Land of Calm Abiding
Since the beginning of time, we have sought to find happiness and escape from our problems by changing our world...
Lord Buddha discovered and teaches that the cause and solution for our happiness and sorrow comes from our own minds. One of the best ways to focus the mind is to retreat from worldly distractions. Historically, many individuals have sought places conducive to solitary meditation.
"For a meditator, the mind is the workshop as well as the material to be worked with..."
In the West there are very few places that meet the criteria for successful solitary retreat. Land of Shiné – 500 acres at Big Sur on the California Coast – is such a place. Access to the property is by a rugged seven-mile road, a journey that takes over an hour, can only be negotiated by a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi, current retreatant in Land of Shiné, “It [Land of Shiné] has all the conditions for retreat mentioned in the lam-rim texts: It is peaceful, extremely quiet, isolated, and free of distractions, interruptions, and extremes of weather.”
For Buddhism to succeed in the West, practitioners must gain profound realizations on the path to enlightenment. These realizations are the result of long-term, isolated retreat. Once realized, this potential becomes an inspiration to all of us who seek refuge in the Buddhist path and wish to benefit others.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Ribur Rinpoche conclude that this land has special significance for the development of realizations in the minds of Western students.
Isolated from the normal input of everyday life, the real work can begin....
The cost to maintain the property is $35,000 per year. This covers:
- Grading of the road after the annual rains to make it useable.
- Two full-time caretakers look after the retreatants and property.
- Satellite phone system – for emergency communication during the 6-month rainy season when the land is only accessible by helicopter.
- Automobile expenses
- Ranch expenses
Currently six people are in retreat and many are on a waiting list. Students require time and resources to undertake retreat. Obstacles to entering retreat can be enormous. The way to clear obstacles and create the cause to enter a successful retreat is to contribute to the success of another. Your donation to Land of Calm Abiding will benefit those on the land and create the cause for your own successful retreat.
Please consider supporting the tradition of long retreat in the West by making a donation. Your help directly benefits those long-term meditators on the land, plus contributes to maintenance and development. A donation of any amount means that Land of Calm Abiding can flourish and become a place for more students to gain realizations on the Buddhist path.
...These people who are doing retreat are sincere, trying hard not to waste time. My wish is to have more retreat houses there [at Land of Calm Abiding], to be able to offer service to more people who want to dedicate their lives to actualizing the path to enlightenment, the most worthwhile thing...
The meditators on the land make dedications and prayers for those individuals that support their retreat at Land of Calm Abiding. Without this kindness and support, none of them will have the opportunity to gain realizations on the path.
Let us rejoice in Ven. Sumden Lhundrup’s inspiring experience, who has been in retreat at Land of Shiné for close to seven years:
My most cherished realization in this retreat has been in the realm of giving and taking. Toward the end of the third year, I was having a hard time with the wild mind and was using the tong-len (giving and taking) method to deal with it. One night in a dream, His Holiness the Dalai Lama walked up to me and blew some mantras into my mouth. Suddenly, it was more real than this world’s reality. His Holiness put his right arm around my shoulders and started explaining the tong-len practice to me. A dakini who was standing off to one side said, “This is a very auspicious event,” as His Holiness and I walked by. All the while he was continuing to explain everything there is to know about tong-len and its result, bodhichitta. I awoke from that dream with a very special feeling of peace and blessedness, and I noticed over the next few weeks that whenever I did tong-len all those teachings and blessings were right there as realizations in the mind. I felt very close to my guru-deity and that this was the clean clear sign that my time in this retreat was not wasted.
How Can I Make a Donation?
To donate by check in US funds, please make the check payable to FPMT, Inc., and mail your donation to:
c/o FPMT Inc.
1632 SE 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214-4702 USA
FPMT has established the Land of Calm Abiding (LCA) as a designated purpose fund, which with the support of generous benefactors, supports the work of FPMT's affiliate, the Land of Calm Abiding (LCA). All donations made to the fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.