Siva Ashram will be home to seven main gardens, each representing various aspects of spiritual development. The gardens were designed by my wife and me. The inspiration for the seven gardens came from Hindu philosophy – each representing an area of the mind and giving an opportunity for future pilgrims to work on their spiritual unfoldment in a natural sequence of spiritual growth.
We also drew inspiration from the countless gardens we have visited all around the world, from Central Java in Indonesia to Hawaii, from Italy to Africa, and more. But the biggest inspiration came naturally from my years of living as a monk at my guru’s monastery where the monks worked tirelessly to develop a world class botanical garden. I would spend many of my weekends learning about plants from one of the senior monks, and working the land and helping to create the gardens there.
Our gardens will boast rare and endangered trees, such as the indigenous giant Kapok tree (Ceiba Pentandra) that grows up to 230 ft (70m), the Guanacaste tree (Enterolobium Cyclocarpum) which is the national tree of Costa Rica, the highly medicinal Cortez Negro, and the Tabebuia Rosea whose pink flowers the Howler monkeys enjoy devouring. These are a few of the many trees we have planted for humans and animals to enjoy and be inspired by the beauty of this gorgeous planet that we live on.
There will be an abundance of medicinal trees and plants, including neem, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and more. In fact, most of the plants and trees on the property fall into the category of flowering, fruit, medicinal, or spice – all nature’s gifts to us.