Yesterday the season’s farm & garden apprentice crew mounted our annual pilgrimage around the local mountain.
We were guided by an opening reading of “Advice to the Wayfarer”, pilgrim verses composed by Richard Kollmar & Gary Snyder:
Begin a pilgrimage with a mind free from entanglement and regrets.
Abandon projects. Let go of plans, hopes, and dreams.
Go forth as if you have settled your affairs, made your will, disposed of your possessions
paid your debts, resolved your differences with friends & acquaintances, provided for the
care of those who are dependent upon you, made peace with your enemies, and bade
farewell to your loved ones.
Go forth as if you will never return.
We began at Deer Park Fire Road in the thick swirling mist of a deep marine layer that prevented us from seeing anything to the west or south into the bay until we were up on top of East Peak.
Silence until we reached Lone Tree Spring. A few words & more silent walking until Pantoll Station.
Then up Old Mine Road & out onto the waving grass flanks, covered in dew, leaving behind the dripping oak & bay laurel rain systems.
We offered incense & shared out intentions for the walk on the ridge of serpentine, after we rescued a man lost in the fog after he followed a deer into the mist. Lunched at Portrero Meadow, sighted a magical stag of our own, soared with turkey vultures, marveled at the artwork of nut-jays. A few northside drainages still trickling with spring water.
And descended down Fern Canyon to Panoramic Highway & into the redwoods & tourists of Muir Woods.
Back to cars along the parking lot chatting amiably.
Bowing out at 4:30, 10 hours from start.
Whatever wholesome intentions & good qualities of mind have resulted from this practice,
May they contribute to the welfare of all beings.
Above, may they repay those to whom we are indebted.
Below, may they release beings from torment.
In all who see, hear or think about them, may they bring forth the will to awaken.
May all of us go for birth in the pure land!