Covid May Have Closed the Temple – but has it really? I think not. – The Emily Dahl Foundation

Covid May Have Closed the Temple – but has it really? I think not.

Sherman Dahl 

The Emily Dahl Foundation 

A letter to my friends below: 

Venerable Shanru and Master Guan Cheng

The International Buddhist Temple – Richmond BC. 

Would like you to know the difference you both – and the Buddha have made in my life.  

The International Buddhist Temple continues to help me every day, it is not closed, the heart of the Temple is very much open.

I was in Vancouver yesterday and did my daily meditation in the public gardens at the temple and encourage other members of the Sanga to do the same.  

The temple serves as a refuge and a place of peace where I reflect on the importance of my own commitment that I made at the temple under your watchful eyes. 

I think daily of the five mindfulness trainings that have their root in the five precepts offered by the Buddha.  

This is important for the average person who is mixed up in the theatre of life that exists beyond the silence of the Temple halls and Gardens.   

The precepts offer The Emily Dahl Foundation and myself the framework to reflect on our actions, speech and thinking so we can find more happiness not only for ourselves here in Vernon, but for the world around us. 

Please feel free to share the story we all share and the success we have had with you and the Temple with others. 

Sherman Dahl 

Thoughts of this poem came to me yesterday during my meditation at the temple.  

The Japanese Zen master Kozan Ichikyo wrote this poem below in the year 1360 before he laid down his calligraphy brush and left the world while sitting upright… We not only come into this world and leave this world alone; we also cannot take anything along with us into the other world — in case there is one. If there is no permanence, it is also nonsense to tie our boat to our possessions and dreams. Consequently, it is also senseless to cling to certain philosophies, thoughts, feelings, and values, which we take along to the grave when all is said and done. But instead of taking them to the grave with us, it is possible to already learn to let go of them during our lifetime.

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going –
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.

Kozan Ichikyo, 1360 

The teaching is very good, but we can add more to this thinking, and here is my version that I hope you like. 

The part that is important is that we do not arrive empty handed, now do we? 

If that was true, you would not walk like your Father and Sing like your Mother.

Logic and reason can lead to wisdom, and wisdom will allow compassion to arise, and in that lovey forest of life you will find happiness.

Here is my poem that I wrote in my mind yesterday in the garden at the temple. 

With memory inside my DNA I began

Mixed with my own experience I leave

My coming, my going

Many real things to understand 

That make me who I am

Sherman Dahl, 2020

The Emily Dahl Foundation

Deer Park

Coldstream, BC