The Gates are Open
January 31, 2014 by Yugen
The temple gates at Yokoji are fully open once more. The regular interim schedule has been in place since the beginning of the year, we have being going ahead with the Sunday schedule every week and we have scheduled the rest of the year, including both spring and fall training periods. In short, we are back in business with a full year of Zen training scheduled.
We are still at the mercy of the weather and whatever may occur over the next year, but we have procedures in place based on official government weather reports as to whether a storm is heavy enough to warrant an evacuation. Since the end of the summer last year, we have only evacuated once and even then there was no problem with debris flow or any further damage. We are ready to evacuate again if need be during the winter months, or in the summer when we often get thunderstorms, but even if we should have to evacuate for brief periods a couple of times during the year, it will hopefully cause minimal disruption to the training schedule. The grounds have been dug out and rebuilt to deal with water and debris flow, the buildings protected by new deflection walls and channels. We are as ready as we can be for what may come.
Yokoji is first and foremost a Zen training center. That is why it exists, and that is how it will function, as far as possible, over the next few years. We are unable to rent the facility to guest groups during the months of the year when there is the highest chance of storms. This is one of the main sources of income for Yokoji, and as such, we will continue to struggle over the next few years until we are able to resume our guess group program in full. In order to cover the expenses of running the center, we will need to see an increase in both donations and training. We have already received overwhelming support in the months since the fire, but it is not over yet. We need to work together as a sangha to keep the gates open. This means coming up to Yokoji when you can, joining for sesshin, becoming a member or if already a member, then making a pledge, and giving when and where possible. It is down to each one of us to meet this challenge, to be responsible for the flourishing of Yokoji for years to come. All things considered, the future for Yokoji seems bright and full of possibility. It is in our hands, collectively, to make that potential a reality. Let us practice together and support and maintain this important training center, both for our sakes and for those still to come.