Dharma Bites-The Law of the Farm

We can find the dharma just about anywhere people have looked deeply into life, because “dharma” is a just word for the way things really work.

Stephen Covey’s The Law of the Farm is something I read at least once a week as a kind of “reality check.” It makes me ponder how realistically I’ve been living my life.  I think it’s an epitome of what karma, cause and effect, is all about. And I bet thinking about what it says can help you too.

Remember The Law of the Farm

What you reap, you sow.

If you want a harvest, you have to plant seeds

Each day the plants must be cared for – watered, fertilized, weeded.

Everything counts, everything matters — what you don’t do now you always have to deal with later

The garden must be weeded each day.

The longer you wait to weed, the harder it is to get rid of the weed and the more the weeds are entangled with the good plants

The must be time for rest as well as time for work

You can’t forget to seed, plant, and nurture and then think you can “cram” it all at the time of harvest.

From The Law of the Farm by Stephen Covey

About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

9 Responses to “Dharma Bites-The Law of the Farm”

  1. . . . Miles to go before I sleep . . .

    But I am so tired . . . like how he said that we need to rest . . . re=enegize, so that we can make that early call to get back to tending the farm another day.

    For now though, I think I’ll dream of Frost and farms and how nice it is to see friends at a “post.”

    michael j

  2. “But we are never doomed, never stuck forever in any state of ignorance. We can always forgive ourselves, and others, and start anew.”

    Thank God for that!…When I was a mere child of 45, I thought I was pretty much finished–that I’d just spend the rest of my life living with my mistakes and my accomplishments (the real one of the latter being my son), that nothing much would change, and that (much to my surprise and dismay) I’d get old. That was three years ago. It turns out I’m just getting started.

    (I didn’t see a comment on the post, btw.)


    • I remember being a “child of 45!” 🙂 I’m so glad you discovered you are just getting started.

      Interestingly, as I got to this comment, I had just read this from the Theranama Sutra:

      Do not pursue the past.
      Do not lose yourself in the future.
      The past no longer is.
      The future has not yet come.
      Looking deeply at life as it is
      in the very here and now,
      the practitioner dwells
      in stability and freedom.

      I love that!

      • Perfect. It speaks so well to something I’ve been paying attention to lately: I have a sometimes painful nostalgia/longing for certain periods of my life–periods that, in retrospect, I feel that I wasted by thinking about the EARLIER past, or anticipating the future. Sometimes the longing is so visceral…And yet these are some of, if not THE, best days of my life, and I don’t want to “lose” them too by spending my time longing for the past (I have no worries about the future any more–just a happy and patient curiosity!). So I’m TRYING to stay with each lovely moment of the present (that’s another reason for the blog and my private journal–I don’t want to forget anything with my not-so-great memory).

        Mindfulness is definitely one of the lessons I’m working hard to learn these days, and Living Buddha, Living Christ was a wonderful inspiration in that regard (and others).

        Thank you for the

        • Oh, my friend, what you say is so familiar, so very human. Bless our dear longing hearts! I struggle mightily with the same stuff, believe me. Making friends with the past ain’t easy! I think I’ll finally be able to hold the past comfortably when I get all the “sticky stuff” cleaned away from this particular “crying baby.”

          But now, what a mess! I long, I year, I regret, and then, I remember. I come back to my breath, and the here and now, though I often still feel pangs. I think that sending metta to ourselves in the past, seeing ourselves in our relative ignorance and need at that time, and then sending younger selves great compassion and tenderness, is a great way to “unstick” the past.

  3. I don’t know if you read my post-about-your-post yet, but I just read this one, and it all became clear to me–I believe that what was said was in anticipation of what’s said (or left out) here… 🙂 (Plant deeply enough, cover the seeds, don’t leave things to chance…)

    That’s all I can figure!


    • Yes, I did read your post-about-my post, and left a comment there, I believe. We’re totally on the same page.

      I agree. I like “The Law of the Farm” and would only add to it that unlike regular farmers, who may get wiped out if they don’t see how the world works in terms of a farm, we always get to start afresh. Yeah, if we somehow tried to convince ourselves that unskillful actions wouldn’t have bad results, maybe we’ve got a big mess to untangle and fix. But we are never doomed, never stuck forever in any state of ignorance. We can always forgive ourselves, and others, and start anew. That, too, is the law of the farm. 🙂


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