Earth therapy

Porta della TerraAt Damanhur, we are constantly engaged in different activities, and each one has its own specific value and qualities. I have noticed that touching and working with the earth is a therapeutic act for me, a source of healing. When I feel tired, depressed, lacking energy and motivation, if I do some work in the fields and greenhouses, in contact with the plant world, I feel better, happier and somehow more energized, beyond the tiredness that settles in after making physical effort. To work with the earth, I need to give a lot of energy, although I also receive so much too. There is a subtle nourishment, and something is always given back to those in service to the earth.

cavoliWhy does it feel so good? It is a phenomenon that goes beyond the beneficial effect of being in contact with nature. Some research has shown that there are specific bacteria that exist in the soil, for example Mycobacterium vaccae, which stimulate a circulation of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that has the effect of elevating mood and decreasing depression and anxiety. These bacteria may also increase concentration, cognitive functioning and be effective against cancer and other diseases.

It’s interesting that some health institutions that are experimenting with horticulture therapy with their patients use sterilized soil with all the bacteria removed to reduce the risk of infection. Sure there is a small risk for people who have the most serious illnesses, though what if the bacteria were more therapeutic than dangerous?

plantingSo we see that Olio Caldo – nutritional self-sufficiency – has health benefits on many levels. On the one hand, there is the cleansing of the body and healthful nourishment that comes from nutrition that is organic and produced within the community, and on the other hand, there is also the effect of balancing the mind and boosting mood through direct contact with the earth and its bacteria. If this way of living becomes more widespread in the world, there will be ever more health and happiness and  less dependence on pharmaceuticals and unnatural stimuli to feel a sense of well being.

I feel fortunate to be able to access this therapeutic effect at any time here in Damanhur, in the nucleos, in the Sacred Woods Temple where planting is often needed, at Porta della Terra / Prima Stalla – the agricultural temple, farm and agritourism. With gratitude for our lands and cultivations and all the Damanhurians in service to the earth!

Quaglia Cocco
The Befana


La terapia della terra

Come Damanhuriani facciamo tante attività diverse, ognuna con il suo valore e qualità specifica. Ho notato che toccare e lavorare la terra è un atto terapeutico per me, una fonte di guarigione. Quando mi sento stanca, depressa, senza energia e motivazione, se faccio lavori in agricoltura, nei campi e nelle serre, in contatto con le piante, mi sento meglio, più felice e in qualche modo energizzata, aldilà della stanchezza che si sente dopo lo sforzo fisico. Per lavorare la terra bisogna dare tanta energia, ma si riceve anche, c’è un nutrimento sottile. Qualcosa è sempre restituita a chi è in servizio alla terra. Continue reading


bringing visions from sky to earth

big surnot all spiritual beings fly. some are grounded, really rooted with their feet heavy like rocks and hands colored with earth, because they need to see the planet and its inhabitants from close-up, not from the sky. with open eyes, beaming like rays of sunlight through glass, coloring inner vision, lines, shades of red and yellow. the poetry of forms in matter, in the imperfections. with heart radiating the rhythm and pulsations of blood… they need to be so close that the exhalations of divine breath create fog on the window that looks out to the field vetro portawhere animals live according to their instincts, fog on the camera lens, on the contact lenses, on the skin in contact. bodhisattva, welcome to our world. the wind of your breath – slow as the ocean – brings messages, sighing together with the waves of human events, small and pretty like stones, rounded and carried by the river to the ocean with the water always in movement, nuances of eternal blue.

for Piovra Caffè, written in the Esalen Art Barn, September 2013

gli esseri spirituali non volano tutti. alcuni sono atterrati, ben fondati, con i piedi come rocce e le mani colorati di terra… Continue reading

a morning like all the rest

P1000191dawn. icy air and visible breath. tree branches that extend in a tangle across the colors of the sky, a backdrop of pink, orange, yellow, light blue. sparse clouds. Damjl. I climb. salute. sun painting the columns of the Open Temple with a golden sheen. breathing. waiting. another beginning of another day, but this time, it’s different. I feel it. it’s different from all the other days already past, traced, burned and forgotten, because this morning, divine in an everyday way, I make a precise choice to love life. every moment, every being that accompanies me along this not eternal but anyhow continuous voyage…continuing until sunset, when everything slips backwards toward the unknown of night with a sigh and silent smile. earth, moon, dancing with the sun, rhythm of the universe constant and always new.

un mattino come tutti gli altri

alba. aria gelida e respiro visibile. rami dell’albero che distendono in grovigli attraversando i colori del cielo… Continue reading