Today I worked alongside Eko san and Zheng Hong san ( we give everyone the honorific 'san'). Eko san has been living at Antaiji for 3 and a half years. She was ordained last year. Above is a photo of Zheng Hong who is visiting Antaiji for about a month I think. He is a student from Singapore. Here he is smoothing out the inside of bamboo. These lengths of bamboo will be buried at a shallow angle with burdock seedlings. The burdock root grows very deep - about a metre - so the bamboo cradle is to steer the root to grow at a shallow angle. Easier to harvest!
My job this morning was to separate nails from ash - the remains of the big bonfires that are burnt here for parties. The ash will be mixed into the soil on the vegie gardens. You can see where I have been working just beyond Zheng Hong san.
In the afternoon the three of us loosened the soil around the garlic plants to allow it receive more oxygen and water. Eko san is on the right.
It is still quite cold here on the mountain. Now just before 5 pm I am wearing two shirts and three jumpers and a beanie and I still feel cold. At night I wear all these clothes plus a quilt and two blankets. For zazen I also use two blankets (on top of all the clothes) and still feel cold!