3/11/12 One Pine Hall Newsletter


A Community of Soto Zen Buddhists in Seattle Washington

Issue 26                                                                                                     March 11, 2012,


Hello friends,


After a cold night

The morning comes clear and bright

A plum in blooming.


Today is the one year anniversary of the terrible tragedy in Northern Japan.  The violent tremors and giant tsunami destroyed more than 370,00 buildings.  15,854 people were officially noted to have been killed and 3,155 others are still missing.   And there are still 340,00 people living as evacuees.


This tragedy was compounded by the nuclear accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima.   The release of radiation led to a large evacuation.  But a number of people died directly due to the accident.   A number of people were killed by exposure to the radiation at the power plant and many more will live with the results of exposure due to the lack of proper equipment including radiation suits and radiation exposure monitors for the workers at the nuclear power plant.


As Buddhists we offer the merits of our practice  and recitations of sutras to those who died and those still suffering from that tragedy.  And it is our path to look directly at tragedy to see it fully with compassion and wisdom.


I was able to go to Japan in May last year to participate in the Zuise ceremony at Eiheiji and Sojiji.  While at Eiheiji I and the other 2 priests doing Zuise at Eiheiji  were able to meet with the Administrative  Vice Director Matsubara Roshi for tea.  He talked about a recent meeting he had attended in Kyoto where several Buddhist priests were talking about who should have been saved.   Some argued that the elders should have been saved as they have the wisdom of age, others argued that the children should have been saved as they have the greatest potential for the future.  But Matsubara suggested that those that lived should be accepted as they are here and the other unfortunate people are gone.  To get caught up in speculation only confuses the tragedy for those that did not die but are left to wonder why they survived and their friends or family members did not.  Our path is the expression of compassion and wisdom.


Of great interest is the conference hosted by Eiheiji and organized by Matsubara Roshi last November 3, 2011 titled “Caring for Life, How to live without choosing nuclear power”.   The main message was that it is our lifestyle of greed that has led to the development and dependence on nuclear power and this must be examined by all of us.  It was also stated that nuclear power is not compatible with the theory of the earth as sentient life.


While in Japan in May and later in October last year I saw a great interest among folks in using less energy and a growing grassroots interest in ‘green energy’.   At this time most of Japan’s nuclear power plants are off line for various reasons, but mostly for safety check reviews.  But many of the local communities are resisting having the plants re-start.


So from this terrible tragedy has grown an awareness of the danger of nuclear power and interest in finding safe sustainable power sources.   This is also an opportunity for us all to examine our lifestyles.  The choices we make in our homes, our travel, the food we eat, and what we buy and throw away can be considered through the lens of compassion and wisdom.   Our practice of sitting is a source of the deepening of compassion and wisdom within our hearts.


Let us sit for ourselves and for all beings everywhere.



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




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 Bellevue Zen Center, who have sittings on Saturdays mornings 7:30-9:30am.  http://www.meetup.com/BellevueZenCenter/


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