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the only truth I know is my own experience

Agriculture enlightened: a modern Japanese sage brings “do-nothing farming” July 25, 2009

Another beautiful encounter with an enlightened soul of modern times: Masanobu Fukuoka (1914-2008) was a Japanese farmer who developed what many consider a revolutionary method of sustainable agriculture. The fascination about this method is that it is not only practical and efficient, but also very spiritual.

Fukuoka started as a microbiologist and worked for the Japanese customs until his transformation following an illness and an ecstatic illuminating self-realisation experience. His central insight was: “There is nothing, really nothing at all whether this be the mundane world or God’s world.” After that he gave up science and come back to his father’s farm where he developed his unusual method. In 1975, distressed by the effects of Japan’s post-war modernization, Fukuoka wrote The One-Straw Revolution. In his later years, Fukuoka was involved with several projects to reduce desertification throughout the world. He remained an active farmer until well into his eighties, and continued to give lectures until only a few years before his death at the age of ninety-five.

Today I’ve read The One-straw Revolution  -an extraordinary book that distills the deepest of philosophical and spiritual truths into a practical approach to farming that was called natural or do-nothing farming. Since its publication in 1978 in English, the book has shot up to cult status, mandatory reading among advocates of alternative living. I literally “swallowed ” the book, as it was so fresh and meditative…ultimately, it is about quieting our cleverness in a way that allows us to see how we really can do more with less.

I especially enjoyed the way Fukouka came to his conclusions on farming:

“The usual way to go about developing a method is to ask “How about trying this?” or “How about trying that?” bringing in a variety of techniques one upon the other. This is modern agriculture and it only results in making the farmer busier.

My way was opposite. I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming [Farming as simply as possible within and in cooperation with the natural environment, rather than the modern approach of applying increasingly complex techniques to remake nature entirely for the benefit of human beings] which results in making the work easier instead of harder. “How about not doing this? How about not doing that?”- that was my way of thinking. I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plow, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide. When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are really necessary.”

(I wonder if this could be the brilliant hint for a modern man in general, in other spheres of of life? 🙂

So what is that special about his natural farming? What makes it that revolutionary? (more…)

 

Germany and Austria – same language, different cultures September 4, 2008

I am in Germany this week and although I know the country quite well, it is every time striking to me how Germany so much differs from Austria  – despite seemingly same language and culture.

Even if you have never been to both of them, you can imagine the difference might be in a way same like between USA and Canada, India and Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine, France and Belgium, etc… Many countries with “same” roots have sometimes less similarities with each other, than with any other country.

 

image of Frankfurt /Germany by EIPLanB

In the case of Germany and Austria, the important reason for their cultural difference and philosophy I see in the religious background. Most of the Germany is protestant with its belief in hard work and minimalism, Austria is still under that strong influence of the Catholic church with its take to showing off the riches, hierarchy and “connections”. The impact of that attitude is so obvious for an outsider like me, especially in terms of money: Germans are in generally richer than Austrians, at the same time they are much less generous and too “economical”, if not say greedy (sorry to say so but that is my personal impression). Germans keep talking about saving money all the time!! – Austrians like to moan about hard life in general 🙂

One more interesting thing is (more…)

 

The purpose of the Japanese Gardens July 12, 2008

 image by snutur

In Japan we had a great master whose name was Vidhitama. He was the disciple of Lord Buddah and he went to Japan and started the Zen system. Zen means meditation-dhyana – and he wanted people to become “thoughtlessly aware”. He found out many ways of making people “thoughtlessly aware” – the tea ceremony and the temples that they have, are all meant to create thoughtless awareness.

I was amazed that none of the Japanese knew what the purpose of these gardens were. There is one garden which has some moss on top of a hill in a very small area and it is very interesting. You have to see the flowers and other foliage there through a magnifying glass. And this should amaze a person and one should become thoughtlessly aware.

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, META MODERN ERA

 

 
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