Dharma in November 2022

Dear zen friend 

1)  December Mini sesshin:   12/09,  10,  11. 

     Year end Mini sesshin:  12/29, 30, 31.   

     January Mini sesshin:   01/13, 14, 15. 

 2)  At Zenshuji Temple in Los Angeles Jukaie (Receiving precepts) was held from 11/16 to 11/20/2022. It was a part of centennial anniversary events for Sotoshu mission. 

More than eighty priests and lay people received Mahayana Bodhisattva Precepts. For receiving important precepts, receivers must understand what precepts are and practice rituals during five days. Thus teachers and teachers helpers gathered. Those who take care of various functions such as accommodations, transportations, public relations were necessary. 

Addition to traditional roles Covid test department and baby sitting priests were organized. As a whole about two hundred people worked for one purpose, completing ceremonies for giving and receiving Bodhisattva precepts. In the end not a single grave accident was heard. The event  successfully went through. 

At the very end the abbot of Zenshuji announced that Zenshuji was officially established on 11/20/1922. Jukaie was completed on 11/20/2022. Jukaie was the celebration event  for exact centennial anniversary of Zenshuji Soto mission. It was also the beginning of  development of Soto mission for next hundred years. Then he said that his birthday was November 20th. All participants sang Happy Birthday to You.  Congratulations!  

A big event needs years of planning, researching, and simulations. I did not take part in such important activities. I was sick for  those years. In June I could decide to join the event since my health was restored. The success of the ceremony was totally up  to those who worked hard for the project during corona pandemic.    

The event was full of entertainment. Serious and joyful performances were done in series. Thank you for the host, young and old friend priests, and all participants. 

I was fortunate to witness the historical and the last event. Last Jukaie was held twenty years ago. In twenty years many friends and I would not be able to gather. So, would be at two hundredth anniversary.    

I was not familiar with precepts. Precepts and Zazen were said independent each other in academic terms. In the lecture paper this time, the name of Rev. Meiho Sotetsu (明峰素哲)was seen. He is known as the fifth patriarch after Dogen zenji and one of the sincerest zazen practitioners. The text of precepts might be compiled by Rev. Sotetsu. Precepts and zazen must be newly inquired.  

Regards. 

Eishin Ikeda

Valley Zendo

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