It's been a while...
April 27, 2011 by Yugen
Thank you to Jishin for single-handedly writing the blog for the past few weeks while the rest of us, with not so much as a sorry excuse between us, have sorely neglected it. In order to make amends, I just spent a fruitful half hour taking photos of some of the spring beauty that has emerged from the previously barren Yokoji flora. The usual sequence seems to be an emergence of daffodils in late February or March, followed by the plum blossoms a bit later, and then once things have distinctly warmed up a bit, we get the pear and apple blossoms as well as the white, red and purple wild flowers, and this year, a rather spectacular yucca blossom has shot up about 40ft away from the office window. Fauna wise, the lizards and small burrowing mammals are in abundance, and Roshi sighted the first rattle snake of the year a few weeks back - eating one of the aforementioned burrowing mammals.
Happy **th Birthday, Jishin!
Flowers and half-eaten gophers aside, it has been a busy few weeks. Sesshin was well attended and we are thinking of holding the May sesshin in the Zendo if there are enough sign-ups. We usually sit in the Buddha Hall as the Zendo is too large a space for a smaller group, but with 30 or more, the zendo really comes in to its own. It would be my first sesshin in the Zendo, so I'm hoping that we do get to use it as it is such a beautiful space. Just before sesshin we celebrated Jishin's birthday, a landmark birthday at that, although I'm not sure if I'm at liberty to disclose her exact age...
We have a couple of new residents at the moment - Amar from Bakersfield who is studying up in Northern California and has joined us for a few weeks, and Aaron, who came to us from Texas, via Colorado. Last week we were low on residents as a few people came to the end of their training stints at Yokoji, and a few had to be elsewhere for the week. Thankfully, we had enough residents and volunteers to take care of the guest group at the weekend - the University of Southern California Physics Department. The weekend groups usually have scheduled events such as 'Gentle Yoga with Donna' or 'Tai Chi for Beginners'. USC, however, opted to discuss 'Unitary Equilibration After a Quantum Quench', mull over 'Decoherence in Orbital Angular Momentum States due to Atmospheric Turbulence' and chew on 'Energy Transfer Across the Biotic-Abiotic Interface'. Each to their own!
We had our quarterly board meeting on Sunday. Unfortunately, the powers that be went and scheduled Easter Sunday for the same time. As a consequence we did not have a full board with which to meet, so after a financial presentation and a discussion about the direction of the Long Beach sitting group, the meeting was brought to an agreeably brief end. The winter is always the toughest time here in terms of money and work, and as usual we had more expense than income for the quarter, but all things considered, we didn't do too badly. If anyone is ever interested in the details, our financial records are available upon request. Often it is hard for people to grasp all the expenses we face running this Center, but the figures speak for themselves.
And finally... the GMC is now fixed! Just in time for the end of the snow season. Although, we still have about 3 more weeks in which we have historically gotten snow in the past, so perhaps the old truck will get to ride one more time before retiring for the summer.