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.
First Green Meal of the Season, and Thoughts on Lao Tzu’s Writings
Last night’s dinner: a coconut carrot salad filled
with our own garden greens.
celebrated the new growing season last night by hogging a ton of our young
garden greens for dinner. I made a simple carrot salad with raisins, Bragg’s
aminos, agave, and Veganaise, then tossed in several hands full of our garden
lettuces, arugula, and Italian parsley, and topped it all with some fresh lime
juice and shaved coconut. I don’t even remember eating it. I think I just
inhaled it. After a long winter of imported market greens, our fresh garden
food was pure bliss.
this morning, all the plants were brought outdoors for good and the grow lights
were shut off. Today is May 16. There are no more frosts in the forecast. Today
it’s going to reach 80 degrees. We’re getting some unusual heat this week – in the
90s – and then it will settle down to typical late-May weather.
in Zone 6 and haven’t yet planted sunflower seeds, right now is the time.
Sunflowers grow steadily but slowly. They’re the quintessential summer flower,
and it’s nicer to have them blooming in July than September. I planted sunflower
seeds all around the house last week. I plant to plant even more.
plant all our veggies in the next week. If you’re starting from seeds, I hope
you’ve already germinated them. If not, and at this point, it would be best to
buy young plants.
the commercial nursery plants brand found everywhere from Wal-Mart (yuck) to
better garden centers, has introduced a line of organically-grown veggie plants
$4 a plant, it’s more expensive than at-home seed germination, but so worth it
if you must buy plants instead of sow organic seeds. You and your loved ones are
going to eat these veggies: buy organic and grow organic.
night, I grabbed my copy of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and curled up on the couch.
It was a windy, cool night; perfect for reading. The Tao Te Ching, the bedrock writing
of Taoism, is pure jewel consciousness. Thirty minutes with it, and I feel completely
across this familiar excerpt:
you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself; if you want to
eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and
negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your
is the heart of the Buddhist path. More than anything, we humans resist the
truth that the disappointment, anger, resentment, frustration, and longing we
feel is entirely generated by ourselves, in our own corrupted hearts. The
suffering we experience is a direct and fixed result of our refusal to love
purely, forgive completely, and accept unconditionally.
and ask yourself if your heart is pure. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we
have no conceptual overlays or patterns of conditioned habits - that our motives
are honorable - when in fact we have agendas that have nothing to do with love,
Dana, compassion, joy, or Bodhi mind.
Pali, the word for this kind of self-delusion is Kilesa. Kilesa is a defiled
mind, driven by unwholesome desires, a mind that obscures clear seeing, a mind
that is a hindrance to its own happiness. We see it all the time and
everywhere: people who cling – sometimes for years - to anger, restlessness,
remorse, agitation, revenge, and obsessive and regressive thoughts. Their relationships
are defined by drama. Their precious and impermanent energies are poured into
conflict and confrontation.
they reach for distractions – excessive consuming (shopping, overeating,
overdrinking), baseless dissention (with family, friends, and strangers),
drugs, alcohol, sex, obsessive exercise, self-deprivation, tattoos - anything
to divert the mind from its own restlessness.
bring tremendous suffering to themselves, then blame others for their
suffering, when their suffering was born in and nurtured to maturity in their
own minds. This is bad Sankhara – mental formations that cling to illusions at
the expense of reality. In Buddhism, this is the cycle of Samsara from which we
all must free ourselves. And we can.
transforming our selfish impulses into Metta (pure love), by embracing Anatta
(non-self), and striving for Bodhicitta (pure mind), we release ourselves from suffering.
When we transform ourselves this way, we transform those around us. They, in
turn, transform those around them. In the course of time, the pure love of the
Buddha lives in hearts everywhere.
self, as Lao Tzu described, is the most powerful of Buddhist practices. Let’s
all contemplate our minds, bodies, and feelings. Let’s embrace lovingkindness
and the reality of non-self. We are all one. The awakening starts and ends