Dharma in January 2023

Dear zen friend

1)  February Mini Sesshin;   from  02/10   to   02/12

     March Mini Sesshin:    from   03/10   to  03/12 

2)  Last November,  when I came back from a trip, a big porcupine was lying on the driveway. It was already cold. A big porcupine had been seen from time to time for two decades. It must be the same animal. I moved the heavy body into woods. That was a rare experience. 

There are many animals around the Zendo. Deer, bears, birds, chipmunks play around. However, dead bodies of them were not seen. While walking in woods, I did not see remains of dead animals. 

There was an abandoned apple orchard near zendo decades ago. I liked to take a walk among apple trees. The orchard was pretty and clean despite of human work. I looked for an apple sprout for planting. There was no baby apple tree there. in Autumn after a strong wind I visited the orchard  looking for an apple seed. Not a single seed was found. 

Last fall I waited for peaches becoming ripe. I checked their color and softness few times a day. Abruptly one day all peaches were poked  by birds. When I found peaches were eaten, the rest of fruit was covered with ants. No remains were found next morning. The field below was clean. Where had peach shells gone? 

It seems that in nature fruits and animal bodies are eaten up and cleaned up as natural function. Nature takes care of sprouting, growing, fruiting, and dying. 

There are three major gods respected in India.  Siva is one of them. Siva is said the god of destruction. In Bollywood movies Siva is respected by many people and occasions. Respect for destruction? Ultimate destruction is death. Why is Siva so popular? 

Ancient Indians must have known that nature takes care of aftermath of destruction. Nature brings disasters like tsunami or earthquake. It also heals damage and helps recovery. Volcanic eruption is dangerous for humans but natural phenomenon for animals and plants. Siva is regarded as the god of not only destruction but for cure and care. 

We do not know how to rightfully dump plastic products nor prevent pollution from used batteries. Solar panels are sold without thinking where to dump them in ten years. 

We do not know the prayer of Siva.   


Eishin Ikeda

Valley Zendo

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