Dharma in June 2018

Dear Zen friend
1)       July sesshin        from  07/06  to  07/10
          No sesshin in August.
2)        Summer Lecture:  At 11 am on 12th (Sunday) of August.
           Guest speaker:   Rev. Eve Marko from Green River Zen Center
3)        One day Zazenkai: On 25th (Saturday) of August,  from 9 am to 5 pm.
           Place:  At  Shantigar;   63 Davenport Rd.  Rowe     413-339-4332
           Discussion:     Buddha Dharma and the Dharma Transmission
4)       Wisdom in ancient times often amazes me. There is a place named Himuro ‘Ice Room’ in northern Kyoto. The village has existed for centuries with a shrine for ice. There ice was made and stored for summer time. In summer it is hot in Kyoto. Ice was used for ceremonies at the palace. People knew how to get and use ice in summer a thousand years ago.
Ten years ago there was about a ton of soil in a wooden box in the basement. It was originally used for storing vegetables. It was an innovation at a time without a refrigerator nor a freezer. Basement is cool, soil does not use electricity.

The soil in the box stayed there for 30 years, not used for decades. When bathroom was mended, the box had to be moved. I carefully looked at the soil. There was no hint of life activities. There was not an insect, not a worm, not a root. It was like soil on the moon, having stayed there with nothing happened.

I put the soil on the driveway. For two years weed did not grow. In the third year, the spot became greener. I remembered phrases ‘The basics of gardening is making rich soil.’
Making rich soil is a way of zen. How can we do it?
Eishin Ikeda
Valley Zendo
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