Dharma in August 2020

Dear zen friend
1)  September sesshin was discussed for long. Comfortable temperature is expected. Some are eager to do sitting practice.
Yet corona pandemic dominates our lives. Manner of social distancing must be respected. Even the Bridge of flowers is closed. So we give up hosting sesshin in September.
Things change. Sesshin will reopen some day. Please be patient.
We have Sunday zazenkai from 8 am to noon. Conversations after noon follow. Five people are welcome at a time.
2)  While being tired of conversations about Corona virus, news that Japanese prime minister Abe resigns was heard. You may have already known comments and evaluations about Abe.
Politicians are always fighting for profits for himself and his group. I don’t know what is really happening in Tokyo. Illness was reason for Abe’s stepping down.
Whatever happens in politics, my concern is in a different area.  To make clear what Dogen zen and the teachings of Shakyamuni is more important for me than talks of politics.
While I was writing about emptiness, a friend sent me a list of hundreds of questions about Heart Sutra. Heart Sutra is based on emptiness. The list was made in 1984. The questions are still fresh and useful. These things are essential for zen study.
Whoever becomes president, whoever becomes prime minister, we should build our lives based on the truthfulness, if possible, on the Buddha dharma.
Eishin Ikeda
Valley Zendo
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