Tassajara Zen Monastery, part of the San Francisco Zen Center, is currently threatened by the wildfires raging in Big Sur. You can follow what is going on by reading their wildfire-related blog, Sitting With Fire, which is kept updated. You can also get details at Tassajara’s website, including how you can help. The monastery is been closed until July 11, although some residents remain to help fight the fires and carry out some services. One interesting part of practice with fire has been the residents’ chanting of the Smokey the Bear Sutra, written by Gary Snyder. Zen practitioners throughout the country are also chanting the Shosai Myokichijo Darani, a basic service chant in Tassajara’s lineage, in solidarity with the residents of the threatened monastery. Tassajara was the first Zen monastery established outside of Asia, it would be a shame to see it destroyed. Here is the chant, in case you wish to practice it yourself. It is typically recited three times at a fairly brisk pace, followed by a dedication of merit: No mo san man da moto nan oha ra chi koto sha sono nan to ji to en gya gya gya ki gya ki un nun shifu ra shifu ra hara shifu ra hara shifu ra chishu sa chishu sa chishu ri chishu ri sowa ja sowa ja sen chi gya shiri ei so mo ko
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