The sanskrit word, Ahimsa, means to have reverence for all living things. Its core principle calls for the embracing of compassion and nonviolence by consciously not causing harm to any living being, with the understanding that the same divine energy comes back to us. Ahimsa asks us to awaken into compassion and to deeply understand the nature of our interconnectedness. This includes compassion for the self, others, and the entirety of nature. Our logo seeks to express these ideas as the visual interpretation of the core values of our organization.
Snow topped mountains are encircled by plant life, footprints of wild animals, domestic animals and human beings, symbolizing nature, the animal kingdom and humanity living together in harmony.
The wild animal footprints represented are the raccoon, the skunk, the deer and the coyote. These symbolize the animals that are most in conflict with human urbanization and suburban life. How can we create more awareness about how our actions affect them?
The domestic animal footprints are the horse, the chicken, the dog and the cat. They are present because they represent the most common animals that live together with humans. How can we be more conscious about how they are treated in society and about our care for them?
The human footprint is present as a reminder that while we are the cause of much suffering, environmental destruction and degradation, that we can also be the solution. How can we be more conscious about how all of our actions have the power to either nurture or destroy?
The footprints, along with the plant life, heart and peace symbols, complete the circle around the mountains, symbolizing that we share this world together and to create peace and harmony, love is a vital component.
Our beautiful logo was created by John Beske. Please visit his website www.johnbeske.com to see more examples of his artistic creations.
At Living with Harmony, we believe in creating a sanctuary where people, animals and nature can co-habitate in peace and harmony. The truth is, our world is far from that idyllic state at the moment, which is why we are convinced our message of compassion is more vital now than ever.
That is why embracing Ahimsa extends into every action that we take, including our lifestyle habits, and choices. That is why sustainability is of paramount importance. When we throw something ‘away’, where is away? We have come to realize that there is no ‘away’.
At our retreat center, we want to assure that every system in place, including what we eat, the things we purchase, and how our energy is produced, does the least harm to people, animals, and the environment.
We will offer life-affirming classes, gardening, sprouting, fitness and plant-based nutrition. We will also hold workshops on ways to eliminate unnecessary waste by applying the ‘6 R’s’: Responsibility (for our actions), Refuse (single use plastic and items), Reduce (our waste and consumption), Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle.
We will have an organic garden where we will not only grow delicious fruits and vegetables for both animals and people, but will also turn all organic waste into sustainable, life giving compost. We also plan to power the facility with solar and other alternative energy sources.
We want to give people hands-on experience learning about a different way to live – one that doesn’t harm the delicate ecosystems of the planet. That is why we want to create a retreat center to educate and inspire people and help them see the reality of a kinder world.
To us, balance is key. That’s why addressing women’s rights, human trafficking and animal abuse go hand in hand with our message of sustainability and compassion. We seek to empower all beings from the ground up and to truly transform lives. We want to make our retreats an experience people can remember and take home to their own communities!
A sanctuary is a place of rest and renewal. For animals, it is a place where they can regain their lives after living in oppressive and neglectful situations, and be seen as the individual, sentient beings that they are. That is why we seek to create a haven where they can live in peace for the rest of their lives. Many of these animals are damaged and will have special needs that will be addressed by competent and dedicated staff members.
For us as human beings, it is a place to come for inner peace, contemplation, and to reconnect with ourselves. The relationship between people and animals fosters the understanding that we are more alike in our emotionality than we might think. What affects us affects them as well, and ultimately we are all one.
At LWH, we seek to meet you where you are on your individual journey from a place of non-judgement. We want to help build bridges, rather than walls. The more we can empower you and help you step into alignment with yourself, the more it will create a ripple effect that has the potential to reach your community and spread to the whole world.
We are still actively fundraising and searching for our forever home, while we continue to work on our projects. If you feel moved and inspired, you can make a direct donation to our 501(c)(3) organization. We will use the money raised to purchase a property in the northern Colorado area and every contribution helps enormously in getting us get closer to our vision. Please join our mailing list so you can follow us and see what we are up to.
Imagine a world where the principle of Ahimsa is revered above all else, where nonviolence and compassion for all living beings and the earth is embraced and cultivated. We believe in providing an example of what that world could be like. We believe that together we can create the reality of Living with Harmony.
Thank you from all of us at Living With Harmony!
Guest post by Madeline Rose Rubin
Madeline is a blogger and freelance writer passionate about sustainable living and the zero waste movement. She focuses on the connection between spirituality and sustainability, positing that taking time to connect with nature is the first step in awakening compassion for ourselves, the planet and all living things. She uses sustainable living as a spiritual practice to treat the earth with kindness and respect and to live a life of true alignment. She strives to help empower others to do the same. To read more of her work, or to inquire into the freelance services she offers, visit her website www.backtonature.life
Today in the face of an increasingly harmful and isolated culture, there is nothing we need more than a physical place to heal, connect, and grow.
This is why we are working to create a progressive, inclusive, and life-affirming animal sanctuary and retreat facility. Our facility will be based on the core values of compassion, acceptance, refuge and encouragement.