Liberty1 is the ability to have control over one’s actions. Clearly one can not have liberty if one’s mind is not one’s own. Many who value liberty, value property rights. The relationship between life, liberty and property are well described by Frédéric Bastiat2. I believe that property agency3, like most things, blooms from the center outward. We should focus our attention on owning our minds and our bodies before expanding attention to other forms of property.

Mindfulness to me is a state of control, of focus; it is the ownership of the most important part of our physical existence, the right now. It is the only place we really live. Gaining mastery of mindfulness is journey with many rewards. While mindfulness has played an important role in many religions for thousands of years, the expansion of its adoption beyond religion, is encouraging. I think we are just beginning to understand the many advantages. Every day it seems there are new discoveries in psychology, medicine, and other fields that show promise for learning mindfulness. Commonly touted benefits include relief from stress, improved focus, improved observation, strengthened immune system and others. I would describe mindfulness as navigating a river on a kayak, where the river is conciseness and mindfulness is the kayak. It would be possible to navigate the river without the kayak, but given a choice would you want to?

Here is a short video that introduces the concept of mindfulness.

Here is a more technical/neurological, yet simple and accessible, explanation from the same site that provided the video.

I own a book called Present Moment Awareness.

Present Moment Awareness: A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide to Living in the NowUsing this affiliate link will help support our efforts to serve you.

It is a great guide to mindfulness. You can read my review here.

In a world of noise, distraction, constant battle for your attention, and constant battle for your mind (the brain game), mindfulness is a powerful skill we can use to enhance our mind, body and life.

  1. Liberty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: [Accessed October 27, 2012].


  2. Frédéric Bastiat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: [Accessed October 27, 2012].


  3. Agency (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: [Accessed October 27, 2012].


  4. Convert Chinese 念 to images - Create writing and calligraphy images of Chinese characters, words, sentences, symbols. Available at: [Accessed October 25, 2012].

Everybody needs food. It is a fundamental requirement for human existence. What skills could be more valuable than those that help address basic needs?

  • Air
  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Security

In modern times most of us focus our energies on developing specialized skills and applying them to trade for the things we need to survive. This works well when these things, such as food are readily available. When there is a stress on the supply of these things, such as on the public food supply during war, then we recall the value of more practical skills that permit us to provide for ourselves. During WWI and WWII “victory gardens” became popular because the public food supply was stressed by the war efforts.

Growing food is a skill. I would argue that it is better to refine this skill at a time when mistakes are not likely to result in starvation. This way one may be free to take more risks and experiment with different techniques without fear of dire consequences.

If you are reading this article chances are high that you can grow something where you live. Not everybody has space for walnut trees, but might have space to grow mushrooms, a pot of strawberries, or a small garden.

Growing food is also rewarding. It is truly astounding how much better fruits and vegetables taste when grown and ripened in one’s own garden. There are many reasons for this including things such as being able to select varieties based on tastiness rather than on storage life and transport hardiness. One may also take advantage of polyculture, permaculture, hugelkultur, and many other growing techniques that would simply be economically out of reach for a large scale commercial farmer.

Many plants we use for food are really beautiful in their own right. Our nectarine tree not only produces the best nectarines I have ever tasted, but it is a really beautiful tree.


I will share my experiences in future articles as my family and I improve our food growing skills. I hope that you will do the same so we may learn together. Are you growing a Liberty Garden?