We admire simplicity, sobriety & silence, for it enables cultivation of spiritual culture in the space we inhabit - the space is shared by not only the Culture Unplugged team but also the guests visiting for therapeutic purpose, from across the globe.
We find luxury in satisfying diverse needs of all, with as much simplicity, equality & equanimity as possible. We delight in the beauty of harmonious relationships formed among all people on the campus, which we believe is possible only with mutual respect & sensitivity of sober mind & heart. We cherish the sounds of nature, laughter and daily-life/routine which are amplified by the peaceful silence audible in and around the campus.
Above all, we perceive ourselves as the trusty of the land/soil, water & air we live on, and hence sincerely aspire to continue our contemplation to keep our thoughts & action in tune with the needs/capacity of nature + neighborhood.
Television sets are not provided in the rooms, but hi-speed internet is available on campus using Wi-fI.
No plastic water-bottles are provided. Water jugs are refilled from the machines located in each building.
Shoes and chappals are left outside the room/building to assure cleanliness as well as respect for the dwelling.
Neither beer, sodas or any alcoholic beverages are served/allowed on premises, nor smoking/sniffing of tobacco is permitted on campus.
We request all living on the campus to be mindful in their usage of chemical products (e.g. cosmetics), non biodegradable hygiene products or electric appliances for personal use.
Members of the team cleans their daily-wears in the room only. We do requests all to bring their own eco-friendly washing detergent for laundry.
At present, the campus culture and structure can only support single individuals. Members living with family commute to the campus on daily basis.
The following beliefs may serve all, while each of us has lived in different conditions, cultures, continents, climates and with unique experiences and body conditions.
Diet with mainly vegetarian tendencies is advisable for lightness of the body and spirit.
Food should be warm - neither hot nor cold, in order to help digestion and the downward passage of vata.
Food should be unctuous to stimulate the digestion, to strengthen the body + sense faculties and to improve complexion.
Food in the proper quantities promotes longevity, maintains the digestive capacities and does not affect the dosha.
It is good to eat only when digestion of the previous meal is over. Eating before that causes the undigested particles to mix with the food taken afterwards and will cause rasa. This will bring indigestion, slowing down of digestive enzymes or fire, pitta and disturb the three dosha. Hence each meal time has to be spaced and balanced.
Eating the next meal after the previous one is digested, promotes appetite, digestion, proper manifestations of natural urges like urinating, excreting sweat and waste. It helps passage of downward wind and promotes longer healthier life.
After taking food, sleeping, vigorous exercise, meditation or yoga should be avoided as it will aggravate pitta + vata dosha and may cause imbalance in the body in the long run.
Do not eat food with contradictory potencies. There are certain diseases that result from eating food that should not be combined such as: garlic and milk, honey and hot water.
Food should be consumed in a proper, clean place at specific times to reduce emotional strain. Eating when you feel grief, anger, greed, envy, confusion or anxiety results in indigestion and imbalance of the dosha. Never eat in a hurry, or without attention/care.
Eating too slowly, not only takes away the feeling of satisfaction but also impairs digestion, as the digestive enzymes come in contact with the consumed food in irregular pattern.
Avoid eating too fast. Eat with concentration, awareness instead. Eat with self-confidence and joy - the food that is beneficial to your prakruti/constitution.
As this campus is inspired and operated under Ayurvedic philosophy, all food is freshly prepared and spices are freshly grounded. The kitchen uses organic and naturally grown vegetables + fruits and strictly prohibit the usage of preservatives. Food is cooked and served in stainless steel wares/utensils. There is no microwave or large refrigerators in the kitchen facility. At present, the kitchen is operated with the collaboration among five people and serves about 25 people everyday and, due to space and time constraints, the kitchen is not usable by members for personal cooking. If the members have extra need for fruits, vegetables, snacks, spices or oils for daily consumption, it can be easily purchased from the market nearby.
The breakfast in Southern India is light - mostly steamed dishes mades with rice/wheat, vegetables and pulses.
Some of the traditional breakfast items include:
Iddly or steamed ricecakes,
Idiuppum or stringhoppers,
These dishes are made with traditional spices and are served with chutney and curry.
In most of India rice and chapattis are served together. In South India, mostly rice is consumed in lunch. The lunch is served on a thali (a stainless steel plate) or the banana leaf with rice, and consists of special Kerala rice variety, chapatti (Indian bread made out of whole wheat), vegetables and lentils. Vegetables are cooked in different ways – in different flavors such as sweet, sour and astringent. They are also served raw, steamed or mixed with lentils (dahl).
The dinner is simple and light because it is not advisable to have heavy meals in the evening, per Ayurvedic principle. It consists of mixed vegetable-dahl curry and chapatti or paratha (made out of whole wheat, potatoes & spices) or different flavors of rice or noodles. The basic amount of proteins required for normal human body is consumed through lentils/ pulses served 2-3 times per day. Calcium is consumed with some vegetables as well as, milk or buttermilk. Fruits are served along with the dinner.
The campus is located about 20 kms from Thiruvanthapuram, in Kerala India. It is surrounded with green vegetation, nature and a quiet neighborhood. The land in and around the campus nurtures coconut, mango, jackfruit and banana trees. Among other unique trees as well as many medicinal plants strewn on the campus, situated in the centre of the campus is the Bodhi tree - the tree with special historical significance. In the morning the prayer sounds from a temple and a mosque afar, are heard along with the sounds of birds, insects and nature. The special feature of the people in the neighborhood is the smile and peace on the face.
The architecture and facility is modest, clean and ecologically friendly. We are housed by traditional Kerala style cottages & rooms, elegantly and mindfully built with ancient science that consciously integrates natural elements such as light, wind, space and aesthetics.
The place offers solitude, calm and an opportunity to observe the nature without & within. In the middle of the campus, is a pond which harvests the rain water and nurtures a lotus plant, medicinal plants as well as fish. This infinity shaped pond is an invitation to not only birds but us as well – a healing opportunity to surrender and attune to the free movements of the fish and the water.
Rooms have basic facilities like bed(s), wardrobe, cupboard, platform, coffee table and chair(s). We recommend all members to bring adapters/chargers or special plugs & cords to run computer or any other appliance.
As we all have learned through present environmental and energy crisis, power/electricity is precious. It is a scarce and much needed resource in India. While the plan to have the campus needs be supported by solar infrastructure is underway, we request your attention to keep your room-lights off during the day and minimize consumption of power. This request is driven by the present global environmental need.
The campus water need is quenched by underground water. Like power, clean water is also a precious resource. The campus harvests the rain water and also has a grey-water treatment plant, both of which are used to recycle this resource in proper way. We request your sensitivity towards not only the water usage but also towards draining of chemicals underground with laundry wash, cosmetics etc.
Many of us have become aware of the problems regarding the waste dumping, collection or recycling, for which all of us global citizens ought to take responsibility for. We believe in mindful consumption and becoming aware in order to either reduce or reform the personal need. We request all members to consciously use the dustbin placed inside the room, and be mindful in purchasing/bringing products from outside, that uses unnatural materials or chemicals (e.g. plastic bottles/ bags, cans, food/cosmetic packaging/labels with printed dyes.)
While the world community of all nations have taken action to reduce poverty and starvation across the globe, we wish to stay aware that we live in the region where food is truly a very valuable resource for many fellow brothers and sisters. To refrain the wastage of food, upon arrival or until the fine-tuning of diet is accomplished, the members on the campus may request clean plates/bowls to reduce and return the amount that may be extra.
We are grateful to all members who not only shares these beliefs but also furthers our vision of service and deepens our sensitivity towards life on day to day basis, by how we live in harmony with nature and each other.