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May 07 Newsletter » Roshi's Corner
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara

Dear Sangha,

The pilgrimage to Kyoto, in the midst of cherry blossom season, provided a delicate reminder of the transient beauty of the seasons, of the impermanence of all things. Now, here, New York City overflows with apple, cherry, pear and buckthorn blossoms. It is almost as if we endure the winter scenes of brown and grey, of bare branches and dried leaves, all so that we may better appreciate the joyous outpouring of spring. I say endure, but in the sense of bearing, or holding up, experiencing the hardness, the sparseness, of the winter season, only to be overwhelmed by the riot of color and fragrance of April. May our own mental landscapes be so refreshed, and may we all recognize that the dark winter days of the mind are transient, only to be followed by light and air.

While in Japan, I delighted in an immersion in a culture imbued with what I have come to think of as Zen ways: an attentiveness to detail, to each moment; a humility about oneself; an appreciation for shadow, for the spaces between things, for the emptiness of things, for the funkiness of life just as it is.

Looking closely at our version of Zen here at the Village Zendo, I am heartened by the sincerity of our practice here and the attention we give to the practice, to maintaining an urgent sense of awakening, and to the sanctuary we provide in this wondrous city!

By the way, next May Village Zendo is planning a Japan Zen tour, please save your time and pennies!

Zen rock garden in Kyoto

Photo: Ike Griffin

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