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Where and When

We meet every Tuesday from 7pm - 8:45pm at the "Partners in Wellness" Annex at the Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 56750 Mountain View Trail Yucca Valley (View Google Map).

Mojave Zen is a satellite group of Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. The group is led by Jim Yugen Lakey, a senior Zen Priest who trained under Tenshin Roshi as a resident at Yokoji.

Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience. Please arrive by 6:40pm for instruction if you're coming for the first time, even if you have prior meditation experience. Wear something comfortable. If you have something you like to sit on for meditation, bring it along. We have a few meditation benches and cushions for people to try out. We also have lots of padded chairs.

We ask for a $1 donation per person which goes to the church for the use of the space.

For those who have been before and don't require instruction, please be in your seat by 6:55pm at the latest. The meditation period starts at 7pm promptly.

Please park in the dirt lot beside the annex (the freestanding classroom-type structure on the right hand side of the church). See map below.

Parking Instructions.

What to Expect

We will sit for two 30 minute periods of seated Zen meditation, or Zazen as it's known in Japanese. Zen practice involves silent seated meditation. We sit together in silence and follow the breath and experience our life as it is. Instruction will be given at 6:40pm each night for those who are new or would like further instruction before the sitting periods begin at 7pm.

In between each sitting period, we will do walking meditation, or kinhin. This is a continuation of meditation and also a chance to stretch your legs a little as we walk first slowly, following each breath, and then a little faster. Again, instruction will be given!

After we finish both meditation periods, we have a cup of tea together (talking is allowed at this point!) and then sit down again for a short talk on Zen practice.

Jim Yugen Lakey

Mojave Zen is led by Jim Yugen Lakey. Jim started practicing Zen in Liverpool, UK, in 2005 with Keizan Scott, Sensei. In February 2008, Jim moved from England to California to train full-time with Tenshin Fletcher, Roshi at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. In 2010, Jim received Tokudo (priest ordination) and later that year completed his Shuso training, becoming a senior student. Jim completed koan study (a koan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen practice to test a student's understanding) in 2014. Jim moved to Joshua Tree in 2015 and now lives in Yucca Valley with his wife, Melissa, and together they run two small businesses, Apple Canyon Designs and The Quail & The Dove.


Email us at — we'll get back to you as soon as we can. No need to get in touch before coming to the group for the first time, but if you have questions, then please feel free to do so.