The Mount Madonna Center is a conference and retreat centre for those looking to get away and pursue workshops and programs set out within the confines of a gorgeous setting and property. For us, within the community that supports the centre, our assistance is within the context of selfless service. Living with the guidelines of karma yoga has allowed this community to peacefully grow at an astounding rate, since the beginnings of MMC back in the 80s. Although there is plenty of opportunity for personal time and growth, the intent behind this residential service learning program that we have both volunteered for is to live within an intentional yoga community, with service as a primary goal.
Depending on the Center’s needs, the daily tasks include housekeeping, event set-up, kitchen prep, dishes, recycling, general maintenance, gardening and landscaping. Today was my first real day of work within the kitchen. I’ve had 2 previous kitchen shifts, but both times, I was turned away and told to rest whilst this wicked bug has overwhelmed my body for the past 2 weeks. I am so grateful to feel better, despite the cough that continues to wreak havoc on my sleep patterns and vocal chords. Up for the challenge, I was allowed access to my kitchen duty where I spent my shortened shift chopping up swiss chard for both the simple soup and today’s soup du jour (tomato). From my perspective, it’s interesting to note how the intent behind doing certain food prep tasks allows, for me, a greater appreciation for the sustenance which ends up on my plate. The vegetables and food here are plentiful and organic, most locally sourced and prepared with abundant love. Today’s swiss chard was grown at the base of our mountain in a town named Watsonville. I was saying to slaDE that the food here at MMC, over the next 3 months, would probably be the most healthful and ecologically friendly choices ever to have graced our lives. It’s truly bounteous and amazing! I am feeling very nourished and blessed … so much for losing weight whilst here :). I’ll have to cut way back on the quantities (buffet style with 3 full meals a day lends itself to overeating on my part), weaning myself off the freshly baked breads and bounteous selection of nuts and high-fat munchables. At least I’ve been diligent with my daily yoga and dinacharya practice!