Fire Monks by Colleen Morton Busch audiobook

Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire

By Colleen Morton Busch
Read by Colleen Morton Busch

Blackstone Publishing 9781594202919
10.07 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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When a massive wildfire surrounded Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, five monks risked their lives to save it. A gripping narrative as well as a portrait of the Zen path and the ways of wildfire, Fire Monks reveals what it means to meet a crisis with full presence of mind. Zen master and author of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi established a monastery at Tassajara Hot Springs in 1967, drawn to the location’s beauty, peace, and seclusion. Deep in the wilderness east of Big Sur, the center is connected to the outside world by a single unpaved road. The remoteness that makes it an oasis also makes it particularly vulnerable when disaster strikes. If fire entered the canyon, there would be no escape. More than two thousand wildfires, all started by a single lightning storm, blazed across the state of California in June 2008. With resources stretched thin, firefighters advised residents at Tassajara to evacuate early. Most did. A small crew stayed behind, preparing to protect the monastery when the fire arrived. But nothing could have prepared them for what came next. A treacherous shift in weather conditions prompted a final order to evacuate everyone, including all firefighters. As they caravanned up the road, five senior monks made the risky decision to turn back. Relying on their Zen training, they were able to remain in the moment and do the seemingly impossible—to greet the fire not as an enemy to defeat, but as a friend to guide. Fire Monks pivots on the kind of moment some seek and some run from, when life and death hang in simultaneous view. Novices in fire but experts in readiness, the Tassajara monks summoned both intuition and wisdom to face the crisis with startling clarity. The result is a profound lesson in the art of living.

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Summary

Summary

When a massive wildfire surrounded Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, five monks risked their lives to save it. A gripping narrative as well as a portrait of the Zen path and the ways of wildfire, Fire Monks reveals what it means to meet a crisis with full presence of mind.

Zen master and author of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi established a monastery at Tassajara Hot Springs in 1967, drawn to the location’s beauty, peace, and seclusion. Deep in the wilderness east of Big Sur, the center is connected to the outside world by a single unpaved road. The remoteness that makes it an oasis also makes it particularly vulnerable when disaster strikes. If fire entered the canyon, there would be no escape.

More than two thousand wildfires, all started by a single lightning storm, blazed across the state of California in June 2008. With resources stretched thin, firefighters advised residents at Tassajara to evacuate early. Most did. A small crew stayed behind, preparing to protect the monastery when the fire arrived.

But nothing could have prepared them for what came next. A treacherous shift in weather conditions prompted a final order to evacuate everyone, including all firefighters. As they caravanned up the road, five senior monks made the risky decision to turn back. Relying on their Zen training, they were able to remain in the moment and do the seemingly impossible—to greet the fire not as an enemy to defeat, but as a friend to guide.

Fire Monks pivots on the kind of moment some seek and some run from, when life and death hang in simultaneous view. Novices in fire but experts in readiness, the Tassajara monks summoned both intuition and wisdom to face the crisis with startling clarity. The result is a profound lesson in the art of living.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“If you have ever harbored a doubt about the efficacy of meditation in the real world, this book will give you a vision of enlightenment-in-action that will inspire you.” Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
"Fire Monks is a page-turner, a meditation on fire, wind, water, and earth, and a wonderfully detailed portrait of Tassajara practitioners as they come face-to-face with fire and themselves. A terrific and thoughtful book .” Gretel Ehrlich, author of A Match to the Heart
“Busch skillfully blends firefighting politics and Zen insights in this suspenseful narrative.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

by Odin 10/25/2019
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

A rewarding and inordinate story of bravery.

This is a book of unexpected rewards, written and narrated by Ms. Busch. When a wildfire threatens to burn down America’s oldest Zen monastery, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, 5 monks organize and make sure the center is defended. What is most interesting about this story are the layered knowledge one receives from the many experiences the fire causes. It is most notable that after the county and state fire authorities determine it would be safer for all to evacuate and let the fire take down the center, 5 of the monks stay behind and protect their place of meditation and peaceful living. A wonderful story guaranteed to keep you listening.

Author

Author Bio: Colleen Morton Busch

Author Bio: Colleen Morton Busch

Colleen Morton Busch’s nonfiction, poetry, and fiction have appeared in a wide range of publications, from literary magazines to the San Francisco Chronicle and Yoga Journal, where she was a senior editor.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 10.07
Audience: Adult
Language: English