Buddhist abbot will share Zen practices at free talk on Thursday

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Abbot Yokoji-Zen Mountain CenterThis Thursday, Charles Tenshin Fletcher, Roshi, the abbot of Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center (YZMC), will discuss Zen practice at a free public talk at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach. YZMC is planning to open a Zen center in Long Beach to offer resources to those who are interested in meditation and Buddhism. The talk is part of their local outreach efforts.

Yokoji Zen Mountain Center, located in the pristine wilderness of the San Jacinto Mountains,  is a year-round international Zen training center, teaching the core practice of zazen—a Japanese word that simply means “seated meditation.”

In his talk on April 8, Tenshin, Roshi will discuss the heart of Zen practice.

According to Tenshin, “Through zazen we become intimate with the vast and ungraspable nature of our own experience. Once we do this, we can let go of the habitual ways that we define ourselves and open up to a more satisfying way of living.”

Tenshin, Roshi trained under Maezumi, Roshi—one of the early teachers to bring Zen to the West in the 1960’s. Tenshin has served as the abbot and guiding teacher of Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center for the past 15 years and is one of only 12 Zen teachers in the US to be recognized as an official Zen Master by the Soto Zen headquarters in Japan.

Tenshin, Roshi often emphasizes the importance of carrying meditation into everyday life. In his words, “Zen isn’t limited to the meditation cushion. Your whole life is your practice.”

According to Tenshin, though Zen is also a religion and a philosophy, it is primarily a way of life. As such, Zen does not come into conflict with other religions and welcomes people from all faiths and backgrounds.

Learn more about Zen practice and meet Charles Tenshin Fletcher, Roshi, the abbot of Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center at a free public talk on Thursday, April 8 from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach, 5450 East Atherton Street, just west of Bellflower Blvd.  The doors open at 6:15 p.m. for a reception with tea and refreshments.

In addition to the free talk on Thursday, Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center will launch a regular Zen meditation program in Long Beach. The first meeting will be Saturday April 10 at the Catalyst Community space, 430 East 1st Street, between Linden and Elm Ave in downtown Long Beach. The meditation group will meet from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Email Thomas Meier for details thomas@entertheunknown.org.

For more information about Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center programs and residency, refer to their website:  www.zmc.org, email questions to:  zmc@zmc.org, or call (951) 659-5272.

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