News & Events | December 2018
December 01, 2018 by kojin-heath
Following the conclusion of Fall Training Period at Yokoji, there is a palpable feeling of settling down. As trainees return to the stream of our busy world, the quiet and stillness of the mountain is felt in the midst of this transition. It is now Winter Interim Period, and a core group of residents remain to continue the important work of caring for the Center through the holiday season and beyond.
The joyful energy of the recent Dharma Combat ceremony continues to resound. During the ceremony, Head Trainee, Terry Kinyo Braund gave his first dharma talk and responded with deft skill to questions from the assembly. Many thanks to our Sangha for taking part in this lively community event and supporting the Head Trainee by challenging his understanding in Dharma Combat. The Dharma Combat ceremony served as an essential punctuation for all who came to participate and bear witness.
Following the Dharma Combat ceremony, Rohatsu sesshin, our retreat commemorating the enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha marked the completion of the training period. Rohatsu is the most challenging sesshin of the year and this year was no exception—the air in the Buddha hall was alive with concentration as trainees engaged in the important work of awakening to our true nature. Zen practice affords all who embrace it a rare and valuable opportunity to take an in-depth look at what is most essential in our lives, and the precious container of sesshin makes personal and collective illumination and transformation possible.
Yokoji’s annual fall fundraiser is currently underway, and we ask for your generous support. This year, the Center has met numerous unforeseen challenges resulting in incurring significant maintenance costs. Still, we are encouraged to share that several key facilities projects have been brought to completion. This fundraiser focuses upon protecting Yokoji’s well-site and fresh water source as well as refurbishing the Kubota tractor, and recouping costs from the year’s significant expenses. If you have not done so already, please make a donation to help support these vital efforts. It is our shared responsibility to ensure that this temple continues to serve and thrive in the coming years.