Author Topic: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]  (Read 80608 times)

Morning Dew

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Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« on: April 04, 2011, 08:11:23 PM »
Hi friends  :)

I felt like starting a new journal. It feels like I am turning a new page in my life.

It all started right here in this forum in this community approx one year ago; I came here totally confused with life, insecure, anxious, angry and thanks to your support and my diligent daily Shamatha (calm-abiding) practice I am at this "new page" right here.
It all started with Calm-abiding, day by day ... slowly but surely the body started calming down and the mind with it.  New horizon opened up in front of my eyes :) I could see many things as they actually are. One insight followed another on their own accord.

I can see now how wrong city life is and how it effects this human society, turning it into a consumerist beast not knowing when to stop, indulging in everything. I can see now clearly all this as it is ... but what then?! Just observe it and let it be as it is or be the change you are willing to see in this world?!
I decided to be that very change and take a new path, path of living mindfully as close to the natural as possible. I decided together with my wife to live as self-sufficient as possible.

Anyway, running into such realisation with the egotic self can and will create only more confusion, so it is of great importance one approaches this realisation with mindfulness and calmness.

We are looking to join an Eco-village here in Sweden or to simply start our own little farm. This can happen in about 2 years not earlier.
Until then we will grow vegetables in our summer house which is only one hour drive from where we live at the moment. I realised how little I know about growing veggies and about nature in general :) when I needed milk or carrots I would go to a nearest shop to buy them and now I am to grow them :D I will use this time to learn how to grow vegetables and even start a beehive or two.

The actual learning curve started last week and I could feel how tough it is working land (it sure is much easier going to the shop and buying milk and carrots), my back hurt and massive amounts of thoughts rushed in like a massive wave.
Early morning meditation did invoke some calm but while working extra awareness was necessary.
The ego wants all this to happen in a second, the ego self wants a BIG FARM at once the ego is impatient and so on ... so calm-abiding is of great importance to slow down the self and stay with each digging moment, one after the other...

At the beginning of preparing the "deep bed";


It took me two days to finish two deep beds (very bad physical condition indeed)



In about two weeks I am starting to seed the carrots and onions and some strawberries as well as some herbs. There is one more patch to dig over using the deep bed method.
We even started our first composting and considering to compost oak leaves.

It felt right working the land no matter how tough it is. There is a huge difference between working in the shop all day and working the land all day :) the sound of birds and horses, the smell of manure and soil, the very quite night.

Geese returning back to North;
Duskob - e166354b.mp4

Friendly Che

ivana

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 08:57:14 PM »
Dear Che
it seems that you found yourself.
Have tasty carrots
Ivana

Matthew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 09:45:39 PM »
Che,

Delightful post. The bad back may be down to not using the tools most efficiently as you are new to gardening. You don't do a lot of work with your back if you learn how to use the tools. Despite my condition I was demonstrating how to dig and use a pickaxe to break ground yesterday. OK - all I could do was demonstrate but my condition is very disabling now.

Making Leaf mould with the leaves is a great idea - it is one of the best composts and fertilisers around -and for free :)

It puts a smile on my face every stage your journey takes. It seems the smile on yours is probably a very different one from a year ago.

Much love,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 07:35:18 AM »
Ivana I can sell you a few kg of organic carrots if you will ;)

Thanks Matthew for the link, such always help. I am giving compost making alot of thought. We are even considering making a Dry Toilet and use human waste as compost and even piss can be sprinkled over the soil or even in the leaf mould.
There are many clever ways to exploit such waste.

I bought two very helpful books by John Seymour called "The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It" and "The New Self-sufficient Gardener".
Many practical ideas and nicely illustrated and shown how to build and do step by step.

This journey will be interesting to walk. At the moment I am still excited about all this new realisation and that is wasting my inner energy but daily Shamatha is calming this down slowly but surely :)

Friendly Che

Matthew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 08:43:50 AM »
Che,

You're spot on again. Male urine speeds composting. Female urine is not good for the garden because of the oestrogen though.

We are so used to wasting things. A society based on sufficiency would be a very different world to live on.

Best wishes with it mate. Gardening is a joyous learning curve.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

kidnovice

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 12:34:42 AM »
Hey Che,

I just wanted to say how awesome it is to see this next development in your life. Its really inspiring!

With metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2011, 10:03:27 PM »
Quote
Its really inspiring!

You are the one who is truly inspiring mate :D missed you my friend, how is things?

I am testing some old seeds I bought a few years ago just to make sure they can germinate. I placed the seeds on a cotton pad soaked in water and then placed the whole plate inside a transparent bag to keep the humidity. I will get the results in about two weeks just for the sowing time :)





I meditated in the evening; I was calming into the body, the cat was puring behind my back, the dog was chewing into a bone, my wife was laughing at some tv show, the neighbours kid was screaming all the time, some people talking loud on the street ... It doesn't matter, it is simply about just sitting still, calming and being aware of all that is taking place within or without ... there is no in and out anyway, it all just is, there is this thin middle line and I see myself jumping from one side to the other not even touching it ... I see the self seeing itself calming itself and I see the self being itself lost in itself, like a ping pong ball :) jumping from one side of the table to the other but not touching the middle very thin line.

I am off to bed now.

Friendly Che
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 10:05:57 PM by Che Gonebuddha »

kidnovice

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2011, 04:55:05 PM »
You are the one who is truly inspiring mate :D missed you my friend, how is things?

Lets say we're both inspiring.  :D  You've undergone a remarkable transformation since joining the forum, and its a pleasure to witness how your life unfolds.  I've come to see that it stems in part from a deep freedom that you have. I can tell that when you find something that inspires and excites you, you just throw yourself into it--immediately and (seemingly) wiout hesitation. It makes me think there is a similarity between the freedom of the artist and the liberation of a Buddha!

As for me, I'm actually doing great--- extremely busy, but quite content. (notwithstanding the brutal headcold that ive had for two days!). I recently enjoyed several months of extra time to myself, but that luxury has now passed. Yet, I'm enjoying the fullness of being busy. It's much more tricky, but I'm still committed to keeping up my sitting practice. So, the new hectic pace of my life is the reason for my absence, and why I probably won't post quite as often in the future. Of course, I do still read the forum nearly every day.  ;)

Anyway, here are the big changes in my life as of late: I'm teaching a lot (high school English) during the day and evening, which has been amazing. I've been blessed with kids that were "supposed" to be some of the worst in the district, but have actually been awesome. So, I've been having a lot of fun in the classroom.

I've also taken on leadership roles in two sanghas, which has been time-consuming, but really fun and satisfying. Lastly, I recently began a relationship with a woman whom I like alot. It's still fairly new (we're in the honeymoon phase), but it's been wonderful. Amongst the many things I like about her: she is really into the dharma!

So, those are the little blessings in my life that have been keeping me from posting with my usual gusto. But I'm still around. :) Its great to stay in touch you with you Dusko. I wish you all the best... And dream of one day attending a retreat with you and Matthew!

Much Metta,
Dylan
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Matthew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2011, 05:15:24 PM »
Dylan,

Good to hear your news. Probably the kids were the worst in the district until they got a mindful teacher ;) -  good for them, good for you.

Sounds like you are busy but, as always, I look forward to hearing your sage words when you feel they need saying.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 06:06:39 PM »
I spend some time at the summerhouse. I decided to meditate 3x40 minutes today and after the 3rd one i invoked such a feeling of loneliness i have not felt since my childhood. The same loneliness i would feel when my parents would turn their backs at me and leave not to see them again for 6 month or more.
What a cold feeling, left behind not good enough feeling.

Anyway, i planted some carrots, white and red onions, raddishes, strawberries and some herbs.
I even put a fiber over the newly planted seeds to protect the from freezing, insects and hares/rabbits.




I even started to make a comost box for the oak leaves which must be moved away from the entrance of the cellar

Two more sides to be done next time im there


At home im preparing the squash, beans, peppers and tomatos :)
Happy days!

Friendly Dusko

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 09:56:00 PM »
Dusko,

It seems that you have been through a Dark Night stage but may have more to come. This would not be surprising given your history that you have shared.

In peeling the layers of this onion the middle way is just as important as at any other point on the path. Don't be too hard on yourself and don't be too easy on yourself.

Warmly,

Matthew

Yes i agree with you. I have been tumbeling down the dark labyrints without noticing it for some time now. I had serious problems with recognising my ow identity. I kept changing my user name on this forum on weekly bases and not to mention some gut spilling all over the forum floor steping on toes here and there.
I can recolect some fear stages too. The loneliness stage was the latest.
Yes indeed, shit is hitting the fan again :)

I am keeping practicing daily once in the morning for 40 minutes. 2x on the off days. Off the cushion i listen to some folk fluit music which is invoking a deep sadness that keeps me awake kind of out of the clouds. Like this i get to know the sadness, be mindful of it. It helped me not to loose my head totaly in the last dark night. It is only sadness which unobserved will turn into anxious anger, i know this. Sadness because of loneliness.
It is all ok.

Dark Night is not that dark if one disengage from the emotional reactivity by filtrating all that arises through the breathing and let the actual emotion be as it is, in my case the sad loneliness instead of the anxious anger through which is ego trying to protect itself.
Even the sad loneliness is to be observed through the mindful breathing.

There is this subtle point of observation hard to put into words... That point is somewhere at the end of the outbreath. It matters little.

The tomato shots are coming up :) how lovely that is;



And the spring is sure kicking in :)



Andy my friend feel free to write in this thread what you wanted to say in the Goenka thread please :)
I am looking forward to read it :)

Sorry for the poor spelling. I have no good spell check on me iPhone.

Friendly Dusko


Andrew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 09:58:43 AM »
Ok then, have the salt handy!

I think you are holding 'parts' of yourself in contempt.

Often I read about your 'conditioned mind' as an entity all on it's own! Sometimes you say there is an ego too, usually not in a good light. I can't remember the exact phrases but things to the effect of "stinking ego, or stupid conditioned mind" (I don't think you have actually used those words, but something like that)

You are holding some 'part' of yourself in contempt. Well, I should start by saying, you imagine there is a separate part of yourself that can be held in contempt, then you go ahead and do so!

My opinion is that loving every fiber of our mysterious being is very important. The last thing you feel before you reach the next state of realization will be the deepest thing you feel about yourself on the last one. In whatever way it is up to you (In the words you choose, and the thoughts you hold, the actions you take) give yourself every chance to find some love mixed in with that sadness (or what ever that last state is).

It is like your beautiful plants. Whatever is in the soil and water will find it's way to the depths and become part of the plant.

I'll give you another example I was thinking of when I asked if it was OK to go on.

We sometimes say "Ignorant mind" when in fact there is only ignorance, which evaporates in the presence of insight. We use the 'mind' or 'ego' as a scapegoat, but there is only a mysterious continuum which makes up our being. We could even go through life without referring to it at all.  The thinking, feeling, walking and talking are all being done by one thing. We call  that thing so many names it would seem we have a whole football team inside! What ever we call the part, we call the whole, and as the part was an illusion of our ignorance in the first place and the whole is yet to be realized, we don't know who we are really insulting!


Basically I'm saying a lot of negative words used to describe ourselves is going to grow negative feelings. It is most likely how they go there to start with, though they may not have been words from your mouth, but rather from significant others.

So instead of Ignorant Mind there is only ignorance, and that is only a fact not an evil entity.

Instead of Conditioned Mind, there is conditioning.

instead of Tricky Ego, there is only fear of change

It is enough to deal with abstracts of love and fear without creating other abstracts of mind, ego, heart etc. It is even worse to fragment our selves with words and then label some of them good and then others evil. But I go on too much,

That thou art is enough.

love

andy



getting it done

Andrew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 11:18:33 AM »
By the way, your self-sufficiency is very inspiring. Thanks for doing this, you have gone straight to the core of so much that is wrong with the world and just changed it! Kudos to you.

I said too much in my last post, like you said to me, when the 'I'll tell you how it is' stops, I might just get somewhere!.

You are worthy of much love, thanks for being my friend.

love

andy
getting it done

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 06:36:06 PM »
Quote
You are worthy of much love, thanks for being my friend.


Likewise :)

Andy, thanks for all you wrote to me. I will contemplate on it and see if something rings the bell :)

There is something I did not tell you my friends and which is kind of very important  :-\
I am not sure if I maybe mentioned it slightly somewhere but in a case I didnt then here it goes; When I went to Dublin last week I actually went to see my parents which I didnt meet in about 3 years.
My sister didnt want to tell em I am coming over so when they saw me it was a surprise and my father started to cry. I just gave him a loooong hug saying it will all be OK. My mother didnt cry but she was happy to see me.
They would like to see me more often but it is me that was holding back.
Before these 3 years we dint see each other in 2 years and before that in approx 5 years, so all in all we met 3 times in 10 years.
We spend only 3 days together.
I invited them to come to my summer house in July. The retreat is canceled so I thought they might come instead. My dad and I could go fishing (not my thing but he loves it). I am not sure if I can make things better between him and me ... before he dies.
My father is old now 75 I think. His hair became very grey. He still talks very little. I would be more on my mothers side, can chat all the time yada yada yada ;)
Any way, I think this must have something to do with me being again in the Dark Night. I was very anxious before the trip for at least a month (I didnt share this either). Now after this trip there are very likely things I wanted to tell them but haven't, things which are hanging around like ghosts ... it is so hard to forgive him for not being there in my childhood ... so many times I cried at night hidden in corners in strange homes.

Well that is it... I shared it now with you all.

Friendly Dusko

Vivek

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 05:34:59 AM »
Quote from: Andy
The last thing you feel before you reach the next state of realization will be the deepest thing you feel about yourself on the last one.
Wow, I like that one, Andy. :) A nugget of wisdom there.

Quote from: Dusko
Before these 3 years we dint see each other in 2 years and before that in approx 5 years, so all in all we met 3 times in 10 years.
We spend only 3 days together.
Dusko, I won't tell you to actively seek out ways to reconcile your differences and other issues with your parents. Maybe there are past issues that needs to be looked into. It is a choice I leave to you. However, I suggest you start giving Metta to your parents after your daily sitting, if you are not doing it already. Metta Bhavana does go a long way in healing our wounds and creating mutually enriching relationships with others.

Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2011, 11:35:51 AM »
Vivek  :)  I am not sure what it is called but I do practice "give n take" after each meditation pass. I give all the merits accumulated from my meditation practice to my parents, my wife and pets, to my Cyber-Sangha and all other sentient beings and then I take from them all the suffering they are enduring.
Is this metta?

About my practice;

I seem to be able to observe my Body-mind throughout the whole day (more or less). I am even able to meditate on and off while walking, working, listening to the customers, waiting in a queue, at the dentists chair, on an airplane etc ... I react little expect to my wife and some bureaucratic bull crap  ::)

I seem to be not giving much importance to my thoughts but sensations in the body while thoughts or emotions arise. I feel lots of tingling in my hands and palms, many sensations in the lower stomach, in the intestines, chest is full of vibrations, around the head, eyeballs ...

Dusko

Vivek

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2011, 01:15:19 PM »
Quote
Is this metta?
Almost, Dusko. But, I have not heard of "taking the suffering of others" as being part of Metta. I see two reasons for that: 1) It's kind of weird to talk about exchanging suffering(!). Your suffering is yours, and mine is mine. We can only support each other in our journey towards elimination of suffering, not exchange it. 2) Metta is all about goodness and positivity. While giving Metta, our intention is to share our merits with others and wishing everyone, the highest good. Anyway, good to hear that you are doing Metta. Continue doing the same.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2011, 01:35:28 PM »
When i told my sister that i do the give n take she imediately made a scared and shocked face asking why in gods name would i take anybodies pain and suffering. I replied that my happiness means nothing without her happiness and therefore her suffering is also my suffering.
I feel that both happiness and the suffering are illusions. I also feel they are creating one another like yin and yang.
I feel there is nothing to it.

I might be wrong as you are likely wrong by believing that yours and my suffering are apart from one another :)

Friendly Dusko

Matthew

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    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2011, 01:39:26 PM »
Vivek  :)  I am not sure what it is called but I do practice "give n take" after each meditation pass. I give all the merits accumulated from my meditation practice to my parents, my wife and pets, to my Cyber-Sangha and all other sentient beings and then I take from them all the suffering they are enduring.
Is this metta? .....

Che,

This is closer to "Tonglen" practice in the Tibetan tradition (sending and receiving). It is a form of Metta Bhavana ("kindness development") and a very powerful one. You can experience strange energy build ups if you don't get it quite right. If you notice that happening revert back to pure Metta Bhavana (sending without the receiving).

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jeeprs

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2011, 01:40:55 PM »
I think taking your Dad fishing is a great idea. I used to love fishing, my uncle used to take me. Now I have had to abandon fishing, but my boys still do it.

I wouldn't try and over-dramatize the spiritual life.  One of the reasons I like the 'Dogen' Zen school is because of the emphasis they have on 'ordinary mind'. Rather than trying to reach some special state or be special on account of meditation practice (they call it zazen), the aim is always to be natural and spontaneous. Obviously there is a paradox in that because if you try to do it, you are not being spontaneous. They have saying about this like 'I chop wood, I draw water: how marvellous, how mysterious!'. There is another one: student asks the teacher, what is special about your life? Teacher says 'nothing special. When tired, I sleep, when hungry, I eat. Fools may laugh, but the wise will understand'. Of course, this does not mean abandoning the practice and the way. But it means not seeking anything special from it.

I think you already have a lot of this kind of understanding, it is exemplified in your posts. But it never hurts to spell it out, it is a great way of practice.


Mungo

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2011, 01:36:49 AM »
Quote
Is this metta?
1) It's kind of weird to talk about exchanging suffering(!). Your suffering is yours, and mine is mine. We can only support each other in our journey towards elimination of suffering, not exchange it.

1. Maybe it is not exchanging but rather trying to understand others suffering - I would call it empathy?

2. That is the trouble I have in understanding others suffering - even if I was suffering from the exact same cause, "my" effect (experience) would be different and dependant on my life experience/mind up to that point. If you could jump into someones mind and experience the exact same pain who would that experience/mind belong to? I find that all my happiness and suffering is coming from me rather than at me and when pulled to bits is rather empty.
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2011, 07:16:50 AM »
Matthew, when you say energy, in what form? (emotional or else)

Quote
wouldn't try and over-dramatize the spiritual life.

I agree with Jeeprs

Quote
1. Maybe it is not exchanging but rather trying to understand others suffering - I would call it empathy?

Mungo my friend you are spot on :) that is exactly what it is. I feel my ego-self protesting to send the merits not willing to give them away (mine) and also feeling discusted at times by others suffering energies (not mine dirty stuff)
Yes, practicing empathy i would say.

Note; i do not approach this practice intelectualy only but filter it through the breath of awareness. All the suffering taken is given back to the universe as manure to be used in sowing seeds of love and happiness :)

Dusko

Mungo

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2011, 07:36:05 AM »

Note; i do not approach this practice intelectualy only but filter it through the breath of awareness. All the suffering taken is given back to the universe as manure to be used in sowing seeds of love and happiness :)

Dusko

Interesting. Its like one of the laws of thermodynamics (i think - cant remember which one) that says that energy can not be made nor destroyed - just converted.
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep

Matthew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2011, 01:17:34 PM »
Dusko: Kundalini
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Morning Dew

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Re: Abiding in calm and mindful self-sufficiency [Journal]
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2011, 08:49:11 PM »
Is Kundalini good or bad?

I meditated 2 times today. The first time it felt restless and hot because i sat too close to the fireplace. Second time i knew better and closed my self in the bedroom which is a bit colder ;)

Very tired tonight after a days work in our garden :)
I finished the oakleaf compost box and my wife filled it with withered oak leaves. This is where i piss into so to speed up the decomposition.



I digged over the last land part where we had strawberries last year and added a tick layer of new black compost :) i planted in it beetroot, parsnip and parsley.





And to make the day even better we decided to make a soup out of wild nettles and ground-elder which grows all over our place :) i dont understand that we dont use this so rich in nutrients plants and it is for free and tastes real good :)




The plate on the right is a salad i made from weed that is sour but cant find its name. Grows on fields behind our summer house also for free :)
Aboriginees would be proud of me i even pulled the water up the well by hand (the pump went dead)

Friendly
Dusko