Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

Blog / Post

Yokoji Zen Mountain Center: A Short Film

December 03, 2010 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Apologies for a blatant lack of blogging over the past few days which have amounted to a length of time-elapsed better counted by weeks and parts thereof than the casual 24 hour period. So what is new in the mountains, I ask myself as I try and think of what to write? Well...

Ben Smith left for Chicago yesterday having completed his Fall Training Period scholarship. It was great having him here and I've got a feeling we may not have seen the back of him (I mean that in a nice way). Jishin is off for a few days and Travis and Judy are back so we have 6 residents this week - Travis, Judy, Graham, Jim Prall, Pierre and myself. We have a couple of residents scheduled to arrive later in the month, one for 1-2 months and the other for a possible open-ended stay. It is great having residents here in the winter, and having enough to cover each other as folks head home for Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. We have our New Year's sesshin coming up at the end of the month which is often the most attended of the year, so we will all be here for that. At least that is the plan.

I am still waiting on a tool to come to fix the tractor which seems to have gotten stuck in the slow and sticky seasonal mail that USPS provides at this time of year, quite understandably. So if you come up in the next few days, or if you visited in the last week, and wonder(ed) why the road is so bumpy - that is why. I hope to get it straightened up as soon as possible. Judy is taking care of house keeping, Travis and Pierre are working sometimes with Roshi finishing off the water run-off channel above the stone wall, and sometimes cutting and splitting wood. Graham is now working in the office, being trained up in the wonders of book keeping and general administrative tasks. I have been working on a fundraiser project for the winter that will be going out soon, as soon as it has been approved. Graham and I have split the duties for covering Jishin in the kitchen while she is away, although in the interim period it is only lunch that is served, so it's not much to do. So in summary, we are all well rested after a bit of time off and are straight back in to the swing of things here at the Center.

I have finally completed the short film about life at Yokoji. I will post it on the website properly in the next few days, but it is posted below for your review. It is in HD so it might take a while to load depending on your connection (it is about 230MB) but you can download it rather than stream it if you prefer. Then you can watch it in full screen glory!


  • Tulie Melody Smith:

    03 Dec 2010 09:35:33

    Great film Jim! – was like being taken by the hand and walked through a ‘day in the life’ of folk at Yokoji. Love seeing how everyone works well together – and the shots of the surrounding natural environment, are beautiful.
    Im going to have to book my ticket and come visit!
    Much Love to you and the crew.

  • Chosui Metzger:

    05 Dec 2010 01:38:25

    what a great short film – nice work, Yugen!

  • Khembottra Oum:

    05 Dec 2010 04:40:03

    I put this on my blog: www.khembottra.blogspot.com

    Good job!!!

  • Doetsu:

    07 Dec 2010 18:06:28

    That was beautifully done, Yugen. It reminded me of a documentary Into Great Silence about a Carthusian monastery in France. Very beautiful. Will I be able to ‘share’ this on my Facebook wall? (giving you credit of course)

  • Jordan O'Leary:

    07 Dec 2010 20:56:00

    Wow, Jim! Great work here! Very cool and very to the point. I like the rise and fall of action – great cutting during the work/lunch scenes. Definitely writing and article on my website.

  • Khembottra Oum:

    08 Dec 2010 00:07:01

    Thanks. Hope to see you soon too!!!

  • Jordan O'Leary:

    08 Dec 2010 21:05:40

    …and here it is!:

  • Alston Mabry:

    08 Dec 2010 21:55:27

    jim: awesome video – great shots, terrific resolution, excellent editing. you have truly mad skillz as a videographer! – alston

  • Alston Mabry:

    08 Dec 2010 21:56:29

    oh and ps: it really captures a day in the life of ZMC. gets me back in the right frame of mind. -a

  • Yugen:

    09 Dec 2010 02:05:07

    You sure can Doetsu.

  • Ryan Christensen:

    14 Dec 2010 10:39:50

    I am absolutely in awe. This is beautiful in every way. Simple, honest and real. The sound design is stellar- the shallow depth of field is incredible. The rack focus of the moon is particularly stunning. Was this shot with a Canon 5D?

    I first was first introduced to Zen at Yokoji 15 years ago. This video brought back to me the essence of that experience. It seems to me that this video will be a highly effective outreach tool.

  • Yugen:

    14 Dec 2010 17:01:10

    Thanks Ryan! That’s really nice to hear from a film maker no less! I used a Rebel T2i and a Zoom H4n for the sound. A 5D would have been nice though!

  • Kaisho Zenone:

    25 Dec 2010 13:55:36

    Wow. What a beautiful piece! Thank you Yugen.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to the Yokoji Blog.