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A short visit to the project

April 2008 a group of foreign students visited the project. Marco, one of the members of the community of Stoutenburg showed them the premises and told about the spirituality as practised in the daily life of the project.

By Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan from India

"What ever we put into the Universe comes back to us. This is Karmic way of life".
From an Ancient Indian Scripture

Being in one with nature

How do one feel god? Some people feel the supreme divinity through prayers whereas some seek almighty by means of love. Can one feel the creator by being in one with nature and leading a simple way of life. Is that possible in this age of globalisation and consumerism? "Yes" says a group of people living in a picture post card village of Stoutenburg on the outskirts of Amersfoort in the The Netherlands.

Students visit Stoutenburg. Welcome to the Franciscan Ecological Project. I had a chance to visit this humble place in the beautiful village of Stoutenburg along with my friends from UNESCO-IHE and ISS. The visit was organised by Mrs. Waltraut, Pastor from the International Students Chaplaincy. The Franciscans of Stoutenbrug are a tiny community of 4 members living the Franciscan way of life. Mr. Marco, one of the fellow Franciscan told us that they try to live a less materialistic life. They wear second hand clothes and avoid all the luxuries of life. They try to feel god by devoting them to organic farming in 30 acres of land. They feel themselves as an intimate and intrinsic part of the nature they take care of.

The necessity to be simple

Upon seeing their way of life one might immediately jump to a conclusion that they are a secluded group of reserved individuals trying to escape the mechanical and materialistic life of present days. Nevertheless, by leading a modest life they try to send a message to the human kind about the necessity to be simple. They have a firm belief that their positive thinking and deeds would definitely have a constructive impact on the lives of people especially the poor as they believe that everything is a part of cosmos.

The visit gave raise to many questions inside me as I was deeply impacted by what I saw and heard there. The place is worth visiting and it would definitely be an inspiration to your thoughts and relaxation to your mind. It would also lead to a different channel of thinking or ideology. Who knows it might even change your life?

Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan, M.Sc Student, UNSCO-IHE, Delft

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28 April 2008