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The following is an excerpt from this issue:

The core of our practice is sitting and everything grows or evolves out of this. Each one of us can be likened to a bud or seed of a tree, full of potential and beginning to sprout. As we begin to grow taller our roots become established and grow deeper. The growth of a tree is measured by the growth patterns that form during a yearly cycle. These rings are an expression of growth in response to the experience of the seasons. Periods of good rainfall and sunshine produce rapid growth, the same with our zazen practice.

It feels good when we are experiencing fine conditions, for example, enough sleep, good food, exercise and so forth. These, however, are not the conditions we always encounter as each day, month or season has its unique qualities. There are times when we feel stressed out and are receiving no reward for our efforts. [Laughs]…(Continued on page 1)

Jikishoan Tokozan