June 21, 2011

June 18-19 report, July plans and the Fall-a-thon

The most recent monastery work weekend has added a few new features to the Korinji grounds.

The area in front of the zendo is now graded to its final form, with a new path leading up from stone steps, skirting the building's perimeter and then ascending up to what will eventually be the site of our residential structure. At one point in this ascent another new path, nearly obscured by dense foliage, now winds off some 30 yards into a hidden, silent grove of old oaks which shelter a cluster of flat-topped boulders. These stones are ideal for yaza, the "free" periods of meditation concluding the monastic day, when it is customary for monks to sneak off outside to some solitary spot to sit. The image shows the largest of these.

Meanwhile below in the main ravine, our small footbridge has been nearly completed from recycled railroad ties and leftover zendo lumber. Drystone ramps will soon join to both ends of the wooden span.

Though our focus in the past two months has been grounds work like this, we're pleased to announce that the next major phase of building construction has been confirmed. July 18-22 a professional crew will be onsite to complete our wall framing, the roof soffit and fascia, and the installation of our windows. These windows and the lumber needed for this work have been ordered. We're on track now to complete the exterior entirely by this fall.

Though the actual work that week will be completed by pros, we still need assistants! If you'd like to come up to lend a hand, please contact Korinji: info@korinji.org.

Finally, please remember the annual fundraiser benefiting Korinji which Shinjinkai, the Japanese Martial Arts Society (http://www.shinjinkai.org/) is holding this coming Saturday the 25th in Chicago. During this event Aikido students demonstrate their martial art by being thrown as many times as they are able within 15 minutes. Similar to a walk-a-thon, they gather pledges for the number of falls they take. In years past as much at $16,000.00 has been raised by this event. Right now there are fallers who need sponsors: if you'd like to be matched up with one of these amazing volunteers to pledge a certain amount per fall (or just contribute a flat donation of any amount) please contact Shinjinkai: info@shinjinkai.org.

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