Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Deer Park ディアパーク

We visited Deer Park Monastery in Escondido. It is a Buddhist practice center in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hahn, a renowned Vietnamese monk who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He is based in France, but his teaching centers are all over the world. We drove up in the mountains where this lovely monastery had been built. The land was so beautiful filled with colorful flowers and lush trees. At the main gate we luckily ran into a Vietnamese nun, and she kindly opened the gate for us. (We did not know that you need to make an appointment for a visit.)


The monastery was just lovely. There were nuns' houses, the main meditation room, dining room with a kitchen, and so on. It was so quiet, and all you could hear was the birds singing and some nun's prayer. We did not see anyone outside, so we kept looking for an office or something. Then I found the laundry area where all these nuns' aodai dresses were hang to dry.


Something smelled really good, so I walked towards the aromatic air. It was another huge dining room, and I saw this cute little girl nun. She did not speak English well, but when I told her how lovely she was she smiled and said, "Thank you, but I am 22 years old!" My husband and I looked each other in a shock. This nun looked so young and adorable! It must be the healthy life, I thought...


The nuns grow their own organic vegetables to eat. 尼さんたちは食べるためのオーガニック野菜も育てています。

"Be there for each other" and "Listen to each other" were written on everyone's house door.


This is one of the nuns' houses. There were many little houses like this at the monastery property.


The stained glass window of the Buddha image was so beautiful at the main auditorium.


Suddenly I felt like meditating under the tree... There is something very compelling to me every time I visit a monastery. I just don't want to leave, and want to stay there. I've always had a fantasy to become a nun up in the Himalayas. I still have that fantasy sometimes, and who knows, perhaps one day...


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