Dharma in April 2023

Dear Zen Friend

1)   May mini sesshin:    May 12,  13,  14.  

      Sunday zazenkai on May 28 is cancelled. 

      June mini sesshin:   June 09, 10,  11. 

      Sunday zazenkai on June 25 is possibly cancelled. 

2)   A conversation was heard. There was a nationally known logger in adjacent village. He cut big, beautiful trees in his counties. 

Somebody asked him why he was destroying beautiful scenes by cutting hundreds year old trees. He said it was hard to keep up to cost of living in rural areas.  He was making living by exporting logs to Japan.

Japan sounds responsible for the damage of environmental resources around villages in Western Mass. 

About 50 years ago in Japan newspapers informed of pressure from US government to buy American lumbers. 

Majority of people did not want two by fours.  There,  air was different, paint was not used, Roof was heavy for preventing blow from typhoons. There were too many trees to use on mountains. Before importing, house building rules and restrictions had to be changed. 

After political debates done, promotion of importing American lumber was decided on the government level. I thought Americans were happy. 

3)   Right now Valley Zendo enjoys full bloom of daffodils and magnolias. Crab apples and peonies follow suit. Not only we like flowers but also bees, insects, and birds love them. We like to talk about beauty and health. 

Uchiyama Roshi retired from Antaiji at the age of sixty. He moved to a different house and soon a series of lecture began. He talked about his original thoughts as well as sutras. 

Later,  Roshi declared that his new frontier was aging and death.  Old age and death are Buddhist principles, which in reality are avoided in our interest. It is difficult to think and study death. Uchiyama Roshi dared to seek after truths about death and aging. 

Roshi’s reports about aging and death were ones of  his most valuable works.  I appreciated his new findings on eternally old matters.  It was fortunate to know what happens when I get old.  

I  become aged just like Roshi had experienced.  What is my frontier? 


Eishin Ikeda

Valley Zendo

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