Dear Sangha friends,
It’s chilly and rainy outdoors here at Blue Mountain Zendo and the gas fireplace is lighting up its false logs, with flames that are comforting nonetheless, except for the thought that the gas may have been fracked from the earth of northern BC, leaving poisoned water and air where inhabitants are few to heat the homes of the many. This past Saturday (Labour Day weekend) an intrepid sangha crew worked through rain, drizzle and sun breaking through to reveal vivid blue sky and warm our backs as we spread manure, cut back invasive blackberries, and prepared the garden for its dormant season. (Big bows of gratitude!) Working, walking, opening our senses outdoors, preparing and eating food grown from this local soil remind us of how close we are to the earth systems on which our lives depend.
Our bodhisattva vows ask us live a life of awakening to our non-separateness from each other and from our environment, a life of non-harming, of benefit to all beings. But in the face of such complex systemic threats to the well-being of all beings, how can we respond? And how does the Buddhadharma support us to do so with wisdom, compassion, determination, patience and skillful means? This will be the theme of our 2017 practice period, and also of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association’s Biannual meeting titled Responding to the Cries of the World—Soto Zen Priests and Sanghas in an Age of Climate Change and Social Suffering
Myoshin Kate and Shinmon Michael