An Update on the Northern California Wildfires from our Regional Director

Dear Northern California Sangha,
As the North Bay fires continue the following is a brief community update with some resources for those affected by the fire as well as ways to help.

First, I would like to share that our Sakyong has been monitoring the fire situation from Colorado and sends his love, blessings, and prayers at this time.

So far, the sangha seems to be physically safe, although people are still evacuating or in a state of readiness to evacuate as the fires are still mostly uncontained around Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and Napa. One couple has lost their home in Santa Rosa (who will remain anonymous for now) and many homes are still in danger.

We have had quite a few community members offer support via our recent survey, including temporary, housing, transportation, food, care and a helping hand.

If you are or someone you know is affected by the fires and would like to accept any of this support please contact Berkeley’s Director of Societal Health Josie Schimke at josie [dot] schimke [at] gmail [dot] com.

If you would like to offer help to our community members in need and haven’t done so already, please fill out this survey created by Josie.

How to Help those affected by the Northern California Wildfires
Once, again there are many ways to help the greater community. Right now, mostly financial support is what is needed as many of the volunteer services are overwhelmed with offers of support. The Redwood Credit Union’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund is a good place to start. And, there are other good suggestions in this article. Remember that needs are changing all the time, so check back with organizations.

Join with sangha for an Open House this weekend
As spiritual support, especially for all those evacuated, Shambhala’s doors are wide open this Sunday at the Berkeley, Davis, Tamalpais, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. Please consider coming to sit together in community at this time.

  • If you are in Marin, you are invited to join the Tamalpais Sangha for Sunday Meditation from 10 AM to 12 Noon.
    Tamalpais is located at 734 A Street Suite 1, San Rafael, CA 94901.
  • If you are in Berkeley, you are invited to join the Berkeley Sangha for Sangha Sunday which includes all levels of practice from 10 AM to 12 Noon.
    Berkeley is located at 2288 Fulton Street Suite 202, Berkeley, CA 94704.
  • If you are in Silicon Valley, you are invited to join the Silicon Valley Sangha for Sunday sit and bring your own lunch and dine together in Cupertino from 10 AM to 1:30-ish. All are welcome to come. Contact Center Director Kate Raddock at krraddock [at] gmail [dot] com to get the address.
  • If you are in San Francisco, you are invited to join the San Francisco Sangha for Sunday Morning Sit from 10 AM to 12 Noon.
    SF is located at 1231 Stevenson Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.

News about the Regional Enlightened Society Gathering
Finally, I would like to invite our entire regional community to come together next Saturday, October 21st for our Enlightened Society Gathering at the Berkeley Shambhala Center. In response to the fires, we will pilot a new practice by the Sakyong called The Sadhana of Kindness as spiritual sustenance. Let’s see how we can be of further benefit as a community.

You can read more about the Regional Enlightened Society Gathering and register here.

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center
I am also happy to share that as of yesterday, through the combined efforts of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center residents and the Bennett Valley Fire Department, the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center was dramatically saved from approaching fires.

As so many lives, families, businesses, and communities are devastated by these fires let us remember the cool moon of kindness in our hearts and have the courage to offer love and support, however we can.

Yours in service,