In the modern times it can be difficult to de-compartmentalize the mind and integrate thought, words and actions. The advances in technology and standard of life have hastened the pace of life more than freeing up time for higher pursuits for many. The modern idea of multi-tasking has attempted to efficiently deal with this issue by simultaneously combining any tasks that have overlapping ways of being accomplished. It is said if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. The same can be said when you integrate as many activities together into cohesive systems that perform many functions at the same time. A simple example of this can be in saving money by doing physical work like gardening or farming that creates abundance and nutritious food instead of joining a gym, paying for doctors, and spending grocery money. If you decide to dedicate some of that food to the hungry or homeless shelters you are generating merit and integrating your spiritual aspirations into financial and physically beneficial actions.
The same can be said of helping poor or sick or elderly neighbors in their work or needs from maintenance to labor that is both physical activity and easing suffering. Yet another example can be to pack your backpack with weights and go hiking but bring trash bags to pick up waste or to haul out invasive species that are killing a forest. To volunteer and set up community gardens and grow food is about the most radical and revolutionary act that one can do in the modern world. It is a reassertion of autonomy, a reconnection with nature, a generating of abundance and health, it is physically good for mind, soul and body, tests show that microbes even affect happiness. The progressive incremental incorporations of skillful means into life creates a harmonious psychology and atmosphere for practice. Making health and peace spiritual and religious practices grounds them in a discipline and energy that is needed to habituate them into lasting adaptations and into more enlightened lifestyles. Every bit of produce or handmade item, every selfless act of compassion is the presencing of the best of humanity and an incremental withdrawal from red dust world of waiting for solutions. Permaculture discusses zone zero, as the primary personal zone that is arranged and strategized for maximum efficiency and use under ethical and sustainable (or enlightened) design principles. This is the generative stage of self-empowerment and the extension of that power into one’s home no matter if it is a one bedroom apartment or a mountain shack or 100 acre farm.
The progressive steps can be finally taking charge of one’s health by eating correctly which extends into care and consciousness of how food is grown and prepared. The next level is to begin the psycho-spiritual and physical detoxifications of all the pollutions of the mind, body and soul. The psychological decomposition of spiritual alchemy is the inner process that mirrors the permacultural and gardening practices of composting, of taking waste out of landfills or our inner world, and turning it into a resource. Taking problems as opportunities and as potential resources is the fundamental alchemical praxis of permaculture. From growing greens, vermiculture, plant propagation, forest gardens, community gardens, upcycling trash, sharing backyard garden bounties with neighbors all build strong, healthy individuals and generate good will with communities and neighborhoods. Every abandoned plot or strip of mowed land can be an ecological habitat with native and food plants, instilling in the next generation a connection with the land and step away from a future of gmo and factory farming. Those inclined can master teachings and hold workshops on gardens, soil health, remineralization, fermented foods, healthy cooking, native plants, and opt out of the Red Dust mainstream toxic culture by creating your own networks, entertainment and evolving to as much self-reliance or creation of intentional community as you can. Bottle Gourd Herbs and our collective supporters are launching a variety of projects to facilitate the open source sharing of knowledge to empower people with real change and to engage in the proactive finding of solutions and the skillful means and designs of an alchemical life. Check out the Pure Land Permaculture page for soil fertility products, consultation and design services and to work with us for any number of projects or research or planning.