Furor over Buddhist retreat center near Cazadero


Bright yellow flags flutter in the breeze over a large metal building in the coastal hills of northwest Sonoma County, miles from urban hubbub and lights. In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the banners are supposed to release prayers for peace and compassion into world.

Inside the half-acre sized steel building, presses run 12 hours a day, churning out sacred texts bound for the Himalayan region to nurture the Buddhist culture devastated by China’s invasion of Tibet in the 1950s.

Volunteers operating the presses at the Ratna Ling Retreat Center conduct a ceremony around a gold-colored stupa, a monument symbolizing the mind of the Buddha, and wash their hands before beginning work each day. A sign along the private road to the printing plant advises: “Banana Slug Crossing Be Aware.”

But the site, despite its reverent mission, is the source of angst reverberating in the redwoods of Seaview Ridge, a bucolic community of homes and ranches above Salt Point State Park, 90 minutes by car from Santa Rosa.

via Furor over Buddhist retreat center near Cazadero | The Press Democrat.

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