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Showing posts from June, 2014

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…

Quiet.

For about 3 days,  neurotoxin from poison hemlock coursed through my veins. Indiscriminately grazing a fennel bed as I worked, I ate enough to get stuck in my teeth, as I flossed it out nightly. I sat on a zafu and stared out the window, unable to sleep, and watched the skeletal eucalyptus swallow and exhale fog.

Two minutes after eating it, I thought, "Don't tell anyone and how do you want to die?" A resounding silence- I went blank and continued to work for about 20 minutes as the poison coniine took hold. It occurred to me if I died there in the kitchen garden, everyone would know I ate poison hemlock. So I called poison control, and talked to Steve.

Steve said,

"Are you sure it's poison hemlock?- there's a lot of hemlock in the world."

"Yes, I'm sure- Our land Stewart has been working this water shed for about 20 years, she knows."

"Is your heart beat accelerated?"

"I just ran up to the office from the farm, so yeah.&quo…