Sweet Springs Institute for conscious integrity
Projects in progress at the Sweet Springs Institute

sweet springs institute

e c o - s i t e

Motivation : At the deepest level, our desire to create an eco-site comes from the longing to find our way back to our first garden. Focusing attention on this place stimulates a memory buried at the very base of collective consciousness: it is the planet Earth as it came of age and blossomed into the human-bearing stage.

This is the place where we know how to be and what to do. This is where we exercise a lighter, more respectful touch toward what surrounds us, knowing from our hearts that it is an intimate part of who we truly are.

Vision for the site : Our vision is to experience the existing site in its original sacred state and to connect with a network of similar sites around the world. We believe that together these sites will create an increasingly powerful, energetic platform from which man's awareness can shift into the sacred, primordial state - also known as "paradise".

This vision was inspired by Green Bodgaya and the notion of "twinning eco-sites" launched at the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery Karma Ling. Please visit:www.karmaling.org

Practice : Small groups of people meditate on the existing site and experience for themselves how connection to the earth dissipates dispersion and brings us into being - being present in our primordial state. As energy begins to circulate, our senses capture a distant breeze in the wild cherry trees, the protective sounds of katydids, crickets and cicadas. Our minds are clear and our hearts begin to open. We feel way more alive!

Description of the site : Situated on a knoll at an elevation of 2225 feet in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the 52 acre property that comprises the eco-site is surrounded by the Jefferson National Forest to the east and the Greenbrier National Forest to the west.

A unique eco-system springs out of the geological history of the Appalachian mountains which are believed to have been the highest mountains on earth approximately 466 million years ago. Even higher than the Himalayas as we know them now, they were formed as several mountain-building plate collisions culminated in the construction of one supercontinent encompassing North America, Europe and Africa, called Pangaea, of which the Appalachians were the center. This is how it came to be that the Appalachians are part of the same mountain chain that extends from Morocco up into Scotland.

The mixed Mesophytic forests of the southern and central Appalachians of West Virginia host a rich variety of canopy species, understory trees, edible plants, flowers, mushrooms and medicinal herbs. The diversity of the flora is a source of sustenance for a wide variety of fauna and inspires a deep desire to experience our role as humans in this intricate, inter-dependent eco-system of which we are a part.

Click to see a list of the fauna and flora found on the Sweet Springs eco-site: Fauna and Flora


Meditation Garden : Our intent is to cultivate in one and the same place, a bio-dynamic garden and meditation space where mutual growth and well-being can be enhanced by presence.

This 12,000 square foot space has been tilled and prepared for the planting season by Scot Traino of Harvest Acres. In March of 2012, SSI contributors provided funds for timber and fencing and then collaborated with two local artisans to dig a trench and post holes to install an 8 foot tall locust fence around the entire periphery. The weather during the 4 day weekend was beautiful, the work was intense and exhilarating.

Water for the Meditation Garden is provided by two tanks collecting water from the roof of the barn using a water catchment system set up by participants.

If you are interested in contributing to the ongoing design and layout of this garden, to planting and harvesting, or would like to share and/or learn more about bio-dynamic agriculture, permaculture and the methods of Pierre Rhabbi, please click here to send an e-mail subject line "Meditation Garden" to: contributions@sweetspringsinstitute.org

Sweet Springs Institute is a member of the Bio-dynamic Farming and Gardening Association and is in the process of learning and experiencing the knowledge gathered by its founder Rudolf Steiner. Through many years of rigorous observation of the physical world, Steiner came to the realization that western civilization would increasingly bring destruction to itself and the earth if it did not begin to act from a deep understanding of the inter-connectivity between the spiritual world and the physical world. To learn more about the findings of Rudolf Steiner, please visit: www.rudolfsteinerweb.com To learn more about bio-dynamics, please visit: www.biodynamics.com