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Thread: Grass Hut - 2 - Living Lightly On The Land

  1. #51
    I am not going to take a particular political or policy stance on this now (Please know that I sure have my views), but will toss this out just as food for non-thought ... everyone should watch and consider ...



    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #52
    Nice video Jundo. I don't think that the human race has enough restraint to keep from self destructing by using up planet earth. Doesn't mean we should not try though.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  3. #53
    It has been a wild ride, but keeping composure and consistent practice has help a lot.

    Thanks Kojito.
    "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






  4. #54
    Thank you Jundo,
    Gassho, David
    sattoday

  5. #55
    Just got the book, and will come up to speed.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat today

  6. #56
    With all the mining and abusive labor practices that goes into making the technology that connects us all as a sangha, it might be fair to say that none of us are truly living lightly on the land.

    Gassho

    Sat Today

  7. #57
    What's really amazing is that 7B people are alive on earth. She has some great ideas but if the population keeps accelerating its going to put even more pressure on producing goods, services and food. Also she didn't mention that a lot of resources are renewable and everyone wants to pay the lowest price for the stuff they need.

    SAT today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiyo View Post
    However there is a common mistake in our western views.
    It's not just western. Greed is common to humanity, not just the corrupt, western, capitalist pigs. lol

    Jishin, I agree with you.

    I have a lot. Most of what I own are luxuries. But it's all relative. I have a nice laptop, an iPhone, a nice entertainment setup, etc. But do I need it? No. I really only need food and shelter. It's not desire that's necessarily bad. Desire is to be human. It's being controlled by the desire is where it gets wonky.

    Hell, depending on the time, refrigeration is a luxury. But would I want to live without electricity, etc? Absolutely not. I don't think the answer is to give that up. I think the answer is to be fully human, to engineer better solutions that are less and less impactful on the environment. That's what it is to be human, to innovate. It's what excites us.

    But it doesn't mean owning a boatload of crap in an effort to be happy; that just causes more suffering. You can be happy right here. And it also doesn't mean to only take, take, take. Giving is important. Receiving and giving. If one is focused on too much, the whole thing gets out of whack.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

    PS but yeah I struggle with this one a lot, and if my stuff was stolen it would cause suffering.
    Last edited by Risho; 03-19-2015 at 05:32 PM.

  9. #59
    Hi guys.

    I have been reading once and again this chapter and it resonates with me in many levels.

    Once upon a time I lived the corporate dream. For Mexico I did pretty well. I had a nice family, a nice house, lots and lots of expensive clutter and collectibles, a Mercedes and I was friends with a lot of powerful people in the media and government. Buddhism was a part of my life, but only in books and nice Buddha quotes. I sat zazen from time to time, but it was never a serious thing for me. I was too busy being the king of the world and focused in buying stuff.

    Then disaster came. I took several decisions that put everything at risk and I started my own company... which crashed and burn faster than I could handle. Everything started to fail!

    So one day I woke up and I had no job, no home, no family, no money, no food and I owned only the clothes I had in me. Oh and some change. I had lost it all. I was lucky that my sister offered me her home, so I wasn't left out in the streets.

    The first few days of this new reality were super hard. I cried, I screamed and I hated every second of it all. The universe became a horrible place for me.

    At the third or fourth day I remembered how I enjoyed sitting zazen, so I began sitting again. Since I had a lot of time in my hands, I resumed reading about the dharma.

    The more I sat, the more I felt at home and at peace.

    And then it hit me. In the worst days of my life, when I had lost it all, when I was nothing, just when I had hit the bottom... I was free. For the first time in my life I was free of stuff and I was living just with what I needed for the day.

    In the worst days of my life I was happier than I had ever been.

    This was a revelation, of course. It resonated fully with the dharma I had been reading.

    There's a lot more the story. But the important thing is that I discovered (the hard way) that owning anything and keeping life super simple worked for me. That's what I had always wanted.

    How do I live now? Well I still keep things super simple. So much that now that my small business is painfully dieing, I find myself again owning pretty much just what I need for the day.

    I don't have a home, I live in a bankrupt country that only tends to the rich and corrupt and my most expensive thing is this PC I'm typing from.

    And again, these are the happiest days of my life. I am at peace and working for the people I can help.

    So yes, minimalism and zen might not work for many. But in this side of things, I am home.

    Here's to Master Shitou and his beautiful hut.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  10. #60
    Joyo
    Guest
    Kyonin, thank you for sharing.

    Deep bows to you,

    Joyo
    sat today

  11. #61
    Member Christopher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta, Canada...beside the Rocky Mouintains
    We might imagine, before we buy anything new, that the fat guy who owns the government is watching and smiling at what you are doing for him.

    Just avoiding one purchase each trip will at least make you feel better.

    Gassho

    Christopher, who was born with the three R's, 75 years ago, and still stubbornly refuses to buy new if used still works.
    And who sat today.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Here's to Master Shitou and his beautiful hut.
    Wonderful Kyonin! =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday

  13. #63
    Kyonin,
    thank you.
    We meet in a point too complex for me to explain: when I had nothing, I found sitting.

    Deep bows,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  14. #64
    Thank you Kyonin for your teaching,
    Gassho,
    David

    sattoday

  15. #65
    Kyotai
    Guest
    Thank you Kyonin and Jundo for the video

    Gassho, Kyotai
    sat today

  16. #66
    Hi. I have been reading and re-reading the poem, and will read many more times. The first thing that comes up is surprise that it is being unpacked for me in environmental terms. It is a very different kind of poem seen in that light.

    This is not to say environmental terms aren't important. Only that the poem struck me differently.

    Thank you for the video , Jundo. The content can spur a very interesting discussion. Generally I do not feel that the future will be as bad as we fear, or as good as we hope, but sometimes it will be both. Humanity will muddle along. Things will be very different for my grandchildren.


    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sat today

  17. #67
    Hi all. it's funny how one can live lightly solo. At 30 years old I still owned only a backpack a few sets of clothes and a steam iron?! Then I got married and by the age of 37 found myself with a house, a small family, a car, a job and a mortgage. I also found myself buying my first power drill! Living lightly changes with a family! Stuff accumulates. I have looked into sustainable off grid living and the cost of setting up a small house with a small packet of land is really astronomical. Student debts and mortgages just add weight. Living lightly can still happen but I suggest its not as simple in today's world. BUT after reading Naomi Klein's 'This Changes Everything', it is now more an imperative than an option! There is now a necessity to be creative in finding ways that ordinary folk can achieve this.
    Gassho
    Heisoku
    Sat today.
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    Hi all. it's funny how one can live lightly solo. At 30 years old I still owned only a backpack a few sets of clothes and a steam iron?! Then I got married and by the age of 37 found myself with a house, a small family, a car, a job and a mortgage. I also found myself buying my first power drill! Living lightly changes with a family! Stuff accumulates.
    You've hit the target Heisoku.

    I can remember when I was 19 or 20, I only owned a pile of rock/metal CDs and Magazines, some rock/metal t-shirts, two pair of jeans and two of sneakers.
    My main concern was which was the next concert I was going to. I didn't want anything else.
    I miss those times.

    Gassho, Daiyo.

    #SatToday
    Gassho,Walter

  19. #69
    I lived a very cluttered life over the years. My fondness of books got the best of me when I ended up with 12 large bookcases full of books. When I retired from the Army and moved to Oregon I ended up shipping 92 boxes of books. When having to find a place to live which could accommodate all the large bookcases I began to open to see that I really needed to get rid of some of my books and bookcases. I had to simplify my life. My books became chains holding me down. I realized my priorities were upside down. I trimmed my books, etc., but then I found myself chained to my computer and other possessions so much that I hated to leave my house. I was always worrying someone would break into my house and steal my stuff. My daughter who is a minimalist would talk with me about living a simpler lifestyle. She showed me a way to de-clutter, and have a life that is without all the worry, and distraction. I knew I would be so much happier once I got my priorities straight, and focus on what I actually need Instead of all the things I want. While I still got a way to go I am making the changes needed to make and lead a simpler happier life.


    Gassho
    Theophan
    Sat Today

  20. #70
    Hi All,

    wow, what an interesting conversation! I think a lot about the true cost of things. When someone tells me they went to W***mart and got something dirt cheap, I ask, ‘why do you think it was so inexpensive?’ Nine times out of ten, they say, ‘I don’t want to know.’ Many people feel they have to shop there, that they can’t afford not to. I wish everyone could watch that video that Jundo posted. (Ok, it’s not exactly impartial, in fact it’s a little propaganda-ish in tone, but I agree 100% with the points that it makes.) When I’m considering buying something, I think about the cost in producing it; the cost to the environment, the social and economic cost. I think about how many hours I have to work to buy it, and how many hours I’ll spend maintaining, upgrading, and caring for it. I think about how it will be disposed of at the end. There are other costs too. I can download a videogame app for 99 cents. But I know I’ll get all obsessed with it and lose hours and hours playing it. Ok, it’s kind of fun. But it’s not really a good quality kind of fun, not like playing with my dogs, or hanging out with a friend. I save a lot more than 99 cents by not downloading it. For someone else, though, that game might be a way of connecting and spending time with their kid.

    My bottom line is, I just don’t want my life to be about my stuff. I don’t want to struggle and stress and obsess and worry over my stuff. I don’t want my work hours -- which are the majority of my waking hours, because I have 2 jobs -- to be in service of getting more and better stuff; I want them to be in service of taking care of my needs and putting what’s important to me into action in the world. I’m happy with enough. I’m happy to recycle, to reuse things, to use things up before I get new things, to be thrifty, to live lightly, to pass things on to others who can use or enjoy them more. Sometimes I’m happy to go without, and I don’t miss what I never had. People laugh at my simple little flip phone. It serves my needs. To me it’s about freedom, and respect for the true cost of things. As time goes on, as I consider these things, I find that I actually want less and less.


    I don’t think stuff is bad. I do think we need to think more about our stuff. Is my stuff just what it is, or is it a replacement for love, security, status, youth, etc.? What is the true cost of my stuff? I’m a minimalist, but that doesn’t mean I just get rid of things because less is better. I’ve learned to get rid of the stuff that holds little value for me, stuff that has a true cost that is more than it’s worth. And I’m finding that the things I value most, I don’t own anyway. Who wouldn't trade most of their stuff for time, for health, for love? I wish everyone's hut contained those things.


    Ben Connolly writes:
    “...abundance is here when we keep it simple, and scarcity is here when we want more.”


    For me, that’s true. I always remember what Ma used to say, in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder: “Enough is as good as a feast.” I think everyone has to define what “enough” means for them, and what “simple” means. It’s about awareness and conscious choices.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  21. #71
    But it’s not really a good quality kind of fun
    Hi Lisa,
    great food for thoughts!
    I had that kind of discussion with family weeks ago, how I like to be alone on weekends, sometimes meeting a good friend, and mostly reading, walking, chatting to neighbours, sitting. And they said "you should really have good life quality, going out, restaurants, cinema".
    We agreed that we were of different opinion what was "good" or best for me at that time.

    Why is playing a videogame app and really enjoying it worse than doing something else?
    I sometimes watch the birds in the winter trees, just to watch. I don't even know their names.

    Of course, it's bad when you get asked about the weekend and you say "Well, first I sat on a cushion, then I played a videogame and then I watched some birds."
    You'll get glances.

    But I think the media also promote what is acceptable in our spare time - dining with lots of people, doing the right kinds of sports...

    So maybe the same rule you apply to possession should apply to activities too?
    Too much for one person can be too little for the other.

    I have had a hard struggle not to go into the "Empathica Embrace medical watch" trap (no advertisement here, just as explanaition).
    They sell very, very expensive, cool looking "smart watches" that can detect stress, something, and epileptic seizures.
    They send a bluetooth signal to a highest class phone (which I don't have) to call a phone list you have defined.
    Your friends, a child's parents, the ambulance...
    Might be useful if a teenager wants to go to the movies with friends (not on mummies hand).
    In fact, I have been thinking about it to wean/reassure my own parents who in their worry can be quite extreme.

    But I'm wondering, are they promoting the watch, or are they selling the newest generation of cell phones in a cloaked way?
    And usually, if something bad happens, sooner or later the family hears.
    Maybe I'm too trusting, I know a really nice boy who simply disappeared backpacking in down under, his family never heard of him again, it's been almost a year now.

    Was there someone who came to Shitou regularly to see if he had enough food, if he was too ill to look after himself, if he had maybe died?

    We have insurances, devices, all to make sure nothing can happen to us.
    While it can, and in some way does, every moment.

    Gassho
    Danny
    #sattoday

  22. #72
    I love this conversation! Kyonin, Daizan, Lisa, Danny, Jundo and all who have posted.. It all has resonated. I'm on an iPhone in a dentists office so I might have unintentionally forgot some leafers but all of the posts have touched me.

    Lisa I couldn't agree more. There is a cost to Walmart. It's a cost to humanity and a trade imbalance. Both the US and China and whoever else buys these goods are as complicit in legalized slavery essentially. And it's everything made in China, not just Walmart. China should not have been allowed in the WTO but greed rules at times.

    What is too much?

    Is novacaine too much? Is it a luxury? Shitou didn't have it but, then again, he probably didn't go to the Dentist

    But I don't to get off topic. Minimalism is interesting to me. I read a lot of minimalist blogs, and I implement some of its tenets. But I think it's dangerous to judge things and paint things with too broad a brush. Doing that is the antithesis of living lightly.

    It causes separation, to elevate one group over another.

    Let's say you see two people: 1 in a nice suit and Mercedes, the other in a short and tshirt driving a Honda civic. We immediately judge. Maybe we think the guy in the suit is more successful, smarter and happier. That says more about us than them; its a reflection of our patterns and mental habits. It could just as likely be the other way around. I would tend to agree, spending more than 30 grand on a car is lunacy to me but, then again, that's my opinion.

    Let's continue. Let's say the Mercedes cost the person 10% of their salary, whereas the civic cost the other person 75%. Superficially, the civic owner may appear more frugal and may be more likely to star in one of those violin laden "documentaries". In reality they are over extended and have over consumed. Greed isn't obvious.

    I grew up in a lower middle class situation. 1 bedroom apartment, no AC, no cable tv. I had friends, I had fun, I was a kid. It didn't bother me. I think kids are "people of no rank" by default.

    In any case just becausem my parents were poor (or poorer than others) -- poor is relative of course; we had food, shelter, running water, a car etc-- but just because my parents didn't have a lot did not make them happier or more enlightened.

    That's just another value judgment. It's another ego trip that sort of fools one into a poor mans superiority complex. I think it's the cult of minimalism.

    With "less" stuff you could be happier. It's really up to the individual. I do emphatically agree that stuff does not make you happy... At least in the long term. However I do find exception to the constant badgering of minimalism "I left my 6 figure job. Bla bla bla". That's great, but a specific use case cannot be extended over a large sample group.

    If you hate your job no amount of money or title is going to change that. But what if you actually enjoy your job and it happens to pay well?

    I enjoy my job. I'm fortunate that I can support my family.

    But there's a catch to truly enjoying anything. You can't want it too much. You have to be able to let go of it. It's like a marriage; being too possessive is harmful. Love is freeing not grasping.

    So my point is that we can't judge things or people by how much they make or have. It's bullshit to do so.

    My other point is that this is deeper to me than just living lightlyb( similar to Daizans point). It is important to be a good steward to the Earth but it's bigger than that.

    We need to relax and take a nap. Live lightly with each other. Not be so judgmental to justify our "superiority". Not be so attached to our own story that we can't be there for others. Not be so attached that we can relax. But also not be so eager to help that we do more harm than good.

    Look at Vimalakirti. He was a fat cat, wealthy for his time. And even so he is still considered a badass in Buddhism. So to simply say you are going to give up your shit and that will lead to paradise is just another form of greed; you are still grasping at a fantasy. Don't feel guilty if you like things; enjoy them if you are fortunate to have them.

    Relax. Take a nap. Enjoy it while you have it. It will pass. It's the way it is.

    You have people you love and who love you. Loss sucks. That's the human situation. Relax into that. Don't grasp, don't push. Like Kyonin said, he found peace with the loss. That's incredibly difficult with a resistant, grasping mind.

    If we grasp, we never have enough. Its human to desire, but grasping is more than that. It's compounded desire hoping for a result that could never happen, which causes suffering.

    Relax, take a nap.

    One more thing. To be consumed with having is one extreme, one side of greed. But so is to be consumed with not having. To be proud of not having many things is just the same old greed in new clothing; the same ego trip, just inverted.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday
    Last edited by Risho; 03-21-2015 at 05:36 PM.

  23. #73
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota
    I’ve been away for a while. I have been sitting. Returning, I read the long string of conversations about “Living Lightly on the Land.” Who am I to say, but it all sounds very nervous and in some cases full of rationale. Doesn’t “living lightly” come down to “avoid[ing] leaving big scars on the earth” and “avoid[ing] laying waste to lots of life.” In short, being mindful and “intimate with what you consume.” The world did just fine before humanity entered the picture, and it will do just fine when we are gone. We are the ones thrashing in between, tugging between being true to our higher values and hanging on to what we’ve become attached to.
    As I read through the posts, I tried to pick up on the threads and patterns that danced among them. The most significant commonality was the number of times being in nature was mentioned in various ways. Why do so many find being in nature so restorative whether it be Willow’s garden of “refuge and beauty,” or KellyRok’s “sleeping under the stars,” or Anshu/Bryson’s need for “space – sky, ocean, forest.” I venture to say that it’s because this is our real home, with or without a grass hut or a mansion. This is where we come from, where we’re born and where we will each lay down our heads and die. There’s nothing artificial that matches nature’s immensity, its ability to heal, and its capacity to show us the “way.” That’s why re-using, donating, and relying on renewable resources feels right; we are taking care of our home, the place where we all belong.
    So, why are our priorities confused, Jundo asks. Simply put, it’s because we aren’t at home enough, and because we have mass media ever-ready to distract us (Matt’s point). When we wander around playing with our toys, possessions, our real and imagined needs, we get distracted and forget about our home. Mass media, including social networking in some forms, also obscures our right view with its constant taste for violence and perversion, its comparisons with others, and its advertisements ramming material goods down our souls. The only way to change our minds is to come home (to nature) more often and to refuse to look or listen to very much mass media. The later doesn’t mean turning our backs on the world; it involves discernment in our choice of magazines and newspapers, and a whole lot less television and texting. From what I’m seeing and sensing in our group, this could be the path to reconciliation with our planet, and reunification with our home. But who am I to say? Remember that I live in a remote, northern forest, where I am at home every day.
    Gassho, Catherine/ForestDweller
    Sat in the Forest Today

  24. #74
    Hi again,

    Risho, I agree with you. The stereotype that poor people are noble and happy and rich people are greedy and unhappy is a gross oversimplification. And to be clear, as others posted earlier in the thread... I may have whittled my possessions down to very little by American standards, but there’s no reason to feel smugly self-satisfied about it... I had the choice to do so, and I know I still have much more than most people on earth. If you have clean water to drink, you have more than a lot of people. And I also know that the benefits I enjoy as a modern American are available because of the wanton exploitation of people and resources, past and present. The thing is, that in the past people may have actually believed in things like “manifest destiny”, or not known about the costs of exploitation; physical costs, social costs, spiritual costs. But now we do know about these things. Catherine writes:


    Doesn’t “living lightly” come down to “avoid[ing] leaving big scars on the earth” and “avoid[ing] laying waste to lots of life.” In short, being mindful and “intimate with what you consume.”
    I say yes! I think once we are cognizant of these things, we have a duty to act. Not only a duty, but I think once the cost is truly understood and felt, people naturally want to start to pull back from their complicity in the exploitation. Am I wrong about that? Does anyone who really understands keep raping and pillaging? I think the notion of stewardship is not some hippie-dippy feel-good notion. I think it’s what arises in our hearts and minds naturally when we understand what’s really happening. It’s compassion, for other people, for ourselves, and for the earth.


    ...this is our real home, with or without a grass hut or a mansion. This is where we come from, where we’re born and where we will each lay down our heads and die. There’s nothing artificial that matches nature’s immensity, its ability to heal, and its capacity to show us the “way.” That’s why re-using, donating, and relying on renewable resources feels right; we are taking care of our home, the place where we all belong.
    I really feel this is true, Catherine. Our home is part of us, and we are of it. There is no separation. It’s the notions of separation that enable us to exploit people and the earth. It always comes back to that, doesn’t it, separation is the delusion that causes and enables so much of the trouble in the world.


    My prescription for change is always the same. Start where you are. Take baby steps in the right direction. When you get a firm footing, reach back and help the next guy coming up behind you. Helping the next guy means talking about this stuff with friends and family, even if that makes you the weirdo. You don’t have to give away all you own and dedicate your whole life to activism, we can’t all do that. The other way is more insidious. Think deeply and find your own conclusion. Teach your kids. Help a friend or family member to understand. All we can do is our best on any given day.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  25. #75
    Hi,

    Before we can sit together and talk about this subject, lets gather a few necessary items. We need the Internet and a few computers. Chatting around the fire wont do because we are too far away from each other. We could chop down a tree, two or three (or a forest) for snail mail paper, but that would be too slow.

    We probably need to make sure the Internet service does not go down so we can have a proper discussion. We need some security so that our computers and worldwide Internet does not go kaput too often. I am not sure what it takes to keep hackers from bringing down computers and the Internet but I am sure it’s not cheap.

    We probably need some cyber security and also cops to keep thugs from stealing our computers. But if the thug is really big, the military has to step in the keep the cops safe. The big guns aren’t cheap.

    Ok. Let me boot up my computer and we are ready to rock and roll! Lets talk about the ecological footprint of…..?

    Just saying…

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 03-21-2015 at 10:52 PM.

  26. #76
    Crackers break, hackers are clever.

    The hacker who cracks puts on a black hat. The weight lifter who plays baseball grips a baseball bat.




    Gassho,
    Stacy

    #SatToday

  27. #77
    Hahaha

    Lisa/catherine. Very, very cool stuff. Thank you.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -sat today

  28. #78
    This is a discussion that is often near and dear to my heart. I grew up at or just below the poverty line, I knew people well below who struggled all the time, and then also had people well above who sat on their high horses not understanding why we didn't buy organic and shop at the farms market because it's not that much more expensive.

    At the moment many Christians are undertaking lent leading up to Easter. I recently had an interesting conversation about lent and the idea of giving up something with some people at lunch. The conversation started because someone didn't come with us because they had given up animal products for lent. Someone made the comment, "It's so stupid to give things up it's not going to make a difference in the end. You're still going to die." A couple people agreed, and commented on how silly lent was because people thought they were going to gain some favor with God.

    I offered this story in return, "My father does lent every year. And I often ask him what he is giving up. This year he countered by asking, "what are you giving up?" I replied, "Dad, I'm not Christian, so I don't do lent." His reply really caught me by surprise. He said, "But you have a good life, a roof over your head, food on your table. Within reason when you want something you can have it. So you should give something up to remind you that you have a good life and to be thankful for all you have. And to remember that there are a lot of people with less."

    My lunch companions were not as touched by his reply as I was. One even said, "I should indulge to remind myself that I have a good life, I'm going to order an extra meal!"

    The reason I tell this story is because it reminded me of what Ben says on page 23:

    The Middle way, the path between the one extreme of hardcore asceticism, which tries to rise above suffering by denying our bodies and the other extreme of hedonism, which tries to deal with suffering by indulging our endless desires.
    I think people have a reaction to swing between the two poles, until they settle into the middle way. And that looks different for everyone.

    The other part of this chapter that really struck me was page 25:
    I believe this: we need to retreat, we need to spend time being simple and focusing on being at ease in the moment, in order to fully manifest our capacity to be of service.
    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday

  29. #79
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi,

    Before we can sit together and talk about this subject, lets gather a few necessary items. We need the Internet and a few computers. Chatting around the fire wont do because we are too far away from each other. We could chop down a tree, two or three (or a forest) for snail mail paper, but that would be too slow.

    We probably need to make sure the Internet service does not go down so we can have a proper discussion. We need some security so that our computers and worldwide Internet does not go kaput too often. I am not sure what it takes to keep hackers from bringing down computers and the Internet but I am sure it’s not cheap.

    We probably need some cyber security and also cops to keep thugs from stealing our computers. But if the thug is really big, the military has to step in the keep the cops safe. The big guns aren’t cheap.

    Ok. Let me boot up my computer and we are ready to rock and roll! Lets talk about the ecological footprint of…..?

    Just saying…

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    With all due respect, may I suggest that you just sit.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  30. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    With all due respect, may I suggest that you just sit.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today
    Off course!

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  31. #81
    The posts are so inspirational...and diverse. So much to think of and to let go of.

    I do not advocate living in poverty if it is not a choice or something that can be changed. Is it poverty or living minimally? It is a matter of choice and choosing to be happy. Would we chose wealth if it dropped in our laps or reject it to live that minimalist life just because it is fashionable? Would that make us happy? How would we dispense an insanely large inheritance wisely? Why think of these things if our lives offer us certain choices and not others? Isn't that dreaming and not just living as we are? Here, now, with who we are?

    My husband and I chose the life we are now living. We left our material goods behind along with the privileges of living in a city which, in addition to other "luxuries", such as an adequate connection to the internet. We live here, in the desert, without...what? We have all we need. There are things we have accumulated since our departure from the city. Because we are building (still) our house with indigenous and found materials, our neighbors with good intention have brought us materials that they felt we could use. At first, we were too intimidated by their kindness to refuse the scratched windows, the broken doors, various rusted nails and screws, broken building blocks, ancient unrepairable washing machines. Stuff accumulates. And we are sometimes idiots. Old cars that still run but require extraordinary expense to make them useful...we donated them to a junk dealer. Hauling things to the dump is a little more cumbersome than allowing the city trash removal to pick it all up. I am not complaining. This is just the other side of bliss. BTW, some of the "stuff" we kept and were incorporated into a few of our building projects. Broken ceramic tiles made excellent mosaics for our vestibule floor, fireplace mantel and unfinished bathroom.

    I do not post often because the internet is through our cell phone. Transmission is very poor. I would like to become more active here with all of you but this is the life we have chosen together. It is all good. And I am too verbose anyhow.

    Life, unfortunately, is expensive if I want to keep my teeth, wear clothes, eat food, drive a car and have some so-called luxuries like buying some new brushes, paints or canvas. Or feeding our dogs raw meat and vegetables because I feel they are healthier on that diet. Or splurging on magazine subscriptions that keep us informed because we chose not to have a TV. Besides, reception is very poor and satellites are expensive.

    What makes people unhappy in any situation, whether they live in a grass hut or a 150,000 sq. foot mansion on a mountain facing the ocean? The same thing that makes them contented if they would only be aware of life as it is, with or without stuff. Stuff is just stuff. It is all a matter of attitude and choice. And daily Zazen.

    Gassho,
    Ansan

    SatToday

  32. #82
    "And daily Zazen"

    Amen


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

  33. #83
    I have nothing, it is all just borrowed.
    Gassho.
    Hogo.
    Sat Today.

  34. #84
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota
    I posted what's below to this thread several days ago, but I don't see that it made it, so here it is again.

    I’ve been away for a while. I have been sitting. Returning, I read the long string of conversations about “Living Lightly on the Land.” Who am I to say, but it all sounds very nervous and in some cases full of rationale. Doesn’t “living lightly” come down to “avoid[ing] leaving big scars on the earth” and “avoid[ing] laying waste to lots of life.” In short, being mindful and “intimate with what you consume.” The world did just fine before humanity entered the picture, and it will do just fine when we are gone. We are the ones thrashing in between, tugging between being true to our higher values and hanging on to what we’ve become attached to.
    As I read through the posts, I tried to pick up on the threads and patterns that danced among them. The most significant commonality was the number of times being in nature was mentioned in various ways. Why do so many find being in nature so restorative whether it be Willow’s garden of “refuge and beauty,” or KellyRok’s “sleeping under the stars,” or Anshu/Bryson’s need for “space – sky, ocean, forest.” I venture to say that it’s because this is our real home, with or without a grass hut or a mansion. This is where we come from, where we’re born and where we will each lay down our heads and die. There’s nothing artificial that matches nature’s immensity, its ability to heal, and its capacity to show us the “way.” That’s why re-using, donating, and relying on renewable resources feels right; we are taking care of our home, the place where we all belong.
    So, why are our priorities confused, Jundo asks. Simply put, it’s because we aren’t at home enough, and because we have mass media ever-ready to distract us (Matt’s point). When we wander around playing with our toys, possessions, our real and imagined needs, we get distracted and forget about our home. Mass media, including social networking in some forms, also obscures our right view with its constant taste for violence and perversion, its comparisons with others, and its advertisements ramming material goods down our souls. The only way to change our minds is to come home (to nature) more often and to refuse to look or listen to very much mass media. The later doesn’t mean turning our backs on the world; it involves discernment in our choice of magazines and newspapers, and a whole lot less television and texting. From what I’m seeing and sensing in our group, this could be the path to reconciliation with our planet, and reunification with our home. But who am I to say? Remember that I live in a remote, northern forest, where I am at home every day. -- Forest Sitting - Catherine

  35. #85
    I would ask a rock what it thinks about living lightly on the land.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  36. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    I would ask a rock what it thinks about living lightly on the land.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    But a rock does not take more then what it needs. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday
    Last edited by Mp; 03-25-2015 at 09:36 PM.

  37. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    But a rock does not take more then what it needs. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    Hard to say since we are not rocks.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  38. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hard to say since we are not rocks.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Ahhh ... but,

    "The blue mountain is the father of the white cloud. The white cloud is the son of the blue mountain. All day long they depend on each other, without being dependent on each other. The white cloud is always the white cloud. The blue mountain is always the blue mountain." - Zen Master Tozan

    The rock is no different ...

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday

  39. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Ahhh ... but,

    "The blue mountain is the father of the white cloud. The white cloud is the son of the blue mountain. All day long they depend on each other, without being dependent on each other. The white cloud is always the white cloud. The blue mountain is always the blue mountain." - Zen Master Tozan

    The rock is no different ...

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday
    Maybe so...



    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  40. #90
    I read this exchange and asked a rock. There was no reponse. I said ... "Think about it" and went for a stroll. When I returned there was still no answer . I cajoled it... "Don"t be so obtuse". Tried a compliment... "You have amazing equanimity "... still nothing . Finally I got angry and kicked the rock and it said nothing as I jumped around in pain.

    The rock wins

    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sattoday

  41. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    I read this exchange and asked a rock. There was no reponse. I said ... "Think about it" and went for a stroll. When I returned there was still no answer . I cajoled it... "Don"t be so obtuse". Tried a compliment... "You have amazing equanimity "... still nothing . Finally I got angry and kicked the rock and it said nothing as I jumped around in pain.

    The rock wins

    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sattoday
    Hey, you are stealing my stuff! You reminded me of this old sit-a-long from a few years ago ...


    Old Master Stone

    We welcome back a very special guest teacher today …
    … a true rock star, one of the original ‘Rolling Stones’
    (and before anyone asks … No, I am not ‘stoned’)

    As the sound is not very clear at points, here’s a list of some of my questions to Master Stone …

    - What is your goal in life, as a stone?

    - Do you need to achieve some goals, and realize some dreams, in order to feel good and a success about your stoney self? Will you feel inadequate, a mediocre mineral, if you do not reach your goals and dreams?

    - What could make you more who you want to be, a more perfect stone? A stonier stone?
    - Do you feel that you are a lesser stone, and less a stone, than the bigger and more imposing stones in the garden?

    - You are missing a few chips that have been knocked off you. Are you sad about their loss, do you long for their return?

    - I see that you have ants and a beetle crawling over you. Do you resent them for doing that?
    - What would you like to change, if you could, about your rocky life?

    - Even stones wear away with time. Do you worry about that?
    - Where do you think stones, and the whole earth, came from before there were any ‘stones’? Where do you think stones go when stones die, besides “dust to dust”? And do the answers to those questions effect how you sit as a stone right now?

    At the end, Master Stone suggested we drop all the questions … and just sit like stones sit …


    No, a stone does not mind if you smash it, chip it, move it or roll it. I think most stones do little damage to the earth because the are the earth. All human beings should find their inner stone.

    A human being, on the other hand, can sure leave scars on the earth by moving stones ...



    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-26-2015 at 03:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  42. #92
    I feel like a mediocre mineral sometimes.


    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today

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