Dharma in February 2018

Dear zen friend

1) March Sesshin from 03/09 to 03/13

April Sesshin from 04/06 to 04/10


2) On the 19th, I found 3 feet long crack in the front glass on my car. From inside it looks beautiful especially in the morning sun. Reflections of seven colors through cracks are impressive.
There was a small crack when I bought the car 10 years ago. It has always been a concern. The crack did not extend until that Monday morning.

The crack may become cause for a dangerous situation, so I made an appointment for replacing the front glass on 27th.
Yesterday morning, the garage called and said that the person in charge of replacement had heart attack. My appointment was cancelled.
The cracked front glass remains intact in the month of February.


3) Maple sugaring is going on. Walking near a sugar house, sweet air is sensed. It is a sign that spring is coming. And it is a gift from Indians.

When we receive a gift, we think about return. If it is a big lasting gift like Maple syrup, we may build a shrine and pay respect. Are there any shrine near or inside a sugar house?

In Japan there are shrines for rice, needle, calligraphy brush, fox, racoon, horse, pigeon and more. New shrines are built every year.
When an interstellar satellite was launched, the general manager of the project visited a shrine for receiving blessings for the safe running of the engines. Because of his prayer and sincerity, ‘Hayabusa’ completed its mission.

Italians may build a tomato shrine thanking for pasta industries. Irish may respect a potato temple for having had millions of lives saved. Spanish must have had enough money to build a golden shrine for the sake of Incan treasuries.

Zen is a teaching for personal understanding and practice. Having studied deeper enough, practitioners become aware that an individual cannot live without countless gifts. This is why Sotoshu has many ceremonies to express gratitude.

Eishin Ikeda
Valley Zendo


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