Thursday, April 23, 2009


As we began our experience at the Farm 2 years ago, we were challenged to put "pen to paper" to define who and what we are. The actual "pen to paper" did not happen immediately. But it is happening over time.

At this moment, I am challenged to think about our "material possessions". What do we choose to have and why? The stuff we have now (and the way we view it) is considerably different than where we were before. This is not a statement about how others should live, but rather a definition of the principles in which we believe and the foundation upon which we build our lives.
  • All material goods are gifts from the Earth. Our Earth is stretched to the max with our society's material desires.
  • Less is more.
  • Things are just things. They are no substitute for living.
  • We try to practice non-attachment toward our material possessions. When we have the greatest attachment toward a given possession, it may be time to give it up.
  • Considering "function" is paramount. Stuff should be useful.
  • When purchasing material goods, we try to purchase the highest quality possible. That is not easy in a day and age where we seem to be manufacturing trash.
  • We take care of what we have so that it will last a long time.
  • We have a lot of art and a good percentage of it is something we have made or others have made for us. Such pieces are a part of the spiritual foundation of who we are and a recognition of the stage of the path of our journey.
  • We love our books. Books are about learning and growing, which is what we came here to do.
  • We do not acquire "new" just to have "new".
  • We have no clue as to what is "in style" and we are perfectly content about that. If we have what we like, it is in style. Our style. How dare someone in some remote spot who knows nothing of me and my family suggest what we should have!
  • We try to consider the consequences of our purchases upon the Earth and all Beings who may have had a hand in its production. In no way do we want to put negative energy into the World. There is way too much of that already. Our actions should suggest that "we care".
  • We do not buy from countries with known violations of Human Rights and Environmental Degradation. We try not to buy goods from China.
  • We purchase at Thrift Stores. While I used to have considerable disdain for "used", I now am intrigued by it.
  • We prefer handmade, handcrafted.
  • We prefer "old".
  • We surround ourselves with objects that hold family history and story. I love the thought of an ancestor holding and enjoying an object that now is carefully held by my family and me.
  • When an object no longer has use for our family, we pass it on to someone who could use it.
  • On occasion, someone has indicated a special like for something I have. While this has not happened often, I have given it to them.
  • When we moved here 2 years ago, we took almost a year prior to the move to go through all of our things one by one, deciding to keep them or passing them on. Everything. We did not put a dumpster out in front of our house. We had almost no trash from our move. Landfills are full anyway.
  • I love "living things". You will see plants when you come to our home.
  • We try to consider these principles in the giving of gifts. Gifts in our culture have often become obligatory. In no way do we intend to be involved in the cycle of obligatory gift giving.
  • Getting gifts that do not mean these criteria has often created a place of great tension. We try to accept that gift in the spirit that it was intended. That is especially true for gifts from Mother.
  • We try to give cards and gifts that are handmade.
  • We are not perfect at any of this, nor will we ever be.

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