Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fire on the Mountain: Aftermath

Through the deep courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service Incident Commander, Tenpa Rinpoche was permitted into the blocked and still-smouldering fire scene today, to pacify the disturbed elements, appease local spirits, and liberate the creatures who perished in this terrible incident.

It is a remarkable thing to see the immediate aftermath of a major forest fire. The earth is buried in ash and the trees are scorched. The dens of the animals are exposed, and vacant. However, when Rinpoche got out of the truck to walk down the road, suddenly we began to see birds and animals appear, including two large deer. They seemed to sense he was there to help them, and he spoke very naturally to them. Despite their recent trauma, they seemed unafraid.

We went to an area past the recent fire, where there had been a major fire 8 years ago. The photograph above shows what an old growth forest looks like 8 years after it has burned. What were blackened trees are now bleached white, like skeletons. Because of drought conditions in the area, recovery has been slow.

We traveled onward, to a place near to Rinpoche's heart. This is the view to the northwest.

Rinpoche says there is no need to make tormas here: they have already been made.

The place could use a little fixing, but it is airy and lets in lots of light. From this location you can see hundreds of miles in every direction. It is a place where the success of one's practice is supported by the earth and sky. Rinpoche sent prayers to all the readers of this web log from this location today: 15 bumpy miles from the nearest neighbor in any direction, and one mile high. When we looked for this site (and despite using GPS, it was not so easy to find), a large deer appeared from nowhere and walked right up, seemingly to show us the way.

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