Thursday, February 7, 2013

Waking Up In the Office?

Tibetan Cherry tree in the Peace Garden
Well folks things are a changin.  After almost a year as a garden apprentice at Green Gulch Farm I am moving on to a new 'crew' at the gulch.  I like to think that 'once a gardener, always a gardener.'  When I started this blog I am sure I knew of the possibility that I wouldn't stay in the garden forever.  And I think I did believe there was a possibility that I would be enlightened ("wake up") in the garden, some sunny day as I mindfully weeded.  Who knows what changes have happened to me in the past 11 months, they are inconceivable and as the sutra says "buddhas do not necessarily know that they are buddhas."  But alas, the blog title 'waking up in the garden' has a nicer ring to it than 'waking up in the office' and waking up really could happen anywhere or anytime.  So the blog title will remain.

I was once Lauren the gardener, I then spent a little time working in the kitchen for the January Intensive retreat with Reb Anderson and starting next week I will move to my new home in Guest Programs.  People are surprised to hear that I actually requested this move; the kitchen and guest program crews are always in need of staff and MANY people want to work in the farm or garden.  But let us be honest, of course working outside is the bomb and I love getting my hands dirty and hugging trees BUT I might love working with people even more.  I will be spending my days taking care of guests, making them feel welcome, attending to their needs, helping Green Gulch from an administrative standpoint, learning about conference planning and hopefully working to offer even more Zen and more Green Gulch to those who want it.  As my mom put it, it should be a mutually beneficial move.  In a community that is maybe 90% introverted having one of the few extroverts in the office is a plus for everyone!

In the meantime I will spend my time enjoying the gardens not as a gardener but simply as a resident.  Doesn't mean I can't take pride in our New York Times feature!  Click here.


  1. There is a "royal" garden and farm title for all of us who live here at GGF. I don't imagine I'll be able to stay as long as I want on the farm, but as a monk of no rank, will go where needed!

    Deep bow to your practice!

  2. The garden's loss is Guest Services gain! Back in the 15 Century, the Benedictine monks followed the practice of best monk for the job. Chef, winemaker, farmer, choral group leader, whatever. If a monk blossomed in an area, he was generally encouraged to be the best "in the field".
    Maybe Guest Services is the place. Time and experience will tell.
    Buon Viaggio, la giardiniere!