Dharma in the year of Dog 2018

Dear Zen friend

A Happy New Year!

1) January sesshin : from 01/19 to 01/23.

February sesshin: from 02/09 to 02/13.

2) It was coldest during the year end sessin. We experienced a feeling of sitting in a freezer. Most of the time, cold weather went away from sesshins. This time that luck did not happen.

3) This year is the year of Dog by Chinese yearly chart. They pick 12 animals. Recent order is Monkey, Bird, Dog, and Boar. The characters of animals are said that Monkey starts manipulation, Bird implicitly keeps manipulation, Dog brings a big event and new trend becomes apparent, Boar pushes the new trend without hesitation.

On TVs and in youtubes, there are many discussions about big events for the year of Dog. Many shows take an hour, some take 3 hours. To watch their predictions in the world was interesting. I wanted to gather information as much as possible so that I would understand the world before anything big happen.

They talked about politics, economy, international relations, war, philosophy, literature, psychology, Olympics, and AI. A big event like 9/11 may happen in the Far East. To think about global issue is fun.

At the same time the weather forecast warned severe snow storm with record low temperatures in this weekend. This may be a big event. I could do little for preparation but brought a kerosene lamp nearby.

In the morning of the 3rd, water in the sink did not lower. Something went wrong with water pipe. It was a small sink, but real problem may not be so simple. It was in cold winter, snow was about to fall. the fixing could not be postponed.

In the telephone directory there was not a single plumber listed in the village. I called few people. Some refused to work, some helped. For two days I had to be with the water pipe problem.

Possible candidates of the problem were ice, clog, or design flaw. It was hard for plumbers to find exact cause for the trouble. The team brought a vacuum cleaner, snakes, hair dryer, electric saw, flash light, paper towel. After trials and errors, they managed to make temporary fix at the time of snow fall.

New year for zendo started with a big event.
Eishin ikeda
Valley Zendo


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