It occurred to me this morning, as I was practicing yoga and thinking about biodynamic practices that they have much in common. Like yoga, biodynamic methods bring health to our bodies by healing the Earth. They help ensure healthy plants and animals that provide superior nutrition. But that is just the beginning of a rather deep analogy.
Yoga depends on a focus on the breath, biodynamics does too. When we practice biodynamics we do so in sync with the Earth’s inspirations (from 3AM to Noon) and expirations (from 3PM to Midnight). We can intentionally use our biodynamic preparations, and time our gardening practices (seeding, thinning, cultivating, and harvesting) with the Earth’s breath for enhanced vitality and keeping capacity of our vegetables and fruits. And, just as there is a pause between our inhalation and exhalation, so it is with the Earth. The hours between Midnight and 3AM and Noon and 3PM are best left to sleep or more restful endeavors.
The attention to the Earth’s breath is just the beginning. Rhythm is a deep theme in biodynamics. We time our gardening and farming efforts with the rhythms of the sun, moon, stars and planets. The energies of these celestial entities have significant effects on the Earth and all that grows upon her. A biodynamic planting calendar puts these energetic influences down on paper, giving us easy access to the knowledge needed to work consciously with the cosmos. It is indispensable and a satisfying tool to use.
Then we come to meditation, which enhances our practice of yoga and biodynamics. In biodynamics, taking time to hold the land you are privileged to steward in meditation can bring a deeper sense of connection to it and even insight into what it needs or has to offer. For me this meditation time is enlivening, helping me feel connected to the land and the greater universe. In winter, when the Earth’s activities are inward, your meditative efforts may be especially profound; and your land will definitely appreciate and benefit from your presence and attention.
A journey into the practice of biodynamics is a natural next step for the organic grower. With its practical methods and spiritual depth it supports the health of the Earth, and our health. The effects of the practices are sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic; but the well-being it brings is definite.
So if you want to begin your own biodynamic practice, the best way, as with yoga, is to just get started. You need three things:
- Land to steward, a very small garden or many acres, it makes no difference. What matters is that you engage your thinking, feeling and willing (work) to support this entity.
- Biodynamic preparations to use on your compost pile (a source of fertility for your plot) and your garden/fields. I think of these as homeopathic remedies that optimize health and mitigate disease; but they are also much more.
- A biodynamic planting calendar, I personally like the Stella Natura Calendar; Maria Thun has a very good one too.
I hope I have inspired you to get started. I know you will be blessed even as you bless the land you steward.
Shelley Goguen Hulbert
Preparation Maker and Farmer
P.S. We have the preparations you need at biodynamicsolutions.org, and references to books and the planting calendars can be found there too.