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Monday, July 4, 2016

Dear World Go Away. . .Just for a While Redux


Last week I hit the wrong button and published this post a week early. In other words I screweth up. Oh well, that's what relaxing does to me. I think all is well and kick back and viola! Double post. This gives me a chance to wish all who visit, a very happy FOURTH OF JULY. 






This month #InkRipples is about Inspiration, and what could be more inspirational than being surrounded by beautiful scenery in a peaceful, contemplative place like Tassajara. So here's my monthly meme post. Thanks to Kai Strand, Mary Waibei, and Katie L. Carroll for this. To join in just SIGN UP.



The Entrance

Earlier this month I took a few days away from writing and from the noise of social media, and drove to a place called Tassajara Zen Center. This is my third time, and I always come away renewed and feeling as if I'd been gone for weeks, not days. 

It's a long drive up a winding, dirt road where you hope the car coming in the opposite direction is going as slowly as you are. Negotiating the curves, edging past the rare car when you're on the steep canyon side of the road, and praying the air conditioning won't fail because all you can see out your back window is dust. . .Well, you get the point. You have to want to go to Tassajara. 



Los Padres National Forest

The rewards far outweigh the trial of coming and going. Here's one of the views along the way. You're in the Los Padres National Forest a lot of the time, and when you come to the end of that dusty road, you're at the Zen Center. The only way to go farther is to hike.




A Friend and the Yurt

I stayed in one of their yurts this time. At sunset all goes quiet. There's no talking on the grounds until after 8:30 the next morning. That's when you begin to really hear where you are. The crunch of gravel underfoot, the brush of clothing, your breath. You can slip into the mineral springs under the stars and dream your stories without anyone breaking into your thoughts, without any phone dinging to alert you about a text. 

My Reading Deck

The day starts at dawn when one of the Zen students interrupts the dark silence with tiny bells, and you lie in your bed thinking, I can go to morning zazen (meditation) or I can lie here and be content. Yoga starts at 7:30, breakfast (all the food is fabulous) at 9:00, zazen at 10:30, lunch at 12:00 and a break until 3:30 when you return for more yoga. Dinner at 7:00, then back to silence at dusk. Ahhh. A full and beautiful day inside your head and getting to know what your body can do when you focus on each asana (pose). 



The Path to the Zendo
So now I'm back and in the hubbub again. I'm grateful for both worlds and for the chance to choose between the two. Have you tried a retreat? What did you come away with? 





Quote of the Week: The value of things is not the time they last, but the intensity with which they occur." Poet Fernando Pessoa


51 comments:

  1. Your retreat sounds delightful. I will be on a retreat late in July and looking forward to it. Is the Tassajara the same as the place that published the "Tassajara Bread Book" which is one of my most cherished cookbooks

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    1. I'm sure it is the same. They operate Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, and the food there is excellent. It's hard to get in because they are so popular.

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  2. I would love a retreat like that. Reminds me of some of the places we visited in NM when we lived there.

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    1. Retreats are truly gifts to yourself.

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  3. I would so LOVE to go to place like that. I could use some time alone.

    Happy Fourth, Lee!

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    1. Plan one. You'll really appreciate it. Hope we both enjoy our Fourth with great food and gratitude.

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  4. Wow, that sounds really cool, but I'm afraid you lost me at the winding cliffside road. I would have a panic attack right there and not be able to make it to the Zen Center!

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    1. Blindfold might help. You can pretend you're nowhere near the edge of a hundred foot drop. :-)

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  5. Looks and sounds beautiful. I've not had a getaway since Christmas 2014.

    Happy Independence Day
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  6. I've seen some beautiful scenery in my travels too; some I'd like to have this zen retreat at.

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    1. Our planet has some wonderful places to enjoy.

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  7. Looks like it was an awesome trip. The country is very beautiful.

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    1. It really is beautiful. You have to stop along the way and just look.

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  8. Lovely to get away from it all, pleased you were totally relaxed. Wonderful post to read.
    Have a great time today celebrating.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Hi Yvonne. Thanks for the good wishes.

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  9. It sounds lovely. I would really like to go one day. Yet, true Zen for me is not to retreat from the world to find calm but to find that calm center in the heat of the battle of life, to see that in the heart of the hurricane there is a circle of calm if we can but reach it. :-)

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    1. That's what the practice is all about. In the center of life's storms I stand serene. Only I'm not 100% there yet. :-)

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  10. Sounds like a great place to get away from it all. The cats wouldn't appreciate me going on a retreat though lol

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    1. You need a Doris Day Cat Retreat Spa Day. You'd all be happy.

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  11. That looks absolutely lovely and inspiring!

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    1. You couldn't have chosen a more perfect theme for me this month!

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  12. I've never been to a retreat, but that one sounds wonderful. To be able to get away from everything for a few days and be surrounded by peace and quiet... heavenly.

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    1. It's one gift I give to myself that I never regret.

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  13. Ooooh. And ahhh.
    That sounds like heaven on a stick. And even reading about it caused my suggestible shoulders to loosen up. Thank you.

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    1. Heaven on a stick! I love that, and yes it is.

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  14. A zen center sounds heavenly. Taking a break from writing, social media, and life is something will all should do now and then.

    Happy 4th!!!

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    1. It does shake you free of a lot of stress and it clears your mind.

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  15. Happy 4th!! That reading deck looks FANTASTIC!

    -Lauren

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    1. It was a perfect place and I got a lot of reading done there!

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  16. I need some of this. Especialy the quiet, and the reading deck.

    www.damyantiwrites.com

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  17. I have never been to a retreat like this but it sounds so rewarding. The one thing I would be concerned about would be no talking....I may get kicked out as I like to blabber away especially if I'm not supposed to...the little devil in me.

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    1. I did get shushed once when I forgot about the silence. But it was a gentle hush with a smile.

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  18. Sounds wonderful, except for the yoga...I've never been able to fall in love with it.

    I've tried a retreat, but nothing quite that isolated and quiet. I'm sure it's very rejuvenating.

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    1. Yoga is an acquired taste. I'm often wondering if I'm ever going to untangle myself from some of those asanas.

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  19. It looks like a lovely place to relax and just forget the cares of the world. I'd love to visit someplace like this. Maybe some day ...

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    1. Do it. You'll be amazed by what happens to your mind and body.

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  20. I can see why you'd be inspired at such a beautiful place. I've been doing meditation lately and I find it's really been helping me be more centered and creative.

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    1. Meditation cuts out all the static and let's your heart take over. There are some great ideas lodged in that heart.

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  21. Replies
    1. If there is a heaven, this is what I want it to be.

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  22. I love that poster on the wall behind the woodstove. It sounds like a good retreat--very nurturing.

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    1. The yurt was very comfortable. It made me want to have one of my own.

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  23. Hi, Lee,

    HOW utterly wonderful. That sounds amazing. I could certainly use a few days there. Life has be BEYOND insane with my puppy. Poor little guy has had minor health issues since the day I brought him home. Not to mention all his INSANE ENERGY....

    TASSAJARA .... take me away!

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    1. Puppy's are nothing but insane energy! You are one brave guy to take that on. But I'll bet that puppy's landed in heaven.

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  24. wow, how awesome. I think I need some of your zen... and your reading deck looks super awesome.

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  25. Everyone needs a few days on the "reading deck"... I can't imagine a better way to spend my time! Happy reading, writing, and summer fun to you!

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  26. Oooh, this sounds lovely <3 I'm glad you had such a beautiful time!


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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