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2008 Tassajara Fire

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In the summer of 2008, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center was threatened by wildfire, the third largest wildfire in recorded California state history. What came to be known as the Basin Complex fire approached Tassajara gradually at first, eventually forcing the evacuation of guests, then of staff, and converging rapidly on Tassajara from four sides. This is an archive of updates and reports dating from the time of the 2008 Tassajara Fire.

FIRE MONKS: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire at the Gates of Tassajara by Colleen Morton Busch
Published July 7, 2011 by Penguin Press, Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire at the Gates of Tassajara by Colleen Morton Busch offers a dramatic retelling of the 2008 fire as it affected Tassajara and the Zen Center community, while showing how practice was brought to bear in the defense of Tassajara.

Browse the book web site or purchase it directly from the Zen Center Bookstore.
Fire-Related Dharma Talks & Public Readings
Dharma talks and public readings given by various Zen Center teachers and Colleen Morton Busch related to the 2008 Basin Complex Fire, Zen practice and the publication of Fire Monks.

Sitting with Fire blog
A blog created and maintained from Jamesburg during the Basin Complex fire. With open commenting, it became a vital forum for sharing both news and community responses to events associated with the fire.
Account of the Tassajara 2008 Basin Complex Fire
By David Zimmerman, Tassajara Director, with assistance from Colin Gipson, Graham Ross, Mako Voelkel, Steve Stücky and Stuart Carlson.

Expressing Our Gratitude
To all those who worked so valiantly to save Tassajara, nine bows and hats off. Because you stepped forward in so many ways, we were able to take up the task of rebuilding and restoring Tassajara after the fire.

Fire Watch and Updates
A running account of events and information relating to the Basin Complex fire as it affected Tassajara, posted to this website.