Celebration time for Eaglenest Sanctuary!

Activity at Eaglenest Sanctuary has been very lively this summer.

As more people are introduced to the loveliness of the Sanctuary, more activities have taken place. We have had different groups staying with us. Several families and extended families have taken their summer vacation. Not only have they enjoyed the gardens, decks and walks around the  15 acres of pristine rainforest, but they have also availed themselves the short walk to the magnificent Kinsol trestle, one of the most visited tourist attraction in the Cowichan Valley. Our guests have had time to visit the many enjoyable attractions such as vineyards, beaches, parks and of course, Shawnigan lake.

Some came on weekends, some on extended weekends and others for a week or more. Family life was the most mentioned reason for staying with us. But we also had a bachelorette gathering and a work crew. They all took advantage of the fully stacked kitchen, the three social rooms, the beautiful dinning room, the two swimming holes on the Koksilah river and even the beautiful outdoor stage.

But the crown in the head of this summer activities was a lovely  “Initiation Into Oneness”

 

 Initiation into Oneness

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Shortly after the party, we had a unique event:” Initiation Into Oneness, The Sacred Marriage”.

An extended family gathered to witness the coming together of two beautiful souls. More than thirty people stayed at the Sanctuary and more than eighty people participated in the to Initiation.

It was a festive event in which a Midsummer Nights Dream met Lord of the Rings. The event consisted of a beautiful ceremony in which the couple exchanged vows, then  we all toasted to their happiness and wellbeing, followed by a superb BBQ salmon  dinner, live music and well wishing and finally, all night dancing!

People gathered for the ceremony

People gathered for the ceremony

People gather around the stage for the ceremony

Music, fairies, genies and magicians congratulate the couple

A great variety of refreshments were served

A great variety of refreshments were served

The many options Eaglenest Sanctuary offers make it one of the best vacation and workshop venues in the the Cowichan Valley and Vancouver Island.

Please give me your comments and suggestions to improve both my blog and Eaglenest Sanctuary.

Love and light to all,

 

Ezio Cusi

Flower Blooming Time at Eaglenest Sanctuary

Like every year, Eaglenest Sanctuary micro climate brings blooming flowers a few weeks later than Victoria or Shawnigan Lake.

But bloom they must and the beauty of the season is in full swing right now.

Cherry Tree in Early May

Cherry Tree in Early May

This cherry tree (five varieties) was planted 5 years ago. The Sanctuary has a history of not being conducive to growing fruit trees. So I chose a special area, for it to grow. After waiting for five years, the tree bloomed profusely in early May and is now full of young cherry’s for late June consumption, maybe a homemade jam?

Balinese Guardian in the Medicinal Garden

Balinese Guardian in the Medicinal Garden

There has been some controversy regarding the guardian of the medicinal garden. Originally we thought it was Shiva, but some people who know have told us it is a Balines guardian. The chives flowers adorn the guardian and have provided much herb spices for the kitchen of the Sanctuary’s guests.

Multiple Flowers in the Medicinal Garden

Multiple Flowers in the Medicinal Garden

A wider view of the medicinal garden gives us a better understanding of the many (more than 50) varieties of medicinal plants. I harvest the plants to make medicinal tinctures for me, my family and friends.

The Green Godess with pink Poppies

The Green Godess with pink Poppies

Here we can see the Green Godess with three new pink poppies, the first year they have grown here.

Come stay with us and enjoy the many gardens and flowers, both local and cultivated that the Eaglenest Sanctruary provides for your enjoyment.

 

Love and light,

 

Ezio

Spring is in the Air at Eaglenest Sanctuary…

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After a lovely snow storm in March (see previous post), and a few rainy days, the rainforest is basking on sunlight.

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As is normal in spring, we have had rain, sleet, cold, wind, sunshine and warmth,usually in the same day!

IMG_2575We are now We are preparing for the  hight season. Spots are filling out and  the gardens are starting to bloom. The two cherry trees, as is customary in the Sanctuary’s micro climate are blooming quite late. If the insects are as plentiful as usual, we expect a very nice cherry harvest.

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We finished redoing the cold tub deck. It overlooks the Koksilah river and is the perfect place for tea time on sunset.

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Come stay with us this summer. You won’t regret it.

 

 

Late Winter Snow at Eaglenest Sanctuary

The Kinsole Tressle with snow

The Kinsole Tressle with snow

Like so many things in life, a snow storm can be a mixed blessing.

Coming originally from Mexico, I am always astounded by the quite power of a snow storm.

Walking away from the Kinsole Tressle

Walking away from the Kinsole Tressle

And I am even more surprised of the beauty of snow covered nature. This past weekend, the snow came in with slow, full force. Fortunately, since last summer, BC Hydro has been busy cutting trees so they don’t fall on the electricity cables. And thanks to this, there was only one short electricity cut in the middle of Saturday night.
Next years firewood for Eaglenest Sanctuary

Next years firewood for Eaglenest Sanctuary

We were having a dinner party and in the middle of the storm, around midnight, we decided to visit Eaglenest Sanctuary and see and feel nature close by. It was a superb night spectacle. As usual, the white brilliance of the snow makes even a moonless night quite visible. We visited the sanctuary and the construction site for the new deck around a hot tub that will be the  latest amenity added to the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary from the other side of the Koksilah River

The Sanctuary from the other side of the Koksilah River

Next day, once our guests had departed, we went for another visit and a long walk on the plentiful paths around the sanctuary. We ended the walk with a visit to the Sanctuary’s shrines, including paying our respects to the medicine wheel.
The Medicine Wheel in late Winter Storm

The Medicine Wheel in late Winter Storm

Marita Shrine at Eaglenest Sanctuary

Marita Shrine at Eaglenest Sanctuary

We capped a vigorous day of exercise with a hot sauna at the Sanctuary, with the traditional cold shower in the middle of the North garden, totally surrounded by snow.

Late Fall Evenings at Eaglenest Sanctuary

 Koksilah River from Kinsol Tressle, looking East

Koksilah River from Kinsol Tressle, looking East

This year’s weather, especially Summer and Fall, have been spectacular at Eaglenest Sanctuary.

 

My partner and I have been taking long walks almost every weekend. The light, the brisk, fresh air and the temperature have made these walks the best experience I’ve had since I moved here almost 12 years ago. For me, these walks not only bring the nurture and healing that nature provides, but it also means I am enhancing my health and preparing for my older age.

 

Though the amount of rain that has fallen on the forest is less than usual, it has been just the right amount to keep the rainforest healthy and vibrant and at the same time provide the most beautiful fall in my memory.

 

The Kocksilah River, looking east with Eaglenest Sanctuary on the left.

The Koksilah River, looking east with Eaglenest Sanctuary on the left.

The picture above, of the Koksilah river looking west, was taken this December, from the middle of the Kinsol tressle. The evening before, the almost full moon was rising while the light from the sun was waning. What a spectacle! Good for the soul, this direct contact with nature.

Eaglenest Sanctuary is located kitty corner with the Kinsol Tressle. I have been visiting the tressle almost every week since 2002. When I first saw it, the crossing had been closed, as it had been burned in the middle a few years before.

I saw it deteriorate substantially in the  following years . You can see a picture of the tressle in 2002, a few years before the renovation. It was difficult to understand how the CVRD had completely abandoned such an important part of Vancouver Island’s History. The Kinsol Tressle is the largest one of its kind in the Commonwealth. One feature that is usually overlooked when experts talk about it is the fact that it is built in a curve, an unusual feature for most tressles.

Fortunately, the authorities saw the light and decided to restore it to its pristine condition – as when it was first built in the beginning of the 20th century. You can see how it looks now, after the two year renovation project. The CVRD should be commended in their effort to preserve the engineering history of Vancouver Island. To show for their efforts, the tressle is now considered one of the main attractions the Cowichan Valley has to offer. Let’s hope the authorities continue to develop this very important tourist and historic attraction.

Have a perfect Solstice and season holidays and may 2014 finally bring in “The Golden Age Of Gaia”.

Ezio Cusi

 

 

Kinsol Tressle in 2002

Kinsol Tressle in 2002

Kinsol Tressle in 2013

Kinsol Tressle in 2013

 

 

 

Hats Of To Eaglenest Sanctuary!

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Dinning Room Over Candlelight

“You are warmly invited to a ‘hats off’ party at Eaglenest Sanctuary on December 7.  We will share food, dance, and spread loving vibes all ‘round so that Eaglenest will become a retreat of destination for years to come”. 

So the invitation began…

 

…and a lovely party it was.

 

This past weekend, I reserved Eaglenest Sanctuary for a party to remember. As they say on TV, it was to be ‘legendary’.

 

Hyperbole aside, Eaglenest Sanctuary is an ideal place for a party. Many of our friends joined us for a pot luck, dancing, drumming, singing and jamming session.

 

The Sanctuary was well prepared, with the living room warmed by the wood stove. It was a cozy meeting place for both eating and jamming. Several drums were set and people brought their guitars and other instruments for unforgettable singing and playing.

 

In-between songs, superb appies were served, starting with my signature Mexican guacamole – arguably, one of the best in America. The prawn with feta cheese were one of the best I have ever tasted. And the singing by one of our guests was moving and lively. The music was ‘flow’ at its best.

 

The house was decorated with candles and tea lights, which gave it a festive, soft, warm glow as can be seen in the pictures. And downstairs, dancing was open to anyone who was so inclined. The yoga room is a delightful dancing floor, including a central ‘fat’ dancing pole!

 

The smokers would drift out, to enjoy the cold, brisk night air, listening to the Koksilah river passing in front of the house. All in all, wish you were here.

 

The best part was that when people got tired and sleepy, they retired to their assigned bed, leaving the rest of us to enjoy the night away.

 

Ezio Cusi

 

 

 

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Living Room Overlooking the Breakfast Room

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Yoga Room, Perfect Dancing Floor

The Bounty of Nature

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One of my favourite activities at Eaglenest Sanctuary is the harvest of medicinal and fragrant herbs.

At the end of the summer, we harvested several herbs from the medicinal herb garden in the Sanctuary.

Sometime in the 80’s, I read Alvin Toffler’s “The Third Wave” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave_(Toffler)). This book had many interesting elements, but what caught my attention most was the forecasted drive towards self sufficiency or auto-consumption.

He stated that a good portion of developed nations would return to auto-consumption after passing the industrial era creed of standardization. We would have enough time to be able to grow part of our own food (‘return to the land’ of the 60’s), make many of our daily items such as preserves, clothing, medicine, etc.

Though this trend has not panned out to be true for a majority of the developed world, a good portion of my life I have strived to include as many things as I can in my auto-consumption.

So one of the items I have been working in the last few years is natural medicine.

I harvest and wildcraft a few plant to use as consumables (medicine as tinctures, herbal infusions and spices).

Above you can see the harvest for my now famous (at least among my friends) herbal tea.

In it you can find a base of lemon balm, several kinds of mint, catnip, thyme and lavender. Also, in smaller proportions I add stinging nettle, and goldenrod. I will now pack it in glass containers and give it for Christmas to my friends.

The medicinal plant garden in Eaglenest Sanctuary was started by my ex-wife Nicola, who is a Medical herbalist. Though somehow neglected in the last few years of construction, the garden grows more than 50 medicinal herbs. There are many kinds of plants for cooking, perfume making, fragrant drinks, mosquito repellant and many medicinal purposes. Over time, I will mark the plants with names and purposes so that guests that are interested in this can learn to recognize and name the different plants and their uses.

Love and light,

 

Ezio Cusi

Welcome to Eaglenest Sanctuary Blog

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The time for construction and re-construction has reached completion.

It is now time to invite people to become acquainted with Eaglenest Sanctuary and enjoy its many amenities.

I’ve been busy taking pictures, uploading them to my website, starting the Facebook page for the Sanctuary, promoting it to my friends, and watching the “likes” come in.

Invaluable help came from Kata Polano, Maggi my partner, and Inanna my daughter.

Though I have been dreading the marketing of Eaglenest Sanctuary, it is turning out to be quite fun and enjoyable. I have been involved personally and professionally with computers since the beginning of Apple, so I feel I have an inherent drive towards technology. I believe it has the potential to democratize commerce, slowly taking away the power of big business and putting it in the hands of common people.

If Eaglenest Sanctuary were a part of a big chain of vacation rentals, in no time it would climb to the top of the roster. As it is, the Internet and social media can help me, a sole owner with very little extra capital, to promote the place.

Having lived on the property for more than 10 years, I have learned to enjoy so many facets of this jewel.

Just a few steps from the Sanctuary is old growth rainforest, where centennial trees create a stable environment in which nature can nurture the great bio-diversity needed for us to inhabit our earth for many generations to come.

Emerging in the fall is an immense variety of mushrooms that grow on the property, a few of them quite excellent to eat.

The sound and freshness of the Koksilah River is just a stone’s throw away from the deck of the Sanctuary.

The joy of a sauna on a rainy day, followed by a cold plunge in the river can boost your immune system to protect you from the viruses so common in some seasons.

Through this blog I wish to share with you the magical experiences that abound here, at Eaglenest Sanctuary, and invite you to enjoy this little piece of riverside paradise with us.

Thank you for reading.

Love and light,

Ezio Cusi

Mindful Sexuality Series

Another future event to be held at Eaglenest Sanctuary is this exciting workshop series on Mindful Sexuality.

The Mindful Sexuality Series is a process designed to examine, enliven, and evolve yourself as a sexual being.  These day-long workshops will give you the tools to put sexuality into context by looking at questions such as:

  • What are the gifts and wounds that have informed your personal sexual culture?
  • How does that sit in the culture (and relationships) you presently live in?
  • How can this work inform the culture you might want to create?

Please visit the page for this series under the Event section, or follow the link below.

Show Me The Details Please!!

Personal Transformation Intensive

We, here at Eaglenest Sanctuary, are pleased to announce the planning of the Personal Transformation Intensive (PTI) to be held on site!

The Personal Transformation Intensive (PTI) is a powerful personal growth/therapy program for anyone seeking to live their life from a place of wholeness, purpose, and joy.

Check out the details for this amazing workshop under our new Events section! You will see the course being offered on Whidbey Island, and we are excited to be brainstorming possible dates for this workshop at Eaglenest Sanctuary.

Show Me The Details Please!!