Burning Stones and Flowers

to register for the event on Saturday, July 25th, click here

In an age defined by its liminal paradigm, California is positioned as a global microcosm for what is possible and what could be lost forever should we fail to shed key and limiting notions of who we are in relation to the natural world and to each other. Join naturalist, painter and bestselling author Obi Kaufmann in a live conversation with San Francisco Zen Center Central Abbot Ed Sattizhan as they traverse a wide range of philosophical concepts examining the human/nature dynamic as it is now playing out, and about how ecological connectivity correlates directly to our collective values of hope, trust, and meaning itself.

Burning Stones and Flowers
By Obi Kaufmann

I’ve practiced my whole life for this day.
I’ve burned away the whole garden,
all of it, with all of its stones and all of its flowers,
waiting to see this one thing.
I’ve practiced so hard that I don’t think any other day has ever existed.
I’ve wanted it so bad that the wind stops while I hold my breath.
When the fire comes, and the fire always comes,
it will recognize me because I will know what I am looking at.
My practice is the same as it was ten million years ago
and the same as it will be ten million years from now,
so how could my understanding have changed so much?

An early iteration of the planned conversation with all information still relevant and correct.

Obi Kaufmann at his desk in Oakland, California, summer 2020

to preorder Obi’s next Field Atlas, THE FORESTS OF CALIFORNIA (shipping early September) click here

Categories: ESSAYS