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May 25
France, Spain
Dechen Chöling Garden Team

The four elements come together to generate energy and create beauty together in the garden

by Cash Clay

This summer sees the coming together of a great team of gardeners in the Ziji Garden. During the autumn and winter months of 2017 the foundations were laid and the team connected via Zoom, phone calls and messenger. Now, we are finally together in the phenomenal world of the garden and working as a phenomenal team!

So, who are we? Let’s drop convention and bypass traditional introduction style, replete with banal mini-biographies. Instead, let me introduce the harmony we bring to the garden and the team by introducing our elemental natures.

We arrive here as the four sensory qualities of solidity, fluidity, temperature and mobility. The garden team are the four elements, and are characterised as earth, water, fire, and air.

Simon Bertin is Head of Garden. He is air. The work of a Ziji Gardener can be heavy, and Simon brings a lightness to the team and to the garden. As a vigilant protector, he takes care of the garden and his team, working with diligence and clarity. He personifies expansion as the garden grows, and the rest of the team members grow as its warriors and protectors! Simon’s words of deep knowledge reverberate around the garden for staff and visitors alike to hear. His wisdom vibrates on the air and brings us joy.

Bart Bergman is the second gardener. He is water. Bart flows like a river through our garden life, constant and unending. His movement is fluid, and his attitude brings mildness and a meditative aspect to the team. Like water, Bart brings stability and strength. The flowing nature of water provides a cohesiveness needed by the other elements. Bart is understanding and forgiving, and his devotion runs throughout the garden.

Cash Clay is the third gardener. She is fire. Cash brings vigorous energy and enthusiasm to the Ziji Garden. She brings courage and action, and offers creativity to the team. Sometimes the element of fire burns erratically but always zealously. Like fire, Cash brings heat and warmth to the team, and to the garden.

This is the Ziji Garden and so, of course, all three warriors are earth. We are here to generate and nourish. We share a common groundedness and love of land. As earth, we practise responsibility and respect. Respect of land, of plants, and of one another. We are reliable, consistent, and conscientious.

So this is us – The Ziji Garden Team – earth, water, fire, and air. We strive to work together. We complement one another and create harmony, offering protection to the earth and providing food for staff and guests at Dechen Chöling.

And most importantly, the three of us come together with the land and the creatures and the plants to cultivate the elements of space and consciousness. With much love.

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2 responses to “ Dechen Chöling Garden Team ”
  1. Lovely article. I am so pleased to hear that Simon is still there. Simon: drop me a line to say “hello.”
    I’ll be back in La Roche – just don’t have a date yet. How is the car?

    Lot of hugs,


  2. Lisa Steckler
    May 26, 2018

    First, I really appreciated and enjoyed the creative way you choose to approach this article. Second, thank you for taking care of that precious land. I miss it so!!

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