Growing Spirit 


Through my evolution with Living Raw Foods since 2009, a deeper awakening to be of service through ACTION has happened within me.  It’s a call to action, not as a strong forceful opposing energy, but rather as an answer to my questioning upon the effects of my actions towards self-sustainability and being a part of the solution amidst the current times.  I was yearning to grow my own foods.  I was yearning to create a place of refuge, a place of healing, a place of beauty, a place of deep nourishment and out of the inquiry, came the visions, the intuition, a determined voice within to build an edible Sanctuary!


In my process first came the intuition and then the awareness, first came the call then came the how, first came the visions then came the know-how.  We are all different and recognizing that the creative process moves differently within us is key to believing in the dream and key in trusting our process and making it happen.


The Mandala Garden was born out of a pencil drawing on a napkin, that graduated onto paper and eventually onto our land.  Although it is not your typical backyard garden, it was envisioned to create more sustainable systems for our family and our community at large.


As I began to understand the call, all sorts of tools came into my life.  Tools such as Permaculture, Sacred Geometry, the 5 Elements and the 4 Directions (and how they complement each other) Vegan gardening and the power of energy flow in the landscape as a tool for enhancement of the life-force within our edibles and ultimately within ourselves, the power of creating intentions and ultimately the power of alignment with our inner nature, our inner potential and our deep ecology.  All these tools have been used in the design and creation of the Mandala Garden @ The Realign Ranch.


In the Fall of 2013, I started painting my landscape, one wheel barrel at a time. Not so long ago, the field where the Mandala Garden now lives, was an empty field of grass.  A year later, the core (herb spiral) and inner layers (annual vegetables) of the garden have been built and I am now working on the outer layers (perennial bushes and fruit & nut trees) of the Mandala Garden.

Why a Mandala Garden? 

The word MANDALA traditionally comes from Sanskrit and it means “circle”.  It is a concentric structure that usually contains other geometrical shapes within it.  The mandala symbolizes unity and harmony by their use of balance in their design.  Traditionally it is used in meditation to connect with the wisdom and knowledge that is already within us.  The mandala serves as a tool on our spiritual journey towards alignment with the self and higher levels of consciousness.  A mandala represents wholeness, it reminds us of our relationship to our inner and outer selves, in body, mind, heart and soul.  It can be designed as a map, if you will, of our life journey. 


I chose to integrate the Mandala into the Garden because I wanted to create an edible Sanctuary that is a sacred refuge: a place of incredible edible beauty, medicinal wisdom, deep and ancestral healing.  It is all possible.  I started creating a breathing Living Mandala, with all its power to guide us along our life journey to our true selves and to the freedom of living with an open heart, with its power to raise our awareness & our consciousness, with its power of transformation. 


The Mandala Garden @ The Realign Ranch is truly a place of transformation. I feel it as soon as I walk into it!  I bear witness to the faces and the bodies of those who choose to come in…. there is always a different spark on their eyes on their way out. 


Because you see, I am growing food, but more so, I am growing Spirit.

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Copyright © 2018 Natalie Howard.   All rights reserved.