Friday, July 05, 2013

In Any Balm or Beauty of the Earth

"What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul."   
-  Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning, 1915

"The point in life is to know what's enough - why envy those otherwold immortals?  With the happiness held in one inch-square heart you can fill the whole space between heaven and earth."
-   Gensei (1623-1668), Poem Without a Category
    The Enlightened Heart,
Edited by Stephen Mitchell, p. 86 

"The secret of beginning a life of deep awareness and sensitivity lies in our willingness to pay attention. Our growth as conscious, awake human beings is marked not so much by grand gestures and visible renunciations as by extending loving attention to the minutest particulars of our lives. Every relationship, every thought, every gesture is blessed with meaning through the wholehearted attention we bring to it. In the complexities of our minds and lives we easily forget the power of attention, yet without attention we live only on the surface of existence. It is just simple attention that allows us truly to listen to the song of a bird, to see deeply the glory of an autumn leaf, to touch the heart of another and be touched. We need to be fully present in order to love a single thing wholeheartedly. We need to be fully awake in this moment if we are to receive and respond to the learning inherent in it."
-  Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield, Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart

I will return to blogging on August 10, 2013.    

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Independence Day

We will enjoy the holiday at home.  We will spend our time gardening, reading, and relaxing.

Another day in Red Bluff, California, with very hot temperatures over 110F with humidity of over 40%.  Heavy clouds and thunderstorms are coming.

We start our day at 4 am doing indoor chores, walking and Tai Chi practice, watering, and gardening before temperatures climb over 90F. 

Fortunately, we live in a country and state in peacetime.  Food is plentiful for people working in America.  Governmental and private support networks help the impoverished.  Electricity and water systems are working.  Most people are relatively sensible and don't feel the urge to enslave or kill others over religious and political differences.  Hopefully, we can remain at peace.

Many thanks to all the decent and hardworking men and women, blue collar and white collar workers, homemakers, and service providers that have greatly contributed to our prosperity.  Thanks to all the men and women working in educational services, human services, fire and police protective services, and medical services that have improved and enhanced our lives.  

I thank all the men and women that have served in the Armed Forces that help keep us safe and secure.  May our governmental leaders make wise decisions to keep us at peace and encourage us to contribute to the continued prosperity we enjoy.  I was a volunteer in the United States Air Force from 1969-1973; hopefully, others will also help in their communities in America in some constructive ways.  May peace and productivity return to the many war torn countries around the world. 

Have a safe and responsible Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Gardening in the Month of July

July - Quotes, Poems, Sayings for Gardners

Months - Quotes

High Summer Feast Day, August 1st

July Gardening Chores 
For Red Bluff, California, USDA Zone 9

Water plants: take advantage of cool morning hours, use daytime shade.
Water plants deeply and less frequently.
Water potted plants carefully on very hot days.
Mow lawns, but don't mow low. 
Mulch and compost: straw, cuttings, leaves, twigs, chips, shredded paper, garbage.
Water compost pile areas. 
Manage cutworms and other garden pests.
Weed around vegetables and shrubs. 
Plant for autumn vegetable crops. 
Use straw mulch to help control weeds and cool soil.
Maintenance on lawn mowing equipment.
Pick and save or eat fresh vegetables and fruits.
Dry fruit in sun. 
Water plants.  Use irrigation ditch water efficiently and effectively. 
Get up early to work in the cool morning hours. 
Thin out excess fruit on trees.
Mulch with straw, chips, compost. 
Train vines on support structures. 
Read, listen to music, relax and sleep in the shade.
Tend to and enjoy annuals in bloom. 


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Buddhist Proverbs

Dharmapada Sutra
Buddhist Proverbs from 100 BCE

Chapters 1-4, Verses 1-59
I. Twin Verses, Mind, Anger and Hatred, Discernment, Practice, Contrary Ways, Contrasting Pairs, Yamakavagga Verses 1-20
II. Vigilance, Watchfulness, Earnestness, Diligence, Zeal, Self-Control, Joy, Nirvana, Appamadavagga Verses 21-32
III. The Mind, Thoughts, Cittavagga Verses 33-43
IV. Flowers, Blossoms, Things of the World, The Flowers of Life, The Fragrance of Good Deeds, Pupphavagga Verses 44-59

Chapters 5-8, Verses 60-115
V. Fools, Evil Fruit, Ambition, The Childish Person, Balavagga Verses 60-75
VI. The Wise Man (Pandita), The Skilled Person, The Wise, Panditavagga Verses 76-89
VII. Infinite Freedom, The Venerable (Arhat), The Accomplished Person, The Arahant, Arahantavagga Verses 90-99
VIII. Better Than a Thousand, Thousands, Sahassavagga Verses 100-115

Chapters 9-12, Verses 116-166
IX. Good and Evil, Avoid Evil Deeds and Do Good, Consequences of Evil, Detriment, Papavagga Verses 116-128
X. Don't Punish or Kill, Don't Inflict Pain on Others, Overcome Desires, Train Yourself, Avoid Violence, Evil Returns Evil, Dandavagga Verses 129-145
XI. Beyond Life, Old Age, Broken Down House, Illness, Death, Jaravagga Verses 146-156
XII. Self-Possession, Self Control, Propriety, Duty, Oneself, The Self, Attavagga Verses 157-166

Chapters 13-16, Verses 167-220
XIII. The World, Illusions, Neglect, Practice, Lokavagga Verses 167-178
XIV. The Buddha, The Awakened, Restrained, Unbound, Refuge, Buddhavagga Verses 179-196
XV. Happiness, Being at Ease, Bliss, Follow the Wise, Sukhavagga Verses 197-208
XVI. Affection, Pleasing, Sorrow, Attachments, Piyavagga Verses 209-220

Chapters 17-20, Verses 221-289
XVII Guarding One's Character , Daily Efforts, Controlling Emotions, Anger, Kodhavagga Verses 221-234
XVIII Impurities, Faults, Ignorance, Envy, Malavagga Verses 235-255
XIX The Righteous , True Sages, Wise Elders, Monks, The Just, Dhammatthavagga Verses 256-272
XX The Eightfold Path, Impermanence, Meditation, Death, The Path, Maggavagga Verses 273-289

Chapters 21-24, Verses 290-359
XXI Disciples of the Buddha, Contemplations, Forest Solitude, Miscellaneous, Pakinnakavagga Verses 290-305
XXII Woeful State , Sinfulness, The Results of Evil, Hell, Nirayavagga Verses 306-319
XXIII Elephant, Self-Training, Fellowship, Nagavagga Verses 320-333
XXIV Cravings , Bondage, Uprooting Evil, Weeds, Tanhavagga Verses 334-359

Chapters 25-26, Verses 360-423
XXV Refine Conduct, Bhiksu, Calm the Mind, The Five, The Monk, Bhikkhuvagga Verses 360-382
XVI A Brahmin, A Buddha, An Enlightened Person, The Holy Man, Brahmanavagga Verses 383-423

Monday, July 01, 2013

Burning Sun

We have been in a heat wave for one week. Daytime temperatures have exceeded 105F for many days.  Very tiring.  Light exercise (walking and Tai Chi) at 5 am, watering in the early morning, outdoor physical chores before temperatures reach 90F, then staying indoors in the semi-darkness in the afternoon doing reading, web publishing, watching the Tour de France, etc., and finally, gym and then relaxing in the evening.  

"The eastern light our spires touch at morning,
The light that slants upon our western doors at evening,
The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight,
Moon light and star light, owl and moth light,
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.
O Light Invisible, we worship Thee!"
-  T.S. Eliot 

When temperatures climb to over 105F, it is more "fear" than "worship", although the two states of mind are often intertwined.