My Wedding Vows to Catherine Inspired by the Eightfold Path of Buddhism

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My vows are inspired by the eightfold path, a Buddhist teaching described as the path that leads to the cessation of suffering and the achievement of self awakening. For my vows I am drawing draw insights from these eight areas of guidance in order to create a lasting marriage full of happiness and free of suffering.

I. Wisdom

1. Right understanding

Four noble truths of a happy marriage:

1. Happy marriages exist
2. There are causal factors that lead to an unhappy relationship
3. There are ways to avoid those factors, and have a happy marriage
4. This is the path to a happy marriage

2. Right intention – I vow to live my life from a place of love and compassion with an informed heart and feeling mind, enabling me to practice letting go of that which causes me suffering.

II. Ethics

3. Right speech – I vow to be truthful and forthright. I vow to be kind and loving in all the words i share with you. When communicating my grievances, i will use Curiosity and compassion, rather than complaining and condemnation.

4. Right action – I vow to always act in a manner that will bring about the most happiness for us as a couple and we as a family. I will always strive to ensure you are never left with an undue burden and you always have help, and help with a smile.

5. Right livelihood – i vow to be a good financial steward for our family, producing enough wealth for us to fulfill our needs and pursue happiness as we see fit, while saving enough to plan for our future and deal with emergencies.

III. Awakening

6. Right effort – I vow to consciously rid my self of those actions and thoughts which take away from our pursuit of a happy marriage and act only in a way that furthers happiness for both of us and our family. I commit myself to fulfilling this path.

7. Right mindfulness – When one is constantly living in the future or the past, they are missing out on the present. I vow to be wholly present during every moment we spend together, what better place to be than enjoying life with my favorite person in the world.

8. Right concentration – Is the goal of the eight fold path. In the individual spiritual sense, right concentration means that through meditation or concentration, one can bring about the cessation of all suffering and ill will and continuously exist in a state of inner tranquility.

The original Sanskrit word for this part of the path is Samma-Samadhi. Samma means right, prefect, or thorough. And samadhi literally means absorption.

Catherine, I vow to give myself to you, to let go of anything and everything that takes away from our tranquility and peace. In fulfilling this path, i will literally cease to be me, and become fully absorbed as part of you, and as you a part of me.

I love you cat. I am grateful the universe has brought us together and we have shared in our love for one another by creating this wonderful family. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.

Indie Gogo Update #7 in front of the church we got married in!

Behind us stands the historical Texana Church where we exchanged vows this past weekend. We enjoyed a stateless wedding with family and friends. It was perfect! Now it’s time to move and shake on our last 9 days of our Indie Gogo Campaign! Help us raise funds for the next batch of Sovereign Living episodes! We need you…donate on our Indie Gogo page or send us a Bitcoin donation.

Special note: today for every $20 donated, Indie Gogo will donate a dollar! #givingTuesday

The Homestretch Begins!

Our Indie Gogo Campaign has successfully raised over $6,000 in support for the show. We haven’t even factored in our Bitcoin donations yet…still catching up from the wedding, but that number will be available soon! Today I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions, large and small. This project is the first of its kind and will hopefully be a stepping stone to more education on peaceful resistance. With the holiday season approaching, we get it…funds are low and allocated for gifts to your family and friends. If this isn’t the case for you, we encourage you to give toward the project through Bitcoin donations or USD donations on our Indie Gogo page. If you can’t swing it, it’s ok, sharing our project on your Facebook page and/or Twitter is just as valuable to us.

We’ll have some pictures from the wedding up soon. It was beautiful and filled with love from our family and friends. Aliana looked like a princess and little Bill enjoyed himself, of course!

Thanks for staying with us during the holidays and giving us your support. Your motivation and encouragement through Facebook messages and via email are fuel to our self-sufficient fire! 🙂

Still to come this week…Tip of the Week #11, surprise perks for our last week of our Indie Gogo campaign, and more!

The Blush Family Wedding: Send a wedding gift to the Indie Gogo Campaign!

If you’ve been following the project, I’m sure you saw the adorable proposal that star of Sovereign Living, John Bush, put together! At PorcFest 2012, John took to the stage with the help of some friends to play a little “gameshow” where Cat had to guess the letters. It was soon after John came up to Cat on one knee. The entire crowd erupted – as a witness I can say it was a truly beautiful, love-filled day!

engagement

Well it’s been over a year since that lovely night and since the family has welcomed little William Lysander into their lives as well as produced half of their documentary, reality show “Sovereign Living”. Life has been fast paced, but these dedicated activists are taking the weekend to exchange vows with their friends and family…but of course not the state!

Join the entire crew of Sovereign Living in congratulating these two committed hearts on their wedding day. May their loyalty to the cause of liberty also show in their relationship with eachother, and may their family blossom with opportunity! Aliana and William have some wonderful role models for their own personal journeys in the future, and this ceremony will be a wonderful way to honor that!

If you would like to send a gift to the couple on their special day, they have selflessly requested you send a donation to the show’s Indie Gogo Campaign. It’s so easy to contribute and would warm John and Cat’s heart. Since we like to avoid the state as much as possible, consider donating in Bitcoin. It’s simple and we with today’s price almost hitting $900 – share some stateless love towards the bride and groom!  Donations go straight to the post-production of the next three episodes! If you haven’t seen Episode One, it’s public and you shouldn’t wait any longer: http://igg.me/at/sovereignliving/x/310959 (second video down on the page!)

The cast and crew will be busy celebrating, camping and exchanging vows, so make sure you tune in to SovereignLiving.com for updates! We’ll have pictures from the ceremony soon! Donate to Sovereign Living and help us reach our goal – dedicate your donation to the newlyweds!

Sharing a great entry from the "Living Joyfully Newsletter" by: Pam Laricchia

Read more of Pam’s newsletters: http://livingjoyfully.ca/newsletter/

So, links to a clip of Louis CK talking about cell phones on Conan were floating around a few weeks ago, and I finally took a few minutes to watch. Interesting! And with the topic of mainstream mantras this month, I thought it would be an opportune time to talk about a couple of the ideas he touched on from an unschooling perspective.

First off, in the end, I don’t think it was really about cell phones, though that’s where a lot of the ensuing conversation went, helped along by the title of the youtube clip, Louis CK Hates Cell Phones. As an unschooling parent, my reaction to any parent controlling access to anything, is always going to be, “Oh, be careful with that, it probably won’t work out like you hope.”

Restricting a person’s access to anything makes them all the more curious and intent. It’s human nature to want to explore. His argument is that just because everyone else is mindlessly using cell phones, doesn’t mean his daughters need to as well just to fit in. And I agree, they don’t “have to” have a cell phone just because everyone else seems to have one. But the real and important question is, do they want one? Continue reading “Sharing a great entry from the "Living Joyfully Newsletter" by: Pam Laricchia”

Coming Soon: GOATS!

Last night The Blush Family became the proud owner of one share in a goat co-op! Cat milked 5 goats this weekend, all on her own! (with loving guidance from  owner, Paula). We now have a milking kit (see picture) and will be getting the yard prepped and ready for our new arrivals!

cat_goatpack

If you remember in Episode 1 John and Cat are a bit torn between goats and pigs, but as you can see…Cat got her way! 😉 The new farm addition will be exciting and you’ll get to see them integrate into our lives via Sovereign Living: The Show.  There are many benefits to small livestock like goats, and it’s not just their milk and all the bi-products of that milk. Goats mow your grass, seriously they are constantly eating grass, so this saves you time, energy, and the environment. Another great tool smaller livestock can teach are lessons a dog or cat can’t. Your kids will learn how to truly take care of an animal and take on responsibilities that might not be as easy as cleaning the kitty litter box.

We can’t wait to see Aliana and Bill meet the new goats and learn about taking care of them properly. Bring it on, goats! As you can tell in this picture The Blush Family is ready for ya! We might hold some contests down the line to help us name the newbies. Keep an eye out for that, but in the mean time check out how you can name some chickens on the farm! 

Making healthier decisions this Halloween

The Blush Family Farm is striving to provide a unique and sustainable lifestyle for Aliana and Bill. They are eating organic whole foods, playing outside, learning with hands-on experience, and over all having a unique and productive upbringing. There’s still laughter, games, sleep overs, play dates, field trips, and yummy goodies…but yummy goodies don’t have to mean unhealthy.

This Halloween take the time to go the extra mile and provide your child with a rewarding experience, inside and out!

Here’s a few ways dressing up and Trick or Treating can be healthy for your kids:

  1. Replace some of the goodies you give away to other children and your own with healthy “candy” without the fructose syrup, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. Try bags of dried fruit dipped in organic chocolate (dark chocolate preferrably), candy apples with a healthy twist (homemade organic caramel sauce), or buy candy from companies who pride themselves in providing organic treats.
  2. Another idea is skip the candy altogether! There are tons of other options for “goodies”: yo-yo’s, finger puppets, bouncy balls, stickers. All of these are still affordable, especially in bulk and you’ll end up being the cool parent giving out toys 😉
  3. It’s also important to note costumes and added decorations can be harmful. You never know what you’re applying onto your child’s skin unless you read. So check out the package for the face paint, the glitter, etc.
  4. If you know your neighbors will only have CRAP for candy, create little goodie bags and deliver them to your neighbors prior to hitting the hood. Have your child receive that when they stop. (might sound high maintenance, but if you’re going to be high-maintenance about anything it should be the health of you and your family!)

Have a very healthy and Happy Halloween! We’d love for you to show us costumes and recipes from this year, so feel free to leave us a message on our Facebook Page! 

 

[NEW] Kid's Day coming soon to the Blush Family Farm!

This past Thursday the farm invited a pack of kids, who are on the unschooling path, to enjoy a day at the farm meeting the animals, exploring the plants, and hanging out with each other. This successful kid’s day made it certain the farm needed an official “Kid’s Day” in the coming weeks.

Our Head Volunteer, Paul Davis, will be helping to put on another event, and children from the area are all invited to attend. The next kid’s day will be announced soon, but we can say it will fall on a Thursday – we’ll share more later this week! If you’d like to learn more please contact Paul at: sifu78704@gmail.com

At the most recent meet-up here at the farm, our friend Michelle brought her son Carl to check things out. Michelle told us that she didn’t realize the impact of the hands-on learning at the farm until she got home to reflect on the day with her son. She had him prepare his daily journal and this is what Carl had to say about the experience:

homeschool book

What a beautiful response from this young man. We are so eager to touch more children’s lives through Kid’s Day at the Blush Family Farm. Next playdate TBA! Thanks again for everyone who made it last week and safe Trick or Treating to all!

Don’t forget to visit our Indie Gogo page to watch Episode 1 and donate to our project!