Friday, January 11, 2013

Forest Cathedral

You may experience the story that is in front of you: as unreal, beyond this world, from another vibration, from an entirely different planet.  Yet, it is not. It is present with us in every moment and among us. To our vibrant society it adds a dimension that is broadening our awareness. It invites us to depart from linear thinking and enter an open field of beauty, love, sensory awareness and cohabitation. It will free us of the homocentric perception of the mind and confidently embed us in the natural flow of cohabitation with all living creatures and entities on Earth.  Jaka is a beautiful person. In his soul, heart and words. Through his networks and relationships trees become story-tellers, sages with age-old wisdom, healers and muses offering inspiration. We begin to understand forest cathedrals as a glorious space where creation enters into our actions charged with good intentions, trust and respect. This is Jaka's story. And if we listen closely to the melodies of our souls we will find it in ourselves, too. Try  it. 

V: Who is Jaka Šubic?
A dreamer. A wanderer. A hard worker. Calm, yet occasionally boiling. He firmly believes talents are the source of life. His is strict with himself and everyone around him. He loves trees and is a unique and self-assured individual. He only works with people he truly and deeply respects. 
Born in 1969, I grew up at the foot of a forest-covered hill called Šmarna gora. I hated going to kindergarten until my last day there, I only appreciated fairy tales and winter holiday activities. In school, I only enjoyed subjects taught by people who put their heart into teaching. English and Slovenian languages, physics, the philosophy of forestry. I graduated from the forestry school, and am currently concluding post-graduate studies in protection of natural heritage.
My childhood was characterised by play, daydreaming and hard work. I was born into a family of innovators in the field biological engineering. I have been working as a district forester, a professional nature protectionist. Following the birth of my son, I dedicated myself to him, left work and started building a natural home from wood, hemp and clay. We moved into our new family home without having to take a loan. I started the forest kindergarten project with money from my wife's salary. Modest financial results followed after the first year and I am able to support my family after the second.

Presentations in kindergartens across Slovenia
My brother introduces me to Violeta Bulc and she introduces me to Aleksandra Gradišek from Development Centre Litija
We get our first project with support from the Kamnik municipality - An Invitation into the Forrest - promoting the Slovenian Alpine region, 4 municipalities, 4 kindergartens, and 4 primary schools participate.
We are granted funds for initiating forest kindergartens and schools in 5 municipalities, 5 kindergartens, and 5 primary schools in central Slovenia.
Intensive work with kindergarten and school children. The children teach us the basics about forests.
The majority of work is transferred to teachers and kindergarten professionals.
We establish a national network innovation project, called Forest Kindergarten, with the support from the National Education Institute, where I am working as a consultant.
Completion of the projects and obtaining new ones to spread the idea. The key result of the initial project was establishing a practice of regular periodic visits to the forest in all kindergartens and some of the schools where the project was conducted.
Spreading the idea to regions where forest kindergartens don't exist yet (Italy - training of kindergarten professionals, Croatia - 6 kindergartens, Montenegro - 1 kindergarten, Serbia 1 - kindergarten).
Visits to established forest kindergartens in Austria.
Commencement of marketing of our mentorship without European funds.
Laying the groundwork for a youth-operated estate in Vače pri Litiji.
I am joined by an amazing forestry expert, Tannja Yrska.
Vision for 2013
Ensure my personal development.
Legal and actual implementation of forest kindergartens in Slovenia, the Balkans and Italy.
Ensure a livelihood for at least two mentors.
Strive for natural communities.
V: What is your core vibration?
Jaka: When I am able to see deep within me, my core vibration is love. 

Photo: forest cathedral       
  Source:  Jaka Šubic     

V: When you look at a tree or a forest, what do you see?
A partner who is always available to show you the path to your inner self. A mentor preserving the truth.

V: Where does the power, the magic of the forest come from?
From its simplicity, playfulness, grace, and respect for everything and everyone. From its constant development.

V: Why are many people afraid to go into the forest?
The forest slowly uncovers layers of sediment in a person. If you spend too little time in the forest, you can only scrape the surface and the surface is full of misconceptions, deception, fear and bad patterns. One needs to be patient and persistent. It eventually pays off.

V: What sparked the idea for the "forest kindergartens "?
Some German friends I made on holiday told me about it. But I did not want to copy their idea. We did it our own way. Initially, we learned a great, great deal from children. They pointed out the essential matters. We permitted them responsibility, awakening of personal views, and joy. Pedagogically speaking, the kindergarten professionals are conducting the research independently, but they are strongly supported by the National Education Institute. They are researching ways of integrating the environmental potential of the forest into life - to live a forest.  An open minded forester's views on the subject are very welcome. Group hikes through the forest - at least three hours long - really work well.

Photo: Jaka Šubic   
Source: Jaka Šubic

V: What touches you most profoundly in working with children and kindergarten professionals?
To see a smile on the face of a girl who has never smiled in the kindergarten. When a boy first touches something he hasn't known before. When a hyperactive child transforms into an alert leader. When you see an unimaginable evidence of joy in the forest. When you feel the simplicity and pleasure, a gift for your soul. When you feel the love. When you first kiss a tree. When you are touched by infinite grace. Each new experience is more profound. And there is no end to them, just as there is no end to outgrowing life. 

V: Where do you see the development potential of >forest kindergartens
In the uninhibited development of individuals. Forest kindergartens are capable of bonding families into new-old types of communities that nourish the environment. Forest kindergartens are the platform for developing natural communities.

V: What is your explanation of the term "forest cathedral"? How far does your vision go?
I see life as a quantum field of joint matter, thought and emotions. The primal forest cathedrals are included in this quantum field as carriers of the most comprehensive information about life. The Central Balkans and Slovenia still have forests.  They are predominantly natural beech and fir forests with healthy trees. My vision is to recognise them as Nature Sanctuaries as the internationally adopted UNESCO's term describes them.

Photo: Jaka Šubic and members of  InCo movement
Source: archive InCo movement, 2012
V: What is your New Year's message invitation for our readers?
Be your own gift. Untie the ribbon and remove the shiny wrapping paper. Let your soul undulate and light your way. Going into a forest will speed up this process. Use each moment to allow to wither everything that is false about your life. Thus, you will make room for the new, true and real.

AHO. Violeta

Additional links:
  • Join us for the International Conference of Systems Science and Systems Thinking in Vietnam, July 2013 - see call for papers