8. Design of my book about mindfulness and permaculture

For this design of my book about mindfulness and permaculture, how to blend the two and how to do practice on a daily basis, I have used Design Web by Looby Macnamara as my primary design tool.

Motivation, experience and background
My personal skills regarding permaculture derives from my PDC from 2009 and from becoming  a LAND center in 2014. I am now in a guided diploma proces with Cathrine Dolleris as my tutor on the English pathway.
Regarding mindfulness I have been in professional training and I am a certified teacher since 2013,  and I am  in ongoing training.
I have been using and practising mindfulness and permaculture on a daily basis since 2007.
I did my design of our home, the smallholding of  Fejø Retreat as a part of my PDC in 2009. Implementation has been going on since, slowly and steadily.
Since 2014 I have been sharing and teaching permaculture both on a regularly daily basis as well as  weekly sessions with our volunteers.
For the second time I hold a weeks summer course in permaculture and mindfulness in 2016, the Meditative Garden Week; I teach and the group performs and experiences both permaculture and mindfulness in a holistic setting.
I do mindfulness training with those volunteers who have an interest in this as well as a regular courses on mindfulness.

My vision is to be able to help other people with the practise of mindfulness and permaculture as a means to a more peaceful world for mankind to live in. I want it to be an easy practice on a daily basis.
I want to be able to help via the internet as the media and in both Danish, English and German spoken language.
The book is a means for the conceptualisation of the blending of mindfulness and permaculture.

It is easy for me to identify many aspects of helps, both regarding the writing proces, the language issue and the internet and publishing issues. I have developed a broad variety of skills myself and I know many people who can help me and complement.

My limits are of personal matters, lack of focus, tendencies to procrastinate, lack of faith that I will be able to do this.

I get many ideas, but kind of forget because of lack of focus and perseverence.
I see myself as a failure, non succesful.
Very good organising talent. Good at creating a positive atmosfere when people are working together.
My daily edition, walks and exercises bring me inspiration.

My main ideas regarding this book about mindfulness and permaculture has primarily to do with the content, the target group, timeframe and the size of the book, languages and publishing.
The target group
– “ordinary people” – not mums, not leaders, not teenangers and the likes. But realistically, looking at the customers I have had over the years they are

– single persons, they might be in a relationsship, but this they do with and for themselves
– they are involved in some sort of communal activity, such as an urban garden, an eco village, a transition initiative
– they are in their thirties, forties, fifties or sixties
– they do not have children
– they have an educational background, teacher, nurse, priest and the likes

Publish on paper (FSC certified) on demand and on internet, free download
Size 250 pages
Languages: Danish, English and German
Timeframe: Ready for publishing in Danish summer of 2017, English and German translations will follow and be ready summer of 2018
Definitions of mindfulness and permaculture including a brief history
4 main parts, spring, summer, autumn and winter
One chapter on each week with instructions for daily use in inner and outer practice, my body, my mind, my house/apartment, my plants in my window sill or my balcony
Register, makes it easy to find what I want
References, where do I find more inspiration and knowledge
Positive stories, pictures and poems, maybe video links


Observe and interact
I see the need of solid and simple information about mindfulness practise, in combination with a holistic, permaculture design approach. People´s lives need to be more kind towards oneself and towards others, and engaged in civil life, not just one´s own life. Myself i have a lot of interaction, although I find it difficult to engage myself in topics of the island, since many of the island issues are completely absent of sustainability content.
Catch and store energy
I get my energy from conversations with others, usually it is helpful in my regeneration processes. Conversations about ideas and thoughts that make me understand my life better, my personal life in all its aspects and the interaction with others. I get energy from projects I involve myself in. Also I get energy from my daily walks, meditation, exercise and from swimming and dancing.
Obtain a yield
I do a week of meditative garden week with introduction to mindfulness and permaculture, it is quite succesfull, and next year (2017( I intend to do two.
I make creams and products like herbal salt, dried herbs for teas, herbs in vinegar and herbs in oil, but have not yet done it on a commercial basis. I can give relaxation massage and coaching sessions. I can do guided tours in the island and I can do guided tours in the garden with pesto demonstration.
I do a “Connectedness” course with Lotte, and I do a pilgrimage weekend.
I harvest crops in the selfsustaining vegetable area, not for sale, but for our own use.
I could do permaculture designs. I could do garden therapy.
Once the rooms of the house are redecorated a can do air B&B, and eco- tourism.
Apply self – regulation and accept feedback
I get feed back from my body in the form of pain, these days mostly in right hip area.
I got 3000 kr as feed back in the gift economy from two participants in this years garden week, this a valuable feed back. Also one of the participants gave a verbal feed back that was extremely positive.
Actually, I get a lot of positive feed back.
Working well……
And not so well, could be better, is challenging ……..
The self regulation is I should slow down, not engage myself in so many things – it is like I want to play with everybody everywhere – or else I feel lonely; but it is only playing that involves sustainability in praxis that actually nourishes me.
Use and value renewable resources and services
I never buy new clothes, wel hardly ever, exept bras, knickers and socks, and I always wear these items out. All my other clothes has been given to me with very few exceptions. i borrow books from the library. Our food is home coooked from base.
When it comes to the writing of this book, I can look up exercises and experience, I do not have to make the whole thing up again from zero.
Produce no waste
I waste time on Facebook, but it is like I need this time to chill out. I could go swimming or do iother stuff that was from a rational point of view more regenerative,  but I do not think that I actually can, my bow is as tight as it can be.
For writing this book it is good with a thorough design in order to be able to just do it and not have to rewrite too many passeges. Using the computer saves me from wasting paper  🙂
Design from pattern to detail
An overall view of the book and the use of it is definitely good in order not to get stuck in details that do not fit together in the end.
I have done that mostly in my life, plunge myself into some exciting details. Getting an overview is building up a new routine.
Integrate rather than segregate
The main purpose of writing this book is to conceptualise the integration of the practises of mindfulness and permaculture that I already have in my daily life, in order to be helpful to other people. I want the writing of this book to be an integrated part of my life, rather than a new something that I start out with, the book should bring together aspects in my life that are already functioning well. Also, if I decide to move away from Fejø Retreat and Fejø to an intentional community with a lot more built in reflection on sustainability, I can take the book and it´s offsprings with me.
Use small and slow solutions
I am likely to go too fast when I think I can easily do this.
But I can work on the design every day, one small step at a time, and I can work on the book a little bit also several times a week. I have built this into my daily schedule.
Use and value diversity
I have many roles. I have many diverse activities. I need to value this more, because I know I have adaptation problems to a climate that are less diverse.
I just need more dancing, but right now I am training the wiener waltz with Mick, that is soooo great. And I have signed up for a folk dance training during winter, Mick will go with me and it will be great. I am looking forward.
Use and value edges and the marginal
My comfort zone ends where I have too less money coming into my system – for instance when my services do not sell well enough, or when my customer data base is not good enough.
I live on a small island. Using the internet to reach out is a good possibility. Expanding to English and even German speaking people is another way to reach out to people who will find our small island exotic and beautiful.
Creatively use and respond to change
This is the difficult part.

The most important thing is to create a habit, a routine of writing that I build into my daily life.

I am ready and prepared. I just need to DO IT!!

Each month evaluate my progress and celebrate it. Share with a friend?
In my daily scheme with the I must give priority to writing, 2 hours 4 days a week, and one day for admin.When the garden season ends by end of October I can give even more priority to writing since there will be much less to do outside.

I have a lot to be grateful for in my life and I practice this every day with the volunteers – and with myself, when we do not have volunteers.
The support part is crucial, I have not found my supporters in my writing proces of my book, yet.

I build in a reflection section in my monthly  routine, together with the evaluation of my progress.
Right now it feels so good to see that I have the capacity to write this book, and the challenge is to create the momentum so that I actually do it.
I use the action learning cycle in my everyday life and this practise will also suit my new role as an author.

I shall take two major pauses around christmas time and easter, and every week I have 2 days of pause.
My recharging – or regeneration as I like to say – come from my meditation practise and from taking care of myself, which I am slowly learning. Also from taking a walk round the gardens and the green house, enjoying the growth and abundance. And from swimming and dancing – and the good talks I have with friends. And even visiting the psychologist as I do these days once a month.

When I work with the definitions of permaculture and mindfulness I can see how they fit each other as hand and glove.
Mindfulness and permaculture are holistic concepts and practises. We look at at many parts together as we can cope with and gain an understanding of each part as well as the connectedness between the parts. Mindfulness and permaculture are pathways to better health and wellbeing for the individual person, for society and for nature. We are all part of nature and our cultures are built into nature.

In my every day life with the volunteers it is the season of the year that sets the agenda. The volunteers are here for a minimum of 3 weeks, a few stay for a month. They are all involved in the social permaculture and in the land based permaculture. Every morning we plan the day together and we pay attention to our experience og connectedness and gratefulness and our expressions of this in sharing circles with deep listening.

What seems to happen when I braid it up in my daily life with the volunteers and in the courses we hold – this year we had a social permaculture course in May, a connectedness weekend in June and now in July the five day training in the meditative garden week. IN August we shall have a pilgrimage weekend, and in September……..


Day 5 of meditative garden week.

When I go through my design web notes I find a concentration on the concept of mindfulness integrated with permaculture as a basis for running a business, a wish I have had throughout most of my adult life. I have made a try for it twice, and not succeeded in the business part of it, I just did not attract enough customers in order to earn enough, even though I live an economically light lifestyle.

Anyway, I am in a trying-to-look-realistically  at my options at the age of mid 60´s (I was born in 1952). I realise it is not the time for me to run a business. It is time to be kind and patient towards myself, look back and integrate the harvests of my life, not making new beds.

My interest i permaculture and mindfulness started in a practical way back in 2007. Working with both on a theoretical basis, gaining knowledge, and at the same time having a daily practice. Especially after becoming a LAND center in 2012 the passing on to the volunteers has grown and since last year has become an integrated part of the weekly sceme.

I realise that I have a practice which I have not actually designed.

To design a week like the one we are in, I design a realistic time frame and I tweak it with the participants by the start of the course.

Also, permaculture is presented as a design tool for ones garden or the objects in the physical world as well as social permaculture. So I present the Design Web and at the start of the week we contemplate which elements from the web we want to integrate in this week´s work, and the digs’ is roughly made. WE look at it during the week and tweak it if necessary.

If you want to be truthfull to the needs of people in the present moment you cannot plan on a micro scale, not for a small group like the one we are dealing with here, a maximum of 8 participants and an actual number of 5 participants. You work in your time structure and go with the flow.


We are right now at day2 of the summer Meditative Garden Week at Fejø retreat and Healing Garden of Fejø.

Care for people
Care for nature
Recycle surplus

And in social permaculture we practice and train connectedness and gratefulness – inspired by Joanna Macy and Deep Ecology.

Training of loving kindness and compassion.
Training the ability of being aware and present in each occurring moment (this resembles the positive adaptation of change.

So I chose to do the design of the week together with the group, using the design web, very briefly presented. It is a group of five.

How can we fulfill our visions and at the same time have space and time for reflection, appreciation and the necessary pause?



00: my personal daily practise of mindfulness and permaculture
1: The practise in daily life at Fejø Retreat LAND Center and in Healing Garden on Fejø
2: The passing on to woof´ers and other volunteers
3: Using mindfulness and permaculture as tools in courses, eventually teaching both as i.e. the meditative garden week
4: Writing articles and using webinars
5: onedaysonallthiswillbeyoursThanks to “Buddhist Humour”.

I did a week in the summer of 2015, a meditative garden week. Mindfulness and permaculture were integrated. I will use this good experience to actually make design, which can hopefully also serve as a matrix for the garden therapy that I want to develop and practice here.
I am going to a short workshop on Saturday about this. The website http://www.gronska.dk/index.php and the work of Mia Ebsen is very inspiring in this respect and also the phd study of Suz Sola Corazon which merges mindfulness and permaculture as the theoretical basis of Nacadia, the Danish researchh based horticultural  therapy garden.


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