- The Farm
- The Alliance
Dear Friends of Mountains and Waters,
This is a repeat of last week’s blog post, which seems to have disappeared.
Here’s an overview of what’s coming up, and at the end thoughts and a link to Bendell’s work on “Deep Adaptation.”
Sesshin (Zen meditation retreat): 3-day sesshin at the farm, March 22-24 , June 28-30, and the fourth weekend of most months. Registration is always essential. Local people are welcome to come and sit for a few hours, but I need to know so I can be prepared to open the door.
Land Care Retreat May 17-19: Explore the unique offering of Mountains and Waters. Detailed information and registration here. Please register early. If you would like to do work exchange in advance, look below.
Looking Ahead: (because these require advance planning)
June 12-17: five day silent retreat (sesshin) at Hokyoji (Eitzen, MN). More information here. Co-led by Shodo with other Zen teachers, in the tradition of Okumura-rosho.
August 9-11 Land Care Retreat includes a Dharma talk by my teacher, the respected Shohaku Okumura-roshi. Early registration is recommended. There will be a few spots for the Saturday evening talk alone.
October 10-13: Women’s Retreat at Sanshinji, Bloomington, Indiana, led by Shodo. Registration opens in April, here.
December 1-8: Rohatsu Sesshin, here at the farm, 7 days of just sitting with reality.
Farm and Volunteer News:
Potlucks: We’re still having potlucks on third Sundays at 5:30-8 pm, food followed by study and discussion. We’re enjoying the small group, and there’s space for more. If you want to join one, ask to be added to the emails.
Volunteer work days: These are a chance to spend time here, practice mindful work and/or meditation with us, and possibly do work exchange for a later retreat.
March 15-16-17: Basically it’s 9-5 Saturday March 16, but you can come early or stay the 17th, and join the potluck as well.
May 17-19: This is the Land Care Retreat.
June and after: not yet scheduled. Feel free to ask.
Volunteers are welcome other times as well; just get in touch and we can set something up.
Climate change has arrived, big time, right here. We still don’t have wildfires or floods. But the past month’s record snowfalls have gotten everybody’s attention: Several days of being unable to get to work, or of clients canceling because they can’t get in or because schools are closed. Two days of “car won’t start” because of the cold. This is a place I thought would be safe. Meanwhile, there is scientist Jem Bendall and his work on Deep Adaptation. I recommend listening or reading – both are here. My summary and response:
Bendall thinks that societal collapse is inevitable, catastrophe is probable, human extinction possible. This is more optimistic than some of the people I read, but I find it credible. We are clearly in the process of societal collapse: hatred of refugees, increasing violence and polarization, police killing unarmed people – and unspeakable acts, including separating children from their families with no plan to reunite them, being defended by people who think they are moral. This is not “bad people” – it is collapse. It is the beginning of The Age of Consequences, which is a term for the fact that we have been using up stored resources (coal, oil, soil) and not replenishing everything (factory farming). The bitter fights on both Left and Right are symptoms of collapse.
It is up to all of us to find a way to help each other while the society that raised us (well or badly, privileged or oppressed) crumbles – and to build what will replace it. I found Bendall profoundly optimistic. I recommend listening, especially to the last half hour – but really to the whole thing.
Blessings and love to you all,