Continued from Texas Ashram, Part 1.
It’s now time to take a walk through the ashram grounds. For those who are ready for a long hike, there are hiking trails on the property that wind their way up and down, across hillocks and meadows. They’re not too frequently used, so in places they’re a little more rugged than the typical state park hiking trail.
There are lots of trees on the property. Some trees were recently planted on the grounds. Those newly planted trees you see in the pictures below include lemon and tangerine. In two to five years most of these will bear fruit! More tree planting is planned in the Ashram, especially on both sides of the long gravel driveway from the main road into the property. At a 15-foot separation between trees, can you guess how many trees we will need for this driveway? The answer will be in my next post. 🙂
Walk further along to the vegetable garden, which is fenced in to keep deer and other wildlife out. A lot grows here in summer and fall, and it’s all organic. Weekend visitors to the ashram typically haul back lots of vegetables to the city. A few pictures down you’ll see a table full of vegetables we picked from the garden during our last trip there. And this is in the fag end of the season; I’m told it’s much more bountiful earlier in the year. Take a close look and see how many varieties of vegetables you can identify. If you can name them all, you’re a vegetable genius… I know some of them only by their Indian names!
Some of the neighbors have horses, and they visit the ashram and let the horses graze. That helps us with keeping the grass mowed! In the second pic below if you look carefully you can see deer in the background. The Ashram also houses a couple of sheep and a couple of cats. There used to be two pigs as well who used to hog all the leftovers.
There’s an electric golf cart for getting around from building to building quickly (especially if you’re carrying around tools or paint or bedding or laundry or whatever else). And there’s even a donated van that’s used for the occasional airport shuttle during courses.
Some more views of the buildings below. There’s Buddha, which houses the second meditation hall. Between Buddha and Saraswati, it is feasible now to host two different courses at the same time, which we did a couple of times this year. Buddha also houses the production facility for Shankara Inc. Shankara is a bio-regenesis skin-care system, profits from which go to IAHV development projects. Shankara products are excellent. I use a few myself, especially the moisturizer which comes in very handy for the dryness of the winter months. Their facewash and scrub are very refreshing. I also highly recommend the sacred essence. And when you visit, the products that they will recommend to you are customized for your skin type.
Shiva is one of the housing cottages. There are several more, including a country cabin half a mile down the road. With the recent renovations and new beds and bathrooms, they are very welcoming for participants of courses we conduct at the Ashram.
This rustic shed contains tools, ladders, paint, wood, etc.
Of course no Ashram of the Art of Living is complete without a building called Shakti, which is where Guruji will stay when He visits. 🙂 Some pics of Shakti to follow in the next post, along with pics of the kitchen and dining hall, more cottages, of the treehouse, of the tennis court and its possibilities, some taken at satsang, and some of the key people behind all this work. If I can dig up some pics from Guruji’s May 2006 visit I’ll add them as well. Stay tuned for Part 3!
Update: Onward to Part 3