Audacious new year of 2016 seems like it began just yesterday. Alas, we are already in September. According to the Asian Lunar Calendar, the year of Red Monkey returned after sixty years’ cycle. We are told it is a benchmark year, the ending of one era and the beginning of new one. This new era expands from the local to global scale, affecting our whole social fabric-politically, economically and culturally. Indeed, this catalytic year has been especially meaningful both for myself and Myra House.
It was 60th year since my birth. In April I was able to celebrate my birthday intimately with a family gathering. I was delighted to receive a gift-precious booklet. It contained a collection of letters, of blessed words and congratulations, from thirty dear friends* whom Lydia and David coordinated beforehand. Some letters from intern-residents, writing about heartfelt memories and experiences of fulfilling the internship program. Others were from long term residents(3-4 years), who wrote about unforgettable incidents and happenings that arose at Myra House. I consider this collection of letters as highlighting every of what a truly amazing experience Myra House has seen over the last 16 years!
One of my resolutions in 2015 is to live as calmly as possible, consistent with what the year of the Sheep in the Asian calendar is scheduled to bring. Instead of taking up new projects, I try to appreciate what has already been accomplished. The Living Water Farm keeps me busy enough with all its daily chores and demands. Additionally, much of my energy is going towards completing the final year of my four year Oriental Medicine program.
Although the past few months have passed without much excitement, the memories of last summer’s backpacking trip with my son, David, in the United Kingdom, sustains me with passion. The trip reminds me of the importance of committing to the ecological principles that remain the bedrock of Myra House’s manifesto.
Our 3rd Sustainability Fest was held with current & former residents, dearest friends and family members. With no invited keynote speaker, we celebrated this yearly event and Sue’s Birthday with Music, Poetry and Storytelling composed by each own creativity.
In the name of the Bee-
And of the Butterfly-
And of the Breeze- Amen!
It was a perfect invocation for us to the garden. Many things happened this spring and was as busy as previous years. As always, spring is a time of renewal and change. But this year, spring seemed even more active. All the soil beds were planted with vegetable seedlings that are now growing abundantly. Thanks to our two years of farming experience, we were finally able to recognize the edible greens that were best suited for the Inland north Claremont weather. They are lettuce, peppers, zucchinis, cucumber, basil and egg plant. Two dozen lavender bushes found their niche near the north side fence. The variety of tomatoes was placed along the west side of the farm fence. The avocadoes and figs are thriving, which is a new occurrence in comparison to past years. Every task including the Earth Day event has been well taken care of by residents, especially our newest residents, Natalie and Lauren.
We become happy when our hearts are filled with gratitude. Thanksgiving dinner was that sort of event where we gathered with hearts full of gratitude. Family and friends from different religious traditions—Unitarian Universalists, Jewish, Buddhists, atheists as well as Christians—came together to feast, share and sing. Our happiness reached its peak when we sang carols and Christmas songs around the piano after dinner. The scene was not a dream. That lovely moment needed no further explanation to the question, where is God on earth? We truly felt the divine presence in our midst as we became one community in a choir of melody. A fruit basket was displayed in the middle of the dining table filled with apples, pears, lemons, oranges, jujube dates and pomegranates we had just picked from our garden. The basket held the season’s bountiful fruits and it symbolized the multiple things we were grateful for. As I reflect on what I am most grateful for, three things are most prominent.
The second of the Annual Sustainability Lecture Series
We are celebrating three wonderful events:
1) The 10 year Anniversary of Myra House Holistic Living Center Inc. & Summer bounty
2) The second year of the Sustainability Lecture Series
3) Last but most certainly not least, Sue Carlisle’s Birthday, who is one of the biggest supporters of the Myra House mission.
When: Sunday, August 25, 2013
4:00 – 4:30pm: Garden Workshop
“Sustaining Natural Cycles of Fungus, Bacteria, Insects and Worms for the Soil,” given by Guntram Ramutis, Ph.D., Environmental Research Scientist at the University California at Riverside.
Everyday has been Earth Day since the farm project was started a year ago. Like farmers, our hands hardly take a day off from the daily responsibilities unfolding each season. We water, trim, weed, till, sow, plant, harvest, replant and make composting teas. However, because of all of these accomplishing works, we were blessed to have a feast-like event on the last Sunday of April.
How splendid our Earth Day celebration was! Numerous blooms were busting out and fresh shoots were flourishing in the garden. It was a perfect day to capture the highest zest of the spring season. “Sacred Singing and Soulful Soup” was held by James Jolicoeur’s artistic zeal and facilitating efforts. A radiant gold color banner stood straight up from the ground to the sky affirming a celebratory “peace” on earth. Designed by Cori Griffin, the banner stood at a size of 2 feet by 10 feet. read more…
Among the countless things that I am grateful for this past year of 2012, the Living Water farm is on top of that list. The micro-size farm was created in the northeast corner lot of Myra House. Its core insight was inspired by an image that can be traced back to 2005. In that year, I travelled to Europe to visit monastic communities for my doctoral study. During my stay at Taize, an ecumenical community in France near the city of Cluny, I took a day off for a road trip seventy miles away to a city called Dijon. This is where the Abbey of Clairvaux, a Cistercian monastery founded by St. Bernard in the early twelfth century is located. read more…
|“It’s best to be like water, nurturing the ten thousand things…”
This text is from an old sage who lived in Asia during the 6th century. We often read this during our Sunday night Zen prayers at the Myra House. As we hear the sound of the waterfall in the garden, my meditation draws me to see into the real essence of water: to nourish all to the end with an unyielding drive.