The Alliance reaches out to the public through teaching, writing, and retreats, offering this vision of the human role in the community of life, grounded in the tangible reality of holding and caring for the shared land.

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The farm supports the Alliance and the Zen Community, offering a place for spiritual practice, a home for the work of protection and restoration, and food for residents, volunteers, and sharing.


The practice of awakening is one with the practice of transforming the earth which is our true body. A study and practice group meets at the Northfield Buddhist Meditation Center.


Words From My Teacher

Our lives are patterns of the fabric produced by the loom of time and space.

When we see the individual things, each one is impermanent, constantly changing, without any fixed independent entity.

But this work of weaving continues. Our life is a result and a gift from people and things from the past.

What we do now influences later generations, whether positively or negatively.

The loom is weaving the ancient brocade of eternity, while the spring is new, fresh and different each year.

The spring of the entire heaven and earth is manifested within a tiny plum blossom in the cold air.

The tiny blossom actualizes the spring of the entire heaven and earth.

All individual things are working together as a whole without anything being excluded.

There is no observer and observation from outside.

~ Shohaku Okumura Roshi

Shohaku Okamura Roshi

Upcoming Events

Starts: Fri Feb 22 - 12:00 AM

16922 Cabot Avenue

Silent meditation retreat in the Zen tradition. If you would like to come, please speak with Shodo in advance.   NOTES: Advance registration is required, one week in advance. Retreats are held at a private home on a 17-acre farm, an hour south of Minneapolis, on the Cannon River. Retreat leader is Shodo Spring, dharma […]

  • 22
  • Mar

Starts: Fri Mar 22 - 12:00 AM

16922 Cabot Avenue

Silent meditation retreat in the Zen tradition. If you would like to come, please speak with

  • 26
  • Apr

Starts: Fri Apr 26 - 12:00 AM

16922 Cabot Avenue

Silent meditation retreat in the Zen tradition. If you would like to come, please speak with

  • 17
  • May

Starts: Fri May 17 - 7:00 PM

16922 Cabot Avenue

Land Care Retreat May 24 - 26, 2019 SPIRITUAL PRACTICE WITH THE NATURAL WORLD Friday ev

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Latest News


“Why America Failed”

Last night the potluck group listened to Morris Berman on “Why America Failed.” Halfway through I was wondering why I did this. By the end I remembered. But first let me mention this: most of the hour consisted of an overview of what’s wrong. (This talk was pre-Trump, by the way, but you could already […]


News and more

Dear Friends, Here are just a few notes from the middle of snow country, snow season. I’ve updated the journal entry that remembers last summer’s travels. Since it took five months, I didn’t want to plop it in the middle of other things. The whole thing is here. Last Sunday I gave a talk “Finding […]



We came out of the bitter cold into two days above freezing. Today I walked out onto the land and was nourished. Came back two and a half hours later, not cold yet, and very warmed inside. Writing about it now is an invitation for you to do the same, however that may be in […]


Play is how we become ourselves

To know play, remember. For me, the memory goes back to the house where I lived from ages three to twelve. One summer I spent hours perfecting “tricks” on the swing set, demanding my mother watch again and again until she said no. My own body was the universe, and I was finding out what […]


There are many ways to get involved

Learn more about Mountains and Waters Alliance Membership – working to protect and restore the wholeness of life on earth. Its members include human people, rivers, rocks, trees, hills – sentient beings from all parts of the family of life. Check out ways you can Volunteer or.. Consider donating to Mountains and Waters