To Everyone In The Sangha

After about ten days I have now returned to Sogenji from the hospital without mishap.

During that time everyone sent me so many get well soon wishes. I know that gave everyone reason to worry and thanks to everyone’s good wishes I am now back at Sogenji safely and without any problem.

Usually heart problems are operated on when they are very serious and cannot be solved in any other way, or when the heart is involved with other organ’s serious condition or a situation such as diabetes or when there is some complication that makes the heart operation necessary. A heart is not generally something with which one should tamper.

For fifteen years I have had yearly heart check ups, and everything was fine until up to about three years ago, and then this year I started being short of breath when I walked uphill or up stairs. Not only was I feeling symptoms but the doctor´s yearly exam also showed that there was a deepening problem. It is termed mitral insufficiency and it was a 4/4  level, a most advanced case.

The blood in this chamber was leaking out more and more, in an opposite direction, because the valve’s complete closing is compromised by a loose ”door”.

This is not such an uncommon problem and in my case there was also no other organ or condition involved. The door to the chamber did not close tight and only this part of the heart was involved.

I am now almost 79 years old and will be 80 next year. It was therefore also clear that right now was the best time to do this operation while I am physically fit and my body is in good shape. And this will give me ten or 15 more years, they say, I am planning on twenty more years to express my plentiful motivation to teach you all. And so we did this operation.

Grateful that my condition was good, the many doctors involved all agreed that from many various angles it was the best time, and now, after only ten days I am already out of the hospital and can be right back into teaching you all, and I wanted to tell you this. Also to tell you that I am again back at Sogenji with lots of energy and good health.

The organ of the heart is not like other organs, when it is repaired it again functions normally and is even more healthy than it was just before the operation. The doctors said it would be like this and I feel it now also.

Since I am just out of the hospital I will do rehabilitation and various helpful things for my body to stay healthy and my heart sturdy. This will enable me to do my schedule from the end of April, with a sesshin for 84 at Hokuozan,

In May at Tahoma
In June in Hokuozan, Denmark and Hungary
in July in Australia for ten days,
In August at Indozan Sogenji with a sesshin and opening fora new children’s dormitory,
in September to Tahoma Monastery
in October to Hokuozan. One after another, travelling to these many places to go to and now I can do it. I am also planning to continue to go to places to which Ihave not yet been, and tying together thoroughly everyone’s karma.
And so I wanted to write and thank you all. to tell you from the bottom of my heart to not worry, and to thank you for your good wishes which were received and gave great support to my determination. I feel this from my heart, and now I want to live in the best way to keep this heart healthy. Thank you very much.
Shodo Harada

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