Riding Mother Nature’s Powerful Waves

The Santa Lucia Mountains of Big Sur continue their dramatic evolution this winter. Like a stone carver with a chisel, the powerful storms of the last two weeks have left their mark. It’s easy to see why humans who’ve historically chosen to live here were traveling to and from their homes by pack animal up until not that long ago.

Rain gauges filled, were emptied, and filled again and again to measure a total of 15″ in the back-to-back storms that moved through the area. Last Tuesday we learned that our shared dirt road (Rocky Creek Rd) from the Hoist had collapsed at a point where the fire partially destroyed a retaining wall. Though it has been temporarily repaired and a group of engineers are helping the neighborhood decide the best way to rebuild it, it is susceptible to closure again at any time with more weather.


Damaged retaining wall and temporary road repair on Rocky Creek Rd.

A couple of days later we learned that the paved road (Palo Colorado Rd) from Highway 1 had collapsed due to a culvert failure about 3.3 miles up canyon. On Saturday our neighbor Charlie generously offered to pick us up at the closure so that we could bring in supplies and check the status of the sanctuary.

3.3 mi Palo Co rd collapse.jpg

Culvert failure on Palo Colorado Rd. due to flooding and heavy debris flows on Rocky Creek.

Kay and Karma Yogi Tim surveyed the changes on the land and further dug water diversions to coax flows away from slide prone areas. The existing structures (yurt and three cabins) remain intact save the decomposed granite now butting up against one of them.

landslide above med wheel.jpg

Two feet of earth and standing water covered a previously built berm and drain.

landslide behind prajna.jpg

Land meets Prajna after check dams breached and drains flooded.

The view from the top of the land continues to reveal a blossoming in green as trees and chaparral rejuvenate. The ocean sparkled in clear view both days.


Though basic infrastructure and safety issues temporarily preclude us from inviting groups of karma yogis to the land, we continue to appreciate your outpouring of ideas, support, and donations for the future. Stay tuned as conditions evolve and opportunities to help arise.

Love and gratitude,

Kay & Cory

P.S. A poem by Anam Thubten from his book of poetry, Big Sky:

The Magical Impermanence

A pod of whales is swimming
A flock of geese are flying for a thousand miles
To the north
This migration happens every year
I have seen it so many times
Cannot even count on my fingers


In the distant past
When this migration happened
A sign that I was growing
Many promises waited
A palm reader told me that a happy life was on the way
The astrologer predicted that adventure is my destiny


These days
When this migration happens
Nature whispers to me
Tells me that it is a sign of my aging


An ancient rockfish in the water
Makes my life seem so finite
She quietly dispels my illusion of immortality
Don’t envy her longevity
Living too long can be a curse


Mother sea will hold my ashes with other’s
This picture of me with a youthful smile will fade
My name will be less mentioned in conversations
My little glories will be long forgotten


Any day can be the crescendo of my existence


Let me rush to pick up the apples
I’ll make a nice pie
Loved ones will enjoy it


Two thousand five hundred years ago
A wise monk named Buddha
“All things are impermanent.”


Magic is only found in what is transient


Dew on the rose flower takes away breath
Waves on the sea make people fall in love
Evening sunsets invite us to the cosmic wonder
The full moon tonight lures us into rocking our body
Rainbow’s beauty turns the earth celestial


I have a gift for you
A joke

Give your self permission
to laugh
until your belly hurts


It’s also time for you to try new things


Have you ever jumped in the river with clothes on
To be reckless and carefree?
Have you ever run naked in the wild forest
To feel the uncontrollable primal force?
Have you ever traveled to see the northern lights
To feed your devotion to the great mystery?
Have you slept alone in the desert
To receive nature’s healing?
Are you in the mood to dance in the white sand
Until you’re exhausted
In a bliss that can make
Your soul giggle?

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