AS IT IS: Ruth Denison on what you can see here


Ruth Denison (wikipedia), the internationally known 91-year-old Buddhist teacher who lives up the dirt road from us, has been Jay’s teacher since the moment he met her in January, 2012. Ruth is pictured above, on the right, in a photo from two weeks ago. (That’s Jay on the left, and another of Ruth’s longtime students, teacher Jill Rayna in the center.)

What has Ruth been teaching out here in the northern outskirts of Joshua for all these years? Here’s a taste, from a chapter on Ruth in Meetings with Remarkable Women: Buddhist Teachers in America (Revised and Updated Edition) by Lenore Friedman:

When one deeply understands what the Buddha is saying, Ruth believes that qualities like compassion are “no problem; it is there!” She feels there is no limit to who we are: we are a field of energy endowed with consciousness that can flow out to everything there is. “I am not a separate entity; I am rather without boundaries, yah? Because in all phenomena, the same energies function. The physicists tell us we are not a solid mass of something; we are just energy in flux, like everything else, animated and unanimated. Wherever you look, you are in contact and see the context, and the situation presents itself clearly as it really is in true nature. Life.”

The desert, she feels, is especially conducive to this kind of perception. One lives in a field of “open space, vast, a mesa surrounded at the horizon by mountains, with snow peaks until June. So barren, so naked, so truthful. Nothing is hidden; everything is presenting itself as it is.”

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8:30am today: I watched this bat fly up and land on a beam under an outdoor patio ceiling at our house, in broad daylight. Something has gone wrong. Looks small and beautiful. (It flew away about half an hour later.)
Photo by Stephanie


Anyone able to ID this bat?

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About a cabin


We’ve been interviewed about one of our cabins by ‘Free People,’ who’ve used it for a photo shoot.

Nice photos of cabin, and interview:

Styling story:

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Desert jujube orchard sunset

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Jujubes are ripening at our small orchard at Sunever Farms. Photo by Stephanie via instagram

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The Tomcat, in the damp soil he likes to be in during the morning heat. Photo by Stephanie.

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We’re psyched to announce that our signature DEFEND JOSHUA TREE “three fierce coyotes” T-shirts in all Women’s and Men’s sizes are now on sale in downtown Joshua Tree at Joshua Tree Outfitters.

Joshua Tree Outfitters
61707 29 Palms Hwy (the 62)
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Defend Joshua Tree shirts are also in stock in Yucca Valley from our friends at The Hoof and the Horn just down the highway in Yucca Valley…

The Hoof and the Horn
55840 29 Palms Hwy
Yucca Valley, California 92284
(760) 365-6100

And you can mail order shirts directly from us via our online store:

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A local desert horned lizard, out for a walk this morning. Photos by Stephanie

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AVAILABLE NOW: Portable compost toilet, designed by Stephanie


Stephanie designed this portable compost toilet and we still have a few left for sale. Here’s why you should buy it:

- Assembles (and disassembles) in minutes, no hardware, stores flat for easy portability

- Drought-friendly — uses no water

- For use anywhere, indoors or outdoors

- No chemicals, no bad scent; smells like the natural biomass (woodchips, sawdust, straw) you compost with

All you need to do is use regular toilet paper, and add appropriate biomass (woodchips, sawdust, straw, etc.) between uses. When full, simply empty the bucket into a dedicated compost pile and follow the humanure waste composting method outlined in the Humanure Handbook. Soon, you’ll have perfectly safe, rich compost for garden and trees.

The kit includes a sturdy sanded and sealed plywood frame, with standard toilet seat. Assembled, the toilet is 18″ wide, 20″ long, 19″ tall. Plywood frame has been cut using a CNC milling machine, and is designed as a flatpak product for easier shipping and storing. No hardware is required for assembly.

Note: 5-gallon bucket not included

Order online via Etsy: click here

Also available in Joshua Tree at The Nourishing Tree

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Please, could the right somebody buy this: a cabin and garage on a 25-ACRE EUCALYPTUS FARM with working WATER WELL (!!!), not too far from us. The property has been sitting on the market for a while…

Info, lotsa photos: Trulia

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Photo by Stephanie, in a nearby wash this morning… Desert iguana in the coils of some kind of ambitious young snake…


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