First, a warm welcome to JP and my friend, Judy, two new followers of my blog.
Then we will go to a special place in the canyon that Rachael and I visited yesterday.
The Mountain Spirit Center, a Korean Zen Buddhist monastery, is located right here in the canyon. Rachael and I have wanted to visit it for some time now and yesterday we finally drove up there. A winding dirt road took us past some gorgeous canyon scenery.
The sign pointing the way to the center.
As we drove deeper into the canyon, the landscape changed -- the hillsides became very steep and junipers were replaced with fir and pine trees, the road lined with pine cones.
Buckwheat and gray rabbitbrush -- a hint of fall colors in the desert.
More beautiful colors, this time limestone and green sandstone on the side of a mountain.
Our arrival at
Mountain Spirit Center.
This absolutely stunning structure houses a Peace Bell.
Unfortunately, my photo of the bell itself did not come out. The bell represents Peace and the word is inscribed in hundreds of languages with the sentence "Living Together in Peace and Harmony" at the top.
Everything is hand-painted and absolutely gorgeous. Being intimately familiar with the sand and dust that's constantly blowing in the canyon, I wondered how they kept the colors so strong and clear and the structure so clean.
There were two temples at the center. This is the larger one.
We left our shoes outside and went in. Inside, we prayed for Rachael's grandmother who is critically ill and on life support. Then we sat for a while. I felt peaceful and calm after all the recent trauma.
Because of her grandmother's illness, it was a sad day for Rachael but this place made her smile.
Part two will follow tomorrow.