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Stupa at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

Enlightenment Stupa at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

A Land of Calm Abiding is a 485-acre (196-hectare) wilderness ranch in Big Sur, California and is dedicated to supporting long-term solitary retreats. Director Ven. Lhundup Chonyi (Patricia DeVoe) recently reported to Mandala some of the progress the center has made since June 2013.

In less than a year, our Enlightenment Stupa was completed with the motivation that it would become “a wish-fulfilling jewel.” On June 1, 2013, with 25 people present, the stupa was consecrated and dedicated to the long life of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Built within park-like surroundings, it is located near the entrance gate welcoming and blessing everyone who comes.

Nine months later, all eight of us who now live on the land, came together outside of the front of the main house and participated in a naga puja along with a consecration for the wonderful and completed water feature. With its bubbling sounds of water cascading down the eight steps and entering into the pool at the bottom, it creates such a pleasant and relaxing presence.

Rejoicing continues as the staff here, who were committed to setting aside two months for being in retreat mode, completed this challenge March 26, 2014. Each of us experienced this time in different ways and all three of us are unanimous that it changed our lives and perspective, affecting our minds and bodies, as well as enhancing our prayers and practices. By actually stopping and gradually moving into retreat mode regardless of what “needed to be done,” we emerged with a greater sense of meaning and confidence that we can actually serve residents on the land in a more healthy and spiritual manner.

All five retreat cabins are now occupied with meditators committed to accomplishing long retreats. Needless to say, there is a calmness that pervades throughout the land.

Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

Water feature at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

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