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The Return of the Kokai

November 11, 2010 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

The Return of the Kokai

Got a tough job that needs doing?.. Well don't call these guys. They can't even stand up straight.

Today is no ordinary Wednesday. Today is the last regular schedule Wednesday of the Fall Training Period 2010. Next Wednesday will be the middle of sesshin and the Wednesday after that, well who cares about that Wednesday as it will follow the Sunday afternoon, Monday and Tuesday which mark the end of training period as the first stretch of full time time-off (as long as it does not snow, that is!) It is an exciting prospect in a way, but I'm actually enjoying the training period schedule so coming to the end is a mixed bag. A taste of freedom as I can once again leave the Yokoji grounds, but without the support of the trainees and the schedule, I often feel a bit blah before adjusting once again to the interim schedule. It can be hard transitioning both in and out of training periods.

Yesterday an old friend arrived from his summer job in Yosemite - Bryan Kokai Mestman - who will be with us for a couple of weeks at least. Bryan, I realized, apart from Tenshin Roshi is the only person who has been present for every training period that I have been here for, in terms of residents. With some persuasion, he may stay for a bit of the winter, so we'll all have to work on that. We've had a few people apply recently for training here this winter, so hopefully we will have enough of a community to share the load so it is not too tough on each individual. We are also hoping to get some good old fashioned volunteer work going as well, so come and join in with the winter fun if you can.

We don't have a group this weekend as we are rehearsing for the dharma combat ceremony (Shuso Hossen) that is taking place on Sunday, and we need to rehearse in the zendo, so working that out with a group staying is logistically challenging to say the least (we have done it, or at least tried to do it, before). So please don't forget, if you can make it, to come along and support the head trainee (me) for this end of training period rite-of-passage.

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