Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Comings and Goings

November 06, 2010 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Comings and Goings

Dr. David Jindo Butler

In the mysterious workings of the world, as taught by spiritual teachers of varying traditions, there is fundamentally neither gain nor loss. This proved to be true when yesterday David Jindo Butler arrived and then today, Theodius (apparantly a compounded name which means 'God God') Williams left. So it is hello Jindo (for 10 days at least) and safe travels to Theo (clocking up 5 weeks here) who is leaving for China soon. Theo is only 17 years old (almost 18, as he insisted when we were looking over his application last month) and did remarkably well for someone whose demographic is more inclined to sleeping in until noon and spending the rest of the time watching TV and playing video games. Jindo, some of you may know, is a doctor who recently relocated to Berkeley and works in not one but two of the hospitals there.

Mr. Theodius "God-God" Williams

Today I was out on the tractor cleaning up from the trenching that was done earlier in the year. Some of it consisted of pushing the dirt that was piled up beside the trench, back in to the hole. Roshi thought the trenching was too deep and posed a potential risk to drivers, especially in the winter. This reminded me of something - I racked my brain for the Zen koan in which this task is executed, coming close with the story of the monk who clears all the leaves in the courtyard only to have them thrown back again immediately after (by himself or a teacher - I can't remember), but then realized the reference I was looking for was in fact from the movie Cool Hand Luke. Luke having tried to beat the system one too many times, is given the task of digging, filling in, digging and filling in again a grave size pit. At which point his spirit is broken, albeit temporarily. So if Roshi asks me to dig it out again, I'm going to start getting worried.

The yoga group from Oceanside are with us and seem to be enjoying the Center. The weather is really nice - sunny, blue sky with a slight chill in the air. Perfect Fall weather. The clocks go back tonight which will mean it will be dark at around 5:30pm and then it will really feel wintry. Not long now until the snow hits...


  • Ronald Issho Wilkinson:

    07 Nov 2010 20:59:01


  • Doetsu:

    08 Nov 2010 00:51:33

    So sorry to see Theo go! Hope he enjoys his trip to China and returns to us.

  • Yugen:

    08 Nov 2010 02:26:58

    I love that line! It is the opening of ‘Civil War’, the first track on the Guns n’ Roses album ‘Use Your Illusion II’ if you remember that…

  • Yugen:

    08 Nov 2010 02:27:04

    He has family out there so I think it’ll be more than a trip really, he may settle there, but he knows he is welcome back if he ends up back in the States.

  • Pierre Montebon:

    08 Nov 2010 21:44:23

    Theo got lost in the forest tracts because of going ahead from the group and paid a dear price of near dehydration because he thought he figured everything out ahead in full confidence. But he is a good young kid who is searching for the truth sometimes you have to pay the price for your own beliefs and come out wiser after. Me that is my hope, to break out the patterns of vicious cycles of karmic existences.

  • Doetsu:

    10 Nov 2010 02:33:42

    He is a nice young man and I wish him the best. When I was his age I was studying to be a Catholic nun in a convent. That kind of spiritual quest, at such a young age, stays with you forever, no matter which path you eventually take.

    If you see him, Pierre, please give him my regards. He knows me as Ilene, the ‘grandmotherly’ lady in the kitchen at Yokoji. ;^)

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