Dear zen friend
1) Baika Lesson will be held from 9 am to noon on 9th (Thursday) of June. Rev. Moriyama Yuko from Japan will teach us with help of Rev. Ito Yuji of SFO office.
Those who want to participate in the event may arrive at zendo 10 minutes before 9am.
Pot luck lunch follows. They will leave zendo around 2 pm, so you may find time to ask and discuss music, zen, or Japan with them. (In the cases of last 3 visits they left around 11.30am.)
Baika is sotoshu songs. Why is a song sung at a zen temple? By accident I found close relationship between singing and zen in 2009. By request of Ikuko san in 2011 Baika department in Sotoshu was spotted. After our contact, CDs, texts, and music instruments arrived from nowhere and somewhere. I talked about singing, chanting at sotoshu conferences. Sotoshu started sending Baika teachers since 2013.
Last October I stayed at a temple in Japan. Before a ceremony about 10 women beautifully sang Baika. I was impressed with its tones and harmony. (I know how hard and long they practiced, because we practiced the same thing with slight result.) I am still discovering a secret in Baika singing, which would be a life long practice. There is a general understanding among Soto priests; Baika practitioners live long.
2) June summer time sesshin: from June 10 to June 14.
3) I had ignored website and all hi-tech communication technologies. Dogen Zenji, Sawaki Roshi, and Uchiyama Roshi recommended just sitting, which should not have any connection with any technology.
In May I purchased 3 apple trees to plant not from a local store but through internet. The items were sent by fedex with little cost. When I bought baby trees I used to have a difficult time to find a truck. Now I just wait for delivery of fedex. I have to admit that internet has changed a business model and a social structure. We can live in a rural area without truck as long as holding ID. The world has changed!
The same thing has happened to our website valleyzendo.org. Long story short, the site is under new management since the end of May 2016. Maintenance will be done by valley zendo and a team. It requires a lot of change since it has been ignored for more than a decade. It is terribly incomplete. Well, we will work.
If you search something about valley zendo, please first check the website. From now on monthly dharma mail will be posted in valleyzendo.org as well.