The Land-Heart Farmhouse

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2015-03-13 14:57:36
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The Land-Heart Farmhouse takes up around 40 mus, with over 10 kinds of Chinese medical herbs and more than 1000 chestnut trees cultivated here. At weekends or assemblies, more and more volunteers, fans of Buddhist study and various workers in cities come to the Land-Heart Farmhouse, where they experience the Chan practice while cultivating the land, and feel the wisdom and compassion of Buddha in the harmonious interaction among the land, the crops and the insects, improving the stature of their lives simultaneously.

Make good use of the land,
Keep cultivating it with a sincere heart.
Over generations the years passed,
Life and growth in nature perpetually last.

During the Assembly on February 19th, 2011, with the instruction of Ven. Master Xuecheng, there carved out the organic farmer in the Longquan Monastery. Its name, the Land-Heart Farmhouse, bears an implication that there being a heart of the land we are living on, we need put our hearts on the work of cultivation.

The farmhouse used to be barren, and now it is full of vitality. The Land-Heart Farmhouse takes up around 40 mus, with over 10 kinds of Chinese medical herbs and more than 1000 chestnut trees cultivated here. There is a Peony Garden, a Chinese Herbaceous Peony Garden, a Chinese Rose Garden and a Grass Garden in the farmhouse, around which are such fruit trees as date trees, peach trees, cheery trees, persimmon trees, thorn trees, walnut trees and so forth. Rejecting chemical fertilizer and pesticide of any kind, the farm uses cow manure, plant ash and food wastes as the environmental enzymatic, which guarantees the farm to be organic and all-natural in a real sense.

Partially aiming at the harvest, the farm is also the practical platform for the monks and the lay people to study Buddhist Dharma; the practice field of Ven. Master Xuecheng’s notion of Organic Cultivation, Healthy and Pure Life, and the environmental protection; the spiritual homeland of the people in cities. Furthermore, it shows the interdependent relationship between the land and the people, whom developing their compassion and wisdom by farming the land properly.

The relationship between mankind and animals is of close concern, and it is expected to be based on coexistence. In order to strike a balance between the protection of small creatures and the farm’s harvest, the Land-Heart Farmhouse prepared a vegetable plot as the self-service place for the insects in particular. This inspiration derives from the square-fields system in ancient China. Masters left a certain size of land in the center of the field and circled it with yellow boards to attract bugs to come here. Both the Masters and volunteers take the insects as good-willed guests. Every time encountering the bugs’ eating crops beyond the yellow circle, they mildly detach them from the crops, and then slightly remove them back to the “buffet area”; and if the bugs do not take their words, they will communicate sincerely to them with patience on, telling them that the central field is for their particular use, beyond which are the crops for the Buddhists and the lay people’ consumption, persuading them to help themselves in the central area. In line with the Buddhist merciful spirit and by means of the willingness to share one’s harvest with others, one develops his understanding of equanimity and compassion gradually.

Farm-cultivation is a form of self-cultivation. It is a tradition in Chinese Buddhism to attach equal significance to Chen practice and farming. As an old saying goes, a day without cultivating, a day without eating. Carrying forward this spirit of Chinese Buddhism is just in concord with the Buddhist system appealed strongly by Ven. Master Xuecheng, which is to bring up the spirit of living by the sweat of one’s brow and enduring hardship among monks and nuns. The meaning of physical labor for monks and nuns lies mainly on teaching them how to deal with and break through the hardship and difficulties, and thus learn the Buddhist doctrines from it. Cultivation is in our heart; and our hearts need to gain courage.

Master Hongyi used to put forward his exhortation of treasuring happiness and learning to work. For modern people, especially those living in big cities, they are increasingly far away from the nature. The practice of farming can draw the multitude closer to the ground, and help them through the practice to build the fine attitude: loving the nature and cherishing the harvest. At weekends or assemblies, more and more volunteers, fans of Buddhist study and various workers in cities come to the Land-Heart Farmhouse, where they experience the Chan practice while cultivating the land, and feel the wisdom and compassion of Buddha in the harmonious interaction among the land, the crops and the insects, improving the stature of their lives simultaneously.

Editor:Catherine
Tags:land-heart farmhouse
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