Photos and Comments By Tom Davenport


The zendo and kitchen. The upper part is a loft where people can sleep. The kitchen is the lean-to structure on the left. 

The zendo can get some heat from the kitchen. The outside temperature was down into the 20's on Thursday night. It was comfortable in the zendo with lap blankets and coats, though.

Porch with shoe rack.

The han. The han is hit with the mallet in a special pattern in the morning at first light, and at the beginning and end of the evening sitting. It echoes about the mountain.
View outside through the door of the Zendo.
Our schedule. Sitting periods are short - about 25 minutes or the time of a short incense stick
Water from the spring. There is no running water in the kitchen . Lights run on a solar charged battery.
Shallow well collecting spring water. At the retreats during warm weather, we store milk and vegetables here like people did in olden days in spring houses. The water is very cold.
Cover of the spring well.
The Zendo and kitchen.  The long table in the rear makes for an outdoor "dining hall" when the weather permits.
The outdoor shower. It was too cold to use for this December retreat. But when it is working, there is plenty of hot water from a on-demand propane heater.
The toilet. There were five people at this retreat, here clearing brush from the area around the privy.

There is a two hour work period in the afternoon, broken by a 15 minute rest period with a snack .

A Flattop koan that has been posted on the inside of the privy door for decades. I was there when we ran into the snake. I've seen several timber rattlesnakes on Flattop. They are big. Gentei is Sandy Stewart, a Zen teacher from North Carolina, who sometimes helps lead retreats. 
The tiny kitchen. No running water. The water is supplied by the white cask next to the sink. The stove is propane powered.
Interior of the Zendo
The abbot's sleeping hut. The place reminds me of a ice fishing camp. Little buildings here and there.
Bill Stephens, the abbot of Flattop, makes clappers and bells that he supplies to various meditation supply stores.
Another view of the Zendo