Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Latest from Zen Center cleanup

July 24, 2013 by Yugen Lakey

Yugen Lakey Rev. Yugen Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Latest from Zen Center cleanup

Yesterday, Tom Kloefkorn, a local plumber and member of Yokoji repaired the wells and got the water flowing into the tanks. The entire line from the wells to the tanks—a few hundred feet—was replaced by Tom and some of the Yokoji residents. Tom worked quickly to get the water system working again, but there is much more work to be done around the wells. The digital flow meters that were lost need to be replaced and the plumbing at the well site needs to be encased in concrete to ensure it will survive any future mud slides and down pours.

We took our first water sample today and delivered it to our Riverside laboratory to see if there is bacteria in the wells or in the tanks. If there is we will follow procedure and sanitize the system before retaking the tests. If we pass the tests, we will have to take another set of tests in a few days time to confirm the system is clean. So we have water flowing, but until we pass tests, all the water has to be boiled before drinking or for use in cooking.

There was one main propane line that was damaged and Tom was replacing it late this afternoon. We will get our propane company in as soon as possible, hopefully tomorrow, to turn the gas back on and test all the end points to ensure there is no further damage.

The electrics are still off everywhere but the workshop which runs off of a separate inverter. We are 100% off-grid and thankfully the generator, solar panels and expensive inverters and chargers are all undamaged. The inverter that powers the rest of the center has an AC overload error which means there is a short in the system. A lot of time was spent today locating and digging out junction boxes, but we could not locate the short. We have an electrician coming in tomorrow to help.

This morning, fire crews helped dig out a lot of the mud from the workshop. There is still a great amount of mud and debris to be cleared from around the center.

Thank you to everyone that has responded with offers to volunteer and to those who have donated money. We asked for support and we have certainly received it. We have a number of people coming in this weekend to help and more people in the coming weeks. If you would like to volunteer, please email zmc@zmc.org and if you would like to donate, visit our donate page Together, we will get Yokoji back on its feet.

The remains of the altar at the well site The remains of the altar at the well site

The tanks full again The tanks at full capacity again

Tom rebuilding the wells Tom Kloefkorn rebuilding the wells

Residents and volunteers digging out the new water lines Residents and volunteers digging out the new water lines

Fire crew and volunteers meeting this morning Fire crew and volunteers meeting this morning

The shop after the initial clean up The shop after the initial clean up


  • Deanne Larsen:

    25 Jul 2013 00:55:23

    A real practice challenge to accept the reality of impermanence when it manifests in the losses of a place we know and love so well. Thank you to all who were on the front lines protecting the basic structures and to the sangha members who are already hard at work beginning the dig out and infrastructure repairs. Ten thousand gasshos. We will all rebuild Yokoji together.

    Deanne Shinzan Larsen

  • Bill Butler:

    25 Jul 2013 13:24:50

    Wonderful images of hard and beautiful work.

  • Ingeborg Buzan Prochazka:

    25 Jul 2013 18:13:00

    Thank you for the update, with the pictures. And thank you all for rebuilding Yokoji.

  • XianJie:

    25 Jul 2013 21:27:38

    It’s great to see the Yokoji crew in action already. I’m very glad to hear that all the buildings are intact. Thanks to all for your hard work to keep the center alive and functioning! I wish I could come by to help rebuild, but for the next few years of my training as a novice monk, I have very little freedom to do things as I please. But I send all my best wishes. I will check back here for updates.
    Thomas XianJie Esho

  • donryu:

    26 Jul 2013 06:08:29

    Lovely picture of the plumbing bodhisattva…

  • Andrew Jones aka Taido:

    26 Jul 2013 13:20:49

    Wish I could be there! Save some work for me and tell Bruce to stop frowning so much! Fresh bean is on the way.
    Namu Butsu

  • Muriel Sasaki:

    27 Jul 2013 16:33:22

    Gambare! (Be strong)

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