To take care of a place – the expansion of an intent
This project sprung out of a vision that came to me from my meeting with a very special place called Poneta, that’s only a few steps from my house. When I came to this hill, for the first time, I immediately felt it’s strong energy and archetypic quality: the hill rises from the Earth like a pregnant belly right in the middle of a valley, surrounded by hills protecting it. The hill is gently caressed by the winds, and from the highest point one can see the landscape expanding in all the four directions. You can see the sun rise and set, you can contemplate the full moon reflecting the rays of the red evening sun. Clouds are crossing the sky in mystical forms shaped by the winds, deer are passing between the olive-trees, together with porcupine and boar. Passing by I could hear the leafs of the 3333(!) olive trees on the hill-sides rustling in the wind, they reflected the brilliant light of this place.
I never lost the vision from that day.
This place exists and here we could create a meeting-place, a place of healing and celebration, surrounded by the homes of those who participate.
From the first moment, I felt this place was special, and that it would be very important to valorize it. To honor the Earth itself, to let sensible and respectful people get involved and together take care of this earth, of humans and animals. Starting from the place itself, from it’s pristine environment. With this intent, with this attention, we can build our homes on the old ruins, and a Temple where we can meet, meditate and pray together, gathering our strength promoting a culture of Peace and Respect.
When a place have a configuration like this we usually find a church on top. Why? Because the ancient Christians knew how to use “power places” like this, to expand and spread more easily their faith. There are thousands of these examples, and not only Christian; all spiritual traditions have used places like this to build temples, honoring Life and Spirit. As I already said, this is a place with a very strong energy, in the surroundings we can find ancient remains from the Etruscan people, the hill is surrounded by canyon in tuff that opens up high walls(gash) in the earth, typical for this landscape. The hill is very near to Via Francigena and have the most spectacular view. Often you can feel the winds from the sea, even if the hill is situated in the middle of the peninsula. Your sight can extend to the Apuane alps, that are cutting the horizon in the north-west.
The village where we find the hill is called Tresanti (Three Saints), it has few inhabitants, but it’s only 30 minutes from Florence. In the surroundings you find many wine yards where Chianti Montespertoli is cultivated.
The presentation of this project tries to involve who would like to participate as a co-founder, beneficiary, sustainer and/or donator.
Co-founders are those who feel attracted by the project and would like to participate actively, investing in a part of the farm and build their house there, that can be of various sizes, and/or cultivate the land of the farm.
Beneficiaries are those who wants to participate in the project, dedicating their time to help and participating in the realization of the same and benefit from the various opportunities that will be in the project. For example the beneficiaries can be interested in participating in the creation of the agricultural part, as in the construction of the Temple.
The sustainers are those who are sustaining the project with donations of different entity or offering their capacity in whatever way it can help the project.
Donators are those who wants to participate with a bigger donation to the project.
Who feels the calling to participate, can become one or more of these four roles.
THE PROJECT: The Earth – The Buildings – The Temple
The farm has 21 ha of land, with olive trees and wine yards. Below the hill there is also a little lake, that was made for the irrigation. Years ago the owner installed an irrigation system, that is no longer working.
The 3333 olive trees needs pruning, but are in good conditions.
The wine yards are working and for the moment rented to others.
The founding philosophy of the project is to be as respectful as possible towards the Earth and it’s inhabitants, therefore it’s fundamental to do organic or biodynamic agriculture. With all this land, it’s possible to cultivate many different types of cultivations, like officinal plants, vegetables and fruit trees. It could be possible to put beehives to make honey and all the by-products. All depends on the wish of whom wants to engage in the agricultural project and work for it.
The owner has said he could help in the beginning with the agriculture, with advice etc. he has a very long experience in agriculture. His farm also has won prices for being a model-farm. This change of the guard is very valuable, and we are happy if it would be possible.
On the top of the hill there are 2 buildings, one is very big, around 1000m2 and a barn that is about 300 m2. Due to actual laws, it’s possible to build with the permission of the city, the same amount of square-meters as there are already.
We are proposing a housing-project that’s called co-housing in which some spaces are divided between the owners and other parts are private, how to do this division is a decision that the participants make together before the construction begins. The city of Montespertoli is very favorable to this type of solution and valuation of the territory, also because of the productive and living possibilities.
The construction of all the buildings will be in eco-friendly materials, and for who wants, also in self-construction. Only the hydraulic implant, depurative implant, electricity, heating etc. should be in common to be able to have lesser costs.
It’s inevitable and wonderful to make offerings; to give… to offer the most wonderful things with all your heart that is opening up and the wave of bliss, the joy, you feel in that moment, that emanates in all your body and changing you forever.
Children are already like that, they are generous in a spontaneous way, they are joyful, without second thoughts. To give without asking anything in return is mere food for us, it’s nourishment. It’s realization.
The “offering of the Mandala” is a way of opening our hearts, to recognize what is really precious in life and give it value without distractions.
This place, Poneta, has the form of a natural Mandala, it has a central point and a circumference. In the Mandala there is a centre which represents the axis of the Universe, it’s a metaphysical point which is called Mount Meru; it is a mythological mountain, yes, but we can also find it’s representative here on Earth in the form of Mount Kailash, you can find it in Tibet, on the “roof of the world”. We can also find Mount Meru in ourselves as the crown of our head. The Mandala is a squaring of a circle that can be understood on many levels: bringing all the power to one point, the external ones and the internal, the micro-cosmic and the macro-cosmic, and it moves in all the directions.
The idea of the Temple contains, for me, the whole project. It’s the celebration and the gift – to the Earth, to the Sun and the Moon, to our Teachers, and to ourselves as perfect beings. To recognize, to thank and to value this aspect is much more important than we think in general; and it’s true also for who feels afraid, distracted or impulsive.
The Temple is, in this project that I’m sharing with several persons, a place where we should cultivate the joy and the strength that already is present in us, and where we can share it with others.
How can we make it? It will come from the strength, the enthusiasm that we put in action, that will become donations and contributions from many different persons, also with their practical help.
The Temple will be built under the guidance of Associazione Soleluna, a cultural association that is founded without a purpose of economic profit, in which the members can participate actively, if they wish, in the project. The association is connected to various Teachers in different traditions, and in a particular way with the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism is a tradition that totally respects other spiritual traditions and this place will be open to all sincere researchers.
The Tibetan Master His Holiness Sakya Trizin has given his blessing of this project.
The details of the project will be presented soon, when we have all the details of the costs, the amount we can build and how the laws are applicable here and now. For information please contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by
tel. +390571659063 or +39335482485.
Jessica Martensson Ngawang Dolkar
Sakya Ngon Ga Ling