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September 16, 2015

A Heart as Big as a World

Carolyn and Curt Coleman’s story of legacy giving.
by Carolyn Coleman

Tassajara-Flag-Rock-by-Hamish-John-ApplebyWhen my husband Curt and I moved to Santa Cruz in 1981, we began going to Tassajara. Over the years, it has remained a touchstone in our lives, marking every summer as a place of respite and rejuvenation.

Tassajara-Narrows-by-Hamish-John-ApplebyWhen our kids came along we missed a few years of going to Tassajara. We didnt feel comfortable bringing the children when they were young–this was always our special adult place.

When our daughter Becca turned 13 and was having her Bat Mitzvah, the only gift she wanted was to finally go to Tassajara.

Tassajara-Lizard-by-Hamish-John-ApplebyThat began a new tradition of family trips with Becca and Jonathan every 4th of July weekend, enjoying the “parade” and the “show!”

Tassajara-Plunge-by-Hamish-John-ApplebyJonathan did a summer work practice stay during college. Becca is now a teacher in the Bay Area and has made several trips to Tassajara solo as well; she feels so comfortable and welcome there as a young woman, and she considers herself a “lifelong Tassajara guest.”

Tassajara-Cuisine3-by-Hamish-John-ApplebyMy women’s book group has also delighted in Tassajara trips over the past 10 years.

Tassajara-Zendo-by-Hamish-John-ApplebyOur family loves being part of the Brochure Tea at San Francisco Zen Center; that winter gathering always feels like it brings Tassajara closer on our yearly calendar.

We are both recently retired, Curt as a school principal with Santa Cruz City Schools, and myself as Executive Director of Encompass Community Services, a human services nonprofit agency.

As part of our retirement planning, we wanted to consider including Zen Center in our legacy.

Curt-and-Carolyn_ColemanWe entered into a Memorandum of Charitable Intent with the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz in which we named The Zen Foundation and designated Tassajara as part of our charitable giving intent.

Whether swimming at the narrows, hiking the trails, being inspired by a dharma talk, reading by the river, soaking in the baths, or sharing a delicious meal with others, Tassajara has brought us so much happiness.

In the way some families may be lucky enough to have a second home or summer vacation house, we think of Tassajara as our family cabin.

This refuge in the wilderness is so magical, so beautiful, so serene, so spiritual, so nurturing, so delicious, and so familiar that it will continue to hold an incredibly special place in our family’s history and heart for years to come.

We feel blessed to have this long-time connection with this place of healing and joy and have included Tassajara in our legacy giving to ensure that it thrives for generations to come.

Our heartfelt thanks to Carolyn and Curt Coleman for sharing their story and for holding a place in their hearts for those who visit Tassajara in the years to come.

(Photos of Tassajara generously provided by Hamish John Appleby.)