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Lions Roar : July 2010
(( lush photos and a breath oj fresh) warmer air. . . .)) - Publishers Weekly THE JtLeditative Çardener CULTIVATING MINDFULNESS OF BODY, FEELINGS, AND MIND by CHERYL WILFONG Bringing the Buddha)s teachings to life. . . - JAMES BARAZ, Founding Teacher, Spirit Rock Meditation Center . .. Meditation and gardening alike can heal our troubles if we take the time to apply [this] wise and compassionate advice. - MARTINE BATCHELOR, Author, MeditationJor Life and Let Go . . . The teachings are profound. . . . I love the tone) which is humble) honest) and even humorous on the one hand) but at the same time is very wise) uncompromising) and authentic. - ANDREW OLENDZKI, Senior Scholar, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies . .. exquisite... - MATTHEW FUCKSTEIN, Author, Journey to the Center: A Meditation Workbook . . . A no-nonsense step-by-step guide to Zen gardeningfor the 21 st century. - SHINZEN YOUNG . . . grounded) practical) and wise. - AMITA SCHMIDT, Author, Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy oj a Spiritual Master Published by Heart Path Press 256 FULL COLOR PAGES. TO ORDER BY PHONE: 1-800-345-6665 TO ORDER: firstname.lastname@example.org · ISBN: 978-0-615-30041-2 www.meditativegardener.com MENLA MOUNTAIN RETREAT Summer 20 I 0 Programs Clean Detox Retreat Dr. Alejandro Junger June 17-20,20 I 0 JivamuktiYoga Vacation Dechen Thurman and Shyam Dass June 25-27,20 I 0 Hiking in the Cats kills Robert Thurman & Friends July 2-4,20 I 0 Healing Chod Retreat Rigdzin Dorje Rinpoche July 16-18,20 I 0 Integrating Buddhism & Psychotherapy Mark Epstein and Robert Thurman August 13-15,20 10 Working with Your Enemies Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman Sept 3-5,20 10 Catskill Mountains Phoenicia, New York www.menla.org & www.tibethouse.org For more information or to register, please visit www.menla.org · 845.688.6897 We also welcome outside rentals 26 SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2010 We cadged a Hollywood crew to make a video touting agrofor- estry, funded a pilot project in Ethiopia. When my savings were depleted and I began to doubt my sanity, a movie director aston- ished me by writing a check to support me for six months. "I like the idea of planting trees;' he told me, "but right now I want to water the tree-planter:' Someone gave me a ticket to Ethiopia so I could see for my- self the programs we were supporting. One night I found myself the only foreign face among ten thousand Muslim pilgrims at a backcountry religious festival in the Gurage Zone. Families set up campsites bounded by sheets and chanted and clapped through the night, their silhouettes backlit by smoky orange fires. I felt enfolded, no longer a stranger in a strange land but a global citi- zen, permanent home address Earth. Later, I visited a remote village where the main water pump had been broken for more than a year. The stagnant well was infested with parasites. The young people had to trek for miles each morn- ing to get fresh water, reserving a few gallons to keep a few scraggly tree seedlings alive. For under a thousand dollars, I was told, they could get their pump fixed. Done, I said. Kadam! they yelled. Won- derful! I reveled in the joy on the kids' faces, amazed that scratch- ing a few symbols on a piece of paper could renew a village. A Mexican organization working to restore the forestlands of an indigenous Tlahuica community soon asked to be Green World Mexico. I was emailed by a forestry professor in Zambia, by a tribal prince in Kenya, by a community doing ecological restoration of India's sacred Arunachala mountain. It dawned on me that there were groups all over the world creating organic models of rural development to turn barren land green again, and we could help weave them together. The campaign was becoming an interface for direct planetary action, an emergent network of global citizens. It was exhilarat- ing, and also heartbreaking. There were the inevitable screw-ups. I was reminded how our grasping, aversion, and ignorance ever shadow our generosity and openheartedness. Philanthropy can be a competitive scrum where the most ringing declarations of we're-all-in-this-together devolve into what's-in-it-for-me. I learned the truth of the Arabic adage: "Love all men, but tie up your came1." I saw how the ensorcelling web of symbols called money obscures the imperative to preserve the green Earth. In Ethiopia's Rift Valley, a mosquito donated a malarial parasite that nearly killed me, proving how small things of no seeming consequence can thwart our loftiest purposes. But as long as you're willing to keep having your heart bro- ken, all things are possible. The ground, no matter how many times you land on it, hard, is the working basis: the earth beneath your feet, the dirt under your fingernails. I've spent four stub- born years at my unexpected posting in the forest legion, and it's resurrected my hope and blown my life wide open. Though I'm hesitant to recommend my approach (Don't try this at home!), I offer, for what they're worth, these few apercus: Expect Synchronicity: The Bible lauds the mustard seed of faith. It's said in Hinduism that "the means gather around sattva:' New