Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another dispersal

The 17 people who arrived at Jamesburg yesterday have now moved on. This is a record of their brief stay here.

The caravan rolled into town about the same time as the CHP started preventing local residents going up the hill to their homes. Most of the locals had come from a community meeting where they'd been promised 24hrs notice of a mandatory evacuation so feelings were running high out on the street and inside the house.

A call to Tassajara produced the suggestion that another 8 or 9 people would be useful. When this was put to the evacuated group the unanimous consensus was that their agreement had been to trust the advice of the professional volunteers down at Tassajara who had been training them and helping them prepare the site.

While there was some confusion about the swift change in the advice, from safe to not-safe, they trusted the advisors. They were surprised that the people who had returned had done so outside of the group agreement.

The group was adamant in their desire for some professional guidance that the situation was safe before they returned.

After this meeting, some people went off to stay with local people who had offered space for the night and the rest made dinner and set up tents or beds in the zendo.

The President of Zen Center who had been intending to go to Tassajara, arrived with other senior staff and while they were considering whether to try to get into Tassajara we got news that the fire had crossed the road. A couple of people did try to drive up the road early Thursday morning and were turned back by CHP at the National Forest boundary.

This morning there was coffee, breakfast and a visit from Jack Froggatt who confirmed that the road was closed and could be closed for several days.

We met as a group and discussed the situation and the lack of any answers to the plethora of questions we all have. After dealing with the immediate practicalities of where everyone wanted to sleep tonight we chanted the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo and the Fire Eko and then started to disperse.


Anonymous said...

COuld you please post a copy of the Fire Eko for those chanting on their own?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like everyone has acted with care and calm in a very difficult situation.

Those of us at home who love Tassajara are very appreciative. And if we can we should send a donation to help make up the cost of the lost guest season.

Tassajara will still be there for us, in some form, for all time.

Dana V said...

You can find the Eko in the news section on the top of the ZC website, in Blanche's section. However, I've been hearing that there are some problems with the server this evening...we're looking into it right now. DV

Or look here:

Tim said...

It appears that the SFZC news server was overwhelmed with traffic today and needed some attention. It's now back.

Dana V said...

I'm going to take this chance to 'out' one of the unseen heros in all this: out dear friend and dharma bro' Tim. For those of you following the boards, you may have noticed Tim popping up now and then, usually with a tech related issue/answer and a calm voice of reason.

Tim has dedicated hours to helping us make sure that this site was current and functional. He, along with Shogen (our Fire Map poster/analyzer) basically made all this happen and we are incredibly grateful.

There are numerous other unsung heroes, perhaps even more to come as we continue to monitor the fires in the area, and they all deserve our heartfelt thank you's and deep bows. But when I read that Tim fixed our server last night at 10 PM after a very full day maintaining our web site, sending mass emails, posting photos, monitoring the comment boards, etc...well, I just couldn't resist.