News & Events | April 2019
April 04, 2019 by kojin-heath
In recent weeks, Apple Canyon has seen the shift of seasons from winter to spring. There are signs of life all around—yellow daffodils are opening and the plum tree is in bloom. This change is quite welcome for all who live here as the winter was especially difficult this year with extensive repair work in the aftermath of the February storms. Throughout the unfolding of recent weather related challenges and the effort involved with meeting each challenge, our practice continues. These last few weeks of intense work practice have been a powerful reminder that zazen does not begin or end on our meditation cushion. Through the application of Zen practice we are able to encounter difficulty directly. Surrendering to reality, or at least allowing our resistance to lessen, there is freedom to approach each situation as an opportunity.
We are glad to share that Yokoji is open to the public once again. For weeks, the rising waters of Hurkey Creek prevented access to the Center. Thankfully, now, water levels have receded, making Apple Canyon Road accessible to all vehicle types. This was good timing, as over the weekend, we hosted our first guest group of the season, an enlivening and vibrant student group from Chapman University. Despite our temporary closure to the public, residents have been following the Spring Training Period schedule during the past month, and on Sunday we were finally able to hold the official Spring Training Period Entering Ceremony, installing David Jindo Butler as Head Trainee. Jindo has been leading throughout this last month, and it was wonderful to formally recognize his efforts. With Sangha members reunited, the community renewed their commitment to practice by making personal vows for this Training Period.
We are pleased to report that with the support of your generous donations, and the resourceful efforts of Tenshin Roshi, residents, and volunteers, we have made strong progress in relationship to the damages sustained. The gates are once again open, which is incredibly encouraging, and still, much work remains to be done. The power of nature to reshape, change, and move the very ground on which we stand is a poignant reminder of our place in the order of things. The teachings are alive and the training continues. We invite you to come bear witness to the treasures of spring and to join us in taking care of this valuable place of practice.