Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Many Monks

Concerned about the safety of our good Thanissaro Bhikkhu and his fellow monks down in San Diego County, I called our friend Eva, host of our Sunday morning sangha sessions, to ask if she had any information.



(That's Than Geoff in the lead, by the way, in this picture from the monastery's website gallery.) Turned out the monks had just been evacuated from the Metta Forest Monastery in Valley Center, just north of San Diego, and were all headed to Laguna Beach in search of shelter from the firestorm. Our cottage, of course, stands empty until Friday, when we plan to return to the beach for the weekend, so we offered it in case of need.

Our offer was gladly accepted. Last I heard, from a neighbor, eight men in saffron robes were on the steps to the cottage, searching for the key. Our neighbor revealed our top-secret hiding place, and our cottage has turned into a temporary monastery—well, at least a dormitory!—for the full complement of Buddhist monks from Metta. It will, I imagine, be somewhat crowded in there. And there’s only a single bathroom. But I trust that monks know how to handle such contingencies.

I wish I had a picture of their arrival…

I’m not sure how long they’ll have to stay, but we hope fervently that it will not be long, that the beautiful monastery and its groves of avocado trees will be spared, and that the monks will very soon be able to return to their habitat of choice. How dry and vulnerable it looks, in this picture--again from the monastery website.



For us… what a pleasure to be able to return in some small way the gifts we have received from Than Geoff over the years! And I can’t help wondering what our neighbors on this small street will think…

6 comments:

thailandchani said...

Thank goodness that worked out! I hope the same for the monastery. There doesn't seem to be as much coverage today... so we'll have to wait and see.

Robin said...

I am sure your neighbour will appreciate the bliss that the venerables will share with them.

Yes, good of you to open the door of your house and your heart. I am sure you will also enjoy the bliss.

They call him James Ure said...

Good on ya!!

khengsiong said...

How far is the bush fire from Metta Forest Monastery? I hope it will not be burned to ashes.

PeterAtLarge said...

ks--latest information is that the monastery has been spared. Not sure how close it came...

TaraDharma said...

oh what a scene! how wonderful you have a home to open to folks in need.

glad to hear the monastery was spared -- that's the downside to living out in the middle of the wilderness - wildfires happen. The Tassajara Monastery in the Los Padres has had many close calls.