Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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We Got the White Stuff

November 07, 2011 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

We Got the White Stuff

The Fall that has felt like an extension of late summer up until now has turned wintry quickly. The temperature has dropped in to the 30s (both highs and lows) and we have had a couple of days of rain and light snow. The snow isn't sticking much with less than an inch forecast (although looking out the office window right now at 1:45pm, the accumulation isn't far off an inch already...) so we hopefully won't need to plow. I tried to get the old Dodge snow plow ready this week. On the first attempt to start it there was no response as I turned the key. Aha! Battery needs charging, easy fix. Next day with a fully charged battery I turn the key and it makes a noise like some ancient creature being awoken from a long slumber, which frankly, is less of a metaphor than a reality. This sleeping giant didn't wake up, though, so I'm hoping a little gentle coaxing next week oughta do it as we really don't want to have to throw much more money at it. The forecast for next week is clear and sunny but I think on Saturday we may be getting some more snow, so this week will be the time when we gear up the GMC with the plow and chains and check all the plumbing around the Center for insulation so we are prepared for a longer spell of cold and wintry weather if it should materialize.

We had Mark Muckenfuss, a reporter from the Press Enterprise with us this weekend. He is writing a piece about Yokoji (he wouldn't say exactly what kind, but we're hoping more lifestyle than spiritual community expose...) which is scheduled to go out in a few weeks. It will be interesting to read what his impression is of Yokoji as an outsider with no real prior knowledge of Zen or Buddhism. I'm always curious about what people's impressions are of this place. The Press Enterprise goes out to most of Riverside and San Bernardino, so I guess it is the largest daily in the Inland Empire. It will be nice to get some local press coverage as I think a lot of people in the area still don't know we are here. The exposure may bring a few more folks through the door which in a way is neither here nor there, but if any of them develop a practice that helps them as a result, then our job is done.

With the rain and snow we had to postpone the solar install again until Friday of next week. I hope the weather holds out as it will be great to have the install done sooner rather than later.

We are going into our last week or Training Period followed by the Rohatsu (Buddha's Enlightenment) Sesshin. These last few weeks have gone very quickly for me and the Training Period certainly hasn't dragged. I'm looking forward to the sesshin - the last few have been very strong so with this being Rohatsu, I'm hoping it will put the other two to shame in unmatched energy and dedication from all those participating. I'm also looking forward to getting to the other side of Training Period and having a bit of a breather, although depending on the weather, that may be short-lived. The road doesn't plow and grade itself, you know!

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