Buddhism, veganic gardening, compassion, and the vegan life calls all to deepen our relationships with Mother Earth and each other. Live sustainably, authentically, and lightly on the Earth. Manifest compassion for all sentient beings. The world is an altar. Worship in love.
Peace, Balance, and a Tomato Blessing
Last night as the sun was
setting, I stood in what is now the ruins of our veggie garden – it was put to
bed for the season last week – and mused. The tomato, bean, squash, and
nasturtium plants that my husband didn’t completely level are trying very hard
to make a comeback. They won’t really, but they’re trying. Hence, we have a few
baby squash peeking, and a lot of green tomatoes on the ground hanging on to
plants that were pushed over.
There, in the middle of
the chaos, was one perfectly red, perfectly round, perfectly ripe Cherokee tomato.
I put the tomato in my
pocket and went back to musing. This past year has been a challenging one. Happenings all over the place. None of which we have control
over: my poor husband’s sickness – which he seems to be completely over now
(yay!); the ensuing medical bills; the sudden death of my beautiful
Daisy Sage on July 7, and struggles with family, friends, and work.
Then, the making of a big personal decision.
My husband and I set out to identify the toxic people in our lives: those who consistently cause us pain. Some of them have been doing this for years; some, decades.
The cynics, and those who
bring excessive criticism and demands to the table. The pretentious, the hypocrites,
the dishonest. Those who wish to manipulate. The greedy. The arrogant. People
with rigid and inflexible personalities. Those who do not understand or
practice loyalty or love. People who exaggerate for their own benefit. Those who do not
honor animals, or the earth.
Todd and I no longer have patience for these people, and we finally decided to prune them from our
lives. Yes, like a pruning of our garden. The garden of our lives together,
which needed a cleaning and yearns to grow.
But we both worried that
doing this with family members – the biggest offenders in our lives – would be
Came to find out it wasn’t.
Instead, it was a
tremendous relief to say, ‘You’ve hurt me enough, I need to end our connection’.
Or, ‘I won’t be your whipping boy/girl anymore – you’re going to have to find a
new game.’ Even, ‘I can’t put my finger on this, but whenever we’re together, I
feel depleted afterward. I think we should stop spending time together.’ It was easier to say and do than we thought.
My wonderful husband has had some bad people enter his life, and he talks about them sometimes. It’s a catharsis, and I allow it, even though sometimes it drains my
Intensely angry ex-spouses with a
thirst for revenge that will never be quenched; angry, unstable children who speak endlessly
of their rights but never of their responsibilities; angry family members who
willingly hurt and embarrass us, angry co-workers who ignore our boundaries.
It’s an angry world out
there, and the time came for us to disengage from these people. But before we
went ahead and brought these abusive relationships to an end, we made an important pact between
us and the earth.
Karma is a powerful force,
my loves. By dispensing with these people, we knew we were going to hurt,
offend, and anger them further. You never want to hurt someone willingly, if you can help it. But if
you must, it is important – critical – that you make some sort of amends for
the pain you cause them.
So what does a good disciple
do? She turns to the one thing that is at the beating heart of everything good:
Through our decision to
disconnect from the toxic ones, we made a choice of compassion for ourselves.
Next, we have to extend
that compassion outward. The way to do this, we believe, is to live and give
good Karma everywhere, but especially to those people from whom we have decided
to separate. They need our blessings in a big way.
Think about it. Because of
their unyielding rage, demands, lovelessness, and manipulation, they have lost
their connection with us. And we, no doubt, are not the only ones who have identified
their toxicity, and who want them to go away. But most people don’t have the mindfulness
to do this, and so they suffer in silence. Hard feelings grow. Squabbles break
out. A lot of quiet suffering goes on. Unkind words said behind backs. No
compassion. Sad, sad times.
And so the people we have recently
ruled out of our lives have been getting a lot of good Karma sent their way,
courtesy of us. Here is the treatise I drew up for us:
We must live good,
We must take
responsibility for all our actions – past and present.
We must continue to
cultivate the loving atmosphere in our home. It feeds our spirits and our
marriage every day.
We must forgive these
people completely – for the pain they have given us, and for the pain they will
try to continue to give us.
We must admit the mistakes
we made during our time with these people, forgive ourselves for those
mistakes, and move forward in love.
When we make mistakes that
harm others, we must take immediate steps to correct them.
We must do no harm to the
ones whom we have rejected, but we must not let them freely hurt us anymore
We must spend some time
every day sending good Karma to the people we have eliminated from our lives.
We must continue to send
love to everyone, with the lion’s share going to those people from whom we have
disconnected. Just because.
We must be gentle with the
I took that perfect tomato
out of my pocket and looked at it again. An unexpected gift. Something
spotless, sublime, a blessing that rose up from a pile of ruins. A blessing
where it was least expected, least deserved.
I said a prayer of thanksgiving, let
fly a tidal wave of good karma to those with whom I no longer share my life, and
planned my tomato lunch for the next day.
Namaste, beautiful people.
It’s all good.
Daisy Sage, always here with me. See you soon. xoxoxo