The Problem with Organic

Imagine an acre of beautifully-forested land. It is teaming with life and there are multifaceted connections between this life. It is so profoundly alive and connected that even in our advanced age we are continuously learning more and more about its comprehensive nature. (As one example, if you cut down a tree of one species all of the other trees of the same species for a quarter mile change the way their sap flows exemplifying shock. They move their sap to the roots where it would be safe if they too were cut down.) Now remove this nature, that is, clear cut this land and discard its life leaving its soil naked and exposed. Similar to when we bleed, the land too bleeds when its top soil is exposed. It looses nutrients and vitality. If you view our dear Earth as a body you can quickly gain insight to the state of the Earth by seeing how much soil is exposed. That is, how large of a wound there is. Over this now exposed land build a greenhouse which is covered with plastic which is in turn made from oil from the Earth. Now, however, the rain can no longer reach the soil. That’s ok though because we will place thousands or even tens of thousands of feet of highly toxic pvc pipe for irrigation. Now install pumps powerful enough to move the water through all these pipes. Then install 12 or more large industrial fans to move air through this artificial environment, fans which run on electricity which we will produce using fossil fuels. (It would take an unrealistic number of solar panels to power these fans which run 24/7). The plants inside this “greenhouse”, 15 thousand or more, will all be placed in synthetic bags made from, yep, more oil. The plants will never actually be in the ground for the sake of sterility. The soil for these bags will in turn also be shipped in bags made from more oil. They were shipped courtesy of trucks using more oil still.

The temperatures during warm or hot seasons will became dangerously high inside this artificial and isolated environment. For this we will install a cooling wall which will also pump water from the ground to constantly cycle water through, using yet again more electricity. On the other side of the cooling wall there is a dirt road and according to standards this road will have to be kept constantly wet in order to prevent the dust from entering the “greenhouse”. That means, that in addition to all the other water above, that a constant flow of water will be sprayed through sprinklers covering the whole drive way. More pumping, more electricity and more water. Thankfully you don’t have to loose sleep, however, because the above food is certified organic. Pfew. Before it finds its way to you it will once again use more plastic in the form of containers and once again rely upon oil as it will be shipped to you.

So what exactly is the problem with organic? It is very often completely and thoroughly selfish. And it is destructive in this selfishness. Selfish because we have insured that the food is healthier only for us. As is the case above it is still entirely based upon the “notion of take” giving absolutely nothing in return to our dear Earth. From the Earth’s perspective it would be better if the forest were there, if the resources were left there and the squirrels and other animals were left to their long-standing tradition or truly organic and locally-grown food.

Of course, not all organic food is produced this way but much of it is. The above place I witnessed with my own eyes and carefully kept my jaw from the ground. It is true that most organic tomatoes, organic salad greens, organic peppers, and organic microgreens are grown in circumstances not too different from the one I walked through above.

This powerfully illuminates the differences between our so-called health foods, espcecially superfoods which are often shipped across the globe, and what our IMMEDIATE goals as permaculturalists are. What is the first ethic? Earth Care. After we ensure that the Earth is properly cared for then we move on to the second ethic which is People Care. Only then will we have the third ethic – Fair Share. The above “greenhouse” is a perfect illustration of what happens when we alter the course of these goals to having People Care first before Earth Care. It simply will not work any other way. As Geoff Lawton has said, “its a literal dead end”.

As permaculture designers we learn from nature’s perfection, from which we needn’t deviate, and build upon the innate abundance we’ve been given. In the case of the greenhouse it illustrates our tendency to separate from nature rather than integrate with her. There are many simple ecological fixes that we could implement as designers; moving the path of the road, integrating beneficial species that host pest controlling insects or are companion plants, composting, vermiculture, rain catchment off the tremendous surface area of the greenhouse to use for irrigation and cooling purposes, et cetera. Only when these other seemingly simply design considerations are made could we then begin to consider say solar or wind energy.

The problem with organic is that it is not a living ecosystem. Living ecosystems are the only “organisms” that will be strong enough to survive. Cultures that have ignored this are many and are now read about in history books or found buried beneath the selfsame soils they destroyed.

Care for the Earth, grow your food regeneratively as nature does, know your garden, know your farmer. We can change the course of all of this. Each time one of us sets an example, heals the Earth, grows our own food or supports someone that does, or designs a food producing system based on nature’s ecology we create a small oasis with the capacity to spread. And spread it will from heart to heart, hand to hand to every corner of this beautiful globe but not without you.

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The Permaculture Ashram

In my travels around the globe I’ve been fortunate enough to witness tremendous beauties of a multifaceted sort. I remember fondly organic farms in Germany set amidst rolling hills where the morning mist would gather there in the valley. I remember beautiful examples of permaculture design in South West Florida that filled my eyes with green abundance and my mind with possibilities. In such moments I clearly knew our ability to heal the Earth. I realized too, that the most beautific world I could imagine, with towers of green touching clean skies, is possible with our own hands through a permaculture design. Whether growing food or building a home or a village Permaculture is a Vedic way of existing on this planet that must return.

I recall also Ashrams and spiritual communities around the world where Divinity’s melody was heard as equally in the voices of those around me as it as in my own heart. There was a zen monastery in Kamakura, Japan, were thousands of years of spiritual aspiration soaked my soul, a Hare Krsna Ashram in Medellin, Colombia where the only sounds spoken were ancient names for the divine, and a Yoga Ashram in Miramar, Florida, where the sunshine of sacred wisdom warmed my being and lit my path. In these places I could intimately feel human kind’s true home. I knew then as I do now, that humanity’s path would ultimately find an enlightened age, a sattwic age, once again. True Yoga, union with the Divine, will be at the very center of this holy communion. Through this science we are able to remove that which lies between us and ovur highest potential.

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We are here for nothing less than to create this golden age and we have already begun. Simply the truth that these two dynamic systems, Yoga and Permaculture, are available to us in this age is a sign of humanity’s true yearning and G-d’s grace and love. However, it extends much further than Yoga and Permaculture healing ourselves and the Earth because these two divine sciences are one and the same. Yoga is Permaculture for the body even as Permaculture is Yoga for the land. Our task then in this time is to embody both as humanly possible.

The key element is ego-less synergy. This is because we all have elements of the Sattwic Age within us. These elements are within us in order to be expressed and the highest form of expression is sharing. I’ve been to many Ashrams in the world and have witnessed the use of toxins like bleach for cleaning and pesticides and herbicides for growing food. All highly tamasic substances supposedly growing sattwic food. These tamasic substances ought to be abandoned by us all if we seek lasting peace on Earth.

Similarly, I’ve seen many beautiful permaculture projects whose outward sustainability is contrasted by inward destructive tendencies of drinking, smoking and eating meat, all tamasic substances that promote suffering.

We all have done well in the opening of our hearts, the sacred healing of humanity… but we have only just begun. As we expand further into ourselves and embrace these two systems then fulfillment will be ours.

Consider the following example. In spiritual and religious circles it is common to hear talk of restoring divine masculine and feminine energies on Earth. In Yogic philosophy it is taught that we all have varying amounts of both. These energies move through the body in energy channels called Nadis (pronounced – Naahdees). There exists both a masculine and feminine Nadi alike, called the Pingala (pronounced – Peengahlaaah) and Ida (pron. – Eedah). These Nadis begin at the base of the spine and travel upward as they weave and intersect around the spine until they reach the nostrils. The left nostril is the Ida and is the lunar and feminine Nadi whlie the right is the Pingala and is the solar and masculine Nadi. It is the goal of Pranayama (pron. – praanaayaamuh) to balance these Nadis in order to awaken our Kundalini (pron. – Kunduhlineee) energy.

Just as in the Bible we were made from the Earth these two bodily energetic channels have earthly equivalents. The earthly equivalents are two rivers in Inida. The sacred Yamuna river is  divine masculine energy while the holy Ganga river is the divine feminine. It should come as little surprise that both of these rivers are highly polluted or, as is the case with the Yamuna, don’t flow at all for some portions during certain seasons. So it is, that while we philosophically discuss what has happened to divine feminine and masculine in the hearts of man and woman that the very rivers that represent them are polluted even as we seek to clean our internal equivalents. Quite literally our bodies and the Earth are one and the same.

Using yogic methods of pranayama we can purge the body of pollution in a profound way that we can feel. Using permaculture design methods of bioremediation we can bring life back in a profound way that we can see. Water is life and this life resides on the Earth and in our bodies alike. We needed differentiate between the two. In this time of great returning we are destined to remember the one Source that feeds all life.

The birth of the Permaculture Ashram has already begun. A safe place of peace and light amidst turbulence. May the world around you be a Permaculture Ashram even as your heart already is.

On my property we have taken the first steps in creating a Permaculture Ashram in the midst of the city. A place of G-d’s peace. The coming of the next Sattwic age is in our collective view and we shall claim it together.

And The Mind Will Be Afraid

You were not put here to love half-heartedly. the heart does not break. What you call breaking is the heart yearning to be listened to. The mind is afraid. With closed eyes it says, “I cannot see this love of which you speak.” The heart says, “You cannot come with me and hold onto where you stand.”

 

You are a divine instrument. All around you people have gathered. They await your music yet they do not await your music. They too are instruments. Nothing exists here for the mind’s comfort. There’s neither scripted sheet music nor rehearsed parts. Your heart knows the melody. Play and the sea of notes parts. The small spaces stretch as the divine dance encircles you. Be here surrounded by all you hesitated from. The mind will be afraid. You will be born again in the waters of that moment. True baptism must be earned.

 

The world is made manifest. It awaits and does not await your music. Each grain of sand that passes through this glass will not last. You were not put here to love half-heartedly.

fire heart

A Man

I’m a man

born of woman’s womb

and last life’s tomb

my DNA found in a grain of sand

 

My breath yearns

merge with a female form

in sacred union there reborn

beauty beckoning the world’s turn

 

My hands strong,

capable, and calloused, caress

every moment for I bear witness

like lovers’ sacred song

 

Woven on divinity’s loom,

this heart loves without plan

(beyond mind’s love I expand)

for I am a man,

born of woman’s wombImage

Birth

I awoke with the sun last Wednesday amidst the usual concert of the 408 and birds that is my home. My morning communion with G-d behind me I thought of all of the important things I had before me. (When you live in a city even your to do lists are as tall as sky scrapers.) More beautiful than the sound of the family of woodpeckers outside was the news of dear friends birthing their own family. I looked again at the woodpeckers, smiled and thanked them for their kind foreshadowing. There are days our perpetual planning persists where we create what we think we need and then there are the other days we step outside of the mind’s old wine into beauty we can scarce comprehend. Beneath our dust-covered plans each day is the latter: a single seed latent with everything we need.

I’ve oft wondered whether my weak stomach could stomach a birth. Those who know me have witnessed me fall over televangelist style from much less. The best days, however, require us to leave behind everything we think we are. Our temporary notions of what we’re capable of, why we should or shouldn’t love, et cetera, are mind-forged manacles at best. I arrived at the scene of the birth humbly holding the kitchari I had made like my own baby of sorts. After embracing Jeffrey long enough to have the nurse come in two different times and give two different looks of bewilderment (there was a tv in the lobby where the men from the other births were after all) I attempted to control the concurrent conflicts of wanting to stay and feeling myself approach my limit where I would assuredly faint. While the full explanation of the amazing beauty that allowed me to stay would be quite lengthy, as I write it need only be known that it was the remembrance of the Creator through the recitation of the Gayatri Mantra that anchored me in my heart. In my heart I remained as we nurtured the one bringing the new life to Earth. I was shown how to massage and counter the contractions amidst my dozens of other questions as I witnessed Dani and Maggie in their element. So beautiful and moving.

When Haile Aurora entered the room I saw how all of history is a chain of profound births containing more strength than time, rain and rust can weather. Beyond what I previously felt was a deep ocean of understanding, I know now the sacredness that is female…

From the presence of that divine love and community that I watched this young life hold spell-bound around her, I ask myself now, “Am I living my life in accordance with my birth?” Something that is right or wrong for us is merely something that either is or isn’t in accordance with our birth.

When we become misaligned in life we must be reborn to the space of our heart.

“Am I expressing love as simply as I did when I was born? Am I receiving love without condition as I did when I was born?” Please guide me G-d and loved ones alike.

with Haile 1 (very small)

We make everything so complex, whats simple never changes.

I pray to the Divine Mother that as a man I may unlock my true strength in love and potential in life to birth something new yet deeply connected to the past through the sacred lineage of life.

 

I AM YOU

I see you.

Your incredible blaze

found in the homeless’ gaze

I feel you.

My love turns air to devotion

and gives fire its motion

I know you.

In morning’s rebirth

and evening’s candlelit church

I adore you.

The world stands still as I turn

around your fire without burn

I am you.

Omnipresent in every effulgence

This human heart beats your eternal elegance.

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Only in Love

Even as angelic voices open, intuitively interweave and make a garment of harmony warming all in the room, so too do we impart our intonations to the world. In aggression, it is aggression we orchestrate. In passive aggression we sabotage and sacrifice our highest good. In depression scarcity abounds and no amount of wind can fill our sails. In hatred all of the wood we’ve saved for winter burns in an absent instant. Only in love can we lead with love. Only in love will we witness our divine dreams birthed in our holy hands. Don’t wait for a partner to fall in love, for you may just as easily fall out of it, but rather lead with love in all you do and fall into it over and over and over again. Only in love will our angelic voices intuitively interweave and make a garment of harmony under which the whole world can be warmed.

Gratitude to Beautiful Chorus, sisters in our community and the weavers of a beautiful garment of harmony.

queen of night 7 (small)