the beauty of working hands

We are very busy and occupied here these weeks, preparing for a big celebration at our school, inchaallah.

These are the (hands of the) wonderful women of our village, Allahumma barik. Mothers of our school’s pupils and neighbors and friends –  also busy working together in a womens’ cooperative for wool and felted products.

You are welcome to visit them and see their work!
Cooperative Tilatin, village de Timit, Ait Bouguemez valley, Morocco High Atlas

Or come and meet them and us at our big open doors- party, the weekend of 1st May. Marhaban!


From Organic Gardening to Permaculture

Spring: being outside, digging in the earth, weekend-gardening and actually learning a lot about how to change our already organic way of living into a real harmonious and reciprocal co-existence with nature and animals, way beyond sustainability.
We’re deep into permaculture, at home and in the school, with family, professionals from around the world and with the community: https://ecolevivante.wordpress.com/category/permaculture-vivante/

Happy spring to you and yours!

The three ethical principles of Permaculture are as follows:

  • Care of the earth
  • Care of people
  • Return of surplus to earth, animals and people

The Permaculture ethics compel us to take personal responsibility for our actions. We can either “choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution”, the choice is ours!

Twelve Permaculture design principles articulated by David Holmgren in his Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability:[17] 

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

Literature: Sepp Holzer, Masanobu Fukuoka, Bill Mollison

Information online:

http://permaculturenews.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

http://www.docspicepermaculture.com/

http://www.geofflawtononline.com/

and more detailed articles on change from organic gardening to Permaculture:  

http://www.permaculturevisions.com/difference-between-organic-gardening-and-permaculture/

and on Islam and Permaculture:

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/are-islam-and-permaculture-match-made-heaven.html

http://www.treehugger.com/culture/humans-are-trustees-of-allahs-creation-islam-the-environment.html

https://www.greenprophet.com/2012/01/interview-nadia-lawton-talks-about-permaculture-in-the-middle-east/

https://aworldofgreenmuslims.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/green-farming-and-islam-permaculture-in-jordan/

http://www.greenmuslims.org/a-brief-introduction-to-permaculture-sustaining-our-future-and-why-it-matters-to-muslims/

https://www.greenprophet.com/2013/05/ask-geoff-how-to-grow-a-forest-garden-free-permaculture-videos/

http://www.theecomuslim.com/2014/01/salah-hammad-urban-gardener.html

 

 

ISLAM AND WORK _ when faith meets productivity

fireplace
early morning-me-time in front of the fireplace – reading and preparing for the day 

On our school’s blog I’ve recently posted some thoughts about the relation of faith and work, which I would like to partly share here with you: 

“In all our work, in our daily life with the pupils at the campus vivant’e , we are deeply guided by the teachings and rules of our religion, which is the religion of Morocco, Islam.
We try to practice our faith as a whole way of life, imbedded in all our doing, in the deepest sense of its meaning:

”Islam = Peace”.

If I want to put together our values, our mission and our goals, to describe the culture and philosophy of the campus vivant’e, the description would be:  “we are here to serve”.
We see our mission very much in serving – serving the pupils, serving others, serving humanity, serving a bigger purpose:

  • encouraging a meaningful development of each and every one here
  • motivating students (and teachers as well) to show, to develop and to blossom towards the most positive version of their self
  • support students to learn the skills needed for a fulfilled and meaningful life – for their own good and for that of society in whole
  • striving to always give our best and allowing others to give their best
  • building bridges between people and being a committed example of peaceful dialogue, nonviolent communication and respect towards all
  • inviting people (students, parents, teachers, volunteers and visitors alike) to be the positive change we wanna see in the world
  • assuring that everybody feels welcomed and accepted here, no matter who they are or what they believe “

sunset1

The following manifesto summarizes very well how we understand our work and action in relation to our religion. I totally speaks to me from the heart and I am very thankful for the work that the people from productivemuslim.com have put in it – Jazak Allahu khairan!
I would like to share with you the essence of their manifesto and of how I and my Moroccan team understand productivity in an Islamic way:

  • Pursue everything in life with an active intention
  • Seek spiritual connectivity & barakah (God’s blessings) in every moment
  • Fill your heart with abundant positivity
  • Plan your day, week, month, life in detail!
  • Rise early and seize the barakah (God’s blessings)
  • Aim for physical vitality
  • Pursue holistic learning for a holistic life
  • Take time to have fun!
  • Always be of service
  • Have commitment and discipline

The detailed manifesto is to be found here on this source : http://cdn.productivemuslim.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ProductiveMuslim-Manifesto.pdf

In French 

In Arabic 

I wish you all a lovely beginning of winter. I wish you warmth, inside and out.
Salam aleikoum and peace, love and light to you!

fire

 

The horizons of the Infinite

desertcameldesert6

« …the desert, more than anything else, opens the human mind to observation, mediation and initiation into meaning.
…The relationship with nature was so present in the Prophet’s (sas) life from his earliest childhood that one can easily come to the conclusion that living close to nature, observing, understanding, and respecting it, is an imperative of deep faith.
Nature is the primary guide and the intimate companion of faith.”

Tariq Ramadan “In the footsteps of the Prophet”

desert-itto

“Oh, my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness). And, ease my task for me and make loose the knot from my tongue (remove the defect of my speech) that they understand my speech. And, appoint for me a helper from my family, Aaron, my brother. Increase my strength through him, and let him share my task that we may glorify You much, and remember You much. Indeed, You are of us Ever a Well-Seer.”

[Dua’ from prophet Moses, Qur’an 20 : 25-35]

sunset5desertkidssunset2

Grounding Myself

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

schuhe

To be honest, I don’t feel entirely well these last weeks, mashaallah.
There were many decisions to make, many challenges to take and many visitors around at school, but also in our private life
– I feel exhausted and ready for a break. I feel ready for winter to come,  ready to draw back and to hibernate, just like an animal that crawls into his cave.
I observe myself sometimes arguing with reality,  wishing for things to be different, in fact just longing for some peace and quiet…
Here I’ve put down a little list of several things I try to do when I really feel at the edge to depression and need something to tear me out of the black hole:

  1. Drinking some freshly brewed yarrow/achillea-tea
  2. Making a treasure map of pictures cut from magazines to visualize positive goals
  3. Going outside! Alone or with the children, to breath fresh air and clean the head
  4. Making Istikhara and dua’ or reading Qur’an
  5. Reading self-help books
  6. Watching feel-good-movies (although it is very difficult to find hahal-ones)
  7. Making a gratitude-list
  8. Talking to a friend who can stand my tears, just listening, without trying to “save” me
  9. Investigating my belief system and affirming and auto-suggesting all things good
  10. Reminding myself that life is always for something good; that there is a reason behind everything and a learning opportunity for my highest good to be found in all.
    Alhamdulillah!

berge

favorite shoes from Gudrun Sjoeden