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Saturday, July 07, 2012

El Padrino

I stayed in this
Teepee in Michael's
back yard

I'm Looking for a Ride from VT to CA!

I've been in Vermont for two weeks so far.  Now I'm looking to go from Vermont to San Diego, California, or at least to the Colorado/Utah area (where a friend can take me to San Diego).  Anybody know of a ride going that way?  I have a Peace Corps reunion August 2nd in San Diego, the first time I'll have seen most those Peace Corps friends in 25 years.  

I take rides already going, not special trips for me.  The point is to not create more commerce, but to use what's already running and existing.

Road Trip with Leslie

My friend Leslie came from LA and swung through Fruita, Colorado to pick me up and bring me to Vermont on her way to see her father in New Hampshire.  If you read that book about me, Leslie is the same friend who took Mel and me to Alaska in her van 14 years ago.  This time around, I felt Leslie and I passed a critical point and our friendship became even more special to me.  When friends travel together, it can be more intimate than romantic relationships in some ways, because you're with the person 24 hours a day.  We started getting on each others' nerves after the third day and got into a heated quarrel.  Then we talked it through and a new light of understanding went on for me.  After getting over that hump, I realized a bond had happened.  I feel a deep love for Leslie now that I hadn't realized before.

Godfather to the World's Cutest Baby!

Baby Blessing at the Shao Shan Temple
Me on the far left, between the Zen priests.
Michael and Sarika (in blue dress) holding baby Satya 
Abbot Taihaku, and me
Reading from the Bible.
Scriptures, prayers, and blessings
were read from Hindu, Buddhist,
Jewish, and Christian
family traditions.
Now I'm staying at Michael and Sarika's place in Montepelier.  Michael is also in the book - my naturopathic physician friend I went to India with.  Michael and Sarika asked me to be the godfather of their baby, Satya Daisy, so I came here for her blessing ceremony.  I had no idea it would be such a big event.  Michael's mother is Huguenot from the Alsace region of France, and her brother, nieces, and nephews came all the way from France.  In France, a baby's baptism ceremony is right up there in importance with weddings and funerals.  Sarika's parents came, as well as Michael's father's brother, and many friends.  Michael's and my mutual old Oy friends, Eric, with his daughter Serena, and Gordon, with his wife Kay, came too.  There were about 50 people.  Michael's family spoke mostly French, and Sarika's family spoke Hindi half the time, meaning I didn't know what was going on 70% of the time!

In Michael's family's tradition, two godmothers and two godfathers are chosen, making me one of four.   

Baby Satya's "Baptism" was actually an inter-faith blessing, combining the family ancestral traditions.  It took place at the Shao Shan Soto Zen Buddhist temple near Montpelier.  Because Sarika's family is Hindu and Michael's is Jewish and Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Christian scriptures, blessings, and prayers were read, as well as a Zen Buddhist metta prayer.  

For the sake of the Guiness Book of World Records I must announce that it's unanimous by all here that Satya Daisy is the world's cutest baby.


Someone asked me again why I live without money, so I decided to post my answer here.  It's more concise than what you can glean from the website:

Why Should I Explain Why I Live Without Money? 

Why should snails or foxes or trees explain why they live without money?  But the very nature of both words and money is explanation of cause and effect: why.  It would be nice to live in a world where a tree doesn't have to explain itself.  But in the commercial world forests are clearcut and animals are going extinct because they can't validate themselves with words.  Silly, I know.  Hence, my words of "why" for a world that must know "why".  

Review of Why I Live Without Money:

1.  To be authentic.  To act expecting reward is ulterior motivation.  To act for the instinctual sake of acting is to be authentic, be real.  Doing is its own reward.  Money represents doing for reward, ulterior motivation.  Choose love or prostitution.  In Buddha's words, choose Nirvana or material wealth.  In Jesus' words:  choose God or mammon.  In other words, choose Reality or falsehood.

2. For fun.  It's fun to do for the sake of doing.  Why put it off for a future reward that will never come?  Why not enjoy every moment of life, rather than trade one moment for another?

3. For political reasons.  No good can ever come from being inauthentic.  Look at the world's politics & business and judge for yourself.  Are they functional?  Are those who participate being authentic?  Why participate in an inauthentic game?

Free Foraged Food
in Montpelier, VT
4. For economic reasons.  Nature is in balance, and it functions without money.  Is commercial civilization in balance?  Look around: what nation on earth can balance its budget?  What nation on earth lives in balance with its environment?  Nature functions on a pay-it-forward economy, not a barter or money economy.  I propose that our economy will never ever be functional until we practice pay-it-forward, which only happens by doing for the sake of doing, without being conscious of credit and debt.

5. For spiritual reasons.  Doing, not for the sake of reward, and giving up the illusion of possessions, is the essence of the world's religions, the one thing they all agree upon, yet most ignored by their own followers.  It's called faith, which is trust, trust in the natural law of the universe, that what goes around comes around.  What would happen if we practiced faith rather than just talked about it?   

This person also asked, 

"When do you find yourself most limited?"

Only when I'm limited by my mind, wanting what I don't have, being impatient, forgetting that everything I need and want exactly comes when I need it.  Limitation is only a thought in the mind.  Give it up, and limitation ceases.

Idolatry for Beginners (CBC Radio Interview)

Paul Kennedy interviews Stephen BatchelorLorna DueckMark Sundeen, and me about what idolatry means.  I keep thinking how we put inanimate objects and symbols (ideologies, words and money) above living things.  Most our wars and acts of violence are not about self-defence, not about reality, but about symbols, ideas in the head, including money.  We mistake symbol for the thing it symbolizes.  "The Name that can be named is not the Eternal Name" (Tao Te Ching 1).

What I like about this interview is it goes deep into both Buddhist and Christian thought.  When you eliminate the idolatry of symbol, go beyond symbol to Principle, you find that Buddhism and Christianity speak the same thing.  Only the mind trapped in idolatry cannot recognize this.  



  1. We Love You Daniel Suelo, I read the book, The man who quit Money. I enjoyed getting to know you more. Thanks for staying. from Gayle

  2. Every time I read your approach to life, it makes me crave that reality. I hope I can work up the courage to act on all the things I believe to be true as much as you do. Thank you for your example and your inspiration.

  3. Hey Suelo - Glad you made it. I just had to note that - besides the baby having my name - I've been to that temple before. I stayed with the founder Taihaku for a few days I don't know how many years ago. I don't think that new building was built yet. We watched the movie "Dogma" together - maybe she will remember that. I can't remember what name I was going by at the time.

    The land looks beautiful.
    Did you get to see Machig?
    Happy travels!

    1. Hey Satya!
      Ah, serendipity!
      Yeah, I'm tempted to live here, except I hear winters can be harsh for outdoorsers.
      No, bummer I missed Machig! She's back in Seattle.

  4. Hi Suelo, I read the book about your journey. Very nice to meet you :D

    Tips for traveling:
    - A HORSE for ground trips. Many horses are discarded and sacrificed when they are no longer profitable :(
    - Travel using rivers: a canoe is very simple to build.
    - If you can find kiteboarding equipment you could travel all the way through the coast.

    You are welcome here in South Florida

    One more thing, have you hear about improving eyesight naturally? ... you are a good candidate to try it out. You should start getting rid of glasses.


    1. Thanks for the tips, Rafael. I've considered all the above, except kiteboarding :-) My eyes are weakening again, so maybe time to take your advice.

    2. So glad you responded :D

      Suelo, why don't you postulate to congress? We need people like you there. Let's start using constitution as the fathers of this country dream it ... for the people and by the people!!

      -Rafael :-)

  5. Blessings on your life, your journey. Thank you for your inspiration and example.

  6. Hello im a portugues girl and..Well..i read your story..and im so impressed by what your doing..and how you leave..its so inspirational..Im trying to be Vegetarian since 3 years..but i always feel weak and i always have amnemia..several amnemia i would say.. So Im eating animals again..but im so bad with it..Can you just tell you survive without animals..and live on greens without supplements? I appreciate if you could help me ->
    Thank you for your help, God keep blessing you..and sucess your a role model to me .

    1. Hi, I am always looking to give advice, but I am careful to avoid overwhelming because this topic is huge.

      If you are interested, contact me.

      You can start reading people like Ghandi for example. And don't allow western medicine to freak you out about becoming vegetarian.

      Wish you the best...moito obrigado ;)

  7. I have a few suggestions.Bicycle,although this would mean alot of stopping along the way to find food ,etc.A plus though,is that there are tons of unwanted bicycles in this country.Another is Airline miles,maybe someone will donate their air miles to you.Also maybe you can find a person coming to California for College,as the academic year will be starting around August.Anyway,best of luck,and keep the faith.

  8. You are a true inspiration.

  9. Too bad you are not coming further east - we'd be happy to help you get to New Hampshire (that's the state where we live) or to southern Maine!

    "Why not enjoy every moment of life, rather than trade one moment for another?"

    Yep :-)
    People's practice of trading the reality of now (which is) for the potential of tomorrow (which, though it will come, has no guarantee of including every individual who is alive today) breaks my heart.

    For example, my husband and I are homeschooling our now 9 year old son so that he (and my husband and I along with him) can live Now. Because he is not in school, our son is spending his childhood playing, having adventures, being part of the world - not sitting in a classroom dreaming of the future. He is living in the the Present.

    We don't live without money (we totally admire that you do!!) but we do live consciously and carefully within our means. What you do is amazing and inspirational - thank you for thinking big thoughts and living an amazing life!

  10. If you can get to st. George, ut I can take you to san Diego. My comments are not sticking in this...maybe this one will. Or maybe I am banned from your blog, but I'd love to take you.

    1. Thanks, Chris, but it looks like I have now have a ride from VT to CO, then another from CO to San Diego.

  11. I am so glad I found your website. You remind me of Peace Pilgrim, the American sage, who walked across the North American continent 7 times for peace, never accepting any money. She did that 28 years until her death at age 72 when she was on her 8th transcontinental walk. I think she died to in the 1980s. You can google her website, which is maintained by Friends of Peace Pilgrim. To this day all her literature and DVDs are given free of charge. I think you would enjoy reading the book about her and her joyful state. The book was put together by her friends after her death.
    Namaste, Ruth

  12. I will be driving to Denver from San Diego in mid August if you need a ride back to the West.

    1. Thanks, Kristine. I think I have a ride back from San Diego, but I can let you know if it not.

  13. Regarding idolatry, don't you think obeying traffic signs and driving on the right side of the road, are types of idols? If so, do you think it is a good thing they exist? Wouldn't the roads be more dangerous without these rules?

    1. All symbols are images, including these words we're using now. Our brains and society function on images. It's when we mistake the images for reality (call reality God, if you will) that they become idols.

      To follow the letter above the principle of the law is idolatry, placing the image above the reality. For example, if you see somebody in distress on the other side of the street but you refuse to cross because the sign says "don't walk", you are an idolator. Likewise, putting the letter (literal) of scripture above principle is idolatry.

  14. Suelo,once you get back to utah,you may want to connect with the permaculture folks there.Usually permaculture guilds will build organic home gardens,and community gardens.Though it is work ,the only expectation is of making the world a little bit of a better place.For me ,i believe nobody should go hungry,so i support these types of seems like it wants to do some good.

  15. Daniel: you were made as you are to be a pioneer, a leader of men to a new level of evolution.
    These are difficult times, and you are important to the history of our species.
    Don't lose yourself now...don't lose yourself in the storm!
    HUGS and best wishes!

  16. you are awesome dude!!! vibes from rio de janeiro - brazil!!

  17. Here's a letter I wrote to my grade school buddy about the inevitability of pretense.

    I took this course put on by a charitable organization that restores people's homes in my area. One of the most fascinating things was how different income levels communicate.

    The poor are all super animated and talk about relationships in long drawn out stories.

    The middle class talk about work.

    The rich talk about their hobbies.

    Hey buddy, I get how we're supposed to communicate! Enough already with the dang puppies. How about posting something about your interest in writing and literature or something like that? You know, what you're gifted at!