Introducing ZPI Affiliate Group: Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

Introducing ZPI Affiliate Group: Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups.  Join hive.zenpeacemakers.org to explore some of the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI, and visit here for a full list of these groups.  The following is an introduction to Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center.

What is your organization’s name?

Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

What is your mission?

Our mission is to provide students and families with a supportive environment for the teaching, training, and practice of Zen Buddhism; to incorporate sound ecological principles into the development of Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center; and to ensure the continuation of the Buddha Dharma for future generations.

Where is your organization based?

Yokoji is based in Mountain Center, California. We are located on 160 acres of wilderness in the San Jacinto mountains.

How many regular members do you serve?

108

Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived?

Taizan Maezumi Roshi started Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center in 1982 as the summer training center for the Zen Center of Los Angeles before it became an independent temple. Upon Maezumi Roshi’s passing, Bernie Tetsugen Glassman Roshi was the Abbot of Yokoji until Charles Tenshin Fletcher was installed as Abbot in 1997. Under Tenshin Roshi’s care, Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center has been operating as a year-round training and practice center open to both residents and non-residents for 25 years.

Tell us about one exciting project, retreat, or other offering that you are currently working on.

We are currently developing a series of videos by Tenshin Fletcher Roshi teaching on “The Ten Oxherding Pictures” to be made available online for remote study during the pandemic.

How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement? 

Although we are located in a mountain wilderness, we are open to the public (but not during the pandemic) and every month we offer a special program called the “Day of Reflection”. The day begins with a liturgy of atonement and a service recalling the Precepts that Tenshin Roshi adapted directly from the Zen Peacemakers Day of Reflection. Bringing our attention to the Three Tenets and reciting them along with the bodhisattva precepts, we examine how we can embody them in every aspect of ordinary life throughout the day. For visitors to the center, this is sometimes their first exposure to the Three Tenets, and during our Council at the end of the day, we have often heard guests express their appreciation for hearing the Three Tenets in the morning and then seeing them operate in their life through the rest of the day.

What is the most meaningful challenge your organization faces?

Our most meaningful challenge is creating virtual programming and making it available to people during the pandemic, while still maintaining our physical center year-round until the public can return for training and practice on site after the pandemic is controlled.

Your main website URL: https://zmc.org

Your main contact  for members: Jindo at rev.jindo[at]icloud[.com]

Learn more about Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center by visiting their website, and visit hive.zenpeacemakers.org to find more great work by our global affiliate network.

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