A Brief History of Tassajara: From Native American Sweat Lodges to Pioneering Zen Monastery

A Brief History of Tassajara: From Native American Sweat Lodges to Pioneering Zen Monastery


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A look at the history of Tassajara Hot Springs, for millennia used by Native Americans who went there to cure their ills. In the 1800s the Spanish came, then trappers and homesteaders. First accessible only by foot or horse, a road was cut through the mountains by Chinese laborers so that horse-drawn wagons could make the treacherous trip. With photos and stories of those times up to the mid-eighties: tents, log cabins, fish and game, the early cars, the people and their attire, the sandstone hotel. This famed resort in the 1960s become the site of the Western world's first Zen Buddhist monastery founded by Shunryu Suzuki, author of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.

With its healing waters, rugged remoteness, memorable characters, perilous road, fires, restorations, conversations under Gossip Oak, peace and quiet, Tassajara has a special place in the hearts of those who've traveled there. Marilyn McDonald has given us its history which endears us even more to this unique retreat nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains of Monterey County, California.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781732287709
Publisher: Cuke Press
Publication date: 11/19/2018
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

Marilyn McDonald was born in Glendale, California, on November 26, 1940. She went to Hartnell College in Salinas, California. From the mid-1970s to mid-1980s she was a frequent guest and student at Tassajara Zen Mt. Center in Monterey County and devoted herself to research on the history of that well-known hot springs. After that she lived with her parrot and many favorite dogs in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She earned her R.N. and worked as a nurse for almost two decades. She died on January 3, 2017. She is survived by all five of her children: Larry, Lee, Peter, John, and Mary.

David Chadwick (foreword, afterword, editor, production, minor design) - Born in Fort Worth, Texas, 1945. Went to San Francisco in 1966, got involved with the SF Zen Center. Helped Tassajara Zen Mountain Center get up and running from 1967. Ordained as a priest by the San Fransisco Zen Center founder, Shunryu Suzuki in 1971. Lives in Bali, Indonesia with his wife Katrinka McKay since 2013 where he continues his writing and archiving about Shunryu Suzuki and those whose paths crossed in those early years of the SFZC. He has two sons, Kelly and Clayton. His main web site is www.cuke.com

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Introduction xi

Native Americans at Tassajara 1

Tassajara Hot Springs Resort 5

Tassajara Zen Center 131

Afterword 145

Appendix 149

McDonald's Acknowledgements 170

On Producing this Book 171

Author photo 174

Index 175

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