When my brother first asked me to move here, He said he’d get a caravan for me to stay in. About a month later I told him I’d arrive in two weeks. When I arrived there was no caravan and I was living in the lounge room of a three bedroom house with him, his then wife and two teenagers. After two weeks I moved to the cubby house, which didn’t/doesn’t have windows or doors, but was dry and had a flat floor, even though it was winter and we get frosts here. It was under a large gum tree.
It’s true that monks should be content with sleeping under trees, but the Buddha is compassionate and would allow a sick monk more protection. Many lessor guidelines are put aside for safety or health.
After about three years, having rented it out to a workmate and having let his children use it, during which time someone was sick in it (the smell lingers on) and the fridge was filled with rotten food, my brother agreed for me to use the caravan – at least I’d look after it, I said. This was after doctors and the local government officials advised it was not suitable to live in the shed, due to the mold forming on the back wall, because of the leaky roof. Also ants (and termites) live in the wall/s and make the place smell with their formic acid. Thirdly, the shed is very dusty due to the garage door facing south, where most of our breezes come from. This is not to mention that snakes and toads etc. can easily make their way in, as the shed is ground level. So I put a sheet of corrugated iron across the doorway, to discourage them, which I have to step over.
Now the caravan has been relocated, further from the house and closer to my shed. My brother had an electric point installed to plug in the caravan, he and I put a roof over it and I and some WWOOFers paved the north side, about half each.
When WWOOFers stayed recently, I let them use the caravan and I moved back to the shed for three weeks. I’ve decided not to sleep in the shed anymore, but would rather sleep in my tent, either on the paved area of the caravan, or in the cubby house. The caravan paved area has at least three uses for me: meditation, afternoon rest and tent space.
A friend came over to help with Sustainable House Day and I had previously told him he could stay in the caravan overnight. This is my place’s profile. So the WWOOFers used my tent. I pointed out the cubby house could be used, if they just reorganised the stuff in there, which would take about 5 minutes, but they decided to put the tent on the grass. The next day they said it was uncomfortable, due to the uneven ground!
I think I’m going to change my add on the WWOOF network, to specifically say, no smokers of pot/weed/dope/marijuana maybe even tobacco also. I have lived with drinkers and smokers enough to see the negative affects those bad habits have on relationships. Both affect clarity of thought and memory. When people do it often, this self-medication is an indication of mild depression, which they don’t want to admit. Probably, they think they don’t complain about others, but when they get drunk, it cannot be stopped. Thus they feel so much better after drinking. Usually they don’t have a place for (never-mind welcome) constructive criticism. Any constructive criticism offered is interpreted in a very negative way. So even if one tried to connect through honesty, it is twisted against one. So, I’m over it!
I guess this is why the Buddha choose to live alone most of the time, but welcomed people who made extra effort to visit him. They had to do so because he lived on the edge, literally (physically – the edges of towns) and mentally (psychologically, socially, economically). He is reported to have said, he does so, because he sees it provides a ‘pleasant life’.
Well my four year plan is to get an old ‘fisho’ van, a ute with insulated back boxed area, which is used to cold store fish to sell on the side of the road, install about 13 solar panels on it and travel up and down the east coast, WWOOFing and teaching about the Buddha’s teaching and Permaculture.
Now I am volunteering at a place that recycles computers and learning how to recycle laptop batteries to make Lithium-Ion battery packs, that can be used for any solar power project, including electric cars. They recently made a trailer replacement for a diesel generator. It’s a trailer with 13 solar panels that produces as much electricity as a diesel generator.