News & Events | August 2020
August 31, 2020 by Kisen Fredella
In just one week we will begin our Fall Training Period. The ever-changing cycle continues. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what an odd year 2020 has been. Our cycle at Yokoji disrupted like flowing water bouncing up and around a rock. Continuing on. First the cancellation of the Spring guest group season and the loss of revenue for the Center. And just as we were starting Spring Training Period. The drop of expectations. The entry into the unknown. Then the days take on a new rhythm. One after the other. Flowing like the water. The unknown becomes a familiar schedule, just not the one we’re used to. No rotation of guest groups through the gate, no return of familiar faces, no distinctness of each group creating a whirlwind of activity. But still zazen, service, work, lunch. We practice what we are already doing.
It has been a productive Summer Interim, though as of late, a hot one. First the generosity shown in the Late Spring/Early Summer Fundraiser, both through Facebook and through the mail. The donations that help keep Yokoji open. The never-ending fire abatement, straightening up and cleaning out of the shop, re-painting and deep cleaning the cabins, getting our online store up and running, plumbing upgrades, on-going solar panel maintenance, and reshaping the land in preparation for the possibility of thundershowers as well as the fall and winter weather. It has felt quiet and slow. Yes, even with the tractor running, weed whackers churning and generating humming. There is a new rhythm found and within that there is a quietness and slowness. A deliberate and necessary symphony carried on over months.
So here we are. One week until Fall Training Period. Across the country schools open, some in person and some online, the nation prepares for another election, fires rage across one portion of the country and hurricanes batter another. At times I feel distant from it all and at others I have never felt more connected to my fellows. The disparate and intense reactions to a pandemic, to protests and a time that is new.
One week until Fall Training Period. Based on the current status and forecasts from Riverside County, it looks like the remainder of the year will continue to be an intimate practice for those living at Yokoji, but we continue to practice together in our separate zendos, we join on Sundays for Zoom Dharma talks and we carry on. Buddha. Dharma. Sangha. Flowing, tiny whitecaps, up, against, around the rocks.