Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Moving as one body, it's a joy! Join in!

March 03, 2011 by Guest Author

Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

We have an easy schedule this week: sitting is optional (which means sleeping in for most of us : ) and we work from 9-1 to end with lunch. This is because the training period will start this Sunday and the winter projects are sort of finished. For as far as things can be finished here. E.g the practice house is still without water because the pipes are frozen. Winters are demanding at Yokoji.....

But this weeks schedule is a treat. And I'm shamelessly enjoying it. Last night we went to a movie and we will this Friday! Yesterday Chris from Minnesota arrived on his bicycle to train with us for these 3 months. Not only did he impress us by arriving on his bicycle but than he also spend the night in his little tiny tent outside the gate. Brrrrrr.... Tomorrow Giles from the UK will arrive to train with us for a month or maybe longer. This weekend the rest of the sesshin participants will arrive. In total we'll be with 18. Not bad for the first sesshin of this training period.

I'm looking forward to the training period. I'll be the head trainee or the practice leader and I find it a nice challenge to see how I will fill in this role.

As you know this practice is serious business as we are working on becoming more intimate with our self and taking responsibility for our own life. Some people think it's selfish to work on oneself but I think it's crucial for being able to serve the world and one self  with more love and compassion and thus contribute to more love and compassion and peace in the world. And the world needs it so much right now! So it is indeed very serious business!

Meditation, work and community living are the 3 pillars of the practice in Yokoji and we depend very much on each others contributions and support. I have found this way of practicing tremendously helpful. If I don't take responsibility, it directly effects others. It's so obvious how we are all connected in this small community.  Like a group of birds that migrates to warmer areas and fly in the shape of a V. Have you ever noticed how easily they format themselves into the V and by doing so support each other on their long flight. They don't argue about who's in front and who's second. They move like one body.

That's how I feel about living in Yokoji and especially during a training period. We all  have to tune in to the bigger picture in order to be able to support each others practice; this means getting out of our own little world of likes and dislikes and just doing what's needed at that moment. When we do service, everyone is doing his or her job in order to make it a harmonious happening. When we eat Oryoki (formal way of eating) we all tune in to what's happening and try to do what we need to do at the right moment. When we do sesshin (practice of collected mind), we follow the schedule and move as one body in order to support each others practice.

For me there is so much joy in this. And I wish that all the trainees during this training period will experience this joy as well. No matter how difficult it sometimes can be with  yourself, with each other, with whatever is going on. It's all part of this life and we're in the same boat. Let us change the world by continuing working on ourselves. Let's do this serious business by not separating ourselves but try to move as one body and enjoy this process and each other. It's a joy! Please join in!

Looking forward to practice with you!


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