Buddhist Chickens Guide New Bernal Neighbor on Path to Nirvana


Neighbor Maggie recently moved to the upper elevations of Peralta, where shes been exploring Zen and the Art of Exploring Bernal Heights:

My first few weeks living in Bernal were like a fairy tale. They continue to be, but the first weeks of anything feel like a dream-state because everything is brand new. Every time I left my house, the tallest one of the top of a hill, I set out in a different direction. Moving from Brooklyn – where you are forced to walk in a grid no matter how hard you try to stray – it was like a “chose your own adventure” every time I walked my pup, Miko.

Most often, I let her decide where we went. She’s usually the one to find the little paths and secret stairways and gardens that make Bernal so charming and calming. One day we happened upon these very zen chickens. They have their own coop, a fenced in backyard, and a great garden view. It comes complete with a little Buddha that I’ve often seen them cuddled next to – completely chilled out, even when a little mutt is curiously sniffing around them.

Every day we take an adventure in Bernal, every day brings a new gift, and every day I feel grateful to live here.

PHOTO: Neighbor Maggie

17 thoughts on “Buddhist Chickens Guide New Bernal Neighbor on Path to Nirvana

  1. welcome Maggie- you expressed perfectly how i feel on my mutt walks too-there is usually some novelty around the corner- and I always walk further than I intend.

  2. Hey! We are honored that our chickens made it into Bernalwood and glad they have many visitors throughout the day. That’s Joey Chestnut next to the Buddha and Mango and Frankie in the background , Lettuce and Lady Gaga must be in the hen house . Believe it or not – a neighborhood Peregrine Falcon took down one of the Dominiques a few months back – it’s the wild kingdom out here in Bernalwood!

  3. We love the chickens. And half a block away is what we call the “poetry house,” where they post a new poem or two each month.

  4. this demonstrates a disgusting lack of respect for Buddhism…religious statues are not ornaments to be used by insensitive people who justify their folly with myopic entitlement

  5. Placing Your Statue In The Garden: Many people who are not Buddhists will buy statues to decorate their gardens. You should at least try to learn about the Dharma before placing a figure in your garden to not cause offend the Buddhists. Also, if you look at traditional statues you will see that the Buddha is ALMOST never seen touching the ground. Usually, the Enlightened One is depicted standing or sitting upon a lotus. Since you will not be using a wooden altar table in your garden, it would still be advisable to set up a small area where you can elevate the statue, if even just symbolically. One idea is to get several dozen small stones of more or less the same shape. Build up a little mound upon which to place your statue. Occasionally, you may wish to burn three sticks of incense or place three flowers in front of your statue as a sign of respect and veneration.

    • Thank you again John for the alter description . The Buddah is now elevated and an alter built with 3 flowers and pine cones placed .

      As a side note the Buddah was never purchased and placed in the chicken coop – we expanded the coop to give the chickens more room .. And it was uncovered in the same spot it sits now – under a fragrant mess of overgrown Rosemary. Glad he now has a more appropriate surroundings

  6. I respect all religions. My born again father has condemned me to hell for being a humanist and possible polytheist. I think Buddha would not be offended and be delighted to be in the presence of life and joy on its quest to another higher state. Otherwise, Isn’t this how all this killing and extremism is done in the name of whatever religion…to be offended.

  7. thanks John, when i get home today i will go in to #chickenlandia deep in the heart of #bernalandia and give the Buddha a more appropriate alter. the last thing we want is to disrespect the Buddha.

  8. As promised we have made a more appropriate and hopefully non offensive alter for our Buddha. My daughter and I worked on the placement of our alter this afternoon whole the chickens marched up and down the street, hid in the bushes of our oaper street way up here in the rancho Santana micro-hood of the north east corner of #Bernalandia …… We hope Buddha and our neighbors are happy

    • You sound like incredibly respectful and sensitive people, to respond so quickly and kindly to the comments here. I’ll enjoy my chicken visits even more now, knowing what good neighbors you are!

  9. “When the high heart we magnify,
    And the sure vision celebrate,
    And worship greatness passing by,
    Ourselves are great.”

  10. We love the Chicken Staircase (and the chickens).
    We also love magic staircase, zombie staircase, garden staircase and a few others yet to be named…

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