Lie on the Ground

Yesterday I went to say goodnight to my dog Elvis, he keeps a vigil at our entry gate through the night. I laid down in the dirt next to him and as my body rested against the earth, I realized it had been a long time since I had surrendered myself to the land. It is easy to forget what it means to lie on the ground. Maybe it doesn’t seem that important to remember. Allow me to challenge you for a moment. Some homework. Lie down on the ground where you live and think about what is under you. Are there systems; piping, electricity, waste? Even if you are in a park it’s likely there are, though it is a gift to have access to any nature. I was once thrilled to have a city grate with a tree outside my door. I grew some zinnias there.

GrassNow take a field trip, do not take a blanket or a chair, and find a place to lie on the ground where what is under you is earth. Focus your mind on the layers teaming with life: the soil, the crust, mantle and magma, water and energy, layers of history, the core. Allow your body to rest into this place until you heart settles in the cradle of your chest and your ribcage spreads against earth. Look at the sky. Remember.

make yourself comfortable

When I was in my early twenties, I had a fondness for LSD, but we parted on bad terms. A friend of mine gave me,  Zen Mind, Beginer’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki, which saved my life by assuring me that I could not lose my mind because I had no mind to lose, I’m paraphrasing here. Although the book has been a comfort to me throughout my life, ironically, it alienated me from meditation. Zazen practice is quite rigid, and the moment I sat down, observing all the instructions for proper pose, down to the tilt of my chin, my skin began to crawl. I absolutely could not sit still. Okay, maybe it had something to do with the flash backs.

On a recent trip to Galveston my lovely friends,Cat and Sid gave me this fantastic advice. Make yourself comfortable. I was amazed when I entered their meditation room to see two big comfy chairs! Yes, Sid assured me it is okay to be comfortable when you meditate, use pillows, blankets, whatever you need to put yourself into a state of relaxation. It was a revelation to me, and I am now able to sit for twenty minutes, which is really amazing because I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to meditate for over twenty years. They also gave me Deeksha, a spiritual blessing,I am confident that has assisted me as well. This gift is definitely, vsvevg. Many Thanks, Cat and Sid.

Haiku for Cat

corpse pose eyes open

as vultures spin above me

Damn, I’m good at this

In response to interest in the umpa lumpas. They are edible and taste like what I imagine farmers are hoping to taste in their soil in the spring, sweet dirt, tilth.

I make them in a variety of ways, but this is a common preparation that translates well with other kinds of mushrooms.

1 pd mushrooms (chantrelles might be the closest in taste and texture)

1 clove garlic minced, 1 whole

1 serano chili minced

2 roma tomatoes chopped


1 tbles. epazote chopped

sour cream (optional)

Saute at medium heat garlic for about a minute,add chili and cook a minute or two more, add mushrooms tomato and salt, cover and simmer until the mushrooms wilt and release their fluid, uncover and fry at high heat until the water evaporates, depending on how soupy you like your tacos. Toss in the epazote and serve with corn tortillas, and sour cream.

The whole garlic clove is used to determine if there is a poisonous mushroom in the batch, if the clove is discolored, throw out the whole batch.


coming soon, My Bean Manifesto, and Dinner and a Swat Team

Have a great weekend, paz, Abby