November 15, 2009 by alexnberra
Sweet Melissa gets a sage smudge before the journey, sage is used in many spiritual ceremonies as a way to clear and purify. Strong scents, stained glass, two memories of being in church as a kid, although the images were much more biblical than the butterfly.
As a child Sundays meant church. Waking up to a morning tradition of homemade waffles; mine with syrup and no butter or crepes; filled with jam and dusted with pow-pow, ensured a sugar buzzed catatonic state for the hour long service. Most of the time I spent drawing in the margins of the week’s bulletin. I realize now that simply having a focused hour, in a meaningful place, layed a foundation for my life.
With the winter snow on its way I knew the backroads and trails would not stay clear of snow much longer. I woke up with the feeling that it was the day for the ride to the temple. A pilgrimage, a journey, an adventure, another Sunday service.
The pictures and captions tell most of the story, enjoy! Remember you can always click on the image itself for a better view. Also, if you are interested further in the temple, click here to view a more detailed album of the grounds, and the link to their homepage is found here.
Just a week ago Mt. McLoughlin was lacking the snowy attire. This is the Mt. Fuji of the Rogue Valley. The weather this day was amazing, warm, sunny, still. I'm happy my place of worship has pine covered walls and a blue ceiling.
Sweet Melissa's crystalline footprint. No high heels for this fine lady, it's all about grip. A few days later I was back at this same spot, plowing through what is now more than a few inches of snow.
Looking south into the Colestine Valley, Mt. Shasta and oak changing. Descending from the top of Mt. Ashland was cold, it was a nice baptism to dip my body into the warmth tucked in this little valley just north of the California border.
Vibrance, and nice back road. Getting close to the temple after a long descent from the high-point of the first climb.
The entrance to the temple grounds is marked by tall prayer flags. I experienced a rush of peace and calm when I got to this point. The temple sits on the other side of the knoll to the right. The location is quite un-assuming, one would expect to find a cattle farm rather than a Buddhist temple.
The garden shown here. The temple is the building higher up to the right. Other small temples dot the property as well.
Prayer wheels, I set many spinning as I walked through. The main one is about ten feet tall and four feet in diameter.
An offering I brought from home. There is alot of meaning in for me in this little brain shaped nut, more on that in another post.
This scene is part of of a mural near the garden's entrance. I am intrigued to uncover the story and symbolism here. Anybody know?
Making the way through the entrance of the garden temple area. Lots of prayer wheels and large statues, vibrant colors all around. Reminded me of the temples I visited in Singapore.
Prayer flags line through out the property. A warm wind from the south warmed me deeply after the descent from Mt. Ashland. I almost wanted to find a sunny little corner, curl up in it, and sleep all day.
The temple. The Grandfather of a student in my 7th grade math class was the man who started it all. I ended up seeing her Mom there while I was touring the grounds. The temple is very ornate inside, as you would expect from a traditional Buddhist temple.
Looking down to the garden area from the temple. A few other small temples and shrines are tucked among the oaks. Truly an amazing gem.
Thistles, autumn's robust blossom is actually a skeleton from the purple tufted touch.
Climbing back out of the Colestine Valley.
For all Ashland cyclists, the Colestin Road is actually very smooth hardpack gravel, rideable on a road bike and very scenic.
On the Mt. Ashland Ski Road, a first for Sweet Melissa below mile post 7. Click on the image for a bigger view and you will notice Red-Tail who made a visit on my sun drenched climb back up.
Riding by a granite cliff in Oregon is a special treat. he elevation profile for this ride would look something like two large church steeple side-by-side. A big climb followed by a long descent, followed by an even longer climb and longer descent.
Part of my 12-step program... to eliminate ugly roadside debris. Also aids in karmic flat tire protection.
Check back in a day or two for the story behind this, truly an affirmation I was on my path this day.