Elk Grazing in the Fields (Nov 2012)

Nature is the topic of several books I am reading these days, books that talk about being in tune with nature and about understanding one’s own nature. Many wise people have tried to awaken us to celebrate the wonders of nature, and others try to control it, mostly for profit. Then there are those who speak the truth and are silenced or ignored. As humans, we are waking up to the fact that if we are to survive, we must allow nature to thrive, inside and outside of ourselves. I like the quote by Helen Keller, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.”

Since moving to Johnson’s Landing, I am surrounded by nature including many deer on our lawn and their spotted fawns in the spring. Last fall, I even glimpsed a buck courting a female. The front cover shows part of an elk herd that regularly visits us during the winter.

We just finished planting garlic, and with all the bending, raking and carrying heavy containers, I noticed my shoulders were not as tired or stressed as they used to be. My mind mused back to when I was a teenager being told to “stand up straight.” I did try. I did exercises and even walked with a book on my head, but in the long run it did not help much, other than I learned to be aware of my posture and do stretches at night to un-kink.

Hunching over, in metaphysical terms, is about hiding one’s light and protecting the heart from hurt. It also has to do with not having enough chi or vital energy to resist gravity. About fifteen years ago, my gaze locked on a bent-over lady crossing the street while I was waiting for the light to change, and I heard a voice that said, “If you don’t do something, you will look like her.” A Rolfer and other body workers slowly unwound the tight muscles that bound me forward, and the yoga classes I took kept the gain in place. This last eight years, I have made a consistent habit of checking my alignment when standing or walking. Many people, many times have taught me to feel the balance in my feet and hips, but when I check in, a short time later, I am back to slouching.

After the Wise Women’s Festival, I had a session with my Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor in Kaslo and noticed that I was standing up straight … even sitting straight when on my computer … without having to think about it. What brought about this transformation, I mused. I know the many things I have done over the years have helped, but the one new thing added to the mix is that for the past several months, I have been taking a gastrointestinal tonic that my TCM doctor provides. He says it reduces chronic inflammation in the intestines. When I heard this, I immediately connected some dots. Since I was a teenager, I have been sensitive to the pressure of belts and tight clothing, so I wore jumpsuits. Once again, I am grateful for my deep curiosity to know how my body functions and for my ability to attract answers and solutions to myself that allow me to grow in wisdom.

Watching the newly-released movie Genetic Roulette by Jeffrey Smith proves that eating GMO foods creates a raft of stomach problems, especially for children. Smith gives some sobering statistics, such as 1,800 goats dying in India after grazing on a field of genetically modified cotton. Then, thirteen water buffaloes die after one day of grazing in another field. Jeffrey explains that when crops are genetically modified, scientists splice in a gene that kills bugs when they eat the crop or another gene that makes the plant live when all the weeds around it die after being sprayed with herbicides like Round-Up. He says that mice and rats tested with GMO foods have had their intestinal flora turn on itself, often creating what is now called “leaky gut syndrome.”

Associating with conglomerates that want to control nature is indeed risky. Our health is a precious resource that many companies seek only to make money from. And they will succeed if we are not educated and aware of their intentions, or if we believe the ads they spin in the media. From a metaphysical point of view, it is said that Monsanto and other such big corporations reflect that part of ourselves that wants control instead of allowing events to flow naturally within our surroundings. They can also represent the part of ourselves that wants things to happen easily without our doing any work, a part that would rather trust others to make our decisions for us instead of taking the time and developing the inclination to know and act for ourselves.

Some days, I curse the weeds and grass for they choke out the plants I put there. I learned a hard lesson with dock weed last year as I was not smart enough to know you can’t kill it by rototilling. Certain thistles and comfrey reproduce from the tiniest piece of a root. I can see why Monsanto created a weed killer, as eradication is the easy way to control them. I also marvel at the tenacity of grass to survive. Without it, the planet would be different.

I associate mostly with organic farmers and metaphysical, spiritual people, and I have seen how many of them take time to reflect on what is happening, to determine how it affects them, and then make conscious choices that create sustainable and healthy practices, choices that serve their souls.

When I watch videos about Masanobu Fukuoka’s The One Straw Revolution, or view Bill Mollison teaching permaculture classes in Australia or Africa using practical solutions and nature as an ally, it reaffirms my long time interest and involvement in the organic movement and my need to know more. In the long run, the organic approach takes less time and fewer resources. The soil rebuilds itself because of the earth worms and straw, which in turn smothers the weeds. Permaculturists open up the straw and stick their seedlings in place. Keeping the soil covered provides a haven for the bacteria and worms that do the real work of regeneration.

This winter I am taking time to rethink how to best use my life-force energy. I plan to manifest a full-time gardener to work the lower garden and create a permaculture style food-forest-garden this spring. Also I want a monk or meditation teacher to live full-time at our Retreat Center. This is the perfect place for people to work and study the art of being mindful. Meditating regularly creates change from within as contemplation slows the busy mind. If any reader knows of a permaculture person/student and/or a monk/teacher who would like to live in the woods, please have them contact me.

This winter solstice marks the end of the Mayan calendar, a time when the people of the world are invited to look back collectively at what they have learned and put their thoughts into action. Either we will create a better world or destroy the one we have, for we are at a tipping point. December 22, 2012 will mark our entry into a new era. Barbara Marx Hubbard and other visionary leaders are calling for millions of people to unite in sharing a vision that culminates on that day with an historic day of global unity – a planetary Birth Day. Their goal is to reach a critical mass of people – 1% of the world’s population – in committing to a positive future together. They want YOU to add YOUR creative genius while being inspired to give your greatest gifts on this historic Birth Day and beyond. Visit www.birth2012activation.com for details.

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