Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Thunder and Lightning

October 01, 2010 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Thunder and Lightning

I am in the process of shooting a short video for the Center, something I can put on the website and various other places on the internet to show what life at the Center is like. A companion piece to this blog for those that would rather watch a 5 minute video than read my bi-weekly ramblings. Having borrowed a new Canon DSLR from one sangha member (a new-fangled camera that shoots both stills and video) and a wide angle lens from another, plus the existing lenses I own for my older Canon DSLR, I've got a more than adequate set-up for this project. The photo above is taken with the landscape lens (a Canon L-series 16-35mm f/2.8), and for those of you with the eye to distinguish, you can probably see a qualitative jump up from my usual offerings. It's a lot of fun having expensive toys to play with! I will finish shooting by Sunday and then edit the footage in to something presentable and hopefully have the final product coming your way by the end of the month. In a previous life I worked part-time as a video editor, so hopefully I can put together something reasonably professional looking. If not, then at least I've still got my day job.

On the first day of every month, we send out a free eNewlsetter via email - you can subscribe at www.zmc.org if you haven't already. We also post a new podcast, which can be found in the iTunes store (search for 'Yokoji') or at www.zmc.org/mediacenter. You can subscribe to the Yokoji Zen Dharma Talks in the iTunes store and then every month the new podcast will automatically download on to your home computer. Isn't technology amazing! The talk for this month is from the Denkoroku, or the Transmission of the Light, a koan collection compiled by Keizan Zenji which chronicles the enlightenment stories of the ancient masters up to Koun Ejo, the successor of Dogen Zenji. It is the first time I have heard Tenshin Roshi read from this book and I really enjoyed the talk, which was given during sesshin, so I thought it would be a good one to share with the wider sangha. I hope you guys enjoy it.

We are still in the midst of some stormy weather. The lightning has not entered our valley yet, but it has been crackling down through the neighboring hills. Luckily the rain has not been torrential, otherwise I would be out there on the tractor trying to save the road from the channels that fast flowing rain cut in to the muddy surface. So far the rain has been coming and going in moderation - very well behaved weather. The guys working on the retaining wall at Roshi's house are still pushing on, however, rain or no rain. The project is really coming on and they are not far from completion. There is still a lot more work to do up there, but the retaining wall is the most critical part to ensure that the house does not suddenly washout in a mudslide. That would be bad. The kitchen crew and cleaning crew are doing the usual pre-group work and Chapman University (our guest group for the weekend) should be pulling in to the gate any time now.

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