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Thread: The Houses We Live In

  1. #1
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
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    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota

    The Houses We Live In

    The author says he lives in a big house in South Minneapolis and that the house is always coming apart somewhere. I'm wondering why he didn't choose to live in a small house where there would be fewer things to fall apart. My husband and I live in a 500 sq.ft. log cabin in the middle of a northern Minnesota forest. We chose it for its location and for its relative simplicity. Still, even last night, the rudimentary water system malfunctioned and we had a lot of water to clean up -- but it was a small area of water. The choice we've made for our home reminds me of Shitou's, although not so simple due to the climate in this part of the world. When we first moved here, people visited, but they couldn't stand the small space, or the lack of any audio-visual technology entertainment, or the missing sounds of the city, or, or, or. We have yet to meet anyone who would choose to live as we have for the past 15 years. The benefits for us are enormous. First, there a far fewer material things that need our attention and our modest money. More open time! Second, the location permits us to live the precepts with fewer distractions. More peace of mind! Third, living smack in the middle of wilderness gives us 24/7 access to what is natural and beautiful in life. More inspiration! I wouldn't give up this kind of living for the biggest house anywhere, although a few more warmer days in the year would be a nice-to-have. I'm curious how others live.

  2. #2
    Kyotai
    Guest
    I live in a small town, down a dead end road in Ontario Canada. Horse farm to the east, corn field to the west. 20 minute drive to anything. Wife, 2 young kids, cat and dog. No complaints

    Perhaps what is natural and beautiful in life to some is living life in the woods amongst the trees. To others, the hustle and bustle of city life. To me, neither is right or wrong

    (Although I'm with you lol)

    Gassho, Kyotai
    Sat today
    Last edited by Kyotai; 03-09-2015 at 10:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Hi.

    My home is big. Very big. I don't even have words to describe how big it is because I haven't been able to see it all.

    The place I live in is tiny. Just a couple of rooms and a kitchen, just enough for a bed, a couch and a couple of desks. I don't have an altar for the Buddha because there is no room!

    And it's very simple and poor. I only have curtains in one window. The other windows have paper.

    And it's perfect because it gives me all I need.

    I have never been happier

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  4. #4
    Hello,

    Downsize and adopt pets. ^^


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  5. #5
    Hello,

    My home is 6,700 sq. ft. if you count the garages. My fenced acre is packed with 7 dogs, about 30 pine trees and a 800 sq. ft. pool. The unfenced acre has a soccer field where my kids and the neighborhood kids play sometimes. I have lots of big boy toys but what I really like to do is spend time with my family, dogs, patients and you. The toys are not that important but they are there so I play with them. Over all I would say I would not change one thing about this rare form that I have manifested into. It is perfect as it is.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  6. #6
    Kyotai
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hello,

    My home is 6,700 sq. ft. if you count the garages. My fenced acre is packed with 7 dogs, about 30 pine trees and a 800 sq. ft. pool. The unfenced acre has a soccer field where my kids and the neighborhood kids play sometimes. I have lots of big boy toys but what I really like to do is spend time with my family, dogs, patients and you. The toys are not that important but they are there so I play with them. Over all I would say I would not change one thing about this rare form that I have manifested into. It is perfect as it is.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Treeleaf pool party!!??

    I'll bring the veggie burgers

    Gassho, Kyotai
    Sat today

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyotai View Post
    Treeleaf pool party!!??

    I'll bring the veggie burgers

    Gassho, Kyotai
    Sat today
    Clothing optional.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  8. #8
    Kyotai
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Clothing optional.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Your not borrowing my zafu! Lol

  9. #9
    My wife is the love of my life. We've been married 33 years on June 12, and I can't imagine being with anyone else. The house is perfect for us. We have two very small bedrooms, and a bedroom that we use for a study (a bit larger than the other two). We just invested money in a great bed, and all our furniture is paid for. The living room runs into the kitchen/dining area. Our lot is small and surrounded with a privacy fence. This year as my wife retires more attention will be paid to the yard. We live about 9 miles from a city, so our life together is quiet--we have some big boy/girl toys, but not many. The house is 1006 sq. ft, and we don't use all the space. We keep one of the bedrooms for our daughter when she comes home to visit. I spend a lot of time in our house because I am fully retired, and I like being alone or with my wife. We have an unfinished basement, and there I have a "man cave," a small area with desks and cupboards. We've lived in our house for 22 years, and I hope to die in this house.

    Elgwyn
    sat today
    Gassho _/\_
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 03-10-2015 at 01:37 AM.

  10. #10
    Your home seems wonderful, and you are truly privileged to be able to live in such a way.

    For me, I live in an urban neighborhood. I rent a house with two roommates, and I always say, "I have too much stuff." And then I look at my 2 large bookshelves and think, "I can't get rid of my books!"

    But I've dreamt of taking all my books to a cabin in the woods, or in the mountains (OR MAYBE BOTH!) and spending the rest of my days reading (and re-reading) them all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Clothing optional.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyotai View Post
    Your not borrowing my zafu! Lol


    (LOL!)

    --

    Gassho,
    June
    #SatToday

  11. #11
    Joyo
    Guest
    My husband, two boys and our dog live in a small home that has been a reno project since we moved in 14 years ago. I've had people ask me if we are going to "upgrade to a bigger house" and the answer is always "no." It's a cozy, cottage home with a vegetable garden, fenced in backyard, some beautiful new things (like windows, doors and a deck) and some ugly old rugs, baseboards and cupboards that need to go. We are renovating on cash so it takes time, and I view it as part of my practice.

    So, although, not a grass hut, it is living simply and frugally. And it makes it much easier to live with a minimal amount of stuff.

    Oh, and on a side note, my husband and I have shared one vehicle for 15 years!!! Oh it drives me nuts sometimes and we've gotten irritable because of it. However, again simply and frugally, and definitely part of my practice.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today
    Last edited by Joyo; 03-10-2015 at 02:26 AM.

  12. #12
    My wife, our chihuahua and I live in a sprinter van we converted into a small RV and have been touring up and down the eastern US for the past 8 years in various living circumstances. We are a two person band and have a small but fiercely loyal following that have given us an interesting career. Music has been the ultimate passport to see how people around the world live. I've been on the road with various groups for the past 15 years rolling along with the challenges of that life.

    Gassho

    Sat Today

  13. #13
    Mp
    Guest
    Home is where the heart is ... =)

    As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. ~ Henry David Thoreau
    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday

  14. #14
    Nindo
    Guest
    Good for you, ForestDweller. Do you have a first name?

    Gassho
    Nindo
    sattoday

  15. #15
    My wife and I live in an apartment in a very urban environment in one of the worlds largest cities (the Greater Jakarta 'Jabodetabek' conurbation just exceeded 30 MILLION in 2014...! That is bigger than the entire population of Australia...). Our apartment, and the complex it is in, is like our little oasis in the middle of the urban sprawl. There is nothing of value and everything of value in our little home...

    We have, however, just built a house in Bali, where we will build (coincidentally) a "grass hut" of sorts - intended to be my karate dojo (perhaps a good spot for a zendo in the future? ). My 'retirement plan'; only a few years off...

    My work arrangements for over 30 years now have seen me constantly move from place, both domestically and internationally, so every place has needed to become 'home' very quickly. And then, maybe 2 years later, become a memory just as quickly. I have learned much about 'not clinging' from living through that process.

    Not clinging to our new place, however, might prove difficult...!

    Gassho,
    Anshu

    sat today

  16. #16
    Hi ForestDweller,

    (Would you mind to sign a human name to your posts, and to put a picture with a human face? It it helps us look eye-to-eye a bit).

    You ask a very interesting question!

    I grew up in the city. My family was not rich, although they managed to get me through school and we still had all the modern, Western comforts such as television, air conditioning (it was Florida, after all) and kitchen appliances, plus a car (although always 10 years old). I came to Japan with all my belongings in two suitcases, and lived for 20 years in a tiny tumbledown Tokyo apartment that most Americans would think of as being about the size of their living room ... so small that the washing machine was in the hall (still, we had one), no cars (just a rusty bicycle) ... something much like this with washer outside (this being Japan, nobody would steal it), and I would say the toilet and bath in the diagram are about actual size ...



    It was lovely, it was home. I would not have changed a thing.

    When our son was born, we thought of a place to raise the kids. We moved about an hour from Tokyo where house prices are down to earth, into a town which is in the Japanese countryside (yet the space program is here, and many of Japan's robot factories, so it is a great mix of the old and new). We bought a farm house, with a big Japanese garden, a farm field in the back (we even have an old pig house ... though no pigs) and a garage for my two cars (no trains run out here, and I plan to run those cars into the ground). There are trees and the elementary school is a 5 minute walk down the street. Unfortunately, my "two suitcases" have now morphed into more modern "junk" than I ever need, and I would need two big trucks to haul it out of here ... The washer and drier, now all computerized with microchips to get our socks and underwear perfectly crisp, is no longer outside. (Though, in all fairness, most of the "junk" seems to belong to my wife and kids, and I am wearing about the same socks and underwear as 10 years ago ).

    It is lovely, it is home, it is high maintenance. I would not change a thing.

    I like to say that I am not too attached to it though. These buildings, all old and made of wood, are constant maintenance (we just had some earthquake damage fixed last month, and termites did their thing). Should it fall down tomorrow, I really feel that I would both shed a tear ... yet let it go! (It came close during the great earthquake a few years ago, when the roof tiles fell like rain, the floor shook like a boat in a storm, and the nuclear meltdown sent us running ... with two suitcases ... to the other side of Japan). For those of us with some "stuff" and some money in the bank, we have to be really careful that we do try to maintain simplicity, are not overly attached and greedy, and truly live with the "if it weren't here, I wouldn't mind" attitude. I feel I have that attitude but, looking around my room, I know that I could live more simply than I do.I don't think we live in an opulent way (by modern Western standards), but I live like a king by the standards of ancient India, China or the 'Third World' and "stuff" seems to build up slowly with every trip to the store. I have a computer, an e-book reader, new blue jeans, a smart phone and flat screen tv in my electrically heated office, and it is a long long way from a grass hut in the mountains living on berries.

    I would not change a thing. Our True Home is all around.

    Here is a video of Treeleaf Tsukuba, made before we moved in and were thinking of buying the place (I made it to show family back home). An old style Japanese house with lovely wood. There is another video of the Japanese traditional carpenters building what is now the Zendo in the barn (I say "barn", but actually it was the building for the farmers to ready seeds and pack the vegetables). We have an outhouse too, although not much used.

    I recently read that Thoreau was not quite so isolated at Walden as one would assume ...

    http://thoreau.eserver.org/smith.html

    One might live like Vimalakirti, the great Lay Bodhisattva ... but what one does with one's wealth and resources makes all the difference in the world:

    His wealth was inexhaustible for the purpose of sustaining the poor and the helpless. He observed a pure morality in order to protect the immoral. ... He had a son, a wife, and female attendants, yet always maintained continence. He appeared to be surrounded by servants, yet lived in solitude. He appeared to be adorned with ornaments, yet always was endowed with the auspicious signs and marks. ... He engaged in all sorts of businesses, yet had no interest in profit or possessions. ... He was honored as the businessman among businessmen because he demonstrated the priority of the Dharma. He was honored as the landlord among landlords because he renounced the aggressiveness of ownership. http://lirs.ru/lib/sutra/The_Vimalak...tson,1997.html
    One can live in the city, and be boundless in the heart. One can live as a hermit alone in the distant mountains, yet be a prisoner of one's mind. I think this is what Master Sekito's Grass Hermitage may Teach us ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...TERS-BOOK-CLUB

    Gassho, Jundo





    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-10-2015 at 05:24 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota

    Hello Nindo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nindo View Post
    Good for you, ForestDweller. Do you have a first name?

    Gassho
    Nindo
    sattoday

    You asked for my first name. It's Catherine. Warm regards from ForestDweller.

  18. #18
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Location
    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota
    You asked for ForestDweller's name; it is Catherine. Sorry, I cannot provide a picture because I have no camera, not even on my phone. Thank you for your very thorough response, especially for your thoughts on your living conditions. I enjoyed reading.

  19. #19
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
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    I resonant with your point of view. Nicely done!
    ForestDweller (Catherine)

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ForestDweller View Post
    You asked for ForestDweller's name; it is Catherine. Sorry, I cannot provide a picture because I have no camera, not even on my phone. Thank you for your very thorough response, especially for your thoughts on your living conditions. I enjoyed reading.
    Hi Catherine,

    Do find a face on Google images that is you or close to yours, and that will serve for now. Anyway, that person is you and you are her.

    https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Hello all,

    Very interesting thread!

    Anshu, I can very much relate to this.

    My work arrangements for over 30 years now have seen me constantly move from place, both domestically and internationally, so every place has needed to become 'home' very quickly. And then, maybe 2 years later, become a memory just as quickly. I have learned much about 'not clinging' from living through that process.
    Due to my husband's job, we travel around the U.S. a lot...we move nearly every 2 years or so like you. We started out renting small 1-2 bedroom apartments, filled them with used furniture and borrowed things. Then as our family grew we became homeowners and began accumulating a few more things of our own. The first home was roughly 1800 square feet (kind of small by US standards), yet it is the home my children remember most and have the fondest memories of. We had a large, spacious house before we moved to where we are now - we miss that home. It has been an adjustment for my kids, but they are accepting it well...after living in a hotel room for almost two months this summer, our current house appears huge! We've spent countless hours and dollars making each house a home, only to have to leave it behind a short time later. We've learned to purge unnecessary items, not holding onto things is important because there is a limit to what we can move.

    What is comes down to is a home can be anywhere if you make it so in your heart. Space and things are irrelevant as long as you feel safe and loved...

    Of course, we've also found that having a park, being in a forest, or other outdoor natural space is much needed to make us feel completely home.

    Gassho,
    Kelly/Jinmei
    sattoday

  22. #22
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota
    Dear Jundo,
    I am not familiar with Google images nor how to post a picture on the wonderful Treeleaf site. I will do my best to discover a way, but please do not count on my success; I am very very poor at technology. ForestDweller/Catherine

  23. #23
    Mp
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by ForestDweller View Post
    Dear Jundo,
    I am not familiar with Google images nor how to post a picture on the wonderful Treeleaf site. I will do my best to discover a way, but please do not count on my success; I am very very poor at technology. ForestDweller/Catherine
    Hello Catherine,

    Here is some info on setting up your Avatar ...

    Here is a walk through in creating or changing your Avatar:

    1. Click on "Settings" in the user profile section.
    2. Scroll down to the "My Settings" box and click "Edit Avatar" in the My Profile section.
    3. Click the "Use Custom Avatar" radio button.
    4. Enter a URL in the Option 1 box if the custom image you wish to use is on a website. Ensure that the image meets the requirements for size listed below the box. If the custom image is stored on your computer, click the "Browse" button in the Option 2 box, select the file and click "Open."
    5. Click "Save Changes" to see the avatar as it will appear on the site. The avatar will appear alongside your user name when you post a message on the site. New avatar's retroactively appear with previous posts.

    Q: I cannot upload my picture for my profile because it is too large. How can I re-size my picture to conform to the forums image upload requirements?

    A: A quick and easy way to do this is to visit http://shrinkpictures.com/create-avatar/
    and follow the instructions given there. Also if you have re-sized your image and are certain it meets the 80 px by 80px @ 72 ppi requirements yet still cannot upload your image you can visit http://imageshack.us or http://www.flickr.com/ or any image hosting service and upload your image to be hosted, for free, there. and use the "Link to off-site Avatar" option

    Let me know if you run into any troubles or if you have any questions, please feel free in contacting me anytime.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday

  24. #24
    I believe we see you now Catherine. Lovely eyes.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Mp
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I believe we see you now Catherine. Lovely eyes.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Yuppers, you did it Catherine. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday

  26. #26
    Nindo
    Guest
    Hi Catherine, welcome. We also have a thread for introductions.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ks-%28March%29

    Gassho
    Nindo
    sattoday

  27. #27
    I just lost my house to foreclosure. We moved to smaller house and we feel so happy, or is it calm and at peace. Nothing else left to fight the bank and courts over. Done and gone!
    I gotta say we were ready to let go but I never thought my mind would be so flexible, so ready to open.
    Then the new place came, brighter, smaller with a huge yard for the kids (two grandsons not 2 and not 5.)
    Let life pass you by, then live it to the max.
    Thank you all for your practice.

    Welcome Forest.

    Gassho
    Last edited by Ed; 03-18-2015 at 04:24 PM.
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  28. #28
    Lovely attitude, Ed. Thank you for the Teaching. You may have lost a house, but it seems your home is warm.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
    My wife, daughter, and I live in a small 2 bedroom house that we rent. It is frequently too small, the basement is freezing, and the furnace is as efficient as a B-52 (the plane not the band ). It is my home, simple and small. I love it. Home is where the heart (non-heart) is.

    Gassho,
    Hotetsu

    #SatToday
    Forever is so very temporary...

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Hotetsu View Post
    and the furnace is as efficient as a B-52 (the plane not the band ).
    And here I am singing to the tunes of Love Shack and the Flintstones theme.

    Need. To. Get. Them. Out. Of. My. Mind.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatTodayInTheLoveShack
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  31. #31
    Lol!

    Gassho,
    Hotetsu

    #SatToday
    Forever is so very temporary...

  32. #32
    Kyotai
    Guest
    Thank you for sharing Ed.

    Gassho, Kyotai
    sat today

  33. #33
    In gratitude to this company.
    sat2day
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  34. #34
    You demonstrate wisdom, Ed. Thank you for this teaching.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    Sat today

  35. #35
    Metta to all.


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  36. #36
    I'm curious how others live.
    We've just moved to a new (to us) house. It was remodeled 3 years ago, then left vacant for two, with a single-level open floor plan, wide doors, a wheelchair-accessible bathroom, and ramps instead of stairs. It has white oak floors, cedar ceilings, and hickory cabinets, with lots of windows. I have a small zendo set up in one room. It's at the end of a relatively quiet dead-end street in a small township in western North Carolina. There are many trees, and so far we've counted 25 bird species (I've set up a feeder that I'll be able to see when I can no longer get out of a chair). The dogwoods and rhododendron will be lovely this spring.
    That's the house I live in.
    My Beloved makes it a home.


    Sat today.
    Emmet

  37. #37
    Hello,

    A blessing. Thank you.


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Piobair View Post
    My Beloved makes it a home.


    .
    looks and sounds idyllic Piobair, thank you for sharing this.
    gassho, O, who sat this day
    and neither are they otherwise.


  39. #39
    Ansan
    Guest
    Hello everyone...thank you for sharing your homes and lifestyle. And thank you, Catherine, for starting this thread...and WELCOME! What a delight it is to read your experiences and about the various lifestyles and homes of everyone here.

    Somewhere on TreeLeaf, I am not sure where, but Jundo posted a comment about living in an (imaginary) house that had spiders and broken windows, etc. And I thought: That was/is our house!

    About 20 years ago, we decided to leave our wonderful home in a historic neighborhood, which we bought as a fix-up, complete with termite-infested oak floors and window casings, a tiled roof that leaked from somewhere and everywhere, ceilings and a bathroom that exposed the lathing, wiring that required a penny to jump-start the lights, a chandelier that was hung by biker's chains, and no back door. And oh yes, an old wringer washing machine that played "How dry I am." Unfortunately, the ex-owner decided to reclaim it. Darn. The house came replete with black widow spiders and grubs that ate our lawn. Yeah, it was a nightmare home that the homeless claimed as theirs before the previous owner bought it. Forgive my bragging, but it was gorgeous when we left...all finished with our own hands. It was featured on the home tours. I even had my own large private studio in a building that we erected in the backyard. And handmade tiles in the bathroom and kitchen, where we installed a restaurant stove. I learned how to ignore my fear of heights by re-plastering the 13ft. high vaulted ceiling in the living room. After those 15 years of hard work and lots of parties, we began to feel uncomfortable. We spent 15 years renovating...and we loved every minute of it, until it became a neighborhood that attracted investors. There were too many rules of the newly established neighborhood committees to follow, then, to stay within the parameters of their rules. I knew that, when I got a note from them because I planted wildflowers on my front lawn. That was no longer permitted.

    It was time to move on. Besides, we were spending more and more of our weekends in our VW van camping up on the mountain top of the Mogollon Rim where we picked wild raspberries and did not see anyone except the forest ranger once in a while and an occasional logging truck. We sold our 75 year old home, which I really, really, really loved. When we made the decision to buy 40 acres in the desert, about 75 miles from Phoenix, neither of us felt any remorse or withdrawal. It is 360 degrees of mountains and no neighbors for 3 miles. We gave away most of our furnishing, including a lot of my paintings and sculptures, to neighbors and friends. We bought a 40' beat-up old trailer and lived in it while we built our home from old lumber and indigenous rock. We had planned on using straw-bales, and even purchased enough to build a house; but, neophytes that we were, we needed a lot of friends to help put it up. Not too many friends, in fact, none, volunteered to help. So the strawbales rotted and made fodder for the cows on our range-free property.

    After 5 years in the trailer, we had erected enough of our home of wood and stone to move in. It was and still is rugged. There are no permanent doors on the south side and the stone and tile bathroom does not have a roof. We have a composting toilet in our trailer but none in our house. We have a rudimentary kitchen with no cabinets or oven. No running water. The house has 3 floors, because we wanted to see as much as possible of the mountains. An array of solar panels and batteries along with a generator provides electricity for our needs. No TV...our choice. A few digital gadgets including a computer that is very ornery and crashes when I attempt to play videos. Transmission is remedial out here. We have a very large fireplace, built with found bricks and ferrocement. Only two rooms are almost complete; the upstairs ones are in constant beginnings. The roof leaks sometimes and bugs and bats sometimes enter through crevices in the walls. I am not even going to tell you about the sweat lodge of rocks that we built. No sweat.

    This is our home, truly our home. This is our grass hut almost built with straw, like the 3 Little Pigs (thanks, Jundo) The open sky is also our home and the coyotes, badgers, fox and lizards are our neighbors. Even rattlesnakes, which we try to relocate but they live under the house anyhow. We do have a lot of "possessions". That is because I am an artist and I make things. I have the life-sized buddha (my version) sculpture that I made 30 years ago. Its fingers are broken and mended. She smells like cigarette smoke because I gave it to my good friend, who left it to me in his will. I also traded my work with other artists so I have a lot of art work. My husband is addicted to books. And his carvings. We can do without these things but why? If our house burned down (the rocks would remain, I do think), we would still have a home. I like my possessions such as my drawing table, my kiln (where the bees often build their home/hives), my potter's wheel. Do I need them? I could draw in the sand. I can make things from just about anything, as long as I could buy some cement. And we could still pick up rocks at the foot of the mountain. Could I do without my hands? Or the use of my legs? Or eyes? Don't know, but I don't think about it. Being pragmatic has always been part of our life. Nothing is permanent. There is nothing of value in our home either. Except the glorious moon that shines silver and gold when it comes up behind the mountains and shines. And the sunset that is the color of ripe cantaloupes.

    Whoops...I am on the wrong thread. Or am I? Thank you, Catherine!

    Gassho,
    Ansan

    SatToday
    Last edited by Ansan; 03-20-2015 at 06:47 AM.

  40. #40
    Kyotai
    Guest
    Hi Ansan,

    Lovely. Thank you for sharing with us

    Gassho, Kyotai
    sat today

  41. #41
    Mp
    Guest
    Wonderful expression Ansan ... thank you for sharing. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday

  42. #42
    Hi Ansan,

    Your way of life sounds wonderful. Do you think its for everyone?

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  43. #43
    Joyo
    Guest
    Thank you for sharing, Ansan. I've been so inspired by people sharing here. Lately I have not been so content with my home. No matter how much I clean and purge through kids' things, it always seems dirty and cluttered. The rugs, baseboards and cupboards are falling apart and need to go. However, I've learned a lot, from Shitou, and from many of you, to be content. Thank you all.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansan View Post

    Somewhere on TreeLeaf, I am not sure where, but Jundo posted a comment about living in an (imaginary) house that had spiders and broken windows, etc. And I thought: That was/is our house!
    Yes, Zen Practice is living in this house ...

    Living our life is much like living in a house with a leaky roof, spiders and broken windows. In Master Dogen's way, we simply sit to drop all resistance to the house we have been living in all along, to realize that there is nowhere to 'go' in life, to cease all efforts to add to or take away from the structure, to let go of the ego's insisting on how things "should be" in order for the house to be "good" ... we ARE that house, our True Home! In the most intimate sense, the house and floors, dust and spiders, parlor and pantry and us ... all One. Then we find, in dropping that resistance, that the house we have always been in is "perfectly what it is", and we can be joyful right where we are. HOWEVER, we can be content with that house even as, hand in hand, there is still much serious repair work to do (an acceptance-without-acceptance of the leaky windows, spiders and creaky doors). There is nothing to prevent our fixing those, even as we accept their existence! We can accept and not accept simultaneously, repair what needs to be repaired.

    We have goals for repair even as, on the other "track", we drop all goals and thoughts of repair.
    We also find that we are ourselves just this House, and the House is who we are all along. House and householders, not separate, not two.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #45
    My wife and I live in a rented 3 bedroom house at the base of Mt. Tabor (The only Volcano within city limits. Of course, It is extinct.) It is very peaceful and quiet here. Portland, Oregon is a beautiful state to live in. We enjoy working in our garden, the sunshine, reading & doing Zazen.
    Gassho
    Theophan
    SatToday

  46. #46
    Yugen
    Guest

    The Houses We Live In

    It is wonderful reading all your posts - the equanimity and sense of place without attachment is lovely to see. You all inspire me.

    I have begun to sleep outside on a semi regular basis. There is a wooden deck on the back of our house and it serves as a perfect tent platform. One night every couple of weeks I set up and sleep outside, listening to the wind. A few nights this winter the temperatures went below zero. I did sleep outside in my winter down bag.... I built a snow windbreak around the tent with my Avalanche shovel and once in the bag was quite cozy. It's the transitions (in/out) that suck.... I will be doing lots of kayaking and camping with my youngest son this summer so really plan on sleeping outside a lot. A home whose roof is framed by he canopy of trees.

    I've been reading a lot about spiritual wanderers and the present crop of free climbers who live/d in caves or traveled from farm to farm or renovated VW campers (Bassho, the Desert Fathers, Nanao Sakaki, Alex Hommold) - these are usually considered pursuits for young people and I am 55 years old. Limitations are self imposed and it is somewhat joyful to sleep diagonally in the back of my Subaru or in a bivvy sack on an island. The coffee tastes better and every sunrise is different. Life becomes very basic and we enter the rhythms of nature. I'm thinking John Muir too. The possessions of a home become limited to what you can carry on a small pack or even better in a pocket. A favorite stone, a small book, a dog biscuit for my traveling partner. A Twix bar to serve as emergency motivation for my son when we have to make a last push to get over Tumbledown and back to our campsite before sunset.

    Deep bows
    Yugen

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Yugen; 03-21-2015 at 01:56 PM.

  47. #47
    We live three generations in a midtown house that has been in the family for almost 50 years. The mortgage was long paid off, ownership responsibilities, taxes and costs are shared. It is something like a coop. This way of life is very rich and involves mutual care in many ways. The stresses are surprisingly small and the relationships intimate. It requires shared values. The nature of my work means I can live anywhere, and I would prefer to live outside the city, but commitments have been made, and responsibilities too deep. Perhaps in the future. I have a separate studio for work above an old movie theater for the past 15 years. It is small, as the original landlord said.... " barely big enough to swing a cat in",.. but well organized. The building has just been sold and will be torn down to make way for a condo development in a year or so. A new studio must be found. My personal effects are few. I don't buy for myself much (not being humble here). Spending money on art supplies or on things for our child is easily justified, but I am uncomfortable with shopping for myself. T shirts , pullovers, some jeans and such. I used to have a lot of Dharma books, a big bookshelf full, including a lot of monastery published books on Theravada Buddhism, as well as popular Buddhist writings, but most of these have been donated locally. The books are starting to accumulate again now. I have a laptop, an ipod now (which is actually pretty useful, joking aside), a camera... But mostly I have intimate relationships. The "possession" I value most is a professional reputation, earned slowly over the years, for being an artist who is devoted to the craft. ..But this is ephemeral.

    That's about it.



    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today
    Last edited by RichardH; 03-21-2015 at 02:25 PM.

  48. #48
    Yugen
    Guest
    Daizan,
    Deep bows. Beautifully said.

    Yugen


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  49. #49
    Mp
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    Daizan,
    Deep bows. Beautifully said.

    Yugen


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I also agree beautiful put Daizan. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday

  50. #50
    Ansan
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi Ansan,

    Your way of life sounds wonderful. Do you think its for everyone?

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    Thank you for sharing, Ansan. I've been so inspired by people sharing here. Lately I have not been so content with my home. No matter how much I clean and purge through kids' things, it always seems dirty and cluttered. The rugs, baseboards and cupboards are falling apart and need to go. However, I've learned a lot, from Shitou, and from many of you, to be content. Thank you all.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

    I sympathize with your frustrations, Joyo. When you find a home, house, location, or any mansion that doesn't need constant cleaning or repair, please let me know! I have been trying to train my dogs to put away their toys. Hah! Doesn't work. Or the cat to clean her own litter box. Doesn't happen. It is just life. Clean, dust, eat, sleep, sit, clean...the tape keep on running. Just life and isn't it wonderful??

    Hello Jishin. Nope. Many of our friends and family have expressed their opinion: "I couldn't live out here in the desert!! It is too quiet!" or "Oooh, look at the stars...I want to live out here!" or "When I retire, this is exactly what I want to do." or "No running water, GAK!" or "Aren't you afraid of the snakes?" Everyone makes their own choices and that is just the way it should be. Sometimes, I feel as though we made a mistake by moving out here; most of the time, I am thrilled we did.

    Gassho,
    Ansan

    SatToday

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