Garden of spiritual learning
By Marge C. Enriquez
Philippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 19:03:00 09/09/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Nature can be a serene setting for prayer or contemplation, with abundant symbols that yield profound insights.

This is the experience of any visitor to the Center for Spiritual Learning (CSL) in Tagaytay City, the retreat place of the Brahma Kumaris, an international NGO dedicated to values education. “The University’s teachings are founded on the premise that there is innate goodness in all human beings, regardless of race, color and creed,” says the brochure.

As soon as they enter the Center, the visitor catches a whiff of camia, and with it, the subtle vibrations of purity. This is enhanced by the warmth of the CSL residents who make every guest feel at home.

The garden is nature tamed by human creativity, conceived as intimate space encircled by lush plantings.

The focal point, the vine-covered gazebo is a place for spiritual chitchat, meditation and a lookout onto the garden. It is adjacent to the meditation dome surrounded by shrubs, ti plants, yellow trumpet bells and benches made from knotty wood.

Paver stones form little curving paths and steps around the perimeter of the dome. Natural moss rocks and pebbles of various textures, shapes and sizes are placed on the side for aesthetic balance. A small massing of mango, jackfruit, camachile and rambutan trees provides a shade, creating an outdoor room.

Bold foliage in various colors takes shape into a tall tropical background. During summer haliconias are abloom, then go dormant in the wet season only to return in full glory. Free flowering perennials such as star clusters, santan, bandera espaƱola are layered in flower beds.
From the office window, one enjoys the sight of the angels’ wings, evocative of the character of the place.

Mounds give the garden a natural look. The plants thrive in fresh soil. Boulders add dimension. An herbal garden is within reach from the kitchen, offering taheebo, oregano, tarragon, spearmint and peppermint infused in the teas.

At night, uplighters illuminate the garden path and enhance the perimeter around the meditation dome, creating a warm landscape one can view from the inside. At night, the fragrance of the damas de noche and ylang-ylang enhances the meditative silence at the dome.
As visitors explore the greenery, they take time to be aware of the dew drops that glisten on the carpet of carabao and blue grass, the bromeliads in their stunning colors, the bougainvilleas, san franciscos, the changing tones of green, the irregular surfaces underfoot, the surprise views that unfold and the originality of the tropical design. These encounters combine to a full sensory delight, while bestowing a tranquil chance for the meditative play of the spirit with nature.
For instance, the red palm tree becomes a symbol of patience and strength, the bamboo of pliancy and the peace lily of purity. The rocky path is akin to the challenges in life leading to the destination, the dome of peace. The shady clumps of tumbergias could allude to the pervading power of spiritual energy.

One of my favorite spots is on the corridor watching the changing hues of the sky at dusk and dawn. The crickets and cicadas break the silence at night while the music of the birds heralds the start of a new day, a new cycle in life.

(The Center for Spiritual Learning is located at 1020 Magallanes Drive, Tagaytay City. (046) 4132128. or

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by 2009

Back to TOP