Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Roshi Cross the Mersey

October 25, 2010 by Yugen Lakey

Yugen Lakey Rev. Yugen Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Roshi Cross the Mersey

Real Men Mix Cement

Tenshin Roshi left for England yesterday to lead a 6-day sesshin with the UK sangha. Every year Roshi goes out to Crosby, a small village near Liverpool, and leads the sesshin with Keizan Sensei, his successor. This is where I first met Tenshin Roshi - I was living in Liverpool and had started training with David Keizan Scott Sensei and decided to go on my first 7-day sesshin. I don't remember the specifics of it that much but overall I was really impressed by Roshi as a person and as a teacher, so much so that a few years later I decided to move out here and train with him full time. It's always tough when Roshi is away, especially during training period, but we have a very solid group of trainees right now so hopefully there won't be any problems.

This weekend we had Sifu Lana Spraker's Tai Chi and Zen retreat. Lana teaches the Tai Chi and Wayu teaches the Zen part. There are many folks who come back each time for this retreat which Lana has been running for many years now. It has been beautiful weather up on the mountain for the past few days - still cold and overcast but with a really crisp, fresh taste to the air and the smell of the wood-burning stoves reaching out from the hogan and Buddha Hall. With Halloween coming up next week and Obon, the Buddhist festival which celebrates the dead (one that Tenshin Roshi moved to coincide with Halloween as the cultural roots are similar), it feels very seasonal and autumnal. Being British, I do miss bonfire night (Guy Fawkes night) at this time of year. The smell of roasting chestnuts, watching bonfires, kicking through the piles of rusty leaves...

I have been primarily working on grading the road this week after the rain and also have started on the bigger project of changing the angle of the road so it is the same for the whole 1 mile length. This involves moving around a lot of dirt and ordering more material with the money that we raised with the Spring fund raiser. This is a work in progress that will take many more weeks. With this project on the go and taking priority, I am a little behind on editing the video I want to make for the Center. Below are a few stills from the rough cut.

Coco.. do you smell that?!

Jizo Bodhisattva


  • Alasdair GF:

    28 Oct 2010 14:08:17

    Thanks for the loan of your roshi! We’ll have him back to you soon.

  • Yugen:

    30 Oct 2010 16:56:08

    Thanks Al, just make sure you return him on one piece and preferably with some good English biscuits. I’m sick of Oreos. You can buy Hobnobs in the ‘International Foods’ section of the local market in these parts, along with Bird’s custard, Coleman’s mustard and Robinson’s Barley Water!

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