Sitting With Fire
July 7, 2008 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Sitting With Fire is a blog running from Tassajara, one of the oldest Zen monasteries in the US. It provides information on the status of Tassajara's residents who have stayed behind to combat the Basin Complex fire.

Other blogs covering the Basin Complex fire include Sur Fire 2008, Big Sur the Scoop, and Wildfire Today; the Ventana Wilderness forum provides a way for locals to communicate. The Ventana Wildlife Society maintains a blog focused on the fire's effects on endangered condors in the region, and Firefighter Blog covers many of the California wildfires of 2008, including but not limited to the Basin Complex fire.
posted by whir (20 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for this, whir.

I've been obsessively reloading the Cal Fire site, and its linked fire map.

The forecast says is going to start getting very hot in the next 24 hours here in Northern California. Not Good.
posted by rtha at 2:56 PM on July 7, 2008

inciweb keeps up with incidents every where.
posted by hortense at 3:21 PM on July 7, 2008

My best memory of Tassajara is the bakery they (used?) to have in SF. I'm probably a buddhist because of their muffins.
posted by desjardins at 3:27 PM on July 7, 2008

Lovely, whir. This has been on my mind since going to the Zen Center bookstore last week and hearing about the fire from a young Zen student there.

Desjardins, Zen Center no longer owns the bakery at Cole and Carl, alas. It's now a French-style bakery, Boulange de Cole. It's not bad, but it ain't Tassajara. I have lived within walking distance of that bakery for nearly 30 years (and look it). I still remember the still-warm loaves of Country French bread, fresh from the oven; the marvelous smell in the neighborhood at 5am when there were loaves of cottage-cheese onion dill bread baking; the not-too-sweet apple squares; the scrumptious bear claws; and everything else. Tassajara grew too fast, too quickly, and eventually, the breadbaking was taken over by a large company downtown, chilling the ovens at Cole and Carl, and turning the once-handmade loaves into something much less special. I miss the old place.

Best of luck to everyone at the monastery, holding the line. Gambatte!
posted by digaman at 3:40 PM on July 7, 2008

Oh, the Boston Globe pictures are via mefite Brittney Gilbert's excellent Eye on Blogs blog.
posted by whir at 4:04 PM on July 7, 2008

Fucking WOW: DC10 jet converted to fight fires. More info. Just how low do they fly to the deck? Very low.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:58 PM on July 7, 2008

Good post. Thanks, whir.
posted by homunculus at 6:11 PM on July 7, 2008

Well, I'm not a Buddhist, but the Tassajara bread recipe remains, IMO, the finest ever written and may be the best thing that ever came out of Buddhism. Damn fine bread, if you don't own a copy buy the Tassajara Bread Book today and make good bread some weekend. It takes around 6 hours, but the result is well worth the time investment.

I hope the monastery comes through the fire with minimal damage and loss of life.
posted by sotonohito at 6:16 PM on July 7, 2008

A Martin Mars water bomber on loan from Canada, taking water from Lake San Antonio.
posted by hortense at 6:41 PM on July 7, 2008

Smokey the Bear Sutra
posted by homunculus at 6:49 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

There are some little QT movies of Tanker 910 dropping fire retardant along ridgetops at the bottom of this page. Amazing.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:24 PM on July 7, 2008

Thanks so much for putting this post up whir. I've been watching the news obsessively and wondering how things are going down there. I went to Esalen in Big Sur a couple of years ago and have been back several times. It was everything I had read about and more. Heading South from Monterey/Carmel you truly enter another world.

I'm not sure where "Big Sur" properly begins but when you cross Bixby Bridge you are leaving something behind. It feels primeval and I've never felt more at home. It truly is God's (non-denominational) Country. I'm just glad that so far no human life has been lost.

BTW, Esalen's CEO has his own updates as well.
posted by skepticbill at 7:49 PM on July 7, 2008

Yeah, this is a good post. Thank you sör.
posted by krilli at 2:04 AM on July 8, 2008

Thanks! I've been reading about Tassajara lately. I never would have thought they had a fire blog.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:01 AM on July 8, 2008

I was on the fire crew at Tassajara--I spent 3 summers there as a student, and two winters. We had some close calls back in the early 90s, but nothing this close.

I hope they'll be ok.
posted by everichon at 8:52 AM on July 8, 2008

A forest fire is a huge teaching to live through... and yes, lives matter far more than any building, and yes, we all can trust that these dear ones will act according to that wisdom, and yes, they will also do what they can, inside that knowledge.

May all beings be safe,

from the blog "sitting with fire"
posted by hortense at 10:35 PM on July 10, 2008

posted by homunculus at 9:28 AM on July 13, 2008

posted by homunculus at 4:42 PM on July 14, 2008

The Day the Fire Arrived
posted by homunculus at 2:18 PM on July 31, 2008

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