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Showing posts from June, 2012

Sangha of the Fields

Sick today, and it's been coming. Running a rest deficit. Woke at 3am today to deliver food in the city. Returned to harvest for tomorrow's market and was benched by the farm elder, 70 year old Emila who wears two harvest knives and out cuts every young whipper snapper on the farm on lettuce and wit.

She said, "Your eyes look small. They're talking about if you're okay, and you've been pushing hard, we don't need you today."

I laughed it off and she told me to go to bed, not get sick. I said, I thought we chop wood and carry water. After a nap, she suggested. So, I slept until about 10:30 and my right eye was pinned shut by a headache and I felt nauseous (on pancake day?!). I didn't feel any better in the rack, so out to fields I went, looking like what my mother used to say was death swarmed over.

The farm elder let me slip in, and the manager gave me an easy job: cutting wild nettles that pop up in our rows. My headache receded to the background…

Mind-Only Hot Dog Wrapped in Bacon: Do Not Intoxicate Self or Other

As a Buddhist, I sometimes catch a sideways glance for drinking a beer or eating a hot dog wrapped in bacon.

But no one ever questions me reading Dogen's Zuimonki. Or heading up to John Jeavon's Ecology Action to talk about eating our own poop. Or that I have picked up a book at all, like ANYTHING by Derrick Jensen.

In the last three weeks, I've seen Derrick Jensen and John Jeavons Speak. Do you know what I learned? I was "drinking" again. I wasn't just listening to what they had to say, but I wanted the answers, I wanted stable ground to stand on so I could figure out how to save all beings.

When I think of our vow to save all beings, a trench is deepened across my heart. If only these beings would get out of my god damn way, I could save them. If only they'd let me mow down their mono-cropped fields and allowed me to plant their 30 high caloric, 60 bio mass, 10 nutrient rich percent of organic crops, we could start saving their soil. If they'd just …

One Final Paragraph

"One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out  Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast...a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic.  Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure.  It is not enough to fight for the land: it is even more important to enjoy it.  While you can.  While it's still here.  So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.  Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators.  I …

"I don't want to dance if there isn't a revolution."

Derrick Jensen did a quick spin on Emma Goldman's " I don't want your revolution if I can't dance." 


We saw him speak in Berkley:


"By now we all know the statistics and trends: 90 percent of the large
fish in the oceans are gone, there is ten times as much plastic as phytoplankton in the oceans, 97 percent of native forests are destroyed, 98
percent of native grasslands are destroyed, amphibian populations are
collapsing, migratory songbird populations are collapsing, mollusk
populations are collapsing, fish populations are collapsing, and so on.
Two hundred species are driven extinct each and every day. If we don’t
know those statistics and trends, we should." 
I woke up this morning, my blog writing morning, and had two dreadful feelings:
 1. I didn't feel I had anything to write about.
2. I didn't call my fathers yesterday because I was in the San Joaquin valley from 9am to 9pm, looking at farmland using stolen water (water that did not fall on that gro…

Look Around

I'm getting tan. I know the birds around here- the Wren Tit, the Red-Winged Black Bird, Quail, Robins, Swanson's Thrush, Hawks, Owls, and the tiny Wax Wings all the way from the Amazon. My fingers are getting tough, too. No more bleeding from my share of planting 4,000 seedlings in the field. Hearing the coyotes at 3:30 am opens my ears to another realm. The 3 mile run up and down these rocky hills is not so hard, either. 
I love this place best- this gulch, this coast, these trees, this temple. 
Before us, natives lived here. They used to find arrow heads in the field. They're gone now, of course. 
And it's hotter this summer than usual. 80 degrees in the sun. 
And I've never seen a mountain lion here. 
And just one whale out in the sea in my 5 years of visiting here. 
And we've experienced water draw down. Our well is not deep enough anymore. The spring runs turbid, due to the mud it picks up on its flow here, due to dirt that is exposed from deforested moun…

The Knife You Believe In

A guest student asked so, "why farming, why Green Gulch?"

The answer to this question gets shorter and shorter each time I'm asked.

I'm here because the knife you believe in is the knife that cuts best. Down in the 4th field, we have a spinach crop and a can of knives. Some are serrated, some are straight blades, like a fillet knife. Then there are our pocket knives and harvest knives, though I've never seen anyone harvest spinach with a harvest knife, as it's too big for that action.

Considerable time is spent with our knives; first we pick one, and then we need to sharpen it. I think it's all about this sharpening. I don't think any of the knives actually cuts better than the one before and after and I think our lives, where we choose to be, what we choose to do, are also like this.

I used to sit down and map out my life. I'd write down some important activities -like reading, writing, running, sitting- and then evaluate how well a place or …