- The Farm
- The Alliance
As the disasters roll on, moderated by occasional happy surprises, I’ve wondered what to say here. Finally I saw it.
How do we do spiritual practice with the things that are happening too fast and too frightening? Including, how do we avoid blaming others?
Tuesday, August 8
Maui: A huge fire destroys traditional native center Lahaina, kills over a hundred people and displaces hundreds.
Thursday, August 10: Florida requires school history teachers to include “benefits” to slaves.
Friday, August 11: The Marion County Record, small town newspaper in Kansas, has its offices and the owners’ home searched and computers seized; warrant appears to be petty and nonsensical. The co-owner, 98 years old and a retired journalist, died the next day, possibly due to stress. Fear of losing a free press rises. Lawsuits are flying in all directions.
Monday, August 14: A Montana youth group won their lawsuit for climate protection, based on a clause in the Montana constitution: “The state and each person shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations.” (Six other states and 150 countries have similar constitutional provisions.) Both ridicule and celebration abound. A Federal case started in 2015 is based on the Fifth Amendment “nor shall any person…. be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” They’re still struggling for the right to appear in court. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juliana_v._United_States
Tuesday, August 15:
Wednesday, August 16: Multiple wildfires in Canada’s Northwest Territories lead to evacuation of Yellowknife.
Always: around the world wars, refugee disasters, corruption revelations, deaths, climate disasters, poverty, hunger, discrimination, and so forth. And this Facebook meme: To feed everyone in the world would cost $34 billion a year. The United States military spends over $71 billion a month.
Going tentatively here, thoughts as they arise and then what follows:
Which are the most useful in your particular life? Is it the practice of compassion, for instance, or the specifics of the precepts?
I will not start a list of tangible activities that seem to me like “right action;” that list would go on forever. But I will invite you to notice such actions in your own life.
a request on behalf of a friend: Cory Clemetson is a long-time friend of Mountains and Waters Alliance and a serious dharma practitioner. He’s a member of Common Ground Meditation Center, and has given time and energy to justice movements both at home. Cory is recovering from surgery for an infection in his spine, and will be unable to work for several months. There is a GoFundMe with more information, here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/cory-as-he-recovers-from-spinal-surgery.
upcoming study group: This is a repeat of my mention from last newsletter: We’re studying Ayo Yetunde’s Casting Indra’s Net, Wednesday evenings starting September 6, and registrations are required (free).
Free fundraising: We’re listed on iGive, which uses your online shopping to support us at no cost to you. Right now they have a special deal: Sign up by September 30, make any purchase within a month, and we get an extra $5 in addition to the percentage. (It’s easy to use.) If a dozen people signed up and used iGive just for air travel, we would really notice the addition.
Love to all. Please be in touch.
for Mountains and Waters Alliance
“To start repairing the world, and ourselves” writes Dan Harris about this book by Ayo Yetunde. theologian, spiritual counselor, and activist. In this spirit, we begin a fall study group with Casting Indra’s Net, exploring our lives in relation to Yetunde’s offering. The ongoing study group is welcoming new member at this time. More information is at this link. You can register by email. No fee, but donations are welcome.
Here are a few other upcoming events:
August 12, community day at the farm, from afternoon through evening, concluding with meteor showers and moonrise. Click for information. Registration encouraged.
Every Monday morning, online zazen (sitting meditation), 6 am Central Time. Registration encouraged.
These events are coming, but do not yet have registration access yet.
September 21, in Northfield MN: We’ll be at the International Day of Peace, 5-7 pm, participating in a community event.
October, date TBD, weekend sesshin (meditation retreat) in Duluth, MN.
November 5, dharma talk at Northfield Buddhist Meditation Center – online and in person.
December 1-8, Rohatsu sesshin – 7 days of sitting meditation, at the farm. Partial participation welcome.
This post is about the August 12 day/night at the farm, involving afternoon work, potluck, ceremony, and stargazing/meteor shower. Here’s the full description. Starts mid-afternoon, goes into the night, come and go as you like.
This is my first time to offer the actual work of Mountains and Waters Alliance: a ceremony connecting humans with plants, earth, water, sky, all beings – for the well-being of the earth. It’s embedded in a day of things we do often, potluck and land care, and something new, the meteor shower, an opportunity worth sharing.
In a way this is a response to the climate crisis, to the wildfires and heat domes and all of that frightening and uncomfortable news. In another way, it’s just finding a way to live in harmony within our family, all beings.
I hope you can come, if you’re near. Many people have come and gone here. This summer we’ve been quiet – no retreats or workdays, just one party at my birthday. The next few events will be online, and then some retreats this fall and winter.
Soon I’ll post the other things that are coming up. And I hope your summer is being as beautiful as the one we’re having here.
Greetings from the land of summer!
This newsletter includes a short event listing, plus some reflections on learnings from recent retreats and travels.
There will be later events and talks, including
We have space now for two more residents. Perry is now leading on farm and outdoor work, and there’s plenty of room for both labor and creativity from new residents, long-term guests, and short-term helpers. Just contact Shodo. We’re not scheduling work days, but welcoming you at times that work for all of us.
The past few months I’ve been in learning mode. I’d like to share a little.
First, in March I took a week for a writing retreat, then a week in a cabin up north (very cold). I thought I would sit zazen and walk outdoors, but mostly I slept a lot and recovered from exhaustion. I gave a dharma talk at Bluestone Zen Community in Duluth, and went for a walk on slippery rocks above Lake Superior.
Second, Kincentric Leadership Training, a week in Colorado at Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, with a group of people who share a love and respect for beyond-human beings.
Third, a family vacation in the Carribean.
Fourth, an inipi (sweat lodge) ceremony.
Then it was time to settle down and ground myself in ordinary life before any more adventures.
What I can see now is how easy it could be to do the original vision of Mountains and Waters Alliance, in which groups of people get together and do ceremony connecting with their local plants, waters, soils, animals, everything beyond human, asking for help with this incredible task about climate and environment – including healing the way humans are harming each other and the natural world. If doing this calls to you, let me know; it will encourage me to move forward sooner.
I’ll say farewell for now, and be back in about a month. Be sure to write if you want to connect. And if someone shared this with you, you can subscribe at the website, bottom of front page.
for Mountains and Waters Alliance
Hello and welcome. Here’s catching up with a little of everything.
With new resident Perry Post, there’s lots of activity in the garden. Perry is a permaculturist and experienced gardener and landscaper, and he welcomes help.
The best way to get involved is to let me know so we can get in touch when there’s an appropriate opportunity. After conversation so we know what you’re up for.
I’m holding the schedule until after I return from the Kincentric Leadership Training (late May) because I expect to have new ideas. But there will be land care retreats, ceremonies, work days and work retreats, and sesshin.
I’m noticing anniversaries.
This is for the many people who’ve supported Mountains and Waters Alliance through the years; I won’t name them individually for reluctance to miss someone, but we have these groups:
May it continue.
I’ve been invited to participate in the Kincentric Leadership Training, which will begin next week. I know just these things about this:
The book is nearing completion. Working title is Being Earth: Unleashing the power of the natural world.
It’s going like this: donations support the land and facilities. I’ve never been paid, but MWA rents space at the farm, and covers some of my retreat and study travel. Working half time makes that harder but supports the whole thing. In 2022 I borrowed money to upgrade the house to have space for four residents. Four would pay the loan down fast, but there’s one plus me. So I’m working extra, and doing less study and teaching.
Warm and cold, sunny, rainy, blossoms everywhere, spring ephemerals; the fiddleheads have come and gone, the nettles are offering themselves for eating, and when the rain stops we should find morel mushrooms in the woods.
Looking at the violence and polarization all around, I think societal collapse is well along the way. That thought helps me forgive the individuals involved. At the same time I see a thousand – no, a million signs of renewal. Reasons to be Cheerful is a pleasant place to hang out to see encouraging news. One of these days I’ll write about world issues again. Maybe.
What else is there to say? Life is good. Even when it isn’t.
Next weekend is the Land Care Retreat: arrive Friday evening, leave Sunday afternoon. About half meditation and discussion, generous time outdoors in the warm weather (predicted 50’s and 60’s, some showers but not steady rain) including garden work Saturday afternoon, expecting a small group. (You might want rubber boots.) I’ll be in touch with people who register.
If the fee is an issue, email me and we’ll work something out. I’d love to have you if possible.
This is the last practice-related event for a couple of months, due to commitments I have elsewhere.
I puzzle over what to say about the news. Sometimes I’m encouraged, sometimes outraged. Today I have more hope about fascism, because of public response to some outrages.
I’m less encouraged about climate change. It’s still true that we have the technology (mostly biological) that we need, and it’s still true that we need to completely change our expectations about “standard of living” and we need fewer people on the planet. The resistance to both is fierce. Still, there are a few hopeful notes:
The Vatican repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery, which had been used to excuse genocide and destruction around the globe for centuries. (no link)
by Rabindranath Tagore
Let all the strains of joy mingle in my last song —
the joy that makes the earth flow over in the riotous excess of the grass,
the joy that sets the twin brothers, life and death,
dancing over the wide world,
the joy that sweeps in with the tempest, shaking and waking
all life with laughter,
the joy that sits still with its tears on the open red lotus of pain, and
the joy that throws everything it has upon the dust,
and knows not a word.
Blessed spring. I hope to see you soon.
I greet you from the land of cold and snow, entering the next winter storm, knowing that the erratic weather is from climate change. Imagining Mother Earth shaking us off, freeing herself – and dreaming that we can still make peace, become friends, live in the hands of the gods again, in the hands of all beings.
I asked for a poem for the time, and here is what came.
After writing, I went down to the altar at the creek, and asked for my health to improve. I could feel an answer. Still a mystery.
The river has two names, Dakota and English. Inyan Bosndata (Standing Rock River) and Cannon River (from the French for canoes).
The creeks have no names. People ask their names. But I honor their wildness and their changing, and don’t want to burden them with a fixed name. The state DNR calls them “intermittent streams,” which seems to acknowledge their wildness.
Perhaps some day they will tell me their names; until then I leave them to themselves.
There are now three residents, with space for one more now, probably an additional space this fall. Pleae write if you’re interested in joining us.
One of us will be focusing on the land; we expect more activities, more workdays. Watch here for announcements.
The Facebook page for Mountains and Waters Alliance is now closed, and will be shut down. There are two ways to stay connected. You can subscribe to the blog at the website, and receive emails. Or you can follow my personal Facebook page (Shodo Spring), where the blogs are always posted.
If there are additions, we’ll announce them here.
This is the season of fundraising appeals. I’ve been invisible, underground, working on the book, occasional talks, and leading one study group and one discussion group. With nothing to see, I make no claim to your dollars. Still, if you would like to support this work here is a window. Gifts make it possible to give more time to teaching and writing, and ultimately to center my life on our mission. https://mountainsandwatersalliance.org/donate-support/
Currently I work more than half time as a psychotherapist. It’s good work and also demanding, and helps me repay the loan I took out to expand the house and make space for a beginning community. (There will be three of us here by January, with one space open for an additional resident.)
An online study group will begin Wednesday, January 4, 6:30-8 pm, on Dogen’s writing “Being Time” through Dainin Katagiri’s Each Moment is the Universe. Registration is necessary, preferably by December 15; donations are requested but not required. More information here.
There will be an in-person “Introduction to Zen” on a January Saturday morning, not yet scheduled. If interested, you’re encouraged to contact me; it will help planning.
The general monthly pattern is a retreat on the third weekend, a workday on the second weekend. Retreats are either sesshin, an intensive meditation retreat, up to five days long, or “land care retreat” including meditation, dharma talk and discussion, and mindful work on the land. There’s a flexible fee, registration required, and I love doing these.
Workdays are usually informal and involve whatever is needed, mostly farm and land work. Lunch and snacks are provided, and no money changes hands. Sometimes people stay after for dharma conversation.
Speculative schedule (that’s even less than tentative, and none of these are event listings yes.)
November 27, this Sunday, I’m giving a dharma talk online for Hokyoji Zen Practice Community in southern Minnesota. The talk starts at 9:30am Central Time; zazen begins at 8:30 and you can join at any time.Here’s the link: https://www.hokyoji.org/sunday-talks/
December 10, Saturday, I’ll talk online with Heartland Zen about the text Sansuikyo (Mountains and Waters Sutra) and the book I edited for Okumura Roshi. 11:00 am, meditation 10:30. Link is at https://www.heartlandzen.org/
At the end of this year I will discontinue the Facebook page for Mountains and Waters Alliance. If you have been following there, you might sign up for blog posts (bottom of this page), or switch to my personal page (Shodo Spring) if it’s not too crowded for you. The reason is that organizational pages keep becoming more and more difficult to use, and I don’t think the page is that useful.)
On this day in 1963, an assassination took the life of John F Kennedy, a courageous leader in many ways. It’s 59 years, and the world has changed incalculably. Or perhaps just its appearance has changed, except that now we face climate disaster and open fascism and so much else. We also have great upwellings of humanity, love, and creativity. I imagine a great event at the 60th anniversary, a celebration of life and humanity. My part in that celebration will be to honor the gifts of trees, mountains, rivers, oceans, prairies, meadows, mycelia, all of life – and to ask for their continuing participation.
I’ll follow that with acknowledgment of how it goes in our world today. I’ve given too much attention for too long to external events. December’s post will look outward at it all, hopefully from a calm place.
I just want to send you a blessing, as the Celtic year shifts toward winter, and as we move toward the elections and other unknowns. This poem is from John O’Donohue. At the end, you can listen to him reading it.
Voting is an exercise of political power. Self-expression has nothing to do with it. We vote all the time for people we don’t prefer, in order to avoid potential disasters. If you’re worried about possible disasters of any kind, please vote in addition to your other actions.
To make sure you’re still registered correctly: https://www.usa.gov/confirm-voter-registration. It also has information on how to register in each state, and whether you need ID.
Quoting an email from my friend Bob Ciernia:
“In Mein Kampf, Hitler said what he would do if his party came to power. People didn’t believe him. Let’s not make the same mistake …. Despite losing the popular vote by over 7 million votes (and losing the Electoral College vote 306 to 232), a majority of Republicans believe they won the 2020 Presidential election. What does it say about your view of the world if you think the only way you could ever lose an election is if it is rigged? Again, please take them at their word ….
“If you want to do something… there is still time to affect the outcome of the 2022 election. I [Bob] am a member of this group: https://www.fridayaction.org/projects/#current [They identify critical races and send postcards, sometimes increasing voter turnout by 10%. Of course there are many options for action.]
“Please remember the words of Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), a Lutheran minister who spent eight years in prisons and concentration camps between 1937 and 1945.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Remember that local candidates matter, Secretaries of State control voting, and school boards make a difference for our children.
From Edna St. Vincent Millay, over a hundred years ago.
September sesshin had 3 participants, and was a gift. Even though I spent my free time protecting the garden plants from the first frost, as well as building fires to warm the zendo, at the end my heart was lighter and I was able to engage wholeheartedly with daily life having released some kind of burden.
Next summer when the garage gets hot, it will be like our own kiln. (This lumber was milled from our own trees. There’s more of that to come.)
For upcoming events, see last month’s post. Except this update: the Wednesday night Zen group is on hiatus, and will begin January 4 with an organized class on Dogen’s writing “Being Time” using Dainin Katagiri’s Each Moment is the Universe: Zen and the way of being time. We’ll meet at 6:30 pm on the first three Wednesdays of each month January through April. It will be more formal than our past reading/discussion, and a donation is requested at a level that works for you.
And there will be at least one introduction to Zen event – a day or a half-day – probably January 21.
I wrote last month; now I’m keeping it simple. Please email me if you have interest in either a short-term visit or a long-term stay.
The book is nearly done and has a working title: Being Earth: What to Do With the Time that is Given Us. The initial description: “A Buddhist response to the crisis of our times, Being Earth draws on history, anthropology, archaeology, biology, and psychology to invite new perspectives and possibilities.”
because of the construction, inflation, medical expenses, and life in general. I’m working more hours, but also encouraging donations, tax-deductible, either on the website or by mailing a check.
There’s also a free way to support through www.iGive.com. You set things up with them, then automatically a small percentage comes to MWA when you buy online from one of their sellers. Most airlines and many major companies are on it.
If you’re experiencing problems with wildfire, flood, drought, storm, covid, or social crisis, my heart is with you. Ask if you would like us to chant for your well-being.
for Mountains and Waters Alliance
Please forgive the long silence. I’m back and will try to be more regular.
(arrive Thursday night, end Tuesday noon)
The term sesshin means “to settle the mind.” We sit quietly together, 6 am to 9 pm with breaks for walking meditation and for meals. It’s a gentle time, and if you haven’t done it before please call and talk with us first. I love this way of just sitting together, but for most people it’s best to explore gradually. Partial participation can be arranged.
Details are here, registration is required. There is no extra charge for staying here.
followed by a potluck supper. (There is not an event post for this.) Work is 9-4, break and socializing 4-6, potluck about 6.
Most likely projects involve garden and land care. If there are enough of us, moving wood and other heavy projects are offered. Lunch is provided.
Register by email; say whether you will come for work, potluck, or both.
Stands alone or leads into land care retreat. Includes instruction in sitting and walking meditation, brief discussion of chanting and ceremonies, and questions and answers. By donation. If you would like to come just to this and not the land care retreat, please email.
This weekend begins with introduction to Zen, then combines meditation, dharma talks, and outdoor work in the spirit of being one with the earth. Registration is required, there is a fee, and more information is here. You may also begin Saturday morning after breakfast, at 9 am.
These are all coordinated by email rather than website. If you are interested in joining any, email me.
Having finished major construction, upgraded to four bedrooms, and long work with volunteers outdoors in garden and woods, I find myself talking with several potential residents. If you are tempted to come and practice here, please
contact me soon. Here are a few basics:
Tuesday I had a lovely interview with Siddhesh Mukerji, who is writing a book about Buddhism and activism. His questions brought out my thoughts beautifully. Here is a recording of our conversation, unedited.
Last Monday, I learned of an opportunity to support Lakota-led prayer action protecting the Black Hills, He Sapa. My friend Karen Little Thunder and others gathered for prayer outside a Federal courthouse where there was a hearing on violations of the laws regarding new lithium mining. I emailed and used social media to reach whoever I could, and spent an hour at the Central Altar on this land, offering chanting, meditation, and energy. The Black Hills Clean Water Alliance will know what happened.
Blessings in the fall. Please remember to breathe.
for Mountains and Waters Alliance
A few months ago I started saying “This is what societal collapse looks like,” and I don’t see any reason to take that back. You can look at the list of symptoms if you need to be convinced, but otherwise don’t bother. The Supreme Court seems determined to disassemble every good thing that has happened in the past century or so.
I’m aware that I keep saying this. It continues to be true, and the emergency is escalating.
The basic understanding of Mountains and Waters Alliance is that we are not the only ones here, and we are not the only ones with agency. By “we” I mean humans, especially industrial humans, especially members of the American capitalist economy, including those of us who consider ourselves progressive, radical, or better than others in any way. Thus these proposals:
Yes, I admit to still dreaming of escaping climate disaster and political catastrophe. But I only propose work that will help us regardless of what happens in the so-called outside world.
There will be a date for this work, or a series of dates, but meanwhile go ahead. I’m looking for people to help, or to co-create. Email me.
Here’s a list of upcoming events. Please respond by email to anything that does not have a link.
I will post links and titles on the website as soon as I have them.
There will be some reports later about progress on the farm and buildings – moving closer to sustainability, and more comfortable for both guests and multiple residents.
Emailing is always a good way to start. It’s also fine to register for an event that has registration set up.
Love and respect,
And a poem to finish.
On April 10, 2022, I’m pleased to invite you to a dharma talk online at Hokyoji Zen Monastery. Hokyoji is dear to my heart from early practice and also a year of individual retreat in the early days. They are now a thriving community, and because of internet they’re able to invite speakers. I’ll be talking about the well-known lines from the Genjo Koan: “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self.”
Here is information and a link: https://mountainsandwatersalliance.org/event/dharma-talk-sunday-april-10-2022-hokyoji/
There are some other schedule changes, mostly shown on the website.
Changes and uncertainties are for two reasons: I’m nearing the end of writing the book, and the house is under construction.
The war between Russia and Ukraine is still going on. The stories are heartbreaking, People around the world are mobilizing in amazing ways. A few people are pointing out that most of us have been complacent about tragedies in other places in the world – perpetrated by the U.S. or our allies, or against Black and brown people. It’s overwhelming. As is the change in the weather, the likelihood of widespread hunger in the coming year or soon after, the level of polarization within the U.S., and a lot more. My personal Facebook page tracks a lot of these things, and hopeful responses, if you care to follow. Here, I try to avoid distractions and encourage wholehearted engagement in each one’s life.
And last night, after a week of rain, I stepped out the door to a clear night sky with a last-quarter moon shining brilliantly above. Just a breath.
for Mountains and Waters Alliance
Let’s be quiet now, for a little bit – a few hours, or a few days or months or maybe a whole year. Anyway, just now, a little while.
One of the gifts of Buddhism is an understanding that discomfort, inconvenience, and even pain are part of life – and that it’s possible to be at peace anyway.
The last few years of our shared life have seemed like one crisis after another, with little personal moments of sweetness mixed in. Here’s one of mine: In the first months of the pandemic, my youngest grandchild would get together with her best friend and spend the day playing together in a park a long walk away. Like my own childhood summers. The way childhood should be, in my mind.
I won’t list the hard things that have happened; we all know. We’re in the Age of Consequences. Things are falling apart. Even understanding they need to change, it’s uncomfortable to the luckiest of us, painful to most, deadly to some. We don’t know what’s next. Renewal, a way of being together full of life, harmony and spirituality and blessing? Dictators? Slow death by climate change? Don’t ask to know, just work toward the well-being of all life.
Inner peace does not come by positive thinking or by hope, though they may help us mobilize. We are called both to complete acceptance and to wholehearted engagement. (Meditation and prayer are forms of engagement, as are farming, civil disobedience, and so much more.)
With Ram Dass:
This year’s work has been focused mainly on writing the book. The subject was climate change and consciousness, but it grew to include everything. How did we become the people who insist on consuming the earth, at the expense of animals and plants, indigenous people, and our own grandchildren? That was in aid of the real question: “How do we become the kind of people who bless the earth instead of destroying it? That is not an individual inquiry; if the Kochs and Bezoses, the Enbridges and Peabody Coals and Nestles and Lithium Americas of the world continue to devour the earth, our personal actions will be like a teaspoon of salt in the ocean. Political/cultural/economic/spiritual change is needed. I’d like to think the book will help that movement.
I have a working title rather than a final one: Alliance: becoming the people who can bless the earth. The book is with the editor right now, then revisions, then finding a publisher.
There have been three long silent retreats, with two or three people each, as well as a land care retreat outdoors, a few workdays, and the online groups. The Zen group started early 2020 has settled into a steady community and my home base. The Gift of Fearlessness group is a creative space and also community; we’ll open it up after a bit of clarification. Monday morning zazen moves steadily along with two or three of us each week.
This has been the year of action for water protection/pipeline resistance at Line 3 in northern Minnesota. I’ve felt my absence keenly. In early spring I offered quarantine space to a group that had been doing active resistance and then needed a place to go. In summer Sawyer and I went to the Treaty People Gathering as part of Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, and of course there was support with letters, calls, donations, and the like – but I wished I could go up to the action, and I couldn’t.
We’ll have four long silent retreats – March, June, September, December – and some kind of retreat or offering on the third weekend of the other months: land care retreats, Introduction to Zen, solo retreats. The online offerings will continue.
Visiting remains an option, and I’m still open to discussions about residence here. There’s also a possibility of Zen training periods here (3-6 months) in the future, coordinated with my teacher’s temple.
Construction is planned to renovate the house to create community living space, early spring this year.
We made a Covid policy for the farm, beginning January, linked here. It will change as needed. The main point is that people can feel safe coming here, so it’s a conservative policy.
Working on the book, I spent much time at the computer and not as much outside as I would like, but the richness of reading and research and the challenge of making words has been a joy. I’ve had medical difficulties, and am seeing a doctor and an acupuncturist in addition to my homeopath. Trying to upgrade a lifestyle I’d always thought was healthy. In 2022 I look forward to more time outdoors, more sitting meditation and formal Zen study, less news, less facebook, more social time, slowing down. From time to time I talk with someone who might move here and start community with me.
My children and their spouses are delightful adults, my grandchildren moving through their teens with grace.
This life is so precious and beautiful. I can’t believe my good fortune, to live where I can see the stars and listen to the birds, greet violets in spring and milkweed in summer, blazing colors in fall – and to have safe food and water and enough of them, warmth, shelter, physical safety, a body and mind that work well, and love. And a calling, a path, a work to do. That last would serve, if I lost the rest.
It’s donation day here in Minnesota, a little noisy, but we’re staying calm and quiet. This note is simply to ask that, as you consider where to give your support dollars, remember Mountains and Waters Alliance as a possibility.
During the pandemic, we’ve offered classes, groups, and sitting meditation online, had a few small retreats in person, and worked writing a book. Next year we expect to do more.
In the Buddhist world we speak of dana, giving, as a spiritual practice. Most of our activities are offered as gifts, or at-cost; we gratefully receive gifts of time, work, and money. Our next intentions for money are to add to guest space and to begin financial support for the teaching work.
Who we are:
With love and encouragement,
Shodo Spring, founder