This journal focuses on the art, history, culture, and wildlands of the northern Big Sur coast. Periodic entries and documents appear at random here.



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« Four Winds Council Letter on the Strategic Fuelbreaks Project | Main | New Moon — "New Year Resolve" »

Four Winds Council — Statement of Purpose

"The Four Winds Council is a cooperative association of four centers located in or near the Ventana Wilderness and the Los Padres Forest. Our membership includes New Camaldoli Hermitage, Esalen Institute, the Esselen Tribe, and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. The Council is formed to develop cooperative initiatives among the four centers and to promote a deeper understanding and respect for the paths of personal and social transformation which each center represents. To that end ongoing exchanges and quarterly gatherings among the centers are taking place.

Four Winds at Pach-hepas."Although each of the member organizations has its unique mission, we have similar objectives and values. We were all drawn to this area to create places of learning for the larger culture; to provide places of retreat and spiritual renewal; to explore and deepen dimensions of what it means to be a human being; to learn and to teach respect for the Earth and to live in balance with her limited resources. We also share similar interests in the land that sustains and connects us, the Los Padres Forest and the Ventana Wilderness.

Esalen Institute. Photo:"The members of the Four Winds Council view wilderness as vulnerable and irreplaceable, a sacred trust not to be developed or exploited but to be appreciated and enjoyed for itself. For us, this land is a sanctuary, a holy place where we may meet ourselves and nature in a simple yet profound way. For that reason, we are taking an active role as advocates for this wilderness and will work with all appropriate agencies, public and private, to preserve its peace, solitude and integrity.

Tassajara"Each center has the wilderness in its prayer and meditation. We are learning from one another and from the wilderness itself to deepen our spiritual awareness."

New Camaldoli Hermitage. Photos: NY Times                                                     ____________________

Over twenty years ago at Tassajara, a group of us from the Four Winds Council sat together to write the beautiful "statement of purpose" above. It has supported us unfailingly well ever since — as have our friendships, our practice together, and the wilderness itself.

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