Dharma in June 2016

Dear Zen Friend
1)   July sesshin:     from 07/08  to  07/12.
2)    A Day of Meditation at Shantigar in Rowe, Massachusetts
       9 am to 5 pm    on July 23rd  2016
       For more info:      email@shantigar.org
3)  This year’s Baika lesson on 06/09 with Rev. Moriyama Yuko was an epoch making event. Many people attended. Thank you. Moreover, Baika finally became familiar to us. It has taken 5 years to begin understanding singing. Compared to 10 years for zazen, 5 years is not too bad.
At the first conversation with Sotoshu I was told that Baika is based on face to face learning. Since there was no teacher, we had to practice copying CD. CD was good text for a while. In fact, alive teacher is much better than CD by many meanings. I cannot write details here because a living teacher holds secrets a lot.
The same thing would apply to internet courses in schools. Good teachers are needed no matter how well AI or a robot would have improved.
There are many technical terms for Baika.  What are tone, rhythm, pitch, keynote with clear sense? I did not know their true meanings. It is shame to make confession here. But this is record that I started from a low place. So any person can do better than I do.
Baika is deeply connected with breathing and posture. Not only good shape but also functional body and mind are required. Maybe Baika practice will enhance a suitable body and mind. This is why practice is critical. I guess a professional singer is aware of moves of muscles from waist to head, from back to front, and right to left. It may be worth practicing Baika to prove my guess.
4)  At around solstice:  Peony flowers at peak.
                                     Bambi is born.
                                     First flight of baby phoebes is seen.
5)  The website is almost completed. (There is no end.)
Dharma emails will be posted every month.
Updates will be added from time to time.
If you want to know events or something about valley zendo, please visit:  valleyzendo.org.
Eishin Ikeda
Valley Zendo
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