“…To stop the partner’s ki before they begin to move and then direct their movement is not Aiki. Leaving our partners ki to itself, we take the Stance of Truth; the Posture of Love, the Stance of the Power of the Compassion of Avalokiteshvara,– Absolute Non-resistance.— With this intense training, developing our inherent spirituality, together with a unified body/mind, and coming to know the very origin of the universe, Aiki begins.”

Ueshiba O’Sensei
translated by Peter Shapiro

Day 1

Day 1

Preparing the soil for this plot took relatively no time. The Land participants who donated the use of this small 8X10 foot footprint had retarded weeds and therefore pests by laying black tarping and then large chip bark along the entirety of their year. Underneath we found rich, composted loamy soil, red with nutrients, and absent of weeding. Turning the dirt required little effort as it had not compacted.

However, also noticeably absent was earth worms, which quickly replenished itself with a dose of natural horse manure compost from a stable in Orangevale.

Sprouting strong

Sprouting strong

Planted are tomatos, corn, three variety of bean, squash, chard, spinach, mesclun, and quinoa. The squash – both blue squash and lemon cucumber – didn’t last the birds before we could put the tarp down, so more seeds are being planted, which will come up quickly. Meanwhile the tomatoes are having a hard time as in other farms. You will see this in other posts. All tomatoes seems to have gone on strike, and unfortunately have returned to the earth one might say prematurely. Replacements are on the way, but not until after we have made peace.

Meanwhile, the mesh is in place, the snails are at bay for the moment, and everyone is looking good.

About a year ago, I was preparing to make a journey. Part of that preparation was fasting. Okay, I thought, this is a physical preparation, get my body used to going without food. I was concerned I’d be hungry. The two day fast was also without fluids. I was concerned about functioning. I doubted that I would become physically weak and become a burden to others.

What I didn’t know was the journey without food brought to me. I wasn’t preparing for anything during those two days – I was in it. So aware of my own body’s metabolism, hunger pains coming and going. I didn’t just look at people differently, I saw them. I watched people eat food and realized I ate food in the same way, without consciousness, a movement that accompanied companionship and conversation, or on the way somewhere. I was fascinated at how my growing wakefulness seems to smooth the grumblings to near silence. But I knew there was another reason. I knew my two day fast would be over at some point in the coming hours. It also was very clear this was my choice. Would I have been so casual with my enlightened feelings had this not been my choice and there was no end in sight? I think not.

Eating – one of the most basic functions in life – all life, and we forget it. Basic, basic stuff, and we forget it. Is it any wonder we are capable of letting important things go? We forget our hearts. We forget each other.

It has been a year, and I still talk with the food I’m about to eat. Mostly I say thank you, and it usually says your welcome.