Living on this Earth—together with all beings

Dear sangha friends,

Peas, lettuce, spinach and arugula are up in our garden beds. Winter wrens, song sparrows and robins are singing their territorial songs. And a frothy white wild cherry is blooming in our front yard. No doubt you’ve been enjoying this early spring, as we have. But perhaps your enjoyment has been shadowed, as ours has, but knowledge of the harsh winter that folks in eastern Canada are still enduring, and the prospect of potential water shortages here later this summer due to the low snowpack. Perhaps we shake our heads, and say “Global warming…” and then mask our anxiety with busyness and distraction. Our practice asks us not to turn away, and yet we doubt what difference our small efforts can make.

You may notice that several of our events in the coming month  this quandary—how can we respond to what’s happening to our world? How do we live with plants, animals, earth systems, and each other in harmonious, non-harming ways? It seems, without really planning it deliberately, we’ve created a spring Earth-Care practice period, so let’s declare April Earth-Care Month and encourage each other to express our care for the earth in  meaningful and substantial ways. For inspiration let’s share our Earth Art in the zendo entry hall, and let’s raise money for a local organization with an Earth-Care flea market. Caring about what’s happening to our world does not have to be grim, despite the grim headlines. Let’s care with gratitude and joy, in community.

Planting dharma seeds, cultivating wisdom, compassion, and skillful means,

Myoshin Kate and Shinmon Michael