Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tassajara wrap-up...yet fire continues

Smoke in the mountains surrounding Tassajara (photo by Shundo David Haye)

If you've been reading this blog, you've gotten my personal story of the Basin Complex fire that's been raging in central California these past two weeks. My partner Gina, who spent those two weeks with a skeleton crew at Tassajara Zen Center helping to clear brush and prepare the area for fire, made it out safely on Monday.

This past Thursday, the fire raged through Tassajara. Thankfully, the five people who chose to stay behind to fight the fire are also safe, though trapped there because the road into Tassajara is now impassable. There was some damage, but because of everyone's efforts on Thursday and in the weeks before, most of the monastery was saved. David Zimmerman, Tassajara's director, wrote a very descriptive and harrowing narrative of the fire's visit.

Bodhisattva Alert: The fire has been devastating to San Francisco Zen Center, which is comprised of Tassajara, City Center, and Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. The Center relies heavily on revenue from the guest season at Tassajara to support all the activities and the many priests and Zen students connected with it. If you want to find out how to give 'em a hand to continue their good work, read this letter from SFZC president Robert Thomas.

And the Basin Complex fire continues to burn on and to threaten other parts of the beautiful Ventana Wilderness and the Los Padres National Forest, as well as communities in Cachagua, Jamesburg, and possibly Carmel Valley. To date, this fire has burned through more than 117,000 acres and is only 60% contained.

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