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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: buddhism

What I want this year is to get back up on my horse.

The Big Man Dakota sporting his shaggy winter coat

The Big Man Dakota sporting his shaggy winter coat

“The Big Man Dakota” (I call him “Bigs”) is officially a pony, measuring 14 hands even. The standard for a horse starts at a height of 14.2 HH (at the withers).

While the weather is nasty and cold, I am slowly beginning stretching exercises, attempting to get my bad, upper spine to be more flexible and less painful.

This is quite the uphill battle, since progress can be non-existent at times. It seems that every day I am back to square one (I know – everyone is tired of hearing me whine). If I were a horse I could whinny instead, which is a much more pleasant sound.

Pony Stallion Yell Plus Bonus Duck Quacks

My Quarter pony’s yell is much more about getting food than his attachment to me. Yet, Bigs does trust me. That took quite some time. He arrived here as a blind, 5-year old stallion, and the blindness due to the frustration of his original owner.


Yes, Bigs is a stallion aka intact male. There are two mares across the way, yet Bigs has never attempted to visit them. Blind or not, 90% of stallions would try. Due to his calm demeanor, it seemed pointless to take anything else away from him.

Rocky the pony is already inside, taking advantage of the run-in with its new weather-proofing  (readied for the Arctic blast of Jan. 6, 2014).

Rocky the pony is already inside, taking advantage of the run-in with its new weather-proofing
(readied for the Arctic blast of Jan. 6, 2014).

Bigs's tendency towards claustrophobia leaves him hesitant of the change, but grain coaxes him in shortly after sunset.

Bigs’s tendency towards claustrophobia leaves him hesitant of the change, but grain coaxes him in shortly after sunset.

Although sightless, Bigs functions well and sometimes acts as if he can see things coming. It has taken me up to 45 minutes to get his bridle and bit on. He tosses his head about with a total lack of cooperation (even with a Hackamore). I have a feeling this is why the former owner got so upset with him.

Blind Pony Navigates Pasture

Bigs can’t see, so he has the fields memorized by feel, getting around quite well. He no longer breaks through fences in a panic. He no longer flees from being patted. Bigs’s overall behavior is actually quite good. I can get easily get on his back and could likely lay down to take a nap too.


I purchased a very cool, used, close-contact training saddle this past fall of 2013. My aches and pains, enhanced by stress and aggravation got the better of me this season, so I only completed a parked test drive. It fits well and will work for both Bigs and I splendidly, once my hurdles ahead are cleared. In the meantime, Bigs and his companion Shetland pony “Rocky” will keep themselves busy doing what they do best – eating.


Being already run down from physical unrest, my hair-trigger temper has lately become long-term negativity. It has me wrapped up in my own mind, unable to break free of disparity in the human world. There are 7 billion people on the planet. Half of them live without running water or electricity. Therefore they have little or no access to health care, education, law enforcement, transportation, etc.

As one who attempts to follow Buddhist teachings, I must continue to practice not only patience, but also perseverance – and with this new year of 2014, get back up on that horse (pony).

nota bene: I am not looking for a Pep Rally. There is no need for anyone to cheer me on. If I get back up on that pony, that is what the future will bring. If I don’t, something else will happen next.

Chinese New Year 2014 begins January 31, 2014


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A great realization has come to me. I have incorporated Buddhist ideas into my life over the years. But, up until recently, I have merely dabbled in the true practice of this philosophy.


My husband had been spending some time at Vajradhara Buddhist Center. I went for one of the meditation sessions. It was good, but I did not make the effort to get to more sessions.

I was unhappy for that period of time in the Fall of 2012. Learning to practice patience was one of the things that helped me snap out of an unpleasant cycle.

My birthday celebration in late February (2013) was lovely, even though I had been dipping into another difficult cycle. I had been thinking a lot about our life as humans and about history. Thoughts of man-made importance and achievement weighed heavily on my mind. Everything that I was working for seemed make believe. Motivation was difficult to grasp during this persistent wave of thoughts.

I was feeling disappointed. I was feeling frustrated. I was practicing patience, but I was not progressing. I kept ending up back in the same spot in my mind.

The opportunity to attend a presentation about Modern Buddhism presented itself. Although I was still feeling run down from a lingering virus, I went. The talk gave me a gift – calmness. There was much unrest swirling with it, but I could still feel that centered, peaceful feeling somewhere within the storm.

Then, I thought some more. I thought about who and what I love. I thought about things that aggravate me. I was searching for how to proceed.

The purpose of life is to live it and to live it well. Kindness is the key.

The best way to live it is to accept suffering, show compassion and practice patience. Lack of acceptance, blame and retaliation all lead to an unhappy path. I want a better route. I want it for myself. I want it for my family. I want it for my friends. I must practice wanting it for my enemies. Therefore, I must practice and find compassion for those who act aggressively towards me.

To let go of “I” and “Mine” in our daily dealings with the world helps quite a bit – whether it be about material things, personal successes or even negative acts done towards us. To take criticism and harshness as something unpleasant, and in actuality not truly about us, is the path to contentment. We must look at those who are unkind as suffering greatly themselves.

I have been more angry than is healthy. To remain angry is to let poison flow through our veins. I am practicing to redirect this energy – to accept it and let it go  – out of my brain. When uncomfortable things approach, I will try to see them as an opportunity to practice.


Spring has come. The sunshine feels good. I wander out to care for our poultry flock. Chicks are hatching from our incubator. I stop to explain how an embryo develops to my son. We enjoy the new, little lives. It is a great fortune to live ours.

I attempt to share what I learn about navigating a farmette lifestyle. We may practice connecting with the earth.

Another road that I am traveling has a destination. Periodically, I will also attempt to share what I learn about practicing Buddhist teachings. We may travel towards a place of happiness in enlightenment.

Today’s inspiration came from the Buddhist book:
“How to Solve Our Human Problems – The Four Noble Truths” by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

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