THIS IS a 3-Tiered course about the self-reliant,
a balance of Principle, Method, and hands-on Practice.
IS LIFE just too complicated, frustrating,
or just pure routine and emptiness?
Perhaps you long for a more balanced, intelligent-based environment-
You are NOT alone in this
This course is for YOU- seeker of the sensible, ready for change,
and not imprinted for inertia, ignorance or inactivity.
SimPLife is offerings of self-reliance and useable knowledge:
wanna grow FOOD, organically? got you covered.
BUILD something, naturally? sure, take a look.
just, live with LESS? yep, its in there.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:
~ testimonials from Course engagers ~
“The presenter obviously feels passionately about his subject and lives what he teaches. He has an understanding of modern life and that of the pupil. He conveys content in a capturing way.” - Katharina M
“This is very interesting material that I think more people should know.” - Scott C.
“If only we could take this on board what a wonderful legacy we would leave.” - Vic A.
“This course is informative, inspiring and empowering.” - Susan C.
HOW THIS COURSE INTENDS TO BENEFIT YOU:
WELCOME to the SimPLife flagship course.
24 videos (and counting), 3.5 hours of content from 4 countries (also counting), crammed with get-off-your-butt useable solutions. 25+ years in the making. and it ain't over yet.....
earth and humanwork, unafraid as it must be. not derailed by improbable odds, silly appearance or the selfish and uncaring. willing to practice Light in the midst of Darkness. refusing to deny what is right HERE, and showing what can BE.
not sidestepping our mounting paradox, SimPLife addresses a human world in the fire of extreme consequence yet frozen by extreme apathy; our limitless possibility emulsed in rigid control.
SimPLife is NOT for everyone.
"ask NOT what this world can do for you, ask what together we can do for the betterment of this Planet, and for all Beings of open hand and heart." - i just said that.
if you're OK with that, then SimPLife is OK for you.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: this course is a 3 tiered program of general good practices, hard-learned hacks & hands-on serious fun.
TIER A: SPELLING IT OUT - SimPL, letter by letter ~ each letter in the name stands for something essential to why SimPL was founded. These videos form the core principles for creating the behaviour and conditions towards a practical life, a simplife- with Practical Living finally summed up in 10 video segments:
1. No-Credit Economics 2. Buy Second-Hand 3. NO Chemicals! 4. BE Local 5. Thoroughness In All Things 6. Honour Your Body (be healthy) 7. Eat Less Meat (or none) 8. Make Homemade 9. Teach 10. Because the World Needs YOU
TIER B: SimPLife SECRET AGENT - prime investigations of a do-gooder badass~ observing the universe- and the big bad world- to learn how it all operates, with each subject deepening our becoming a sensible streetwise integrated activist operative, knowing that social camps - be it secular, new age, right, left, anarchist or scientist, tend to exclude or ignore some aspect of the essential whole.
TIER C: SimPLife CAUGHT PLAYING - hands on the dirty work, to come up shining ~ putting the principles to work, describing process, achieving result. each video is excerpted from other SimPLife courses, from growing food to decoding Cosmos to assembling earth, to creating musical art.
because the world needs YOU.
POINT. glaringly obvious- WE NEED EACH OTHER to shake free, to live sensibly, sanely, practically- and to make irrelevant, certain dominating negative influences.
truth at times is a vicious razor. we can all so easily start living sensibly NOW with the gifts of this planet, while applying our own gifts - if not, we may as well not plan on having many future generations of human beings. period.
please take NOTES, ENGAGE often- ADD to this body of work!
because the world needs you.
this is not a joke, nor a rehearsal.
WHY is the promo video included here in the course?
well, many of you may have hurled yourselves headlong into the course without seeing it, that's why.
and, it's a chat which is key to grok what SimPLife is really here for.....
essential: that you ENGAGE in discussions here,
and ask for clarifications- or modifications- when needed,
if not, this course will be sapped of vital purpose.
see you on the inside!
SimPLife is steeped in permaculture and biodynamics principles- and put into everyday practical context- via blogs, lectures, and hands-on course videos.
in this vid: WHY BOTHER with SimPL & SimPLife, and why it has existed, from the planet-wandering,internetless beginnings in 1991 up till now.
discussed is the extent of what SimPL gets into, and a course lineup, for existing and upcoming practices.
at the risk of getting too declarative- please know that we humans can arrange to fix the collective ecosystems of this entire planet, in a one-year period of design and planning.
you might be shocked to see how relatively few dedicated folks are actually needed.
provided we remove the global blocks that we have allowed to assert themselves into our midst.
these preventions are not only the usual control-freak corporate baddies. we live in a growing global attitude which prizes the intellect, yet considers hands-on, or the use of hands to effect one's craft and livelihood as something degraded, and reserved for the mass proletariat of lower intelligence.
Robert Greene in his book, Mastery, considers this a severely counterproductive value in today's world, as in fact our brains evolved in conjunction with the hand.
pitiful it is to consider that the life-staple, farming, as example is perhaps the least sexy of topics one may nowadays choose, to incite a continuing chat with another. yet the conversation picks up when we shift to culinary matters- or which restaurant is our favourite. here we see yet again, that earth and the modern human, are just not seeing eye to eye.
efforts like SimPL see time and again, that the major disease most humans have chosen to participate in is APATHY.
A close second is FEAR. you may see this one most often played out as cynicism, or denial.
IF this isn't you- stick around, there is good dialogue indeed to be had!
and now you know, if you wonder why to bother with SimPLife- or why SimPLife bothers- with any of this life-enriching fun we offer.
do a favor? take notes and comment!!
SimPL starts out with an S for Sensible, and why do you suppose that is?
plainly, because there is too much going on in 'normal' life that is NOT sensible. at all.
in fact, if you look closely at this human world (and stay away from the numb-and-dumb headlines),
you find out there isn't a whole lot that isn't full-on batshit crazy.
senseless stuff that affects YOU, me and everyone around us- and installed solely to make the few global owners insanely wealthy on OUR daily purchase decisions,
while dragging down the quality of life from all angles,
as this human world snoozes along,
dimly aware that a problem or two might be happening, somewhere...
how much in your life is well-integrated to your natural rhythms?
another way to say that is, are your lifestyle and life content actually benefitting you, making life simpler, higher quality and more FUN?
think on this.
Here, we will dissect a common example of a system integration- the HomeStead.
almost everyone nowadays dreams of the one-day, idyllic lifemap, complete with house barn farm workshop fields animals students workers earth oven artificial wetlands greenhouse......and.....and.....
i could- and YOU could- go on forever with these details, yet a well executed integration minimizes the pain factor, the detailage and expense of a too-fat system heavily laden with elements which make life a real pain in the arse,
instead of the morning leap out of bed to have more FUN
...now that we're chest-deep in the mire of detail-
where they all go-
HOW do we emerge with everything coming together in the way we truly want,
the way which works the best for us, for everyone, the planet...
an integration done right- the aim of every design,
and the endpoint in everyperson's fondest daydreams.
aahh, the divine law of multiplicity.
defined as obtaining several results from a single action. the
practical application or actually putting this into action,
the blooming of one effect outward to several beneficiaries,
takes a little more than naked understanding.
to master this, is likened to tensing the windspring of the Universe.
the most successful business owners and entrepeneurs have figured this out, whether or not they regard their actions in this kind of context.
after all, how can one or even a few persons actually run an entire organization which is fraught with ongoing details needing attention, without some idea of the multiplied result springing from their relatively few instructions...
This follow-on to the common multi-chat, delves much deeper into multi-finesse, simply by giving an extended urban example- one that you or i, anyone, could be the originator of.
the invitation is ON, therefore- the principles of multiplicity are not difficult to divine, or to implement- as we have learned and seen in our own lives- SO......
what's to stop ANYONE from multi-mastering, and becoming masters of their own lives, commanders of earthly presence, and wildly successful in many areas at once
as we spell out SimPL, the first three letters
Sensible, integrated multiplicity- are drivers which point the way towards ###strong
/strong###ractical Living, the whole point to any of this.
In these three Practical Living videos, TEN guidelines towards a practical life – a SimPLife – are served:
1. No-Credit Economics
2. Buy Second-Hand
3. NO Chemicals!
4. BE Local
5. Thoroughness In All Things
6. Honour Your Body (be healthy)
7. Eat Less Meat (or none)
8. Make Homemade
9. Teach, Mentor & Mastery
10. Because the World Needs YOU
in this Practical Living video:
6. Honour Your Body (be healthy)
7. Eat Less Meat (or none),
we glimpse into the area of food, personal and community health, perhaps the area most hampered or threatened worldwide.
if we might be allowed just this once to dwell morbidly, to raise what we hope are effective alarms-
many people around the world are underpaid and undernourished, and are often seen settling for bodily sustenance which is
cheapest yet most valueless food available. the situation is heading
more negative, at the hands of Big Agro and the mass-food machine,
churning out volumes of worsening feedstock for the planets' animal and human lifestock.
most damaging of all the corporate badboy control-freak efforts, is the raising of animals for food, whereas vast land, water, chemical and crop resources all add up to an industry that is single-handedly stripping the planet bare- doing more harm than ALL other blamed reasons combined.
questions? there is more proof, tonnes of examples and statistics, than SimPL wishes to admit- here we are looking truly fk'd...
in this final offering of Tier A,
8. Make Homemade
9. Teach, Mentor & Mastery
10. Because the World Needs YOU
we are beseeched to upmarket, or up-energy or produce & harvests into more valuable commodities and refinements.
the same would hold true for any craftsperson, to transform raw or repurposed materials into items of higher value.
also, the sharing of wisdoms and cultivation of mastery from mentor-to-pupil, parent-to-child,
is outlined as a fundamental human responsibility.
finally, the summing of what SimPLife is emphasizing- the realization of one's own grandeur, by the simpl act of DOing, and creating the lifelong guilds so vital to our present thrival-
and the addictions of the trapped among us, along with the influence of the control powers that make it so-
are finally, irrevocably made irrelevant.
MOST OF US have tried it on, went about as though we were spiritually special- or gifted in the depths of the sacred something- at some point, i will submit. admit, rather.
ALWAYS there was something to DO, or BE, or GET, in order to achieve the benign. and when you did that something, you held a kind of position. experienced. travelled. time to buy a robe.
YET all those times when we spoke of "being here now", being in the moment- or in the room- did we ever really check into what that means? i mean, the REAL. the actual, grit-and-spit of the factual gross matter that we stand on, in, as, the concrete content of the physical plane...what is going on there, after all?
AND when we learn this, are we still willing to think we are somehow running the show- seeing how even something as banal as physicality can be a humbling discovery.
this looks at how new science is unveiling our common reality, via Light as source material, via the "field"- and answers what the hell is vacuum, really, besides just suction...
IF you read the previous lecture notes, this will ADD to the grand questions,
the question of BEING, and BEING HERE (physically, anyway).
'WHY do we care?', and 'how can we be here now?' is offered here.
wonder if you can hang out with the final question posed, right there at the end.
write your answers in the Comments!
SimPLife is primarily interested in self-reliance,
as every human has the ability and the responsibility to function by their own power AND to know when they are actually doing this, not by repeating a pop-cultural myth of same, or by merely making one purchase or taking a trendy course.
This chat debunks examples of the current fantasies surrounding self-sufficiency, or self-sustainability, such as:
- minimal efforts can make us all planet-saviours
- one or few recommended efforts can justify other habits of waste and environmental insult
- membership in the good countries, communities, or clubs means we are knowledgeable in earth-logic
- awareness without personal research-in-earnest of actual truth, is not awareness.
alas, the majority citizenry in all countries developed or developing, falls prey to one or more of the above, mostly as a result of bad information.
using principles of self-reliance, as a useful angle from which to understand basic economics,
and a useful tool for achieving the practical, simplife together.
whatever does ORGANIC mean, anyway? this is one abused & overused word in the English language nowadays.
and mostly it gets,well, lost in translation.
poor ‘organic’ our friend, is at once a buzzword, a branch of
chemistry, delineator of certain behaviours, and the flagship of a
global cultural movement.
and i wonder how many folks really have the right word,
when they use this tired & over-wrought label.
then again, in this human world how much that is going on is going on correctly?
everyone’s buddy and political hero, Henry Kissinger, is incorrectly quoted to have said: “control
energy, and you control nations. control food and you control people.”
or, words to that effect...
all jokes aside, old Hank, or someone, was dead on the money. no pun intended.
and guess what?
the populations of the developed, industrial countries are now controlled by energy & food- and in other areas to boot, and therefore are enjoying mass slavery
and are scarcely aware of it.
well. enjoy the show.
Folks who have never been weaned on chemical consumption, that is to say, those not given over to chemcultural habits of dependency at birth-
the automatic reach for some bizarre-coloured spray container or alien smelling agent to do the most basic of functions- in the course of daily life maintenance,
just don't get this chem-world, that people all around them seem to be blindly hooked into.
and it's true! that people in this world have been often seen, applying some caustic or toxic solution to a plain water-and-towel problem, without first pausing for the possibility that this action/duty/response might not actually be necessary.
so...just a few tips of things to try on the cleaning side of natural. more recipes and tips will later be stuffed into the sock of Stuff for Practical Living, yet another feature looming on this course's horizon...
this video is the info-sidekick of Practical Living 3: No Chemicals!
looking at BD from different perspectives, so hoping that you will grok
our fundamental Truth- that the Universe is truly set up- or effectively appears-
to be our beneficial and protective ally in Life and lifestyle.
To utilize and understand BD, is to embrace the adage "go with the flow",
in every aspect, literal, figurative and physical.
most all of us tie BD strictly to farming- however it is equally beneficial for human life and lifestyle as it is for plants, and this is explored in depth in the course.
and why wouldn't BD be human-beneficial. are we not biology?
The Essential Biodynamics: Self Reliance-By-Cosmos
This covers the first four moon rythmns:
Ascending & Descending Moon
Moon Opposite Saturn &
Admittedly, it is a bunch to take on in one sitting- you are encouraged to please, pause the video when necessary and TAKE COPIOUS NOTES, as personal tips to remember what each rhythm means out there in the field, or in your own life.
Enjoy it well, and please remember that whenever something doesn't make sense- to post discussions in the dashboard.....
This covers the final two moon rythmns:
Moon Over Zodiac
Full Moon - New Moon
These are both major rythmns, and take a bit of explaining.
Moon Over Zodiac
gives us our elemental influences of Air, Water, Fire and Earth-
in that order- as the moon passes in front of certain groups of stars in the zodiac.
Twelve zodiac constellations, so the four elements are each repeated 3 times,
before the whole rythmn repeats itself.
A full cycle of 4 elements repeating 3 times each, is defined as a month, or moonth.
Moon-New Moon is the rythmn everybody knows,
where we see the moon changing phases night after night,
from the disappearing new moon all the way to spectacular full moon, and back again.
In farming, we are
mostly concerned only with the new and full moons within the spectrum of phases,
as these are extreme days which bring particular conditions upon the earth.
Bio-Organic Farming combines the benefits of Ladakhi Organic Farming Method with the benefits of BioDynamics. the two together weave a kind of practical logic, with the method providing the what & how, and the BD providing the when & why.
the Ladakhi Organic Method is a fancy way of saying how the people of Ladakh, in himalayan India, have been growing their own food since ancient times.
the method utilizes closed cells as planting areas, and is an easy, efficient and compact way to grow food, as water is used practically and effectively, whilst minimizing topsoil or nutrient loss. true to the nature of farming in Ladakh, the method favors smaller, personal or community farms as opposed to being a mass production technique.
This is how-to demonstrates method basics...from using the hoe, to clearing the field,
to creating those first cells and canal in your Ladakhi-style farm.
excerpted from Bio-Organic Farming & Gardening: Self-Reliance, Vital Food
Describes seed factors: of planting depth, early and full-growth plant spacings, and companion planting guidelines.
NOTE: a companion planting chart is recommended, to choose the right combinations of crops and herbs in your field. many useful charts exist online- using the largest chart available- one with the maximum number of crops listed is recommended, to allow a SimPLer and wider selection.
RESOURCE ATTACHED: as discussed in the video, please review the Women's Alliance of Ladakh Seed Bank Planting Guide , done as a volunteer SimPL project in 2013, to complement a most valuable seed bank effort- a room of Ladakhi superseeds is nothing to ignore- in collaboration with the Navdanya organization of India, which is nothing to ignore.
the chart admittedly is a bit involved- you may want to take time to understand how it reads- but it includes planting depths for various types of crops, a little local lore, and plant spacings & watering info is there as well.
incidentally, i had the great fortune to meet the great Navdanya leader Dr. Vandana Shiva at the Ladakhi Organic Festival there at the WAL facility, and passed onto her my information for the Ladakhi Organic Farming book (still in progress), but unfortunately did not hear back from them. this happens as well- we do not always meet with great success or have great results when dealing with great people.
something as trivial and common as failure should never dissuade us, in my opinion, from the work we feel we must do, or efforts that have great importance for ourselves and this planet.
a mainstay & real passion for so many communities around the world since ancient times.
this is the center of focus and activity during the cold months-
or on pizza night-
where hungry and mesmerized friends routinely gather together to anticipate
a delightful meal, and to stare into the warm aura of fire.
as a natural, eco-friendly project,
earth ovens are a great way to learn rock building, applied recycling, earth building,
simpl shelter construction & clay sculpting all at once.
as a food cooking medium, the earth oven is unsurpassed (my unbiased opinion)
in quality and efficiency- an armload of wood, yard scraps or paper waste can produce:
a sizeable stack of the most incredible pizzas,
mouth-watering loafs of breads & pastries,
smoky-baked jacket potatoes (unwrapped),
open casseroles, and even
main covered dishes in metal pots.
these ovens even work well as a basic kiln, able to fire small ceramics such as coffee mugs and artwork.
in this vid, we first take a look at the earth oven in terms of design and use.
simpl oven lingo: vented (with chimney, or vertical heat-escape) and non-vented (no chimney, where heat escapes through oven mouth).
both main types of earth oven are shown here, and the non-vented Gandalph oven, circa 2003, is discussed for heat-building, fuel removal, door & oven design-
and the Bar-Bake-Q effect, which is maintaining the fire inside a non-vented, open mouthed oven during cooking to produce smoked dishes, a personal favorite- and admittedly an acquired taste.
How To Sculpt An Earth Oven: Fire, Beauty & Awesome Food
the earth oven door determines the rate of heat retention- and of heat loss,
also the size of wood for fuel, the size of cooking trays, ultimately the size of the food.
The door's design is quite simpl, yet more exacting than one may think.
ultimately, the look & shape of the door will inspire or prevent certain wild ideas in oven persona-sculpting, thus the builder-artiste grapples with a fresh new canvas, of how to transform an archway opening into an original illusion, for each new oven creation.
drums are a passion, a legend, ultimately a drug.
and djembe is the kingpin, the don of vibration.
many a hypnotized gathering has gyrated and shook beyond
normal human limits of endurance,
breaking through, inventing movement-
willingly helpless in the drunken trance of rhythm
and the sharp bark of goat's belly over a tree chamber.
in this vid, learn what an african djembe is made of, and how to obtain and/or fabricate the parts.
in each case, it is the fit of the part relative to the other drum parts,
which determines the overall potential of a djembe.
it is then the builder-artiste who determines the final quality,
on a foundation of the quality of parts and their compatibilities
How To Build A Professional Djembe:
Music, Beauty & Biz
Djembe tuning is horizontal tightening.
Here we show how one small djembe, Carmen, was tuned, three times, during her build in 2013.
Carmen is still reasonably high-noted and tightly strung 3 years later,
despite a questionable wood quality.
The nature of the drumsong is also finally determined by the tune, and the string balancing which occurs by this simpl process.
NOW is the time in the build, to begin discussing quality factors, such as having notes in your drum.
Drums with the most character tend to be those who were not made absolutely perfectly- that indeed have flaws or imbalancing in the strings or hoops.
At times or at certain angles these drums appear less than professional-grade,
but one may be surprised to find drummers actually intending flaws,
for enhanced drum persona....
Where To From Here, St. Peter?
An overview of SimPLife courses present and upcoming. lifeskills to bring the physical results you want to see in your life. and the step-by-step hands-on continuation where this course leaves off.
enjoy, and thank you for making it this far- there are not many people nowadays, who can maintain focus in subjects which are not get-rich-quick or miracle shortcut approaches to Life.
i apologize if this sounds silly or inappropriate, but i am proud of you, and proud that you joined SimPLife for this experience.
Engineer, instructor, builder/designer/filmmaker/healer/actor/musician/farmer and world-wandering wordweaver, im has been sojourning, building, planting, writing and teaching for over 30 years.
In 1991, prior to the dawn of certification, im created SimPL as a short-contract and volunteer organization which seeks out and assists individuals and communities towards arriving at a self-reliant lifebase, amidst the growing apathy and consumption-fetish now gripping the general human population.
SimPLife is the practice of natural living, with the intention of supporting and preserving the purity & sanctity of sensible lifestyle: project builds and life-skills courses (permaculture & biodynamics-based), organic farming, natural building & life masterplanning.
To date, there have been SimPLife builds or courses in Ladakh, Turkey, Spain, USA, Thailand, Ecuador, Korea, Phillipines, Guyana and England.
im's professional certifications include:
BS Electrical Engineering
BS Civil Engineering
LEED Accredited Professional
Solar PV Designer/Installer, SEI
Reconnection Healing Practitioner/ Reiki Master
Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, SOLO
Wilderness Guide Educator, NOLS