Bay Area Hikes through Monasteries
1 Jan 2012
The hikes listed below go through Buddhist monasteries and meditation centers.
Land of Medicine Buddha in Santa Cruz has quiet and peaceful ambience. Hiking trails have been established around the center.
A gorgeous loop around a Buddhist retreat center. Quiet and peaceful ambience. Half the hike is next to a creek, amid redwoods. The remaining half goes through a thick forest. At several spots along the trail, there are sites for prayers, miniature statues and spiritual symbols. A small section of the hike is along the Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail with eight verses posted at regular intervals. Benches in front of the sayings encourage you to sit and ponder over the meaning of the sayings.
A long hike in Marin Headlands that goes through Green Gulch Farm, also known as Green Dragon Temple, a Buddhist center in the Buddhist Soto Zen tradition. Quiet place but fewer temples and spiritual symbols along the hiking route as compared with the hike in Land of Medicine Buddha.
Shorter routes are possible. See trail map for Marin Headlands for devising shorter loops.
Other than the hikes listed above, there are several other parks and hiking trails adjacent to spiritual centers:
Spirit Rock Meditation Center, a Buddhist center, is adjacent to Roy's Redwoods Open Space Preserve in Marin County.
Jikoji Zen Center is along Skyline Blvd, in Long Ridge Open Space Preserve, adjacent to Ward Road trailhead.
Vedanta Society Olema Retreat, established by Swami Vivekananda from India, is adjacent to Bear Valley Visitor Center in Point Reyes. The retreat is situated in the town of Olema. It is a quiet place with a library of spiritual books.
Tassajara Hot Springs in Big Sur, affiliated with the San Francisco Zen Center, are reachable by backpacking trips or long day hikes.
Mount Madonna Center, a Hindu spiritual center, is adjacent to Mount Madonna County Park in Watsonville.
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