ONE PINE HALL NEWSLETTER
A Community of Soto Zen Buddhists in Seattle Washington
Issue 25 November 15, 2010
Rhythms of the rain
On the bushes and concrete
Suggest we should dance
The common weather of autumn has returned, with rain, wind, cloudy skies, and colder temperatures. We have begun wearing sweaters, warm socks and hats. On my way to work I walk by folks sleeping on sidewalks under bridges, wrapped up in their blankets and cardboard. These are truly hard times. With the world and national economies depressed with record numbers of unemployed, more people are falling through the social safety nets. Real people are considering killing themselves due to the experience of failure to find a job, and losing their homes. So while I am stopped in deep awe at the spectacular colors of autumn leaves, seeing trees that go from green to yellow to orange to red from the bottom to the top, I am also painfully aware that others are only aware of feeling cold and hungry.
I remember as a boy hating the winter. In school we would cut out snowflakes and tape them to the schoolroom windows in celebration of winter and Christmas. But I did not look forward to winter. We lived in the Oregon Cascade foothills. Our home was heated by a wood stove and my step-mother cooked on a wood stove as well. It was my job to get up in the morning and get a fire going in the stoves before my parents got up. I learned to make a fire quickly and effectively, for it did not bode well for me if the fire went out before the house got warm. Corporal punishment was the standard of discipline in my youth. For wood, we would get a load of ‘pond lilies’ the butt end of logs cut off before the logs were sawed into lumber, in the fall. It was generally my job to cut these up into usable sizes for the 2 stoves. Then my brother and I would carry and stack the wood on the front porch. I remember nights coming home from school and having to cut enough wood for the fire for the next day. There were times when the rain turned to snow and my feet would be so cold in rubber boots or tennis shoes. I could not imagine why anyone would be excited by the snow. Later as an adult I bought a pair of Sorrel boots with felt liners, and was stunned at how having my feet stay warm changed my whole experience of winter and snow even when I still had to cut wood for the stove in the cabin I was living in then. Such a small thing that had such a large impact on my experience. Later when I moved to Boulder Colorado I remember going for a walk one night with my Sorrels and a thick black sweater on while it was snowing and being warm enough to enjoy seeing for the first time the beauty of the snowflakes in their 3 dimensional forms.
If you have some to spare during these difficult times please consider giving to those in need.
I would like to invite you to come sit together in celebration in Buddha’s Enlightenment on Sunday December 12 from 9am to 5pm. Please bring your own lunch. There will be no evening sitting that night.
One Pine Hall
425 23 Ave S. #114
Seattle WA 98144
7:00pm – 8:30pm
40 minute period of sitting, 20 minute talk, short service, and tea
Please call to let me know you are planning to attend
Robby Ryuzen Pellett
OTHER SOTO ZEN GROUPS IN SEATTLE
Also consider sitting with Seattle Soto in Fremont. They have sittings on Sunday mornings from 9:30 to noon. http://www.seattlesotozen.org/
Or with Trikaya Zen Center in Fremont, they have sitting on Sundays 10 to 11:30 and Thursdays 7 to 8:15pm. http://trikayazencenter.org/
Or with Bellevue Zen Center, who have sittings on Saturdays mornings 7:30-9:30am. http://www.meetup.com/BellevueZenCenter/