At the Sanctuary of Joy we help families and individuals to find their inner wisdom and energy and get their life in tune, in a simple and peaceful way.
The Sanctuary of Joy is based in beautiful central Italy, on a quiet hill: a physical location where we host retreats, Reiki courses and other activities; a space where families can come on a healing vacation and work on themselves in peace and quiet, in the middle of nature.
At the Sanctuary of Joy we have installed solar panels for both electricity and for hot water, taking advantage of the sunny weather of the country. We are concerned with the amount of energy – and ‘things’ – that get produced and then wasted for useless (or just futile) reasons in the world nowadays and with the impact that human kind is having on the environment; hence we like to keep our footprint small and we have gone largely off the grid, reducing our needs and our consumption, trying to be smart about our energy and technology choices.
We are on a mountain that is famous for his chestnut forests since the ancient times: it is said that the Roman ships for the Punic wars were built with trees from these mountains! These forests might not be as dense as they used to be, but they are managed responsibly and not completely exploited. The forests on the mountain tops have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
Even just with the trimming and pruning of the ~200 trees we have on our property (between hazels, olives and other fruit trees) we manage to collect, during the warm months, enough wood to keep us warm during winter.
Besides its use as an energy/heating source, we also have a woodworking workshop where Daniele builds musical instruments out of reclaimed/recycled materials. (See www.plankguitars.com for more information)
In a world that pushes people to eat more and more junk (in order to drive down companies’costs and drive up their revenues), we think growing your own food is a revolutionary act. At the Sanctuary of Joy, besides fruit trees, we have patches of ground with vegetables and even a small Greenhouse, where Jyothi and the kids have been very active planting seeds of all sorts. We also have ~200 trees, between hazels, olives and other fruit trees (our jams are delicious).
We also have hens, who get fed good biologic food and we get eggs from them almost every day. Those you buy at the supermarket just aren’t as fresh – by the time you buy them – as the ones they make for us! This is yet another step in implementing our vision of self-reliance and eco-friendliness.
Summers in Italy are pretty hot. Even more so in recent years, due to climate change, summers are drier and drier and we are getting into situations of drought which of course are bad for plants and cultivations. In 2017 there have been over 100 consecutive days without any rain, in the summertime!
At the Sanctuary of Joy we have installed plumbing on both buildings (the house and the workshop) that collect rain water into tanks so we can re-use that water in summer when there is shortage, and keep our field greener (and sustainable).
There is too much waste in modern society, too many items become obsolete and get replaced too often even when still in good conditions. We try to make use of all the junk that other humans provide us with (things we find dumped in Nature or along the roads) and make beautiful and funny art projects with it: from a mosaic of a bunch of broken tiles of various types, shapes and colors; to playground toys and structures made from old tires; or musical instruments made from cookie tins and cans.
At the Sanctuary of Joy we use composting toilets, so that we don’t waste precious drinkable water and even our solid waste gets recycled and can feed the earth.
Besides the items mentioned above, at the Sanctuary of Joy, we express our love for mother earth also through spiritual practices and rituals.
There is an old cave on our property which we converted into a temple.
We have named it ‘Fanum Terrae’ which, in Latin, means ‘Temple (or Sanctuary) of the Earth’ and matches our ideals of caring for the earth, for nature; honoring our planet, our environment, our source of life and food. This temple is not tied to an religion in particular and it is non-denominational, honoring and permitting all faiths and religions, since all of them include respect for our home environment and other beings in their core teachings. You can read more about it in this blog post https://www.sanctuaryofjoy.org/notes/2017/05/08/we-welcome-all-faiths/