Dharma in March 2018

Dear Zen Friend

1) April sesshin: from 04/06 to 04/10

May sesshin: from 05/11 to 05/15

2) Spring Cleaning

April 28th Saturday is the day of spring cleaning.
Work starts at 10 am, light lunch at noon, and ends around 3 pm.
There will be house cleaning, zafu and zabuton beating, and stacking fire woods.
If interested, please join us.

3) I think I wrote this before, the issue still stays in my mind. In my lifetime in Japan, archeologists have dug thousands of remains. Their relics are recorded and categorized. Having studied them from many angles, lives of ancient times have become gradually apparent.

Lacquer products are found all over in the remains 15000 years ago. Rice fields were made 5000 years ago. Rice seems to be traced back to around 10000 years ago. From vestiges of stone arrangements, it is said that rules of running of the sun were known. Chestnuts, fish, and seashells were eaten every day. They built a tall houses with big trees. Precious metals were traded in large areas, even found in the continent, too.

In the texts at school while I was a student, rice, lacquer, and many things were brought from the continent. Such was a history and common sense, then. Now, due to archeological findings, view of history is changing. Many things might have been taken from the islands and carried back to the continent.

The best thing about these relics is that all of them are natural. Researchers do not have to worry about any pollution.

Look at bath tissue, we buy thin paper rolls at a super market. I guess Krazy Glue like product is used for making tissues. Glue is chemically made. While billions of people enjoying soft bath tissues everyday, plastic pollution is spreading to earth and oceans. “Nausica in the valley” is not fiction.

We regard language as civilization. We discuss written things as if everything has been written and understood. These concepts, however, could be said extraordinary. We are living in extraordinary age, so that we increase pollution.

My original concern about ancient times has been how people in the old times communicated each others. The first document was made in 604 AD in Japan. It was written in Chinese letters with Chinese grammar. People at that time knew both the time of no letters and the time of letters.

Use of letters might have meant destruction of a previous civilization. People were happy without letters. After 604 AD, people had to learn how to use letters. Was the change good for them?

Eishin ikeda
Valley Zendo

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