Words of Wisdom from the Dalai Lama


Good Earth Plant Company was delighted to work with UCSD to provide plants for the Dalai Lama’s recent visit. Photo: Courtesy UCSDNews/Twitter

Most people know Good Earth Plant Company for our living walls, green roofs, and other major projects. But we got our start 40 years ago on a much smaller scale. Our core business for many years is providing Interior Plantscaping services to offices, homes and other buildings, bringing nature indoors for people to enjoy.

Early on, I recognized that San Diego didn’t have a firm that did short term plant rentals, so I started one. We used to have contracts with all of the local concert and event producers. Our all-time favorite was the late great Joan Rivers. We’ve also provided stage plants for comedian Robin Williams, Neil Diamond, ZZ Top and Jimmy Buffett among others. Someday, ask me about making Madonna’s bridal bouquet!

We did wonderful business for 20 years, but got out when there were more competitors, and when we got so busy with our regular clients and then our living walls, we needed to stop working those late nights and weekends to stay sharp during the business week.

Now we’re occasionally asked to help provide plant rentals to fill out a stage around a performer, decorate a dressing room or create the scenery for an event for our existing clients, and we’re happy to do this for them.

The graduation ceremony at UCSD has been a long term client and we have “dressed up” the stage and venue with plants and flowers for nearly 20 years. When we touched base with UCSD a few months ago,  we were happy to hear they wanted to upgrade their order as they had a very special speaker lined up for commencement. Then we found out who the speaker would be: the Dalai Lama!

Knowing about the Dalai Lama’s appreciation for nature, it was especially important to provide our very best plants to beautify the stage.  We provided our plan to the team staging the UCSD event. A few days prior, UCSD asked us to triple the number of plants on the stage. While we don’t know if the request came from the Dalai Lama himself, I’d like to think so. The Dalai Lama has written and spoken many times about our biophilic connection to nature and our need to treat the earth more kindly.

Watch this news coverage of the Friday, June 16 events provided by KPBS-TV San Diego and you can take a good look at our work.

I gathered some of my favorite quotes by the Dalai Lama about nature to share with you in this week’s blog.
“Human use, population, and technology have reached that certain stage where mother Earth no longer accepts our presence with silence.”
“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”
“Science and technology are powerful tools, but we must decide how best to use them.”

“Human beings are children of the Earth. Whereas our common Mother Earth has tolerated our conduct up to now, she is showing us at present that we have reached the limits of what is tolerable.”
“Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.”
“In many areas, too, people are having to deal with environmental problems and, with these, threats to their livelihood and worse. At the same time, many others are struggling t get by in the face of inequality, corruption, and injustice.”

“We are visitors on this planet. We are here for one hundred years at the very most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful, with our lives. if you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true meaning of life.”
“The creatures that inhabit this earth–be they human beings or animals–are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.”
“Be gentle with the earth.”


The Dalai Lama addresses a private Tibetan audience during his recent visit to UCSD. Photo: Courtesy Radio Free Asia Tibet/You Tube Channel

The Dalai Lama also uses observations from nature to illustrate some of his lessons.

“In fact ants, to cite just one example, work unselfishly for the community; we humans sometimes do not look good by comparison. We are supposed to be higher beings, so we must act according to our higher selves.”
“If we analyze or dissect a flower, looking for the flower among its parts, we shall not find it … And yet, we cannot deny the existence of flowers and of their sweet scent.”

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.”
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

The Dalai Lama is well known for his playful sense of humor, which was on display several times during his appearance in San Diego. This quote is both funny and so true.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

The Dalai Lama is an Eco-Warrior at heart and we were fortunate to share the stage with him in San Diego in our small way. Congratulations to all the graduates in the UCSD Class of 2017. We’ll add a few last quotes from the Dalai Lama you didn’t get to hear at your commencement worth sharing for everyone’s benefit.

“Once a year go some place you’ve never been before.”
“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”

 As a result of this fantastic opportunity to provide our plants for such a special event, we have dozens of plants in extra inventory to sell at ridiculously low prices.

So… “As seen with the Dalai Lama,” Good Earth Plants will hold a short and sweet plant sale at our greenhouse at 7922 Armour Street, San Diego (just off Convoy and Balboa in Kearny Mesa) this Friday, June 23 ONLY between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Parking is very limited. Aren’t you glad you read this far? See you then! 


The Dalai Lama addresses the graduates of the Class of 2017, surrounded by plants provided by Good Earth Plant Company. On Friday they can be yours! Photo: Courtesy UCSDNews/Twitter