Skip to main content

Turning the Lettuce Wheel of Farma Dharma




 I'm in my third and last season on the farm. It's a waking life dream; lettuce the size of the truck tire, beets growing like underground apples, elder Bodhisattvas at 73 harvesting and teaching compassion and wisdom with two knifes on her belt for 40 some years.

The zendo is my sweet cave, and I'm surrounded by friends and family, ancestors watching. My legs fold together like a well ironed handkerchief, no complaints. It's quiet during the meditation, but I don't remember much more than candle light and the sound of my teacher breathing. My full bows, knees and head on the old barn floor of our temple, are cascading like water for thirsty vows.

Our cabin is warm on the hill. Behind the grey bones of eucalyptus the ocean whispers, you are here, you are here, you live at the beach! My wife, my best friend, we drink tea and read well into the night. The wake up bell comes early, but the warmth of embrace is carried in our robes, from cuddling to being swaddled, we are Buddha's babies, cooing and ready for breakfast.

Comments

  1. One day I will make you explain this Zen thing to me...or have you already done so??????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Norman gave the talk to the Stanford grads yesterday. He told it to them straight:
      "Your life isn't and has never been about you. It isn't and has never been about what you accomplish, how successful you are or are not, how much money you make, what sort of position you ascend to, or even about your family, your associations, your various communities, or how much good you do for others or the world at large. Your life, like mine, and like everyone else's, has always been about one thing: love.
      "Who are you, really? Where did you come from? Why were you born? When this short human journey is over, where are you going? Why – and how – does any of this exist? What is the purpose and the point of it all?
      "Not even your Nobel Prize-winning professors know the answers to these questions, the inevitable, unavoidable, human questions. None of us knows the answers. All we know is that we are here for a while before we are gone, and that we are here together. The only thing that makes sense and that is completely real is love."

      This might be a good start?

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Boredom and Buddhism

To say I feel bored feels disrespectful. How could that be? I have a three month old daughter, I'm training for a demanding job in the temple, I'm a wilderness medic responding to incidents every 4 days or so, and I'm sewing my priest robes for ordination. And I have this sense of disinterest.

I have a few theories as to why I feel bored. One could be the natural come down from having the baby and becoming stable in our schedule. Another come down plays out in the adrenaline crash after responding to a medical emergency or the general up keep work I do at the temple when compared to fixing something crucial to operations. When I hear there's a fire in the area I'm pretty excited to be mobilized for stay and defend duty. I feel pretty guilty about that, too.

So I read Beyond Boredom and Depression by Ajahn Jagaro and I was reminded to be careful about looking outward by this passage:

So what is boredom? It is a subjective experience that occurs when the mind is not i…

Goodbye Green Gulch Sama! Hello Tassajara!

About two years ago I left Mid City Zen in New Orleans. I feared I was leaving something, and now I'm about to leave Green Gulch and that same fear has arisen. I imagined there was wealth, a sort of freedom, and a lot to "renounce."  I had a car (a fast one!), a playstation 3, many books, many articles of clothing, and as I look around our little cabin, that same perception has arisen- I have too much stuff! And I like it!

My book collection that I sold or gave away in New Orleans has somehow manifested out here. And I have quite the collection of farm hats and farm boots. Rubber ones, Redwings, Ropers, Bogs to the ankle, Bogs to the knee, a navy seal Solomon for the wet spring weather. Most of them are fit to throw away, glued back together and stitched with fishing line, and just so smelly, so smelly my wife won't let me keep them in the cabin, so I hide them all around Green Gulch.

So I started packing, and while that fear of renunciation has arisen, it's not …

Vows and Compass

Being in new Orleans reminds me that my way seeking mind ripened here. Maybe it was the level of maturity my father's recovery actualized. Maybe it was the Ben Wren book I found at Beaucoup Books on my lunch break. Maybe it was my step mom's copy of things fall apart by Pema Chodron sitting in the bathroom.

Later I would witness the host of suffering post-katrina offered to a young public school teacher. How could I help? I took my first set of vows not really knowing where they would lead, like the old black metal compass my dad put in my Christmas stocking when I was about ten. Beautiful to hold, difficult to understand.

Now, years later, I feel a bit subdued as form,sensation, perception, impulse, and thought tag everything, beckoning some purchase for the price of belief. I'm home, but a home leaver. People wonder when I'll move back and being a home leaver means being ready to leave home again and again, which could mean coming back.

How will I actually engage all…