Dharma in November 2016

Dear zen friend
1)  December sesshin:      from  12/10  to 12/12  for three days.
     Year-end sesshin:          from   12/27  to 12/31  for five days.
2)  There will be a tour planned by Sotoshu for Baika festival from 05/21 to 05/24 in 2017.
      It is scheduled to gather at Kyoto on 05/21.
      Application deadline is January 31st.
      If you are interested, please email me back.
3)  Autumn is a season of foliage.  Zendo is surrounded with beautiful leaves in October. People drive highway nearby just for sightseeing colored hills and mountains.
I used to take a walk on hills of northern Kyoto. Unforgettable scenes of foliage are still remembered. You may have seen a picture of the golden temple with Japanese maple.
Foliage falls. Rotten leaves become ingredients for soil. But they first cover grass, garden, and country roads. They become troublesome for daily life, must be removed. Removing leaves is not an easy job. My shoulder pain I wrote about several times was triggered by raking leaves. So I make careful plan for the raking each year.
To my surprise, there were few leaves this fall. About half the amount of leaves than those of ordinary year was given from trees. It was easy this year.
There was little water from heaven for a year. Last winter was warm with less than 5 inches snow. It never snowed deeper than 6 inches. In spring and summer, it rained sporadically. Few apples, no peaches were harvested in adjacent areas.
While I was focusing on fruit, trees produced fewer leaves than usual. Leaves are engines to bring solar energy into trees and plants. Fewer leaves mean less productivity. We may become poorer.
Climate change or climatic cycle?
Eishin Ikeda
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