Childhood dreams are there to be fulfilled one day. One of my big dreams came true. Work on a farm and live in a community. At least for 6 weeks. How does a day on a farm look like? Before I answer this question it might be important to mention that Bhumis Farm in the southern part of Sweden is not a normal farm. It is a farm with spiritual roots in the ancient Indian Vedic teachings. The basis is Bhakti Yoga the path of devotion. Which already makes a big difference in terms of our daily routines and the overall living in the community. Three people live permanently on the farm and in addition three cows, two oxen and four horses. And not to forget Tindra the dog.
Meditating on a Farm
At 6:00AM everyone is invited to join the Japa Meditation (Meditating on beads, chanting a mantra) in the temple room of the farm. Yes, there is a temple room on the farm. Starting my day with a meditation was perfect. Usually I felt grounded, awake and ready for the day. Of course there were mornings were I was struggling getting up in the morning. As the physical work on the farm was somedays more intense and I needed to rest in order to charge my batteries for the next day. In the early mornings I enjoyed the morning services a lot. Either I was involved in the breakfast preparation or milking our cow Bhumi. The principle of the farm is based on ahimsa, non-violence. Therefore we only eat vegetarian food and our cow Bhumi is only milked by hands. Having the opportunity to milk Bhumi by hand was probably one of the most beautiful and eye opening tasks on the farm. I learned to value the milk and all its products much more. Seeing how much work it is to milk a cow by hand. On average we received 2-3 liters per day during this time of the year (February and March). But it could increase up to approx. 12 liters per day when summer is approaching.
Blame it on the Weather
After a nourishing breakfast at 8:30AM (prasadam: offered food) we started with either cleaning the cows and horse shelters and fields or we started with the daily cleaning tasks in the house. Overcoming the attachment to good and bad weather was one of my daily practices. Of course it was nicer to be outside and pick up horse poo when the sun was out. But the weather is not under our influence which is good. As we humans tend to control everything. At least we try. So big learning for me: accept circumstances that you are not able to change. Yes, rain and wind I started loving you. In the ancient Indian Vedic tradition of Bhakti Yoga we would call our work „Seva“. This could also be translated as „Service“ – devotional Service for the divine. This brings you into a state of not judging and accepting what is there. The circumstances. Either you like them or not. And in the end these circumstances can be helpful teachers.
Our Community Life
As we were eleven people on the farm when I left you can imagine that there was always something going on. In the afternoons usually we were engaged in projects or different tasks like cooking or being part of different teachings like: Perma Culture Classes (super interesting!), Kirtan and Chanting, Temple visits, lectures on the Bhagavad Gita, sauna evenings, Yoga Classes (Yeah, I was teaching the first time AshtangaVinyasa Classes), bonfire evening, counting stars, weeding and sprouting, baking, cooking, building, cleaning…and so on. I could continue this list forever. An interesting thing I rediscovered about me. My ears, so to say my sense of hearing, is quite sensitive. I knew this before. But on the farm I was confronted again by this fact. Too much noise, to many conversations in parallel and I just shut down my sense of hearing. I disconnect. I am backing out. This was also a valuable experience for me. To learn how to face and handle situations in bigger communities. As I have never lived together with so many people. A lot of gratitude fills my heart when I think of my time on the farm. We learned from each other. We supported each other. We had deep conversations. We had good laughs together. I guess a good balance between a buzzing community life and calming silence would be perfect. But in life we usually long for what we don’t have in that moment. And here we go again: Accepting circumstances and embracing moments as they come and go. I will keep on practicing it. And this practice will probably endure my entire life.
And never forget: Simple Living, High Thinking.