the work he has done to see this project come to reality. Over the past several years he has been selflessly providing consulting during all phases of the project and flying over to Kauai to assist with installation. He has even gone through the State of Hawaii, Electricians License exams to maintain a Hawaiian Electrician's license, just to be able to help the monastery in an official capacity. And with that in hand he did the final crucial hook up of the solar array to the grid. Mikka Nandri Easvan!
With the help of Saravanathaswami the SK team ran wires from the Mini Mela roof mounted solar array to a pull box next to the ground mount solar array. This is another major step forward in the project. As you can see from the roof of the Mini Mela the ground mount Solar Array has 99% of the solar panels installed. We are getting really close to utilizing the power of the sun. Jai Bodhinatha for continuing Gurudeva's vision of a self sustained Monastery!
Today the swamis are milling a massive desk for the Media Studio. It is being milled a full five inches thick, but what is truly special is that it is the mango tree that was felled (regrettably) last month. So the tree will have a new destiny inside the building that it shaded for 54 years.
The wood is extraordinary, with a dramatic black and brown vein of heartwood surrounded by pink and beige tones, which have a curly texture throughout. When finished this will be a gem.
The Monastery has bought a used backhoe from our neighbor, who is moving and sold it at a very good price. The Siddhidata Kulam performed a short puja for it, blessing it for its many long years of use. Being such a large machine, this backhoe is a huge boon.
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