Fire Update, October 16, 2017

Fire Update, October 16, 2017

IMPORTANT: As October 17, 2017, Abhayagiri Monastery is not open to the public. We will post an announcement when people will be allowed to visit the monastery.

During the morning meeting today Luang Por Pasanno read out loud an email from Tan Kovilo describing a reflection given by Luang Por Liem at Wat Pah Nanachat. You can read it here:

Don’t Let Your Thoughts Get you Down by Luang Por Liem

Debbie received a message indicating that the Tomki road residents would be allowed to return to their homes, and that included the monastery. So, at around 10am, Luang Por Pasanno, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo, Ajahn Jotipālo, Sāmaṇera Tissaro and Debbie left the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas to do an initial reconnaissance mission back to the monastery.

The crew came back a few hours later and reported that the monastery, with a few exceptions, was completely intact. There were still many fire personnel on the property as fires are still smoldering. However, no structures were damaged, at least none the crew could see on their initial trip.

Ajahn Jotipālo recounted one experience talking with a firefighting crew from New Mexico:

I asked the crew from New Mexico how it was fighting the fire. They had been on the property for about 5 days. They said it was the weirdest thing, like the monastery refused to burn.

They said one evening (probably the day Timothy Luke was forced to leave Mt. Tabor, when he reported seeing 200 foot tall flames on the ridge) that 10 battalions (20 to a battalion) were out on the loop trail fighting the fires coming down from the ridge. They reported that the fires got down to the loop trail but the fire wouldn’t cross the trail. They said it was like the monastery refused to burn, and none of them could explain it. They reported their hair sanding on it’s end and then the fire reversed itself and went back up the mountain. Everybody was kind of freaked-out, as they had never seen anything like this.

I asked several of the other crews about their experience and they all reported about this.

Later in the afternoon, Ajahn Jayanto came to pay a visit to the community and offer a reflection, encouraging the community to use their unique experience to deepen mindfulness and awareness.

Photos of our last full day at CTTB

In the evening, Luang Por Pasanno gave a talk this evening to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. You can watch it here: