Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Dry Winter Predicted

October 18, 2013 by Yugen Lakey

Yugen Lakey Rev. Yugen Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

The local newspaper, the Idyllwild Town Crier, has predicted that this winter could be relatively dry. Over the last couple of years, the winters have been mild and the amount of snow fall was largely contained to 3-4 major storms. We would normally be wishing for a wet winter, as a series of dry winters leaves the water levels at an increasingly low level. However, in our current situation, a dry winter is exactly what we hope for. The summer monsoonal rains were intense and unpredictable and caused a lot of damage. A few snow storms over the winter is the best we can expect. Snow is preferable to rain as it is much more gentle on the soil, slowly melting into it, rather than cascading down in a short burst.

The work at Yokoji continues. The weather is clear right now, and we survived the last rain storm that came through a few weeks back with no problems. Some of the residents are staying at the center and Tenshin Roshi and his family are still living here (although Roshi is in England right now, about to start the annual 6-day sesshin he leads with Keizan Sensei and the Stonewater sangha.) One of our neighbors who owns a ranch in Garner Valley is willing to rent us the property over the winter months to house Tenshin Roshi and his family. The Yokoji residents will most likely remain distributed over the winter, split between a couple of hospitable sangha members, as a property large enough for the whole community has not been found. We will continue to work on the trenches and the digging out and cleaning of the center as long as the weather permits. The weekend pattern of volunteering on Saturdays and the regular Sunday schedule will continue in the same vein.

The November sesshin is still going ahead, but it will not be held at Yokoji. Right now, it looks like it will be held at the house of a Yokoji sangha member in Anza, just beyond Garner Valley. This means that space is limited, so we are only opening the sesshin to members and those who signed up for the sesshin prior to the Mountain Fire. As of now, we do not plan on holding the New Year's Sesshin, either. It is hard for us to plan too far into the future as things seem to change so quickly and dramatically, so if you are interested in attending any of our scheduled events, it is always best to call the office and check in before making any firm plans.


  • A. Jesse Jiryu Davis:

    19 Oct 2013 09:12:26

    Thanks for the update, Yugen.

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