Re: growing into NF
- bless your hearts...
fukuoka discusses how to prepare the land with cover crops in his
writings. this is not exclusive to polyculture.he does not exclusively
use seedballs, he scatters bare cover crop seeds and covers these with
straw or cut weeds. he prepares the ground with woodchips, etc...
i find his writings practical, though by no means am i trained or
versed in the techniques of modern organic farming.
yes, i am a hypocrite, having tilled my share of earth, though almost
always regretting it afterward.
have you read in "the natural way of farming" the fukuokan analysis of
the three ways of farming compared; mahayana natural farming, hinayana
natural farming (where i think i am), and scientific farming.(where i
don't want to be, but where i may actually be). can anyone make an
analysis of these three?
as far as negative comments about "nirvana", mysticism, and religion
goes, i am under the impression that fukuoka-san is a very spiritual
guy. i am convinced that spirituality or philosophy is what natural
farming is all about, what it is judged on, whereas scientific farming
should be evaluated on scientific grounds. i am convinced of this
because this is what fukuoka-san says, not because i am any good. i
would like to achieve nirvana, so excuse me.(or not). i think fukuokan
principles are pure common-sense, they are logical.
i would love to have other like-minded people come to my farm and
commune with me also. i have invited organic farmers in my community
to come, but there is not that many people around here who care about
natural farming fukuoka-style, they are not that interested.they want
instant and easy success in their gardens. they want big fruit, etc.
people have invited me to come and dig (literally and figuratively)
them and theirs but to tell the truth i am not interested in digging,
weeding, designating areas and such, because i am interested in
achieving mahayana natural farming, fukuoka farming....my soul is
"bare" so i stay home and prepare my "soul-ground" to someday
hopefully receive it if i am that lucky. a more crass reason why i am
"alone" in my farming is that i have a mother-in-law with alzheimer's
and i dare not leave for long. i must stay close to care for her
24/7.i don't care if i have to reinvent the wheel myself. in fact, in
my farming, i want to uninvent the wheel! i don't need no stinkin'
wheel! :) i want pure nature, just like fukuoka-san wrote about. he
may have written it years and years ago, and it may be thought of as
"quaint" and old-fashioned, but it's comprehensive, and that's what i
want. i like people, and i want to talk with them and work with them
but i don't want to be compromised by them, unless i am convinced in
my heart that i have somebody whose teachings are truly worth
following, to me. that's why i follow fukuoka. he wants me, imperfect
but sincere, to follow perfect nature. it can be done, food can be
produced, because nature knows how to do it.
by all means, do farming in the way that suits you. be religious or
unreligious. be whatever you want to be.... but if you want to take
the path of fukuoka-style do-nothing mahayana natural farming, then
you must know that, according to fukuoka-san himself, mind you, not
according to me,you must repudiate the path of science and human
action because these two paths are forever parallel and never cross.
the natural path proceeds toward nature, whereas the other path leads
away from nature progressively. the scientific path may appear to
cooperate and harmonize with nature, but in reality it wants to cut up
nature and replace it with fake nature. don't blame me, these are
own words, if you want to refute them, you are refuting his own
teachings. which is your right, if you choose to do so. it doesn't
really matter, because no matter what we say or do, nature will
eventually bury all, and pure nature will continue unabated.
sorry if i offended but this is fukuoka farming group, not polyculture
or permaculture group..., i want to stick up for this group, not those
other groups. but if others in this group want to attempt to mix them
up and cross them, then go for it. i've had my little say, i'll shut
up for awhile and not continue to argue. i like everyone on this
group; most of you are probably far superior to me, and your needs
could be greater and more immediate than mine. one more thing... could
someone please discuss something about chapter 3 of "the way of
natural farming"? that is what i am studying now. i'd love to hear
more of your thoughts, whatever they may be...witchessocks
- No, not to esoteric. Thank you. This message rings resoundingly true for me.
I look forward to creating my future in NF and hopefully sharing some of it
with the wonderful souls I have met and will meet on this journey.
Bless you all, Linda
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jamie Nicol
Sent: Wednesday, 11 July 2007 8:59 PM
Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF
Dear Linda, you ask "what does someone who wants to practice natural
farming, to find the path, do, if they have not had this experience,
not reached the realisation of nothingness?"
To this I would answer that there is no path to find. It is common to hear
people speak of 'the path' but this only confuses the issue: paths are not
found they are made - made by the actual choices (actions) we make and thus
every path is unique to every individual and when beginning a path there is
just no way to see where it will lead.
Therefore, the question becomes, how do we make choices that get us onto a
path which might be called Natural Farming? The answer to this is by no
means clear but is at the heart of the struggles we all have in our lives...
...when we want something we can normally see what we need to do to get it,
however, in NF there is a problem that arises, namely, that NF is prior to
any subject-object dichotomy. Therefore, however much I might desire to do
NF, NF is itself not an object that can be obtained. There are just no
conditions that will enable me to attain an end that is impossible to grasp!
Every effort I would make to attain NF is self-defeating; but, then, if I do
nothing it would seem that I shall get no nearer my desire either.
How can we escape this dilemma often called the 'paradox of practice'?
There are perhaps two possible answers to this dilemma, both reacting
against our thought-constructed dualism between practice as a means and
enlightenment as a goal, each attempting to overcome any separation between
practice and enlightenment. The two main ways are either to subsume means
into ends or ends into means. Specifically this can be understood as
enlightenment being prerequisite to the practice of NF or the practice of NF
being the prerequisite of enlightenment. In Fukuoka's case it would seem
enlightenment comes first - but despite how my contributions might sometimes
sound, I do not see any reason why to actually practice the NF as described
in Fukuoka's books cannot be enlightenment itself - providing it is
practiced wholeheartedly (mindfully).
But what is most important about both ways of being, is that they end up
with a nonduality between means and ends, subject and object, us and them,
humans and nature...etc i.e. the only path to follow is no-path!
Does this help? I hope it doesn't sound too esoteric. Hopefully it does mean
that we can all, individually, find our way. For myself, a path opened up
when I realised there was just nothing I had to do with my life - it was
only then that I began to feel I understood what Fukuoka was saying.
Unfortunately, it was only a fleeting glimpse some 3 years ago. It was no
stunning, life-changing vision, such as Fukuoka enjoyed and I find myself
stumbling on this path with only a very occasional sense of confidence in
the unfolding direction. Any confidence I might suggest in my emails to this
list come from having closely read the books of Fukuoka and practice growing
veg, not due to a stunning vision that has banished all doubts that it would
seem very few people enjoy and certainly not any belief that I am
On 7/11/07, Linda Shewan <linda_shewan@...
<mailto:linda_shewan%40yahoo.com.au> > wrote:
> Hi Jamie,
> To understand NF as practiced by Fukuoka there needs to be the experience
> insight into this 'nothing', however fleeting or shallow.
> I agree totally. I also think many who wish to begin NF have not yet had
> that experience.
> SO my final question (I promise) is. what does someone who wants to
> natural farming, to find the path, do, if they have not had this
> not reached the realisation of nothingness? Are they 'out' of the club or
> it ok to practice Hinayana natural farming and accept that as their garden
> progresses so will their spirit (this is I think what happens with a
> majority of people).
> If we accept Hinayana NF is a valid form of NF then we should be able to
> answer practical questions in a practical way and spiritual questions in a
> spiritual way without returning to spiritual rhetoric when someone clearly
> wants a practical answer. Or at least a practical answer as well as a
> spiritual answer.
> I guess that is all I ask and want from the group. Not a rejection of
> but recognition that both are valid parts of NF and all NFers should be
> given the same level of respect - regardless of their spiritual space at
> this moment in time. From earlier posts it has seemed to me that some feel
> that unless you are at Mahayana then you are not really practicing NF and
> need to 'get it' first. But no one can just get it - you need to
> that moment when it all becomes clear - it is not an intellectual process
> and we need to allow time for it to happen to each one of us, when we are
> spiritually ready.
> From: email@example.com
> On Behalf Of Jamie Nicol<mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, 11 July 2007 2:01 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Dear Linda, I quite understand your frustration with any facile statements
> of the kind that we should all eat immediately from bare fields only
> the use of seedballs. Such advice would be thoughtless.
> Particular emails in this thread seem to either fall into one of two
> extremes; either the 'spiritual' (of which I think you class me) or the
> 'pragmatic' (which would include yourself perhaps and Bob Monie?). And, of
> course, you wont be surprised if I suggest that such a dichotomy is itself
> the problem - and I have the sense that you would see the construction of
> such a dichotomy as a problem also.
> So, indeed, we agree on much. Certainly, I don't think you have misread
> those passages in One-Straw or Natural Way - Fukuoka is ever practical
> farming and it is indeed true that he changed a great deal in his practice
> over the years and has continued to change down to this day.
> Yet, the point that seems to have been forgotten, ignored, or perhaps
> observed in our struggles to promote a more spiritual or more pragmatic
> sense of Fukuoka_Farming is that the beginning of NF came not in Fukuoka's
> father's paddies or orange groves but in the vision of nothingness he had
> the age of 25.
> You make just such an ommission when you write: "I have read the analysis
> the different types of natural farming and I believe it is a journey to
> there - not something we can just assume to do straight off. It took
> years of experimentation to refine his techniques and methodologies on his
> unique piece of land before he was at 'do-nothing' (but let us not forget
> that he was still 'doing' - just not as much as other forms of farming)
> yet some people seem to assume we should behave, both physically and
> spiritually, as if we are there already."
> Fukuoka began not with gradually learning to do nothing as you suggest but
> with the realisation of nothingitself *this* is the start of NF.
> He writes:
> "Recently people have been asking me why I started farming this way so
> years ago. Until now, I have never discussed this with anyone. You could
> say there was no way to talk about it. It was simply - how would you say
> - a shock, a flash, one small experience that was the starting point. That
> realization completely changed my life. It is nothing you can really talk
> about, but it might be put something like this: "Humanity knows nothing at
> all. There is no intrinsic value in anything, and every action is a
> meaningless effort." This may seem preposterous, but if you put it into
> words, that is the only way to describe it."
> From the first paragraph of the second chapter of One-Straw.
> To understand what Fukuoka means when he farms and when he writes we need
> first of all get a sense of what it was that he experienced when he was
> otherwise Fukuoka will sound just like Bill Mollison with some added
> religious bits! But the point that I'm sure you feel too, is that there is
> no separation between spirit and practice, they are the very same thing.
> NF didn't begin with the idea of being (whether we call this being God or
> Truth, Beauty, Justice, The Ideal, The Absolute etc) as we understand it
> the received wisdom (common sense) of the West, but in nothing.
> NF continues to be regarded as PC with added religion! To understand NF as
> practiced by Fukuoka there needs to be the experience of insight into this
> 'nothing', however fleeting or shallow. Because, once there is this
> experience NF isn't difficult or complicated, it has no techniques but
> neither does it not have any techniques - it becomes the methodless
> Quite honestly you can do anything and still call yourself an NFer because
> there is nothing, no-one, who can say you are either right or wrong.
> If I seem to be excessively 'spiritual' it is simply because this is an
> that rarely gets mentioned on this list. But as the quote above makes
> patently obvious and, in the same way so does, "NF is not about the
> of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human being", the status
> techniques (seedballs, food forests, ploughing or pruning) in NF is rather
> But, perhaps such sentiments are wasted because while we can and do talk
> endlessly about techniques, to talk about the inspiration behind NF is far
> more difficult as Fukuoka says: "You could say there was no way to talk
> about it." I think he's right and probably I was wrong to even try.
> If I finish my contribution to this thread in a slightly terse manner I
> you will forgive me, but, for the life of me, I cannot understand why the
> majority of the conversations on this list ignore what Fukuoka plainly
> wrote: NF is a methodless method that begins with the realisation of
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]