Friday, March 27, 2009

Perception & Wholeness

I was awake last night thinking about awakening others. Not to my insomniac state, as that gets old but activating others to be wired into the web of life. To do so would allow everything else I’d like to download to go smoothly and seamlessly. Like the concept of personal wholeness.

Being in ones head, and thinking along the lines of thought which society has favored over the millennia, only leads to more of the same. On the other hand through meditation, joy, yoga, knitting, crocheting, weaving, disruption of the status quo, sex (when one can surf the opening,) enthiogenic plants, personal disciplines like Aikido and so forth, inroads are made into Right-brained dimensional perception. From the right-brain, one can become aware of intrinsic energy lines which run through everything. Everything including each of us. When one learns to navigate the energy which flows along lines an intelligents, independent of the linear, begins to unfold. The energetic side of the brain has an order, integrity, and an authority, but it is not derived though logic but connectivity.

What if the reason people do not experience their wholeness, is that they have been trained away from using the part of their brain which was designed to do so? I’ll attach a video link to A stroke of Insight, you may have seen it, where a brain scientist, Jill Bolte, maps her own brain and its potential to experience the energetic connectivity of life while suffering a massive stroke. One of the reasons she fought so hart to make her way back from the stroke was to let everyone know that ecstatic oneness was there for everyone.

When one is linked to the web of life, the knowing that comes with it, follows original pattern. Original pattern is the very nature of a situation or thing. It allows for thinking to move from idealized to integrated.

When I am connected, there is an energy flowing through my body, sometimes it’s low and steady and purrs like a cat. At other times its huge, and roars. It takes me having containers and body stamina to sustain the roar and even then I am grateful when it settles back in to the purr.
The moment I allow for thought or deed to stray, I’m outside of the lines. The energy shuts down. I’m naked in the cold with only my thoughts and ideas of what and how I should proceed.
Perhaps that why people fill every moment of their lives with chatter, music, TV, work, drama, puzzles, so as not to fall through the crack between worlds. When instead there could be practice disciplines to strengthen the inner containers to hold the energetic.

The two sides of the brain and the two worlds are one, energetic and linear, two sides of the same coin. They connect to the map to sustainable integrated self and planet in the most sublime way…
But that’s another blog.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Map to the map…or was it a vessel?

In reading this blog, one is looking at work-product. In another time I would develop the maps under cover of hermitage. Honing, testing, tweaking, then massive editing, (apologies for all typos) before anyone saw the map. The thing is, I believe that there is something to be learned in observing the process. I’ve even had a couple of people ask me how I set about mapping.

Without breaking down the process used to map (another day or blog), for those who follow along, I would hope that something can be gained, in observing the muddling through. First, I should explain that I can feel the connections. They are alive and intact both with in me and throughout the planet. What has to be mapped is how to bring others to the awareness of what already is. But if that were easy we’d be there, and we are not. Or so I’ve been told.

I’ve got a hunch that I’m losing everyone by telling them that in Personal Permaculture, rule number one is; view self and life as whole. If by chance, your personal wholeness is obvious, please write in the comment box, describe how wholeness configures in you. If wholeness in a given that would save a lot of time and energy. And we could use that as starting point.

Sadly I think that I could get more attention if I started with; “Every soul shatters into 16 pieces upon birth, and the point of life is like a big scavenger hunt, we need to locate the fractured 16. Then offer a ceremony to reconnect the part back into wholeness. Explain that once connected all glories and riches befitting an whole being would be yours, love, health, money, spirit, fame, I’d have to come up with 16 highly desirable words. With that as my map I would have a best seller. I could write it too, but I won’t.

Just for the record, no mater how well executed the map of the 16 fragments would be from the top (mind, idealized) down. The planet, our bodies, and our weary souls can’t take much more of that tired old map. Besides it’s been done and the planet had not been healed, and more importantly, it would not be my joy. This is. And so; Personal Permacuture begins in wholeness, whole planet, whole eco-systems. Without and within. No exceptions.

Now I have my skeptics. My Mother for starters. She can not imagine how I’m going to map Y’all into shape let alone wholeness and a sustainable oriented mind-set. I think, she thinks, Y’all are a mess and maybe even slightly dim. Or perhaps it’s me she thinks a starry-eyed granola-cruncher.

Me; As I write this it dawns on me that it may be less of a mapping project (masculine) than about container-building (feminine). Yes, that feels like the plan…

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

From the Botom of the Well

When we lived in Sedona AZ, I’d take people out to Montezuma’s Well. The place felt sacred, but energetically dark. There were ruins at the ridge of the well which was more of a giant sink-hole. The ground was harsh, volcanic chunks, and rather desolate. One could hike down to the bottom of the sink-hole, where human remains that had been ceremonially buried in the ruins. Nothing lived in the large dark pool but turtles.

Looking up through the volcanic rock walls to the sky, the water dark and reflective would open doors within me. Not all of them pleasant. Stagnant arid air, whooshing forth with the opening, then raw silence. What had been released, I could not say.
But always unnerving.

Then the hike out, body feeling dense and drained. We’d follow the path up and then around the corner and dropping down the backside of the rim to a lovely canyon with a chatty stream. There the light glistened, dancing merrily through large sycamore trees. The place was sweet. It felt somehow kissed by wonder. There where water flowed forth from the rock wall of well, it always seemed to wash away the feeling of having been touched by darkness, even if the darkness may have been a reflection. The creak side of the well transmuted,...somewhere in the play of light and shadow healing happened.

The water which flowed forth from the side of the wall was harnessed into an irrigation ditch. The ditch was believed to be over a thousand years old and was still in use to irrigate land. In the first 50’ of the ditch lived a little fresh water shrimp-like thing. The critter was unique to that spot, the first 50’ of ditch was the critters universe as it didn’t live anyplace else.

Ecosystems live and evolve. They live in the first 50’ of an irrigation ditch and they live in us.

Even if you do not own a piece of land, have never picked up a shovel, and never intend to pick up a shovel you are in relationship with self, nature, the physical word, and the unseen worlds. You are the caretaker. We the people have are mini-gods we develop and cultivate our own ecosystems. How does your garden grow?

Beyond the many critters that live in and on you, there are the stories you keep. Stories are like food, some nurture while others steal food from your soul or others. It is out of our stories that we dream, from the stories that we create.

Permaculture asks us to observe how the elements behave and interrelate…

Are the recurring themes and stories in your life grounded and integrated? Do they support your wholeness? How does one identify ones stories?
Better yet, how can one upgrade?

Like my garden in springtime, it may be time to pull some weeds in the form of week-ass stories. It’s okay if the shelves have to sit barren for a while. Sitting in the vacuum of empty is harder than it sounds. But radically productive in a non-doing sort of way.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More Basic, More Slowly, More Depth

I once went out hiking with a nature guild. He led on a walk up a stream bed at the foothills of the Angelinos Crest, all the while gathering edibles, and educating us on other uses for the plants. At the end of the walk we cooked some of the gathered food. It was a tasty but meager snack.

Had we hiked outside of the stream bed, gathering food would have been even more labor intensive. The cultivation of food was a prerequisite for building communities. When humans stepped in, cleared land, and planted a lot of one food in one spot, every bug and beast that liked that food came to dine. And the struggle began…

When science appeared, with its shinny promises of no bugs, no weeds, many felt that salvation had come at last.

Once it became clear that –that dog don’t hunt. (Putting toxic chemicals on our land, in our food and water,) someone thought to ask themselves;
WWND- What would nature do?
Why, nature has sustainable systems.
How do we get ourselves one of those?
At which point, Bill Mollison & David Holmgren broke it down into rules to design permanent agricultural which would mimic nature in establishing relationships found in natural ecologies.

Permaculture is a map to sustainable.
Sustainability is important because…
We (closing in on 7 billion of us,) sit upon, one round planet hurling through the vacuum of space, made up of diverse eco-systems within eco-systems. Eco-systems which humanity has altered with little to no regard for the space they were holding. And it has just become apparent to some, that our small isolated planet is not getting any bigger and we either become sustainable or render ourselves extinct.

Here is where the map will take a leap. Not to worry as I will circle back in another bolg.
Remember the song from Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young:
“We have got to get ourselves back to the garden.”
Well perhaps they were profits of the times.
We do have to get ourselves back to the garden.
The first move is into self.
How does one get reconnected to the WEB of Life?
Because unless one feels the direction and pulse of the web of life, everything created is from good intentions and an ideals. There was a time when that was enough. That time has passed.

Connecting into the web is doable, I’m in, and I’m not here alone. Yes, my mind will jump in, spin a good story and act outside of the integrity of my Personal Permaculutre. But when I can stay awake and ask the right question, then continue to stay awake long enough to support the answer into action, the result is something which is real. It is integrated with the web, life, the planet and me.

Like in the story the Secret Garden, nature is magic and has healing powers.
There are a lot of things in need of healing.
Nature lives inside of each of us. Granola not required.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Personal Permaculture-It may not work.

I sent out a link to this site to my friends and asked for feedback. And I got some, very cool.
People said nice things about the site and content. Thank You. And good reflection was offered. Even better.

Christopher said; “You race through it all, and only people who already are at your level would get it and agree.” He wanted me to take my time. True. But for the moment, I’m just laying the framework and pissing in the corners. From there I can revisit it all again… and again.

Mary warned; I would be careful of your use of the word polarity and stated; “I have been working with a man named Barry Johnson who has mapped out polarities in a very different way, as an infinity loop that is self supporting and self sustaining.”

I thanked her as it was a good point. I was going to edit it out but it seemed more interesting to expand the dialog. While I am not familiar with the work of Berry Johnson, I did spend about 10 years exploring and writing about the Divine Feminine. The point for me was to reestablish polarity as a way to heal ourselves, and use the energy generated from the poles to create from a new paradigm and heal the planet. Perhaps Berry feels the same way.

I define polarity for myself from how it configures within my body.
Duality/Polarity as; This or That, Or, one of the two must go or die.
Polarity as; This & That, this one has an ecstatic, creative charge. Yhee Ha!

They are very different…like night & day. Hence, opposite polarities of the word polarity.

The third comment came from Mike, who argued; “Isn't Personal Permaculture an oxymoron? Since Permaculture is all about symbiotic relationships and biodiversity, and personal is of or concerning a certain person?” Hmmm, not for me it’s not. It’s diverse & symbiotic in here. Personal; as a whole element within the larger Permaculture, & Personal; containing a permaculture within. From the food the person eats, to the archetypes who argue what to eat, there are inescapable symbiotic relationships at play.

Guess what? This is an exercise. I am taking an established structure of Premaculture, a term used in sustainable agriculture and retro-engineering it as a structure to explore a systems based model for consciousness. It may not work.

I’m attached to the dialogue about the systems/symbiotic, ego/eco-structures not a perfect meld with the permaculture format, but I’ll take it as far as it goes. So far I’m liking it.

Duality was born of the idealized.
It came from the top down.
There was God, all good.
And that which was not God.
Permaculture comes from the ground up.
It works in nature, can it work in us?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Personal Permaculture Transcends Duality

A permaculture model transcends duality. This is a good thing. Duality is for training, it’s perfect for children, yes/no, right/wrong, good/evil, using polarities is the simple answer for young minds. Life on the other hand is dimensional, it can not be encompassed or artfully created from the limits of duality mentality.

As the mind develops it can learn to hold ambiguity, it can perceive gradations of grey, and understand value based on the relationship of elements within a specific context. Fire is no longer no-no-bad but rather an element or tool to be partnered with and respected.

Making the shift from a duality framework over to a systems approach is self empowering and it makes life more interesting. Under duality rule, there is no real choice. The only question becomes does one compile or rebel against the pre-described set of values. Follow the rule of church, parent, authority or not?

There was a time when I thought that the ongoing drama of my life was helping me to grow and was making me a better person. Later I became aware that the dramas were only allowing me to react to my life and keep me feeling productive while I stayed in the same place. I began to wonder if it were possible to grow through grace or if grace meant further stagnation. It took me a while, as the drama had its ways of trying to convince me, that it was my path to salvation. The drama was lying of course.

Personal Permaculture is an archetypal explanation of the answer to my question. Permanente, sustainable agriculture finds ways to arrange and support elements to create a culture in which growth happens. Our grove has self supporting systems which allow for healthy fruit production even when we are not home. One example would be mulch. We applied a thick mulch to the grove, which is still young. The mulch helps to limit erosion and weeds, it maintains moisture, and is habitat for some of our predator bugs. Predators in this case are the good guys. They eat the bad bugs which would damage the fruit.

Growth is a natural state of being. Life promotes it. But healthy growth takes a supportive environment. How as individuals can we manage the elements like food, housing, work, the needs of the body, to create a safe growth enhancing environment? Then, how do we include family, community, planet? The map which works for sustainable plant and animal systems can be creatively modified and apply to us.

What do you need to thrive?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Foundational-Four Elements of Self

Before we can focus more on resource management it will first be necessary to have a map for identifying the elements or resources. When looking at a plot of land there are the foundational four, Earth, Air, Fire (sun), Water, elements to consider. When considering self I can start with the very same foundational four.

Earth- Body
Air- Mind
Water- Soul
Fire- Creative Expression

Every grower knows the importance of feeding the soil as many natural amenities as one can find or afford. Bodies are pretty much the same. It is difficult to become obese eating whole natural foods. Beyond food the body and the soil have further needs and desires. The trick is to own your body. Create a comprehensive plan and implement it. Include things like, chemical-free, unprocessed foods, stretching, exercise, tactile nourishment, and all things which help the body thrive.

Air and mental can seem a bit abstract. In my grove most of the year the soft ocean breeze caresses the land from the West creating what is called the banana-belt, a sub-tropical oasis with the ability to actually grow bananas. Then there are the Santa Anna Winds. Sometimes they are gentle and bring warm winter days, sometimes they are relentless strong and dry; dropping fruit, shredding leaves and spreading fire. In the management of mental resources, there needs to be an ongoing challenge of learning new things, partnered with a format for teaching and giving back. Maybe not as much for the young as the emphasis there is on the learning; but mentoring, tutoring, educating, completes the cycle and closes the circle. That, and ask questions. The answers might surprise you.

On our land, all of the surrounding hillsides drain to one spot, then the land drops steeply away. Some fabulous being before us, had the land shaped so that the water would have a chance to pool and fill a good sized pond, before tumbling happily down the canyon and into the lake below. It is divine and it feeds my soul. Some years, because of drought the pond does not fill. Then I’m on my own when it comes to feeding my soul. It would take more than a blog to describe the wonder I’ve found in the process. Make friends with your soul. Let it teach you how it is filled and how it can fill. Much like the spring which magically springs forth to fill my pond, create the container and soul will show up. Really…it will.

Each morning the sun rises and sets. It warms the earth and creates photosynthesis in the plants making the leaves on the trees and grass green. I do not want to hear (in a whining voice) “But I’m just not creative.” The fire to create is in each of us. We use it to create children, homes, gardens, music, art, communities, and countries. Life is an ongoing creation in which we have no choice but to participate. Own your creations, then dream more.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Self & Resource Development

A large element of Permaculture is resource management. Collecting rain in cisterns, supporting or improving biological diversity, planting a cover crop to increase soil texture, fertility, and protect land from soil erosion, are examples of recourse management.

With Personal permaculture the primary resource to be managed would be each of us. The primary managers would be us as individuals, taking responsibility for ourselves; something that from an ecological point of view as a culture we are failing, so it must fall to the individual.

My greatest passion is in the cultivation of the interior realms. When One wakes up within life- to feel the connectivity of all things… one lives life in an integrated fashion. The problem being the masses are not awake and not integrated, so their psyches and the environment suffer.

Because the Environment’s clock is ticking, I’ll rant briefly before moving onto the interior realms.

Let’s start with lawns. Lawns are a strange American religious icon. So much so that in many subdivisions there are rules which dictate every home has a lawn. In San Diego County California where we live, 60% of the water goes for lawns. For those who don’t know the region, the climate is semi-arid so the water is begged, borrowed and stolen to support a mass addiction to lawns.
But wait, there’s more…

Last year access to agricultural water for our grove in Fallbrook was reduced by 30%. No water restrictions were placed on lawns. Thousands of trees in our county were cut down, stumped, or let to struggle without adequate water, something which will weaken the trees immune systems and increase disease. Crop production plummeted, while lawns flourished.

Weird weather from climate change means disruption in food production. Bee Colony Collapse (virus enhanced because the new pesticides deplete the immune system,) is reducing food production. Choosing lawns over agriculture and forcing growers to cut down producing trees is frightening. More than 100 trees were cut down in our small grove alone. This year our water will be reduced by 40%...

Your Personal Permaculture advice is Food First. Plant some soon. Grow it organically. Eat it.

Tuck a tomato plant in-between the rose bushes, basil between the society garlic, which (by the way) those little purple flowers can really add flavor and beauty to a salad. Green onions and chives can grow most anywhere, and you may already have rosemary growing in the yard. If you have an unsightly fence plant beans, berries, passion fruit. Better yet, get a book on landscaping with food along with reducing or eliminating the size of your lawn.

Oh, and stop using chemicals on the lawn and flowers. They stress the environment and poison pets and food.