Dharma in April 2022

Dear Zen friend

1)   The bridge of flowers is open.

People are enjoying magnolia in breezing air.

They forget they were saying wearing masks are permanent etiquette two months ago. 

New life is coming out. 

Daffodils are in full bloom in zendo gardens.  

Birds are busy preparing nests for next generation. 

2)   In the woods a spectacularly looking hemlock is losing leaves. 

Its skin looks red. 

It is dying due to disease. 

Death of one hemlock is possibly leading to a big change of eco system. 

3)  While I was a college student, I commuted to the library and read books. 

‘War and Peace’ by Tolstoy took 36 hours to read through. 

‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Dostoevsky was too long to keep track of events and personalities. 

‘Sin and Punishment’ was easy to understand, yet deeply psychological expression was impressive. 

‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘Swan Lake’ by Tchaikovsky with various compositions became one of my favorite music.’Swan Lake’ is performed in almost all major nations. It is interesting to see differences expressed in from a nation to a nation.  I bought 4 DVDs of ‘Swan Lake’. 

I knew Russia through these masterpieces. Masterpieces represent best spirits of people and a nation. I admired Russian glory for decades. 

Communism is a foreign idea for Russians. While USSR was a communist country, I always thought Russians must not be communists. Whenever Putin mentioned Russian glory, I thought he was referring to the days of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Tchaikovsky.

After invasion to Ukraine, Putin said the glory of USSR and Stalin was his hero. My admiration was betrayed. 

What did Putin intend to do for twenty years? The restoration of military power was his priority. But are 5000 nuclear bombs necessary to protect his nation? What moved him to hold weapons of overkill?  It may be fear, greed, and,  or ignorance. 

Why didn’t Putin try to wake up the potential for Russian culture?  He might be one of victims of communist ideas.  


Eishin Ikeda

Valley Zendo

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