This is a story about an international couple raising and home educating three young boys on a small island in Japan, half living in buses, engaged in organic, self-sufficient farming in the middle of a mountain forest while dealing with climate, cultural, and personal challenges. These pages are about pretty much anything and everything all guided by our family motto, Taking Chances, Making Changes, Being Happy. Thank you very much for joining us on our ongoing crazy adventure.

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Farming and Buddhism

Although I am Jewish, practice my faith a little, and celebrate many of the holidays, I must admit to a certain fascination with Buddhism. No, I am not planning to convert or anything like that, but I thought it might be fun to apply many of the concepts of Buddhism to farming. The concepts of religion and farming have been intertwined almost since the beginning of humanity.

I am trying to combine the two (Buddhism and farming) into somewhat of a farming religion (for lack of a better term) which includes a methodology for sustainable growing practices. This is a work in progress but I thought I would put it online now anyway. If any of you have some suggestions for completing this page, please comment or message me at my Facebook account.
Comparing Farming with Buddhism

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism becomes:
  • The Four Noble Truths of Farming
  • Farming is good - Farming is the production of food. This is a good thing of course. There are also numerous physical and psychological benefits associated with farming.
  • Farming is necessary - Farming supplies a growing world population with food. Without farming humanity would be dependent on foraging and/or the consumption of animals.
  • Farming is sustainable - Farming can be accomplished without compromising the ability for current or future generations to meet their needs.
  • Farming is life - Farming is all about life....receiving from the Earth and giving to the Earth in an ongoing cycle.
The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism becomes:
  • The Noble Eightfold Path of Farming
  • Work with nature - Climate, weather, and soil, are all part of nature. Climate and weather and out of your control but you can still work around and even use variations to your advantage. Soil can be amended to suit your needs.
  • Use natural materials - Using organic fertilizers and natural pest control methods protects the environment while resulting in some of the best tasting food you will ever eat.
  • Share with others - Farming doesn’t need to be a solitary endeavor. Include family and friends and even the community to develop a sense of cooperation and giving. Produce more than you can possibly use and give the rest away to family and friends or those who are in need.
  • Recycle everything - This is not only about composting. Materials found around the house, at the beach, etc., can al be converted into something for use in the farms.
  • Learn continuously - Farming is all about learning and adapting. What works one year might turn out to be a total disaster the next.
  • Be productive - Grow as much as you can in the space available.
  • Embrace experimentation - Don’t be afraid to try something new. Conventional farming wisdom might work for commercial farmers but production isn’t all about size and form. Crops don’t need to be huge and perfect to taste good.
  • Enjoy yourself - The most important point of farming is to enjoy yourself.
The Ten Precepts of Buddhism becomes:
  • The Ten Precepts of Farming
  • Farm with enthusiasm
  • Farm with beauty
  • Farm with respect
  • Farm with control
  • Farm with others
  • Farm without chemicals
  • Farm without mechanisms
  • Farm without waste
  • Farm without destruction
  • Farm without constraints
The 108 Desires of Buddhism becomes:
  • The 108 Desires of Farming (still trying to get to 108)
  • Determine farm size
  • Consider farm location
  • Analyze soil
  • Utilize all space
  • Use rectangular beds
  • Grow close to the kitchen
  • Grow only what you eat
  • Practice intercropping
  • Do companion planting
  • Use close spacing
  • Grow vertically
  • Use succession planting
  • Use companion planting
  • Mix seasonal crops
  • Use crops to feel the seasons
  • Provide wind protection
  • Keep adequate drainage
  • Keep soil tilled
  • Consider direction for logical placement
  • Pay close attention to the weather
  • Consider climate change
  • Keep farms beautiful
  • Control weeds
  • Grow flowers
  • Include trees
  • Practice tropical rainforest irrigation
  • Collect rain
  • Do not use chemical fertilizers
  • Compost everything
  • Reuse materials – ie mulch, compost, for smoker
  • Do not use pesticides
  • Identify pests
  • Hand pick pests
  • Introduce good bugs
  • Do not use herbicides
  • Keep farms weed free
  • Pull not cut
  • Grow only edible crops
  • Grow more than you need
  • Pick often
  • Pick only what you can eat
  • Keep it simple
  • Avoid mechanization
  • Recycle everything
  • Use natural materials
  • Keep seeds
  • Anticipate future needs
  • Keep weather log
  • Keep planting log
  • Keep harvesting log
  • Look at your successes
  • Look at your unsuccesses
  • Consider alternatives
The Actual 108 Desires of Buddhism
Abuse らんよう

Aggression しんりゃく

Ambition やしん

Anger いかり

Arrogance おうへい

Baseness ひれつ

Blasphemy ぼうとく

Calculation ださん

Callousness むしんけい

Capriciousness うつりぎ

Censoriousness けんしき

Conceitedness おごり

Contempt けいべつ

Cruelty ざんこく

Profanity ふけい

Debasement ふはいだらく

Desceipt ひまん

Deception きへん

Delusion もうしゅう

Derision ぐろう

Desire for fame めいよしん

Dipsomania (alcoholism) かつしゅうへき

Discord ふわ

Disrespect ふけい

Disrespectfulness (flippancy) けいはく

Dissatisfaction ふまん

Dogmatism どくだんろん

Dominance ゆうせ

Eagerness わっしん

Effrontery そうがん

Egoism りこしゅぎ

Enviousness みたみ

Excessiveness かど

Falseness ぎ

Faithlessness ふじつ

Garrulity たげん

Gluttony たいしょく

Greed よく

Avarice りよく


Hard heartedness じゃけん

Hatred にくしみ

Haughtiness ごうもん

High-handedness せんおう

Hostility てきい

Humiliation くつじよく

Hurt いたみ

Hypocrisy ぎぜん

Ignorance もうまい

Imperiousness そんだい

Imposture だぎ

Impudence てつめんぴ

Inattentiveness ふねっしん

Indifference ふねっしん

Ingratitude ぼうおん

Insatiability ぼうsじょく

Insidiousness いんきな

Intolerance ふかんよう

Intransigence がんこ

Irresponsibility むできにん

Jealousy しっと

Furtiveness ひみつ

Gambling かけ

Know-it-all しったかぶりや

Lack of comprehension (stupidity) むち

Lecherousness いんらん

Lying/dishonesty ふしょうじき

Malignancy あくしつ

Manipulation あやつ

Masochism じぎゃく

Mercilessness むざんさ

Negativity はんたい

Obsession こだわり

Obstinancy いじ

Oppression あっせい

Ostentatiousness きょしょくてき

Pessimism ひかん

Prejudice へきけん

Presumption すいてい

Presence しゃこう

Pride じまん

Prodigality ほうとう

Quarrelsomeness けんかすきなこと

Rage けきど

Rapacity ごうよく

Ridicule ぐろう

Sadism しきゃく

Sarcasm いやみ

Seducement ゆうわく

Self-denial じこひてい

Self-hatred じこけんお

Sexual lust あいよく

Shamelessness こうがん

Stinginess りんしょく

Stubbornness いじ

Torment くろしめる

Tyranny ぼうせい

Unkindness ふじんせつ

Unruliness ふじゅうじゅん

Unyielding きょうこ

Vanity きょえいしん

Vindictiveness しゅうねんぶかい

Violence ぼうりょく

Violent temper かんしゃくだま

Voluptuousness (seeking things that are full of pleasure) あだっぱさ

Wrath どき

Obstinancy いじ

Envy せんのう
More Information About Buddhism

Kleshas, in Buddhism, are mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions. Kleshas include states of mind such as anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, desire, depression, etc. Contemporary translators use a variety of English words to translate the term kleshas, such as: afflictions, defilements, destructive emotions, disturbing emotions, negative emotions, mind poisons, and neuroses.

108 Defilements of Buddhism
(Hyakku no bonnou)

In the New Year's there is a custom of Buddhist temples ringing their bells 108 times. Usually this is a process that takes place at midnight.
The Chion-in Temple in Kyoto has the largest bell in Japan and has a special ceremony around 8:30pm, this is because their famous neighbor, Gion Yasaka Shrine, attracts huge crowds at midnight.
Some temples have special ceremonies in which regular people can line up and have a turn at ringing the bell, but this can get rather competitive as there are usually far more than 108 volunteers for the honor.
The reason that the bells are rung 108 times is due to the recurring value of the number 108 in Buddhist philosophy. Particularly, in relation to the new year, the bells are rung to rid visitors of the 108 vices that are thought to afflict human existence.
In Buddhist philosophy these afflictions are called "klesha" in Japanese the word "bonnou" refer to this problems. In English this concept is translated with different terms; defilements, vices, evils, earthly desires...
Below is a list of the vices with a Japanese translation of each. Note that some of the words are redundant (deciept/deception, envy/enviousness...) this is due to the difficulty of translating the original philosophical doctrines into different languages which makes it difficult to express the contextual nuances of this confusing similar words.
Also, the noun form is used for the general term of the problems but in many cases a verb form is used to approximate the meaning of some problems.
In the future I will try to provide the kanji, English explanation for difficult terms and an bilingual study activity for these concept.