I'm joining Service Space because ... service, compassion and love for others helps me come alive supporting the flow of goodness, light and creativity in the world.
A good day to me is when ... everything fits together and I am moved to freely offer what I can, accept what comes, and witness it settle into place, as if the whole universe somehow conspired to create this perfect unfolding moment in time... and then let it go.
My hero in life is ...(was) my Dad as he was dying.
My favorite book is ...Peace Pilgrim.
One thing I'm grateful for is ... the opportunity to transcend myself as well as my sense of what is possible.
Nov 11, 2018, 5 comments, 19 smiles Today I got to focus on childcare for Ahn while Hiromi prepared soup and snacks for the Head, Heart and Hands retreat at Banyan Grove. In the morning we carried a big basket of carefully selected, organic, locally farmed butternut squash, onions and fresh herbs to the kitchen while the retreat participants were in the Zendo. Ahn wandered in and around the living room area playing with the rocks by the fireplace - Tranquility, Love, Peace. After unloading we left Hiromi there to cook and headed out to go about our own business, feeding some of the entrance gate apples to the neighborhood horses down the road, housecleaning, cooking our own food and getting Ahn ready for her nap. After lunch and the nap we returned to Banyan Grove to pick Hiromi up. She shared some of her reflections on our way back. As a vegan farm-to-table chef, Hiromi often finds herself ... Read Full Story
Mar 11, 2018, 2 comments, 16 smiles For the past month (since the last big rains) there’s been a frog at Banyan Grove. Until recently, we couldn’t even see him. He (and I assume it’s a he since mostly males croak) has been singing regularly, day and night from his home somewhere in the little water feature below the deck. The pump doesn’t work so it’s a brick lined pond with mosquito larvae, mosquito fish and a few orphaned plants. If you look for him, he gets real quiet. Finally, while Ari and Birju were visiting, we spotted our new resident frog hiding among the plants for the first time. His tiny inflatable neck pouch puffing in and out, helping him with his vocalizations like the bladder on a wee set of bagpipes, only much cuter, succinct. A speckled grey-brown, his whole body, smaller than my thumb. Ribbet. Day in and day out, it was just him signing. No ... Read Full Story
Nov 06, 2017, 2 comments, 25 smiles — Banyan Grove Retreat Center, Forest Knolls, CA It was a gorgeous day at Banyan Grove. Hiromi, our daughter Ahn and I had been living there full time as caretakers for a couple weeks. We’d had an opening ceremony the day before, when for the first time, a crowd of visitors, dear friends and respected elders blessed and walked the land, dreaming of the possibilities together. It was a cool crisp sunny morning and the wind made music from the hanging chimes. Hiromi, Ahn and I headed out from the little cottage we live in to go for our daily walk in the neighborhood. As we headed onto the deck outside the main house we saw a graceful swooping movement overhead. A large hawk (seemed larger than a red tailed hawk, but I’m not enough of a birder to name other kinds, definitely not vultures) flew past and up into the trees. ... Read Full Story
Feb 08, 2016, 4 comments, 26 smiles Pancho and Tyler went to jail this morning for their act of Giftivism, meditating to protect indigenous land against corporate interests -- Take Back the Gill Tract: More photos here -- and couple of videos. I was also cited, and Pancho and Tyler were both released later in the day. [Tyler and Sunibell are heading to a meditation retreat (with Nipun, Nikita and Rob) starting Wednesday.]
Nov 16, 2015, 6 comments, 16 smiles (Image for a passage about borders drawn for an Awakin reading and photographed on a mailbox, original subsequently gifted to a traveler activist and now reused here to illustrate yet another blurring of borders.) For years now, I've been very interested in rethinking the idea of art. My work at greenmuseum.org led me to explore how creative work such as painting, music, installation and performance can serve communities and ecosystems. I see our modern perspective on these artful disciplines, however, as part of a much larger colonial industrial paradigm that infuses our understanding of most things, from healthcare to education to spirituality. Rather than part of an integrated system for living, we are taught to see the arts as separate marketable commodities generated by professional artist genius/specialists. Art isn't part of how most of us live our daily lives nor is it integrated into daily work. It's something we consume, observe ... Read Full Story
Jul 17, 2015, 2 comments, 13 smiles Just last Wednesday in Seoul, South Korea, the inspiring Hiromi Ui, who came through Casa de Paz on a Tour ( http://livingpermaculture.blogspot.com/2015/06/gift-ecology-pilgrimage.html ) of Japanese permaculturists, held her first Awakin Circle in Seoul, where she lives! Having attended a Wednesday in Santa Clara and helped with several circles at Casa de Paz, she was already experienced and eager to pay the generosity forward to her community. One thing that stood out when she shared her photos with us was how closely she followed the Oakland Awakin style! The whole evening was candle-lit (we no longer use electric lights at night at Casa de Paz) and she and her friends made a meal for everyone that looked a lot like the part of the planet we call Mexico style food we serve every week! Complete with beans, guacamole and hand-made tortillas! Inspiring ripples from across the Pacific! So beautiful and according to her, it went really well and is likely to become a monthly event!
May 22, 2014, 1 comments, 5 smiles All the True Vows By David Whyte for Awakin Oakland (May 23, 2014) All the true vows are secret vows the ones we speak out loud are the ones we break. There is only one life you can call your own and a thousand others you can call by any name you want. Hold to the truth you make every day with your own body, don’t turn your face away. Hold to your own truth at the center of the image you were born with. Those who do not understand their destiny will never understand the friends they have made nor the work they have chosen nor the one life that waits beyond all the others. By the lake in the wood in the shadows you can whisper that truth to the quiet reflection you see in the water. Whatever you hear from the water, remember, it wants you to carry the sound of its truth on your lips. Remember, in this place no one can hear you and out of the silence you can make a promise it will kill you to break, that way you’ll find what ... Read Full Story
May 14, 2014, 3 comments, 6 smiles From Awakin Oakland Arms Open by Rebecca del Rio Gratitude means showing up on life’s doorstep, love’s threshold, dressed in a clown suit, rubber-nosed, gunboat shoes flapping. Gratitude shows up with arms full of wildflowers, reciting McKuen or the worst of Neruda. To talk of gratitude is to be the fool in a cynic’s world. Gratitude is pride’s nightmare, the admission of humility before something given without expectation or attachment. Gratitude tears open the shirt of self importance, scatters buttons across the polished floors of feigned indifference, ignores the obvious and laughs out loud. Even more, gratitude bears her breasts, rips open her ribs to show the naked heart, the holy heart. What if that sacred heart is not, after all, about sacrifice? Imagine it is about joy, barefoot and foolhardy, something unasked for, something unearned. What if the beat we hear, when we are finally quiet is simply this: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. - by Rebecca del Rio, drawing by Anonymous ;-)]
May 09, 2014, 1 smiles You might enjoy this week's Awakin Oakland reading ... a poem by Mary Oliver, titled "When Death Comes". When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn; when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse to buy me, and snaps the purse shut; when death comes like the measle-pox when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades, I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness? And therefore I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, and I look upon time as no more than an idea, and I consider eternity as another possibility, and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular, and each name a comfortable music in the mouth, tending, as all music does, toward silence, and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to the earth. When it's over, I want to say all my life I was ... Read Full Story