Dharma in July 2018

Dear zen friend
1)  Summer Lecture:   11 am to noon   on  12th of  August.
Guest speaker :   Rev. Eve Marko  who  is head teacher at the Green River Zen Center and a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker  Order.  She is also a writer of fiction and nonfiction.
2)   September sesshin:    from  09/07  to   09/11.
3)  I like clear plastic wrap which is clean, convenient, and useful. There are 4 rolls in the drawer.  While using it, I always wondered how the plastic sheet could be sticky.
At a supermarket tiny labels are stuck to everything these days. Why does each tomato and each apple need a label?  I take all labels away and wash them. How far should these fruit be washed? Is sticky stuff harmless? What happens when that stuff is dissolved into water? What is it anyway?
Recently I found a DVD titled “Bag It.” It is funny and entertaining with comedy touch edition. It talks about shopping bags, coffee cups, and plastic straws. Then the story goes from fun to fear, convenience to danger.
The DVD shows a shopping bag ends in a stomach of a turtle. A lid of a water bottle is  found in fish intestine. A bird eats tiny beads instead of berries. Bottoms of oceans are covered with all kinds of plastics.
Sticky stuff is a kind of PCB and  we may have taken it  into ourselves by eating fruit or touching plastic wrap.
Nations have had competition for producing oil. Gaining oil has been major reason for wars.  A shopping bag is made from oil. Unlike tomatoes or apples,  plastics do not die, they stay somewhere on earth for long, long time. We have to live with plastics.
More oil production means that more oil products stay on earth. Oil producers and governments seem not to take care where oil products go. The DVD films an ugly fact. And we don’t know how much ocean water is contaminated.
I did not drive my car for last nine days. During the same time, I bought 2 plastic bags only.  I watched “Bag It.”
I am practicing “Less is better.”
Eishin Ikeda
Valley Zendo
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