Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$4.08
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire at the Gates of Tassajara Hardcover – July 7, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$5.66 $0.01

Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
"Roots" by Alex Haley
Now in paperback, check out Roots which electrified the nation when it first published forty years ago. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This day-by-day account of the defense of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center against massive wildfires in summer 2008 brings a Buddhist twist to the age-old preoccupation of humans living with--and trying to control--fire."
Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)


"...vivid prose as electrifying as any beach novel you're likely to find this summer."
San Francisco Chronicle


"...an absorbing account of how two priesthoods -- professional wildland firefighters and Zen monastics -- confronted the fire's threat."
Los Angeles Times


"This book reads like a hair-raising adventure novel."
Shambhala Sun


"Fire Monks demonstrates the clarity of thought and action that can spring from Zen practice."
Tricycle


A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year


"Vivid prose as electrifying as any beach novel you're likely to find this summer."
    --San Francisco Chronicle

"This day-by-day account of the defense of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center against massive wildfires in summer 2008 brings a Buddhist twist to the age-old preoccupation of humans living with--and trying to control--fire."
--Publisher's Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

"An absorbing account of how two priesthoods -- professional wildland firefighters and Zen monastics -- confronted the fire's threat."
    --Los Angeles Times

"This book reads like a hair-raising adventure novel."
    --Shambhala Sun

“Not only a gripping narrative of the 2008 wildfire events, but also how Zen allows people to meet such colossal crisis with a focused mind.”
    --Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Fire Monks demonstrates the clarity of thought and action that can spring from Zen practice."
    --Tricycle

About the Author

COLLEEN MORTON BUSCH'S nonfiction, poetry, and fiction have appeared in a wide range of publications, from literary magazines to the San Francisco Chronicle, Tricycle, and Yoga Journal, where she was a senior editor. A Zen student since 2000, Busch lives in Northern California with her husband and two cats.

www.colleenmortonbusch.com
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

China
Engineering & Transportation Books
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press (July 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594202915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594202919
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wild­fire at the Gates of Tas­sa­jara " by Colleen Mor­ton Busch is the non-fiction account of the 2008 Cal­i­for­nia fire which almost destroyed the Tas­sa­jara Zen Moun­tain Cen­ter. The story is told from the per­spec­tive of those who stayed behind to pro­tect Tassajara.

A mas­sive wild­fire has sur­rounded Tas­sa­jara Moun­tain Cen­ter. So mas­sive that even the fire crews have decided that it would be wiser not to fight it.

Five monks stayed behind to try and save Tas­sa­jara. They risked life and limb to stand in the way of the immense wild­fire which sur­rounded them and became and inter­na­tional sensation.

"Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wild­fire at the Gates of Tas­sa­jara " by Colleen Mor­ton is not only a grip­ping nar­ra­tive of the 2008 wild­fire events, but also how Zen allows peo­ple to meet such colos­sal cri­sis with a focused mind.

The Tas­sa­jara Zen Moun­tain Cen­ter, near Big Sur in Cal­i­for­nia, is well known in the Zen com­mu­nity. The cen­ter is not only famous for med­i­ta­tion and train­ing, but also for their bread bak­ing and veg­e­tar­ian cookbooks.

The 2008 fire, started by light­ning, con­sumed more than 240,000 acres. While the small group of defend­ers in Tas­sa­jara watched for three nerve-wracking weeks while the fire con­sumed every­thing in its path towards them. Watch­ing the weather care­fully before the order to evac­u­ate came, five senior mem­bers of Tas­sa­jara decided to stay behind.

The book is not only the story of the fire, but also the his­tory of Tas­sa­jara, intro­duc­tion to Bud­dhism, and track­ing of the destruc­tion the fire cause on its path.

I used to be a vol­un­teer fire fighter for about four years.
Read more ›
2 Comments 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I don't think you need to be interested in Zen to love this book. I'm halfway through and can't put it down -- I'm staying up too late in the light of the full moon because I keep wanting to know what happens next. It's the story of five ordinary people -- not saints, athletes, or Zen caricatures-- who defied the state & put their lives on the line to save the oldest Zen monastery in America from a massive wilderness wildfire. I love the way the author lightly weaves in her sense of zen practice, without making the book precious. And I love that each monk is a person, with his and her own vulnerabilities and life histories. It's not hagiography. And it is inspiring, reminding me to be stable and alert and meet my life without turning away.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I'm a Buddhist, an avid long trail backpacker, I've lived almost all my life in the western US and I've read a lot of books about wildfire. Zen Mind, Beginner Mind is probably the most important book I've ever read in my life and a friend of mine use to be the Tenzo at Tassajasa. So naturally I was primed to like this book after a friend of mine who does fire mgt for the USFS here in CA was reading it. I was soo disappointed. The author has an ill-informed agenda and it's clear that she ins't going to let the facts get in the way.

1) The author missed a great opportunity to discus the complex issues of fire in the west from a place of "don't know mind." She admits that the landscape at the site is made to burn but fails to go anywhere with that fact. Instead she rants about the USFS not wanting to protect buildings and on a RED FLAG day. Meanwhile she spends a lot of time chattering away about what's for breakfast. Fire is a key part of this western landscape that we have removed. As a result we are creating a time bomb. Tassajara is physically sitting right in the middle of this dilemma...let's talk about that.

2) There is a sense of glorification about the monks walking back into the site on a RED FLAG day. Let's talk about attachment! The place could easily have blown-up (and with a little more wind probably would have) on that day and they just got lucky...no zen super hero stuff pa-lEAzzze. It was a very stupid thing to do and any attempt to remotely suggest that it was in anyway honorable lacks understanding about what could have happened. Tassajara will be threatened by fire again...is there now a precedent for a core group to stay behind should another RED FLAG day occur? It's like surfing a category 5 hurricane.
Read more ›
4 Comments 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I resisted buying this book, because I already pretty much knew the story and how it turned out. And yet, I ended staying up half the night reading to the end, because the telling sucked me into wanting to follow the details of who and how. I had not expected to become so emotionally involved.

This gracefully and generously written story of real events creates a character of the place itself (Tassasjara Zen Mountain Resort, a remote and beloved sanctuary that was threatened by wildfire). The book also engaged my interest by providing background on the key actors in the drama of decision making and resolve under pressure, a drama in which everyone's roles and their different reactions are treated with compassionate respect and understanding.

What most surprised and touched me was how the book made the straightforward story of meeting a wildfire also an object lesson on the benefits of zen practice, elucidating its central lessons through simple examples. It did this without ever being preachy or smug or evangelizing, but, instead, simply pointing to how ancient teachings could help recognizable people (not heroes on pedestals) act in ways that fulfilled the promise of their best selves.

It was also interesting to see how controversies about wildfires and firefighting played out in a complicated application, where there was no one righteous way, but a humbling multiplicity of options and expert positions.

This is a work that should appeal to a broad audience: an exciting and heart-warming good read that also is satisfyingly thought-provoking and inspirational, without being simplistic, manipulative, or agenda-driven.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?