Rev Ito passed away…

We learned this a.m. that our dear Rev. Ito passed on March 4th.  His 90th birthday would have been in June.

At this time, we do not have any additional information to share.  But deemed it important to let you all know.
A while ago I asked Rev. Ito what he would prefer as a memorial for his students to remember him.  He asked for a simple period of zazen.
Perhaps each of us could spend a bit of time “on the cushion” in his memory and in appreciation for the gifts he has given us.  We will keep you advised of a more public zazen time for him, or if we have any other details of a formal service.  Additionally, research is being done as to how there might be an online Memory Page for him, and we will advise you of that as it is known.
Stanley Ito, Rev. Ito’s son, will apparently return from Japan sometime this month, although that could change due to travel restrictions.
Rev. Ito was certainly a study in Zen…touch and caring.  He taught me much and was the guiding priest in my becoming Buddhist. But his gift for me is not so much for what and how he said, but how he was as a person.
We will miss him.
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reminiscence

Following our chilly Sunday sit, we shared as a group about what we noticed before, during, and after our sit. A common theme was “COLD.” So now you are warned as a student coming to zazen at Hakone, wear something warm as it is likely to be getting even cooler in weeks ahead. We do have heaters…they just weren’t out yet on this day.

One sharing was around the remembered phrase: “Ever intent, thereby observe the apparent.” And that was the point of the questions. That is the task given to us in zazen, with eventual flow out to our everyday world. Notice, where your mind is as you fully are in this moment. If able to pull the mind away from the many distractions which call to it, you will experience the full aliveness of this moment, no matter what activity you are engaged in. Life, in its many expressions of joy, grief, confusion, clarity, surprise, disappointment, is apparent. Practice becoming more observant to what is completely here now…not just thoughts of the future or past but of this moment. Do this right now..stop reading, breathe, and notice.