using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : September 2012
35 SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2012 Green Gulch Farm manager Sara Tashker. “Both Zen and farming,” she says, are about “observation and curiosity.” the ground of her Zen training. Like Tashker, she’s always noticing, staying curious, encouraging others. “And for me it’s global,” says Sommerville. “It’s not just what’s on the plate.” GIVING AND RECEIVING My partner and I try to roll a ball to one another across a piece of rope. We’re not having much luck. We push it faster, then slower. We hold the rope more or less taut but the ball, poorly inflated, just flops off. We’re told to switch partners just as the ball some- how scoots across the full length of the rope. We’re participating in an Honoring the Path of the Warrior (HPW) retreat, held in the yurt at Green Gulch Farm on a wet, blus- tery Saturday in March. Everyone except me and the two facilitators is a veteran. The rope-and-ball exercise is one of a series of warm-ups that serve to bring the vets back into a felt experience of their bodies and foster the group camaraderie that vets miss when they leave ac- tive duty. Over the course of the morning, we also spend time writing down and sharing recollections of feeling safe. One veteran recalls lying in the sun on the hot concrete after swimming in a cold pool as a kid; another talks of sitting under a date tree in his grandfather’s yard. “I don’t have to be at war here,” says one of the female vets who had attended a women veterans’ retreat at Tassajara last year. The six men and six women participating don’t sit much za- zen, nor do they talk about combat experiences. “It comes up if it needs to,” says Chris Fortin, but she and program co-founder Lee Klinger Lesser are more concerned with creating a “safe space” and “communal body” for the vets. After lunch, Fortin gives a brief introduction to zazen in the meditation hall—noting that Zen and the military both recognize the “basic human dignity expressed in upright posture.” But more than teaching the vets the particular forms of Zen practice, Fortin and Lesser want to expose them to compassion and awareness, to encourage them to drop the armor they no longer need and open to their true vulnerability and resilience. To this end, other HPW retreats in- corporate qi gong, rock climbing, and river rafting. This daylong retreat would have included a hike to the ocean if it weren’t for heavy wind and rain, so Fortin and Lesser lead us down to the Green Gulch gardens when the skies clear after lunch. Fortin runs her hand across the damp grass, lifts her palm to her face, and with a nod invites the group to do the same. “Wild chamomile!” she says with a wide smile. Later, she hands out mint and soft, downy leaves like rabbit ears. The veterans walk around the flower beds in the garden, crinkled leaves to their noses, stopping each time a bell rings to pause and take in their surroundings. “Vets, especially those with PTSD,” Fortin tells me, “have to come back to their senses.” Trekking through mud and puddles, we reach the edge of the farm. The vets walk in twos or threes, chatting easily. Holding it un- der his arm like a football, one vet has a loaf of freshly baked bread he’s purchased from the kitchen. The bell rings. We all stop, breathe in, consider our surroundings, and erupt in laughter, for what we are taking in with deep appreciation is the smell of rotting compost.