Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zen Retreat

My theme for the A to Z Challenge: Desert Canyon Living

There is a Zen Retreat, called the Mountain Spirit Center, here in the canyon. (Lucky for me, since we have no zebras, or any canyon related things beginning with the letter Z, that I can think of for this last post of the Challenge.) Rachael came up one day last October and we visited the retreat. I wrote two posts about this very special serene and peaceful place. You can read about our visit in more detail here and here. 

After a nice drive on a sandy canyon road, surrounded by mountains, we arrived at the welcome sign.

This beautiful structure contains a peace bell.

The picture of the bell didn't come out well, but you can see the size of it.

The structure is colorful and bold. 

There are two temples at the retreat.

Interesting rock formations that looked like sentries, 

are keeping watch over the retreat. 

Leaving our shoes outside, we went into the first temple.

Rachael lit some incense and we sat a while on mats on the floor. I remember we prayed for Rachael's grandmother, who had just had a heart attack and was in critical condition in a Minnesota hospital. I am happy to let you know that grandma survived and is doing OK now.

Rachael outside the temple.

And, finally, the photo that pleasantly surprised me. I thought I took a picture of a bridge with railings, but I had no idea that the shadows were there. It looks like such a well thought out and creative picture, but it was just sheer luck.

I think this photo is a good choice for the last photo of the A to Z Challenge, April 2011. It has been a pleasure to get to know new bloggers, to read so many interesting posts, to learn so much, and to get such wonderful feedback from those of you who commented on my posts. Thank you so much for following my journey from A to C through a Desert Canyon in California.

I plan to take a few days off from blogging to get over this bronchial infection I have. I'm thinking of writing a wrap up of all the fun I had with the Challenge. I also want to  respond to some of your comments and welcome new followers with links to their blogs so you can check them out. Take care and have a great weekend.


  1. Wow - what a wonderful place for a retreat! Lovely photos - especially the unexpected shadows!

    Congrats on finishing the A to Z - so glad to have found you!

  2. I think you need to take some "zen" time for yourself and rest and heal. :)

  3. i would never have expected to encountered such a place in the desert! although, these surroundings are very similar to those you find in japan. wonderful photos! including those unplanned. ;o)

  4. I REALLY ENJOYED these A-Z blogs! That structure that holds the bell is gorgeous! Take care of yourself so you can get back in "the land of the living" soon. Kram----Fran

  5. Nice job on the A-Z and hope you get well quick.

  6. Wow, this place looks so beautiful! Thank you for sharing the photos, they're fantastic.

    Congratulations on finishing the Challenge! I've so enjoyed your posts, and your wonderful photos. I hope you are feeling better soon!

  7. Striking last photo. The shadows are lovely across the wood plank bridge. So peaceful. Hope you feel better soon. xo

  8. Absolutely gorgeous! I would love to go there and see the temple. You can almost feel the tranquility.

  9. I remember the first time you blogged about the Zen place - I just think it's so cool!

  10. Inger, That is really neat to have that retreat in your own back yard (so to speak). I enjoyed the pictures as usual. Well, we made it.... day at a time. It was fun, wasn't it?
    Go to bed and sweat it out. Love to you

  11. I enjoyed the A to Z challenge so much! Thank you, Inger. Get well soon.

  12. I would love to visit that place! Looks very relaxing and soothing to the soul:)

  13. very very interesting how it's korean, makes me wonder what the history of this zen retreat is!

    What a wonderful place, I would love to be there.

  14. Inger, what a great job you did with this from A to Z!

  15. Congrats on a complete set!!!!!

    in a pinch you could have used Zonotrichia, the genus of sparrows; gold crown and white crown

    I much prefer the Zen theme. I loved your previous posts.

    I am going to save up some photos for the wee months of winter and try to do an A - Z of nature in Washington

  16. Great job with the Challenge Inger. You live in a beautiful place, and I enjoy reading about it and seeing all the great pictures.

  17. Inger,
    I love the shadow photo! what a serendipitous moment.
    The temple looks beautiful! I love the details in the architecture; what a neat place.
    It was so much fun getting to know you through this challenge!
    thanks so much for sharing yourself with all of us...

  18. Weel done on your A-Z challenge Inger,I remember reading those posts,you are lucky to have a Zen Retreat so close to you!

  19. Congratulations on coming all the way to the letter Z. Your blogs are beautiful.
    You do a grand job in capturing the beauty of nature with the rocks, the brush and the animals.
    I like the man made beauty in the Zen temples. The work inside is intricate.
    Thanks for sharing.

  20. What a lovely surprise find rather in the middle of no where.
    That shadow shot on the bridge is amazing.
    Do take care and shake that infection.

  21. The end/beginning to a new route in your life. It was lovely. I just wanted say that the bell is all if not more than anyone could ask for...imagine the sound...would love to see and hear it! Also, isn't it amazing how the picture you take without thinking about, turns out to be the one you love the most!

  22. beautiful photos. I love the shadows too.
    Congrats on completing the challenge.

  23. Thanks for dropping by my blog and saying hi. You have a great "Z" post. Not far from my town in Northern Colorado there's a Shambhala where people can go for classes and retreats. I've visited the site on a Senior Center tour bus, but would love to go for a week sometime.

  24. Extraordinary photos, very nice. I also need a Zen retreat

  25. How very cool! I would love to visit someplace like that.

  26. I would like to give you the KREATIVE Blogger Award. If you like to accept it please go and copy and paste it on your blog. Once I have some more people accepting it I will post their names along with yout name on my blog site. You also have to write five facts about you. I still have to do that. I am too too busy for that right now.

  27. Glad you made it through your Challenge with no letter hang ups... it was fun to follow. But now take some time to get your strength back and get well. I hope your Canyon Weather is as nice as it is here in the Valley. Beautiful days here. Take care...

  28. Such a great find of shadows on the bridge! The whole place looks pretty amazing :) Hope you feel better soon!

  29. Beautiful photos. I hope your back is getting better!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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