Dear Zen friend
1) March sesshin: from 03/11 to 03/15.
2) During this winter it has been warm with little snow, without a moment of -15 F. Firewood stay where they were. I burn them because firewood for next season need room.
Zendo usually has 2 foot snow for winter. This year we had 3 inch snow and it melt quickly.
I expect a foot deep snow by spring. My confidence, however, dwindles day by day.
3) On second day after the New Year, I went to an oriental food store to buy mochi (rice cake.) To eat mochi during new year holiday is a long time custom. It was sold out. I explained how important mochi is for the owner. He said he would order some from California. I found mochi flour in his store.
Next week I visited the store and discussed mochi again. Mochi did not arrive yet. So I cooked mochi candy from mochi flour. It was a fake. I visited the stopre few more times to persuade the owner to get mochi.
In the beginning of February mochi had finally arrived. I put some in a pan on the stove and tasted its delicacy. Since then I ate 2 pieces of mochi a day. It is nice snack, nice lunch, and nice supper.
A week later I found myself to eat 2 meals a day without a feeling of hunger. Food in the refrigerator was not consumed as fast as before. Mochi seemed to have changed me.
I heard a story about a patient suffered from tuberculosis of the lungs. He did everything to restore his health with help of a doctor. Nothing worked. His doctor in the long run said that his patient would die in a few months and recommended him to do whatever he liked. The doctor totally gave up.
With no hope for himself the patient ate his favorite, mochi as much as he could. In just a few months lung disease disappeared and the health restored.
Mochi had the power to win tuberculosis. It is perfect or near perfect food for health. That is why we celebrate holidays with mochi.