Friday, October 15, 2010

Mountain Spirit Center -- Part 2

Part two of our visit to Mountain Spirit Center, a Zen retreat in our canyon.

The second temple was higher up on a hill with many steps leading up to it.

Inside were beautiful paintings of the Buddha's spiritual journey toward enlightenment and many  interesting objects.

And outside, me! Looking a bit weird with my crooked arm and too big jeans. My vanity and I had to discuss whether to include this photo or not. But then who cares? And I realized that it was, indeed, time for some new and better fitting jeans. 

A view from the little temple on the hill. Mountain Spirit Center is a peaceful, beautiful, and spiritual place where one can come and sit a while and be at peace. And the surroundings and views are lovely.

I was fascinated by the natural canyon rock formations in the background. They brought to my mind the ancient Buddha statues at Banyan, Afghanistan, that were destroyed by the Taliban.

Another picture of the rock formations. I like the way the roofs frame the picture. Not intentional on my part. Sometime photography is like that. More about that below.

A statue and native rocks. The monks used rocks to enhance the already beautiful landscape and buildings. Sun and wind generate electricity at the center and the monks take care to preserve the environment and, with that, the special spiritual energy that is so vibrant here.

A hint of fall color.

More fall colors.

Many young trees were planted all around the grounds, some in this fenced-in area. In the background you can see the charred landscape from a fire that broke out here last July.

A few times in my life I didn't know what I had photographed until the pictures were developed and here is another example. I had no idea the shadows were so strong and clear. The sun is very powerful here and it's difficult to see. Fortunately my camera has an old-fashioned view finder in addition to the LCD screen, but I still didn't know what the camera saw. Anyway, I'm very happy with this picture.

Large rocks and boulders were strewn across a field,

providing a little native critter with a place to enjoy the sun.

Rachael and I enjoyed our visit to Mountain Spirit Center and we will come again. I live in my own quiet, peaceful and spiritual place at our ranch, but I still want to come back. If you live in Southern California, I recommend that you add Mountain Spirit Center to places you may want to visit. It's only a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles, so perfect for a day trip.


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