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.


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