Dharma in October 2021

Dear zen friend
1)  On one sunny day I hiked a nearby mountain 1200 feet high with a friend. Zendo is located about 800 feet high. 

We took the shortest and steepest route (unknowingly) to the summit. Slow and steady climb lift our comfort level in the woods. 

Near the summit there was a ledge from which hundreds square miles of areas are in sight. Autumn foliage was bright and awesome.  We sat there for a while and enjoyed imbibing colorful hills and mountains. 

Suddenly my breath was becoming fast and air was flowing in and out swiftly for a few minutes. I had a feeling that my lungs were expanding and shrinking with full speed. Blood circulation increased. 
The symptom calmed soon without harm.

 Not only colors of leaves were spectacular but also my physical experience was amazing. I understand why hiking and climbing are popular. 

2)  We had to dig a 30 feet trench for preventing flood at the wood shed. A huge maple stump was on the way. 

A difficulty of making a trench through the complicated root system was expected. Frequent rain may ruin newly dug trench.  Frozen soil and spring thaw must be avoided. So the situation was urgent. 

Having watched forecast, the digging started on 19th. The stump resisted against our way with roots and stones. We struggled for 6 days to throw all obstacles. 

Since rain was forecasted on next Monday we had to continue working.  Sunday 24th was decided as a day of just digging. Before dark at 6 pm on that day, the waterway was finally completed. Heavy rain started midnight. 

The rain proved how well the water ran. The project was successfully done. We worked with picks and shovels. 

Both digging and hiking as physical work are recommended. Motion is source of life. 

Eishin Ikeda

Valley Zendo

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