Dharma in April 2019

Dear Zen Friend
1)               May  Sesshin:            from  05/10  to  05/14
                  June Sesshin:            from  06/07  to  06/11
2)  Spring Cleaning:  On May 4th  (Saturday)   from  9am  to 3 pm.
     Pot luck lunch at noon.
     If it rained, the event would be rescheduled on May 18th (Sat.)  There are too many things to clean up.
3)  Baika (Sotoshu songs)  practice  at  9 am  on  June 20th   (Thursday).
     Baika Teacher  Rev. Kuga from Japan will lead the event with attendant Rev. Kojima from Lax.
4)  As you may know, Japan enters new era on May first,  tomorrow. The name of the era is “Reiwa.”  Reiwa is translated by the department of foreign affairs to “Beautiful Harmony.”  “Rei”  also means elegance, nobility,  transparency. “Wa” also means peace and unity. You may remind these meanings when you hear “Reiwa.”
The new era begins with the ascent of the new emperor.  The change from “Heisei” (Current era)  to “Reiwa”  is a real example of words “A ruler rules time.”  The emperor is not a ruler but a symbol.  So we may say: A symbol rules time.
This kind of event happens once three or four decades. Now Japanese are enjoying 10 day holidays. Schools are closed, government facilities are shut. Stock market is not open. Trading companies and customs are on vacation. Public transportation is minimally on schedule.
Ichiro retired in March. He would be called the symbol of Heisei in the future. All his colorful activities and baseball record makings were done within the era of Heisei. He can not continue playing in “Reiwa.”  It is said that his eyes could not catch a speed ball any more.
On TVs and newspapers, many lasts are seen like last event, last bout, last talk in Heisei. After tomorrow many firsts will appear like first trip, first laugh, or first youtube in Reiwa.
Already Reiwa party in politics is organized. In Tokyo Reiwa candy was sold in the afternoon on April 1st when the name was announced at 11:30am.
We see many related ceremonies and gatherings on TV this year.  President Trump would be the first foreign statesman to greet the new emperor in May. More news about the ascent is expected later. These events are being done based on the rules established more than two thousand years ago.
Regards.
Eishin Ikeda
Valley Zendo
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