Taking what is not offered: Guest post by greenfrog

[Greenfrog, aka Sean,  is a piquant  concoction of Mormonism, Buddhism, and Lawyerism living in the Denver, Colorado area.  He  describes himself as an amphibious creature who  “breathes Mormon air and swims Buddhist waters, both quite happily.”  I became acquainted with him  through his  comments on posts at A Motley Vision.  Field notes he contributed to some of my posts (see here, and  here, scroll down) at Times and Seasons  further singled him out to my eye as an engaging writer, able  to bring words and place together.  “Taking what is not offered” is cross-posted  here from  his blog, In Limine: On the Threshold, at the Beginning.]  


During a recent meditation retreat, the other participants and I each undertook to live by the five Buddhist training precepts during our time there. One of those precepts is this:

For the purposes of training, I will not take anything that is not offered to me.

This is a common sense rule for those who will live in close proximity to one another — no €œborrowing € your roommate’s shampoo, no swiping someone else’s flip flops. It’s a basic principle that is embedded in social systems everywhere — in the yoga tradition as the niyama of asteya — non-stealing. God told Moses a version of the same thing. Continue reading “Taking what is not offered: Guest post by greenfrog”

Making things grow

Gardening season has arrived, and nurseries and seed companies report a  financial  bumper crop this year as more people than usual put in yard gardens.   In the e-mail newsletter Johnny’s Selected Seeds sent out at the beginning of the May, Joann Matuzas accounts for this seed-change saying, €œThe uncertainty of the economy definitely has prompted more people to put in vegetable gardens this year. €

The Pinetree Garden Seeds website, on the other hand, acknowledges that the reasons people have for sweating up their brows a bit more than they have been are more complex.   Any financial downturn, personal, nationwide, or worldwide, might well prompt such a change.   But quavering in the safety and quality control  of produce sold in U.S. markets has also likely provided impetus for the rise in self-reliance.   This year’s jag upward in garden seed and plant sales reflects increased desire to control the quality of food flowing in to the household as well as a greater need to more carefully direct the stream of financial resources flowing out. Continue reading “Making things grow”

Coming out of torpor

Last Friday night my son dug two of the last three holes needed to set our remaining fruit tree starts.   We didn’t manage to plant any of them that night  because he and my daughter needed to gather their things together for the early start they faced the next morning.   They were to travel to Moab to take tests for advancement in their Shorinji Kempo classes, and I had to get them to the local Chevron at 7:30 a.m. sharp so they could carpool with the rest of their group.

That morning, after dealing with the €œgotcha € moment of my key breaking off in the car’s ignition at the Chevron, I arrived home to attend to the trees.   Planting trees by yourself is a bit tricky, especially with the hammerhead winds we had Saturday (again!) but not impossible.   The kids wouldn’t be back till mid-afternoon.   I didn’t want to make the trees wait another minute for return to more natural circumstances, especially since the stock was bare root. Continue reading “Coming out of torpor”