Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center


Blog / Archive

  • It’s All Zazen

    At first, when the rain began to fall, it didn’t look like much. It started on Wednesday afternoon, February 13th and continued throughout the following day, by which time the rain was falling at a rate of one inch per hour. When it finally stopped, nearly half the annual rainfall of San Francisco had fallen on Yokoji in just 36 hours. Even more rain fell at higher elevations. The National Weather Service would later call the storm “historic.” Residents of Mountain Center, Idyllwild, and Pine Cove were ordered off the roads and told to shelter in place as entire sections of Highway 74 to Hemet and Highway 243 to Banning were destroyed and washed away. At Yokoji we had little choice but to remain at the Center as our own road was so severely damaged that not even the tractor could pass.

  • Destroyed or Not Destroyed: How Will We Answer?

    There is an old Zen koan that seems particularly relevant today: Daizui’s Kalpa Fire. In this koan, a monk asks his teacher, Daizui, “In the raging of kalpa fire, chiliocosms (10,000 universes) are together destroyed. I wonder if this is destroyed or not destroyed?” Daizui responds, “Destroyed.” The monk continues, “If so, does everything go with it?” Daizui answers, “Everything goes with it.” The same monk later asks another teacher, Ryusai, the same question, and Ryusai replies, “Not Destroyed.” When the monk asks, “Why is it not destroyed?” Ryusai replies, “Because it is the same as the chiliocosms.”

  • News & Events | May 2019

    Life at Yokoji has settled into the rhythm of Spring Training Period. Apple Canyon shows welcome signs of emergent spring as winter retreats. The blossoms on the apple tree outside the office are in full bloom, and every morning as residents gather for their morning work practice, the sun crests the eastern mountains and bathes the flowers in brilliant light…..