Buddhist Retreat Weekend is Coming! And Cacao-Covered Hemp Seeds for the Win

Scored some boss cacao-covered hemp seeds at Foodworks Saturday! They’re not too sweet, and very chocolatey. Sharing them with friends today. I also found some vegan pine tar shampoo. I used pine tar in college, when my hair was much oilier than it is now. But it still makes a super deep cleaning and refreshing shampoo. I’ve been using it for two days, and my scalp feels squeaky clean.

I also stocked up on agave, peanut butter for our dogs, Skin Trip coconut bar soap, lanolin, Mrs. Meyers home cleaning products, dates, refined coconut oil for cooking, henna, and a very cool Buddha t-shirt. I’m not a big fan of wearing images of Shakyamuni Buddha on my body, but to be honest, it is the earthy moss green color and sweet crinkly texture of this shirt that I love. Plus, it’s a great-quality shirt for only $10.

We pulled a ton of summer squash out of the garden this weekend and gave it away. We kept some for ourselves, but most ended up with both our mothers and a couple of neighbors.

One of our neighbors lost all her squash plants to a woodchuck that lives in her yard, so she definitely needed some squash. I ate a lot of raw green beans, and we pulled the first three cucumbers off the vines! I gave them to my mom, but tonight, I’m going to the garden for more, and dinner will feature a big cucumber salad.

Green peppers are getting fat, and a new flat of arugula is coming up. I need arugula. All we need now are the tomatoes to grow and ripen, and we’re in hog heaven.

This weekend is the Buddhist retreat at Dae Yen Sa Temple. I’m so completely psyched for it. Sitting meditation, walking meditation, voice meditation, noble silence, teaching, discussion, and Korean vegetarian food. I don’t think it’s smart to wish days away, but I’m counting the hours until this weekend.

I’m putting in some fall crops next month. I’ve never grown Brussels sprouts, and I love them. They say they’re best when kissed by a bit of winter frost. If I can get them started early next month, they’ll have the still warm months of September and October to grow, before the first frost comes in November. The potatoes and garlic, both cool-weather harvests, are doing great.

My husband and I are having a tag sale next month. We’re making this an extreme tag sale, with the personal goal of letting go of a lot of things and the financial goal of getting some money together for our vacation at Block Island. The better part of it for me will be the release of the burden of stuff.

I’m getting weary of having more than I need. There is also the emotional attachment to things that gets me down. It’s always freeing to bag up clothes and give them to charity. But the bigger load on my mind now is an excess of housewares and other things that are rarely if ever used but clung to obsessively.

Buddhists know that clinging is the source of our suffering. So why would I cling to anything? And money spent on experiences – travel for instance – is always better than money spent on more stupid stuff.

I’m putting together a list of books I want to read or re-read. I ordered a used copy of Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ from Thriftbooks for just $3.68 and 99 cents shipping. I read and worshiped that book in college. It’s time to take a look at it now and see how it reads to these older eyes of experience. Books on my list include:

Be Here Now by Ram Das
A Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
The Golden Ratio by Mario Livio
this sentence is false by Peter Cave

I also need to pull out my volume of Katherine Mansfield and re-read The Garden Party. I get in the mood for this short story every summer. By all appearances, it’s about a young girl in a world of privilege who has a frightening experience that affects her mind but not her circumstances. 

But I always see a reenactment of the Buddha’s first taste of the world of suffering outside his father’s palace and the beginning of his journey to enlightenment. I wonder if anyone else who has ever read The Garden Party has seen a similar meaning.

Tonight, I’ll be checking the bottom of the tomato plants closely for ripe tomatoes. It’s July 11 after all, and the season is getting on. It’s time for fresh tomato sandwiches.

Live in peace.

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