000 Buddhas

Field Trip Friday (Memory Lane Edition)—The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

September 18, 2020



Like most people, I’ve been staying close to home this year. I haven’t visited my mom in California, or met up with my friend Kerri for a road trip…and I miss it. 


At home, it’s been too hot to explore outdoors, and it hasn’t felt safe or appropriate to explore anywhere indoors. I’m getting a little stir crazy! So I decided to take Field Trip Friday into the realm of memory—surely there were some places I’ve visited during the past few years that I haven’t fully savored or written about here on Catching Happiness.
 
And indeed there were. The first one I want to share with you is the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the first large Buddhist monastic community in the United States. Kerri and I stopped briefly at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas during our California road trip in 2018. We didn’t have a lot of time there, but the atmosphere made an impression. I had not heard of it before, even though it’s been around since the 1970s, and was officially inaugurated in 1982. Just goes to show how many interesting, out-of-the-way places are out there if we only look. 


The monastic complex lies on 80 acres of a 700-acre property nestled into a valley near Ukiah, California. There are 13 buildings, including the monastery, a dining hall, elementary and secondary schools, a gift and bookstore, a vegetarian restaurant, as well as an organic garden, fields, and woods. 


Here are a few photos:


The Hall of 10,000 Buddhas:






One of the resident peacocks:


I love this peaceful-looking statue:


Under normal circumstances, the monastery offers in-person classes and events, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the complex is temporarily closed to visitors and events are being held online.

 

We only had a short time to wander the peaceful grounds, unfortunately, but it would be an excellent place to sketch, read, or simply relax with your thoughts. 

Since I’m not ready to travel again yet, I am going to take some time to go through my photos from the trips I’ve been fortunate enough to take, and I’m going to pull out my trip journals, too. It’s not a bad thing to have time to reflect on the past travels. It lifts my spirits to relieve happy memories, and even the bumps and inconveniences of travel become funny memories over time. This is one of the (few) gifts of the pandemic: an opportunity to slow down and appreciate what I have without always pushing forward to the next bright, shiny thing.
 
Has the pandemic offered you any unexpected gifts? Please share in the comments below. 






Breaks

Break Away

September 11, 2020

Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash

“The biggest lies I tell myself are ‘It will just take a minute,” and “I’ll remember that.’

“It’s rare that anything worth doing lasts ‘just a minute’ or that we’ll be finished ‘in a sec’ or that ‘a quick look’ will be enough. We have to break away, turn off, shut down and come back.

“Break away. The work, the dishes, the decluttering, the worries, the to-do lists … they can wait.”
—Courtney Carver

What will you break away from today? What will you do instead?

Eugene Delacroix

We Are Happy When We Believe Ourselves So

September 04, 2020

Eugene Delacroix

“How are you? Are you ruling your imagination? That is the important thing: we are happy when we believe ourselves to be so, and if our minds are set on the opposite extreme all the diversions in the world will not give us any pleasure.”
—Eugene Delacroix, in an 1858 letter to Mme de Forget, The Journal of Eugene Delacroix

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein: Happiness Is Not an End in Itself

August 28, 2020


 

“I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.”
—Albert Einstein

August

August Progress

August 21, 2020


August.

Or, as I like to call it, “Ugh-ist.”

Never my favorite month. Except for the birthdays of some loved ones (hi, guys!), August is a month I just try to survive, and I have a long history of complaining about it every year here on Catching Happiness.  See “August Monday Musings,” “Feeling the Heat,” or “In Which I Compare Myself to a Horse.” 

But 2020 has been such a strange year, and while this August is…weird to say the least, for me personally, it’s better than the past few years. Last summer, Tank had a serious hoof condition and was lame, and my husband’s truck engine blew. The year before that I was stressed out about moving Tank to a new barn and our son had been forced to move home temporarily.  And the year before that, Tank had an abscessed tooth that required twice-a-day doctoring. This month, fingers crossed, I’m just dealing with ordinary, day-to-day stuff. For which I am very, very grateful.

Despite my typical lack of energy in August, I have been participating in some challenges this month: the KonMari 8-Week Tidy Challenge and Susannah Conway’s #augustbreak2020 Instagram challenge. I’m doing them both imperfectly, and that’s OK. I’ve probably missed more days than I’ve posted on Instagram, but I’m allowing myself to take it easy. (See my posts here.) I’m a bit bogged down with tidying my books (is anyone surprised?), but I’m making progress. Slow, languid, August progress, but progress nonetheless.

In progress...

Tidied

I feel like that’s a lesson I can learn this year: keep trying. Do it imperfectly, but don’t give up. Soften. 

I hope that you have been able to enjoy some of summer’s simple pleasures, and that you’re experiencing August progress. Tell me about what you’ve been up to in the comments!


Look for my travel writing here