*This is a translation of a piece I wrote earlier in Japanese about health.
Here's a quote that struck me in the pee book I'm reading (I introduced it briefly before). Its primarily about drinking urine for health and Eastern medicine.
"When your family members are healthy, family-life becomes cheerful, and you deeply experience how amazing good health is. When those who criticize and irritate others become healthy, they start to only see positive things in others. Health is a very mysterious phenomenon. Of course you will feel negative if your body is always tired or if you are experiencing pain."
Its hard for me to be positive when I don't get enough sleep, don't have a rhythm in my week, catch a cold, have itchy skin, or when my back hearts. I've been afflicted from a skin inflammation that itches and hurts and makes using my hands for anything extremely unpleasant. So, for a few weeks I've been particularly struggling with irritability and not feeling particularly motivated to do stuff.
I believe that good relationships start with Zone zero, your body and mind. If you aren't healthy then you will end up watering unwholesome seeds in the world. I saw that a lot when I was organizing against war and the military-industrial-academic complex at UC Santa Cruz. For me, living in nature and growing nourishing food is the ideal life-style. This place is unbelievably comfortable because I can live a healthy life-style with ease. When I think about my family's home in Osaka and Tokyo, I feel like I would not be able to live healthy in those environments. global mega centers of consumerism. This is a major personal struggle because there are graduate programs in sustainability science and permaculture in Tokyo province. More importantly, I want to live with my parents to support the, but I feel that I might spread anxiety and negative vibes if I live in a stressful environment. Because feelings and emotions ripple out into other people, especially those close to you. When I'm in a nurturing environment like here, I feel like I am able to nourish others and spread positive seeds.
On a related note, one of the people I respect the most, Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Zen master peace activist), might be going to Japan (probably the last time he will do that). The communities (sangha) that follow his tradition are extremely impressive. They live a very peaceful and simple lifestyle, all ordinary people (who chose to become monks and nuns). Real-estate agent, doctor, musician, composer, cook, architect, boat people, young people, old people, etc. I have learn a lot living in those communities. One of the monks, Phap Luu was into permaculture and implemented some permaculture design on their beautiful site in Escondido San Diego. Together with another monk from Germany, they helped to organize the monastery to go solar (connected to the grid, no batteries). They also cooked beans and grains in a parabolic solar cooker (gets super hot and you need sun glasses and gloves while using it), and were making berms and swales around the fruit trees they were planting. There is also a native plant restoration project there.
I think zen, permaculture, and shizeno (natural farming) are a great combination. Perhaps they are essentially the same thing.
Lets keep cultivating peace!