Motivated by the encounter with Peter yesterday, I started my daily meditation practice. I had been reading how to meditate in the books I had brought with me, but I used my lack of knowledge as an excuse not to start.
I combined as much of the info as I could remember in to action: I set my phone timer for 20 minutes, adopted an open, full lotus position, took a deep breath in and once it was out, I began. I ended my session with some chanting, but it disrupted the serenity of the attentive silence I was sitting in.
Before work began, I looked in to what SGI was and discovered Nichiren Buddhism. The chanting felt like prayer and the founder, Nichiren, seemed too idolized for my taste. The fact that they believed that their teachings were true and others to be misleading sealed the deal for me. I read the book out of respect to Peter and then washed my hands of it.
I worked with Nipa today who decided that she wanted me to do “everything,” or as much as she could get out of me during a four hour work arrangement. I moved wood chips across the ranch in a wheelbarrow and dug good soil to make a series of planters around the garden. One of these planters was for a kaffir lime tree. The kaffir lime is native to Southeast Asia and a popular ingredient in Thai cooking. I tended to it carefully, with the idea that Kevin had planted it for her, but I abandoned the thought, remembering the oil rigs and not wanting to be lost in speculation. Nipa came by to check on my progress and told me I did a good job taking care of her “baby.” As it turns out, while Kevin was courting her long-distance, he planted the tree especially for her. This was a breath of fresh air for me and a reward in itself knowing that I tended to it well.
I didn’t see much of Kevin today as he was back to tinkering in his shop. Carlos’ brother Rodrigo stopped by and was assisting him. Rodrigo had an alternative look, with tattoos, a lip piercing, a backwards baseball cap and a California tank top. He had a friendly vibe about him, but he didn’t get a chance to say much besides “how do you like it here” between Kevin’s questions and comments.
While working with Nipa, she told me something to the effect of: “This is something I always ignored, but recently considered. You have to have good soil. If you have good soil, the plant will take care of itself.”
This was a sentiment that was reoccurring in my research in to organic gardening. As I started applying Permaculture concepts to life, I considered that maybe this ranch, my first destination, was good soil for me.