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Echoes in the Valley

August 23, 2010 by Yugen Lakey

Yugen Lakey Rev. Yugen Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Echoes in the Valley

The tractor and backhoe have been reunited in the way that only a tractor and backhoe can be: with very heavy gauge bolts. Shinko Sensei, Tenshin Roshi's successor, who lived here at Yokoji for many years, commented via Facebook; "suddenly the whole thing zips into place and the bolts go thru and life is good!" I love the way that these new-fangled social networking tools shrink the globe down to the size of a laptop. So what if sinister government agencies are monitoring our every Facebook exchange, building complex databases designed for purposes we can only assume are not directly for the betterment of humanity? Isn't that a small price to pay for the ability to stay connected to people you probably wouldn't otherwise? Perhaps that one is open to discussion. But, for me I appreciate Shinko Sensei's words as they remind me that the activities we do here at the Center are more often than not echoes in the valley, the same job done by a different hand at a different time. And for me, that hand is one of Avalokiteshvara's (the bodhisattva of compassion) many - the one that cleans the toilet, holds a power tool, taps away on a keyboard. It is not as obvious as the hand that feeds the poor or the hand that pulls another out of danger, but I think it is a manifestation of the same thing. That is part of the beauty of Yokoji - the concrete fact of the many hands over the years that have put it together and keep it together.

Wayu takes the IZP class to the Jizo Bodhisattva statue.

On Saturday, Arthur Wayu Kennedy led the Introduction to Zen Practice class. Out of the six that attended, David and Gavriella decided to stay over at the Center and join in with the Sunday Schedule. This also meant being roped in to the Pre-Sunday Schedule work practice. Gavriella actually arrived on Friday to help out and was given two things - the carpet steam cleaner that Zenkei loaned us, and a lot of carpet that required cleaning. This year has been a good one for Yokoji carpeting. Gavriella did a great job in the Buddha Hall and surrounding areas, and as she pointed out, bowing (with one's nose in close proximity to the floor) has now become a much more pleasant activity. Tenshin Roshi was in the desert performing a funeral service for a sangha member's relative, so Wayu gave the 11:20am talk. Wayu, who works a demanding HR job in Los Angeles and has many other responsibilities including a large role in the Long Beach Zen Group, can still be relied upon to come up to the mountain and lead an all day class on Saturday and then give a talk on Sunday. Thanks Wayu! Hopefully he may also find time soon to contribute to this blog. If we're lucky. And with Wayu, we usually are.

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