Wednesday, July 8, 2020


While i was out picking raspberries, i tried to shake a dead leaf off a berry, but it stuck. It wasn't a dead leaf. It was a moth. A green camouflage moth not that well camouflaged on the berries.

I stuck the moth onto my fleece jacket and went to my neighbor's house to meditate. Her young son is fascinated by bugs, so i put the moth on his fleece.

We try to camouflage ourselves by joining the crowd, joining the dominant culture of wherever we are. We try to "pass" rather than be our authentic self.

"Passing" is stressful; it takes a toll on us. Sometimes we have to "pass," in order to get along with the dominant culture.

The camouflage moth is not at all camouflaged on raspberries, but she's being her authentic self.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Purple Harvest

Purple Passion Asparagus - Asparagus Plants - Stark Bro's
This morning i harvested only purple things from the garden--purple asparagus and purple pea pods. I cut a several sprigs of lavender. Even though black raspberries call themselves "black," when i crush them between my fingers or my teeth, the result is purple fingers or a purple tongue. I put all my gleanings into my purple (and blue) harvest basket. And, oh yes, i was wearing purple pants and a purple shirt.

The purple asparagus is called Purple Passion. If you're reading this blog, you are as passionate about gardening as i am.

The garden is a place where we can be our authentic selves. We don't have to act in one of our daily roles. We can just "be." And sometimes we  might slip into calm or tranquility. Ahh. Peace at last.

Today: a purple peace.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Wildflowers in a Can

Wildflowers in a can look so good--on the label on the can.

This week, i saw a long stretch of wildflowers-in-a-can that look like they are supposed to. Red poppies, California poppies, bachelor buttons (which are sometimes-reseeding annuals).

Obviously, the ground had been prepared, probably by a tractor, since the flowers stretched on for a couple of hundred feet.

Jesus tells the parable of the sower who sows seeds on the wayside, on weedy soil, on rocks, and on good soil. We, as gardeners, know that just throwing seeds around will lead to questionable results.

Jesus, of course, was talking about spiritual teachings. "Those who have ears, let them hear."

Are you listening to your spiritual path calling you?

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Harvest Season Begins

Garlic Scape Charmer - Field Goods
The harvest season begins! Today i harvested

20 black raspberries
6 red raspberries
3 asparagus spears--two are pencil thin, and one very thick
1 head of broccoli
15 pea pods (purple :)
and 15 garlic scapes, which i ground up into a pint of pesto.

Let's see. Does that add up to a meal of some sort? Maybe a stir-fry? 

Sometimes, our collection of spiritual teachings is a mismatched mish-mash. A little of this, a little of that, a sprinkle of something else.

When we pick and choose our spiritual teachings, we wind up with an unproven path that leads.... Where? Sometimes around in circles.

Choose your spiritual path carefully, and then stick with it. Otherwise, it's like planting one vegetable here and another over there on the other side of the yard. It may take a while to make sense of the big picture. Patience, my friend.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Black Raspberries

Building A Better Black Raspberry - Growing Produce
Black raspberries are ripening. I picked the first berries today. A friend gave me the plants 2 years ago. This year, there will be a bumper crop.

We never know how our generosity will ripple out into the world. A friend gave me a dozen black raspberry plants. This spring, i dug up 6 volunteers and gave them away. This summer, i'll be harvesting quarts of black raspberries.

As a Buddhist teacher of the Dharma, i rely on the generosity of students to support my teaching. I often talk about the "pay it forward" aspect of generosity. Your gift enables the person to buy groceries (or harvest them from the garden), so that they can live to teach another day to unknown people.

Support your local mindfulness teacher. And enjoy your garden's harvest.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

It's a Jungle Out There

How to deal with a mature garden / RHS Gardening
After a 3 week drought, it is now raining every day. Raining, misting, sprinkling, humidity, thundering in the distance while not raining right here--so many varieties of precipitation. The plants love it. Suddenly, it's a jungle out there. 

Plants are in their mid-teen final growth spurt. Remember when they were so small you could hold them in your hand? Now they are as tall as i am or even towering over me. It's too late to transplant those big things, too late to change the course of their July-August-September adulthood. I have to go with what there is. Accept them just as they are.

When the Serenity Prayer says "Accept the things i cannot change," that means other people. I can't change them. The only thing i can change is myself (the courage to change the things i can). You know what those things that need changing are. Start with one. The easiest one.

This week i'm hacking through my inner jungle by simply being mindful of my little triggers--the small bothers, the tiny annoyances, the passing frustrations. Oh, right. This is familiar. So familiar. I know this one

Once i can identify it, i can notice its habitat and its growth patterns. Hmmmm. Very interesting

Pat myself on the back for noticing. That's a bit of self-love, and that, my dear, is what i'm replacing the old trigger with. Planting a little self-love and maybe some patience in the middle of that jungle.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Strawberries Next Year

How to Grow and Harvest Strawberries | Gardener's Path
Strawberry season is almost over, and a friend just gave me strawberry plants. This means i won't be harvesting strawberries until next year.

We plant ourselves in meditation and may or may not have immediate results. We are investing in our mental health by reducing our stress here and now. With care and tending, our meditation practice bears fruit.

Strawberries next year!