"Simplicity, Compassion, Inspiration & Peace"
Sheridan, WY, USA
female, age 52
Speaks: English, some very rusty Spanish
Joined Dec 7, 1999
MY CORNER OF THE GARDEN...
Render help and kindness wherever it is needed,
to all life, great or small...
Suffering has no boundaries ~ neither should compassion.
I make myself rich by making my wants few.
~Henry David Thoreau
If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need.
I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve.
I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.
SOME WISDOM FROM THE TAO TE CHING...
The Great Way is easy,
yet people prefer the side paths.
Be aware when things are out of balance.
Stay centered within the Tao.
When rich speculators prosper
while farmers lose their land;
when government officials spend money
on weapons instead of cures;
when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible
while the poor have nowhere to turn --
all this is robbery and chaos.
It is not in keeping with the Tao.
(From "A New English Version" by Stephen Mitchell)
AND FROM SOME OTHER ELOQUENT SOURCES....
The people of your culture cling with fanatical tenacity to the specialness of man.
They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and the rest of creation.
This mythology of human superiority justifies their doing whatever they please with the world,
just as Hitler's mythology of Aryan superiority
justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe.
But in the end this mythology is not deeply satisfying.
The Takers are a profoundly lonely people.
The world for them is enemy territory, and they live in it like an army of occupation,
alienated and isolated by their extraordinary specialness.
~Daniel Quinn, "Ishmael"
There is still strong in our society the belief that animals and the natural world
have value only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand, who believe
that animals and the natural world have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"
Do not be daunted by the world's grief.
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.
Let your boat of life be light,
packed with only what you need,
a homely home and simple pleasures,
one or two friends worth the name,
someone to love you,
a dog, a cat and a pipe or two,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink....
for thirst is a dangerous thing.
~ Jerome K. Jerome, 1887
When the power of love
overcomes the love of power
we will know peace.
~ Jimi Hendrix
i thank You God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes...
~e. e. cummings
Courage does not always roar.
Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep Peace of the flowing air to you
Deep Peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep Peace of the shining stars to you
Deep Peace of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
Deep Peace to you.
~a Gaelic Blessing
As long as space remains,
as long as sentient beings remain,
may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.
~Shantideva, "Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" (8th century)
Crush not yonder ant as it draggeth along its grain;
for it too liveth, and its life is dear to it.
A shadow there must be, and a stone upon the heart,
that could wish to sorrow the heart even of an ant.
Strike not with the hand of violence the head of the feeble;
for one day, like the ant, thou mayest fall under the foot thyself.
~Sadi (13th century)
I think I could live with the animals,
they are so placid and self-contained...
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented
with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind
that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
All this talk of religion, but it's how you live your life that is the all-important thing.
If you set out each day to do all the goodness and kindness that you can,
and to do no harm to man or beast, then you are walking the highest path.
And when your time is up if you can leave the earth a better place than you found it,
then yours will have been a life well-lived.
To those who say that veganism is extreme, I reply that, on the contrary,
it is non-vegan lifestyle choices that are extreme.
How could choices that cause suffering be anything but extreme
when compassionate alternatives are available?
Whatever you do, please don't tell me that you could never be a vegan.
I would rather hear you say that you are trying your best.
It may be difficult at first, as it would be to change any habit,
but it only gets easier.
And one day you might get to the point where you will look back
and not be able to remember what life was like
before you decided to do what you know is right for yourself.
"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation,
and have treated our distant cousins in fur
and feathers so badly that beyond doubt,
if they were able to formulate a religion,
they would depict the devil in human form."
~William Ralph Inage
"To meditate for world peace, to pray for a better world,
and to work for social justice and environmental protection
while continuing to purchase the flesh, milk, and eggs of horribly abused animals exposes a disconnect that is so fundamental that it renders our efforts absurd, hypocritical, and doomed to certain failure."
~Dr. Will Tuttle, "The World Peace Diet"
"In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal
it is considered to be cruelty,
but where a lot of people are unkind to animals,
especially in the name of commerce,
the cruelty is condoned and,
once large sums of money are at stake,
will be defended to the last
by otherwise intelligent people."
~Ruth Harrison, "Animal Machines"
"People often say that humans have always eaten animals,
as if this is a justification for continuing the practice.
According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people
from murdering other people,
since this has also been done since the earliest of times."
~Isaac Bashevis Singer
"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is
- whether its victim is human or animal -
we cannot expect things to be much better in this world...
We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight
in killing any living creature."
"Compassion is a verb."
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Because we enslave other beings, we are enslaved.
Because we inflict pain on other beings, we are in pain.
Because we drive them to madness we are carving the path to insanity.
For they are not they, they are us.
All beings tremble before violence.
All fear death. All love life.
See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt?
What harm can you do?
May all beings be well.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be relieved of suffering.
They give us two of the most crucial elements for our survival:
oxygen and books.
~A. Whitney Brown
||Dec 7, 1999
||Support a Cause
|Group Host of
||Don't have one. Born a gypsy child. :-)
Jan 03, 1962
some very rusty Spanish
||Happy to live near the beautiful mountains, lucky to be surrounded by all sorts of critters, and to know so many - wild as well as domestic - on a first-name basis. I'm an extroverted introvert - or an introverted extrovert, not sure which. :-) While I sometimes enjoy meeting people and being with friends, I really thrive in solitude and need a lot of it. I love silence, living where the weather and seasons change, the companionship of animals, and a good book (or two or three!). I embrace simplicity and endeavor to live sustainably. I love being vegan. I value quality over quantity in everything. I'm progressive and green in my politics, Pantheist and Taoist in my spirituality and worldview, and predominantly Italian in my temperament and cooking. ;-)
||Introduce yourself to Laurie
3 rescued dogs (Willow Josie and Tessa),
2 sweet mice (Val and Tino),
a handsome horse (Mocha)
am spiritual rather than religious
vegan for life
|Wild Fact About Me
||"There are voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter the world."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Let your conscience be your guide."
-Jiminy Cricket :-)
I think that as often as possible, it's good to unplug from "group think," suspend our habits of thought and behavior, and truly listen to the guidance of our inner voice. By listening to and trusting it, we can honestly examine what's really true for us and what we need to do to bring our outer life into alignment with our inner one.
I also believe we'll be a whole lot better off, happier and at peace if we start thinking of ourselves and relating to each other as Earthlings instead of as nationalities, along with remembering we are a part of the living world, not apart from it. The arrogant, self-aggrandizing, destructive idea of "dominionism" needs to be replaced with humility, gratitude, awe and connectedness, so we can remember how to live gently and humbly on this planet.
And I think that Hippocrates' advice "First, do no harm" should apply to a lot more than just the practice of medicine.
|What Gives Me Hope
||Every sunrise, every new beginning. Synchronicity and kindred spirits. And the growing number of people who live consciously, in compassionate harmony with the Earth and our fellow beings...the 2-leggeds, 4-leggeds, feathered, finned, winged, grassy, thorny, leafy and flowery. :-)
|If I were Mayor, I'd make the world a better place by
||(Mayor?! Ppffft.) If I were President (with magical powers!), I'd make campaigning more affordable by eliminating paid campaign ads. Then deep-pocket special interests might no longer be so "special" and the USA could stop being the home of "The Best Elections (& Government) Money Can Buy." I would also trash the insane law that gives corporations the same rights as individuals! I'd aggressively begin the shift to an economy based on clean, safe, sustainable energy & organic, plants-only agriculture. I'd shut down Monsanto, have their executives arrested for theft and vandalism of the world's food supply, lying to the public and assaulting farmers, destroy their GE crops and distribute free heirloom organic seeds to everyone affected. After lunch I'd legalize industrial hemp, restore the Roadless Areas Rule, institute a 4-day workweek, abolish the death penalty and ALL animal exploitation & slaughter, require schools to teach compassion, overhaul the prison system, and encourage everyone to plant organic gardens & visit the wilderness instead of the mall. I'd nominate Dr. T. Colin Campbell to head the FDA, Howard Lyman to head the USDA (and revamp both agencies so they serve the interests of the public), appoint Dr. John McDougall Surgeon General, and Dennis Kucinich Secretary of State, and... oh, I guess that'll do for my first day on the job.
Let's go have margaritas. :-)
|What/who changed my life and why
||Being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1994 was a life-changing blessing in disguise. It awakened me to the far-reaching as well as personal consequences of my diet, and launched my very educational, rewarding journey to becoming vegan, which in turn has introduced me to many amazing people & wonderful cuisine! I'm actually much healthier since my diagnosis. I'm also far happier, since being vegan has such a powerfully positive impact on two things I value immensely... the well-being of critters and the environment. Many people helped me along the way & I hope I can be as helpful & inspiring to those starting out on the vegan path. The book "The Food Revolution" by John Robbins played one of the biggest roles in my education, revelation and transformation, and I highly recommend it to anyone who cares about animals, the environment, their own health & well-being, and/or world hunger.
|What Bugs Me
Physical & psychic clutter,
bickering & whining,
bullying & pushiness,
just snarky behavior in general,
spam & chain emails
Fellow sentient beings,
humanity's capacity for kindness
|What Scares Me
The suffering of sentient beings,
the destruction of Nature,
humanity's capacity for brutality
Prof. Gary Francione,
Dr. Albert Schweitzer,
Thich Nhat Hanh,
||I wake up in the morning torn between the desire to save the world and to enjoy the world.
This makes it hard to plan the day.
The smallest thing you actually do
means more than what you plan to do,
but never do.
Let us ask what is best, not what is customary...
When you rise in the morning, form a resolution
to make the day a happy one for a fellow creature.
Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.
~Dionysius, the Elder
Our life is frittered away by detail.
Simplify, simplify, simplify!
~Henry David Thoreau
The idea of wilderness needs no defense.
It only needs more defenders.
Think occasionally of the suffering
of which you spare yourself the sight.
~Dr. Albert Schweitzer
The individual has always had to struggle
to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
If you try it, you will be lonely often,
and sometimes frightened.
But no price is too high to pay
for the privilege of owning yourself.
It is a feeble compassion that pulls up short
where self-interest begins.
Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain
or freed a human soul.
You measure democracy
by the freedom it gives its dissidents,
not the freedom it gives
its assimilated conformists.
Animals have a past, a story, a biography.
They have histories...
each is a unique somebody,
not a disposable something.
~Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
I would rather sit on a pumpkin
and have it all to myself
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
~Henry David Thoreau
Auschwitz begins when we look at a slaughterhouse and say, "They're only animals."
I think that people want peace so much
that one of these days
government had better get out of their way
and let them have it.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
The human spirit needs places where nature
has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song,
and all about you will be beauty.
There is a way out of every dark mist,
over a rainbow trail.
- Navajo Song
He who knows he has enough is rich.
~The Tao Te Ching
You have just dined,
and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse
is concealed in the graceful distance of miles,
there is complicity.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
~Frank Lloyd Wright
Use it up, wear it out,
Make it do, do without.
The soul is the same in all living creatures,
although the body of each is different.
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?
Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?
~Henry David Thoreau
A truly wise man
kneels at the feet of all creatures
and is not afraid to endure
the mockery of others.
~Mechtild of Magdeberg (1265)
In matters of conscience,
the law of majority has no place.
~Stanislaw J. Lee
We ought, everyday, to hear a song, read a fine poem,
and, if possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
It is a man's sympathy with all creatures
that truly makes him a man.
Until he extends his circle of compassion
to all living things,
man himself will not find peace.
~Dr. Albert Schweitzer
If you want to legalize a crime, call it tradition.
Sit, be still, and listen,
because you're drunk
and we're at
the edge of the roof.
T'ai Chi & Qi Gong (I'm learning!)
Clarissa Pinkola Estes,
R. Carlos Nakai,
The Color of Paradise,
My Cousin Vinny,
Waking Ned Devine,
Thelma and Louise,
Master and Commander,
Planes Trains and Automobiles,
The Green Mile,
A Fish Called Wanda,
Touching the Void,
Key and Peele,
The Daily Show,
Whole organic plant foods:,
kale (w/walnut dressing ~ YUM!),
broccoli and cauliflower,
dulse and other sea veggies,
strawberries and huckleberries,
beans and pulses,
tomatoes straight from
All peaceful places,
All wild places,
Glacier National Park,
New England in Autumn,
|Can't Live Without
Peace & quiet & stillness,
Merry Hempsters Vegan Lip Balm!
||Introduce yourself to Laurie
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