Zen time is now fading into farm time. I’m finding it difficult to navigate around the stresses of having too much to do and so little time. It is so true that time goes by so fast. I mean August was gone in a flash. So many things I wanted to get done that I just couldn’t. It didn’t help feeling like a truck ran over me for three weeks. It was hard just to do the basic chores. Now I am back, pretty much at 95% and growing. The list is longer, wider and more urgent. The cooler nights coming upon us soon remind me that fire wood needs to be cut, new windows ordered for the yurt, the roof leak repaired and the drain to the sink connected, cheese made, barns cleaned, seedlings transplanted, beds watered, greenhouses prepared for planting and the third greenhouse ordered and put up…..The list goes on…and this is all just for my basic survival.
Keep calm, is what I tell myself in between deep full breaths. It’s going to be ok. You’ll get done what is needed and you’ll always have work to do. You’ll never be bored or idle. And…. I remind myself my work is my practice. I can do each task, each item on the list mindfully. Really???
This weekend starts out September farm table dinners all full beyond capacity. I always get nervous, I want things to be perfect, I want people to see the best side of the farm, so I pick up, brush-hog, clean barns and try to give the impression this is easy HA! Yea I love it when I hear myself say or think something totally unrealistic.
So now starts the real practice of Zen. It’s easy to be on retreat and be present and awake, but retreats are just really preparing you to do the work in the real word, the world outside of the zendo, it doesn’t matter if it’s in an office, at the grocery store or a farm, life is life, humans brains are jam packed with information and experiences that make it extremely challenging to live right here in the present moment. To feel each footstep first come in contact with the floor and then push off. Being aware of each breath, each movement of the body and each encounter with other beings. But I imagine that is where life really lives and I want very much to be there. That is the practice, and it’s not an easy one. But I’ve tasted its fruit and for me it’s worth the work. I’m no monk, I’m a clumsy human trying to navigate and create a life that I can live authentically and with gusto.
So I try. Try not to become overwhelmed. Try to keep things in perspective and try to stay calm. Right now the most important thing I can do is go watch the sunrise.