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The theme for this 50th edition is ‘My vision in life for training, practice and cultivation’. In this light, Ekai Osho’s inspiring Dharma talk about ‘Vision for Snakes’ uses the characteristics and nature of a snake as a metaphor for cultivating one’s own life and the transformational power of practice. It was in Spring 2000 that the first Myoju appeared with its vision to be a Soto Zen Buddhist magazine with quality articles. Now, almost 13 years later, the Jikishoan community has grown and, in every step we take, we move forward in living and unveiling Jikishoan’s grand vision for Zen Education (IBS): ‘To offer transformative Buddhist learning, training, and cultivation for everyone.’ Without vision, we would not know where we are going. When the spiritual vision is focused and present, we can have subtle awareness to see through our delusions and harness the energy that was lying dormant.
All the articles of this Myoju echo and reflect the theme for this issue and contributors’ personal visions. The Editorial Committee was delighted to see such breadth and depth of written expression about practice and cultivation. We hope you will enjoy reading the various articles and reflections and learn something from every single one. In Shobogenzo, Dogen-zenji talks about the古鏡Kokyo ‘Ancient Mirror’–as meaning timeless pure reflection–and that when: ‘we examine through our training and practice that flaws appear even in the Ancient Mirror, and that even those things from which flaws are produced are also the Ancient Mirror; this is our learning through our practice what the Ancient Mirror is.’1 And this is the serpent’s teaching: ‘And what do I call the Ancient Mirror? The head of the Dragon, the Tail of the Snake!’
On the 3rd of February, over thirty committed members and IBS students entered the second formal practice period with Shona Teishin Innes as Shuso, the head student for this period of twenty weeks. We anticipate some contributions will come from among them–the dragons and snakes.
As the dragon has made way for year of the snake, its beginning is marking a momentous occasion–the 50thedition of Myoju.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all.

Christine Maingard
On behalf of Ekai Korematsu and the Jikishoan Editorial Committee