Mountains and Waters AllianceMountains and Waters Alliance
Mountains and Waters Alliance exists to heal the deep cause of the climate emergency in the rift between the dominant human culture and the whole of life on earth. Together with all beings, we protect and restore the living earth. We create and nouri... Read more
Mountains and Waters Alliance exists to heal the deep cause of the climate emergency in the rift between the dominant human culture and the whole of life on earth. Together with all beings, we protect and restore the living earth. We create and nourish communities, rooted in meditation and ceremony, that practice farming as activism and defend land, water, and life as healing work; we learn, teach, and invite others to join us.
We begin on seventeen acres in Minnesota, farming, regenerating woodlands and wetlands, learning from the land, apprenticing ourselves to the land. Zen meditation is a daily part of our life here.
Now in our seventh year, we have hosted community celebrations, volunteer days, meditation retreats, and residential work-study. We've foraged and gardened, planted fruit trees and berries, made trails, visited the river. In 2019 we built a meditation hall, in 2021 we begin creating a solar greenhouse.
I always look forward to spending time with Shodo on the farm. I’ve made meals, tapped trees, chopped wood, camped, walked, and hauled brush. I cultivated my spirituality, felt a sense of community with strangers, and experienced a sacred connection to the earth. Every time I volunteer at the farm, no matter how hard I work, I come away feeling filled up. Shodo and MWA offers something rarely found with other opportunities which words fail to fully express and I can only describe is a belief in the abundance of life.
Mountains and Waters Farm is Zen Buddhist Priest’s Shodo Spring’s permaculture farm 45 minutes south of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport.
It is located along bluffs above the Cannon River, which flows into the Mississippi. She welcomes guests for workshops and retreats year-round, as well as volunteer stays rich with rewards of nettle soup and berry pie. The space there is beautiful and peaceful.
An added benefit is the farm’s proximity to both Carlton College and St. Olaf University, and the college town of Northfield, MN.
I have met a variety of students, academic professionals, and activists while at the farm, both in-person and via ZOOM webinars Shodo has offered to connect me with during my visits.
This is my fourth year volunteering at this location. I’ve benefited much from Shodo’s expertise in permaculture and sustainable agriculture,as well as her connectivity with a worldwide network of experts on resilience and community-building in response to the climate crisis.
I certainly would recommend this to a friend. I volunteered with the intention of practicing Zen meditation while learning about serving the land. I found it to be rewarding combining spiritual practice and work-practice. There's multiple "interests" for volunteers; space for cultivating planted fruit trees, harvesting summer berries, and walking in the woods.
I find it works well for me to have the space to read, walk, and work in a container that is open and receptive. I felt very comfortable in my time staying at MWA. We cared for strawberry plants, harvested berries, and carried firewood indoors for winter-season. For those finding themselves eager for independent work, in a communal setting, Mountains and Waters provides a foundation for such activities. Thank you Shodo for opening this opportunity.