Just over a year ago an intense wildfire named Thomas swept through and past Meditation Mount’s property. And while the fire itself is long gone, its effects are still present — much like a boat whose wake continues to impact the surface of the water long after it has passed.
In nature there is a term that describes the effect on plant life in the wake of a wildfire and that term is Pyrophytic. While many plants are destroyed or consumed, there are others which have implemented wildfires as a survival strategy. The best known of these adaptations are the species which actually require the heat of the wildfire to melt the resin encapsulating the seed which triggers the germination process.
It was in 1971, almost half a century ago, that Meditation Mount was given birth in the Ojai Valley. It is easy to imagine that there were seeds planted in the subtle realms awaiting the Fire of Spirit to activate and awaken them. Now is such a time when we are experiencing one of those activations in the life cycle of the Mount. This activation calls forth both renewal and re-imagination as our Mission takes on greater clarity, both literally and figuratively, as we embark on our re-flowering. Our opportunity is to resonate with this process and amplify our understanding.
The renewal of the International Garden of Peace is of paramount priority, as well as the landscaping around the Auditorium and Meditation Room. Even though we had insurance coverage, it was a surprise to discover that the limit for landscaping was only $25,000, a woefully inadequate amount. Those funds were completely depleted through the use of tractors and labor to clear the burnt remnants, installing a new drip irrigation system and salvaging the pond.
We know you are receiving many requests for your attention and funds upon this anniversary of the Thomas Fire. And the Ojai Valley in California is just one of many places throughout the world that has been besieged with heartaches and challenges. We are committed to keeping the The Mount shining brightly as a Beacon of Light.
At the beginning of this year, an appeal went out for donations which yielded over $50,000 including a lead gift of $20,000. As wonderful and welcome as this assistance was, it is estimated that an additional $250,000 will be required to implement the infrastructure and plantings for the renewal of the Garden and landscaping. We invite and encourage you to donate whatever you can. Each dollar supporting the beautification and re-flowering of our beloved center will be received in deep gratitude.
Our intention is to accelerate the point in time when guests will be invited to experience and be blessed by the special atmosphere of Meditation Mount. There is incredible clarity and power in the silent beauty here. We hope you will join with us in the renewal of this sacred place making it accessible once again to both the local and world communities.