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.