OVERVIEW & PURPOSE – TARA MEDITATION CENTER
In Tibetan Buddhism, the monastery is the place where we learn the spiritual practices and the retreat center is a focused time for spiritual practice, as supervised by H.E. Dagyum Chenmo Sakya. It is an opportunity to attain a new level of personal renewal and spiritual practice.
Near Freeland, Washington, on the south end of Whidbey Island, is a 72-acre wildlife sanctuary with forest wetlands, three ponds, and abundant wildlife: “Earth Sanctuary.” Through the generosity of benefactor, Chuck Pettis, Sakya Monastery Members may use the Tara Meditation Center, Sakya Monastery’s retreat center, located at the southeast corner of the property.
Earth Sanctuary, nature reserve and meditation parkland, combines art, spirit and, the latest state-of-the-art in ecology to create a unique place for the application of Tibetan Buddhist teachings, personal renewal and spiritual growth.
The Stupa at Earth Sanctuary
The Tara Meditation Center at Earth Sanctuary is designed to support reflection, meditation, personal renewal, and spiritual growth. The house and the grounds surrounding it have been blessed, consecrated, and energetically optimized according to Feng-Shui principles and practices.
The Tara Meditation Center is available to Sakya Monastery Members wishing to make meditation retreats of one day or more. The Tara Meditation Center can also accommodate one-day group mediation retreats or 25 people or less.
Tibetan Buddhist Meditators Are Welcome
The Tara Meditation Center is available for use by Tibetan Buddhist meditators from all Buddhist sects, especially students of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. All retreats must be approved by H.E. Dagyum Chenmo Sakya. Note that Sakya Monastery Members receive a generous discount from the standard rental rate.
Tibetan Buddhist Retreats
The Tara Meditation Center provides the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual community with a quiet setting that is free of distractions and is conducive and supportive of special Tibetan Buddhist practices.
Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreats at the Tara Meditation Center are made under the supervision of H.E. Dagyum Chenmo Sakya, the representative of H.E. Avikrita Vajra Sakya, Head Lama of Sakya Monastery in Seattle. She approves individual retreat plans and can help guide meditators toward an illuminating experience.
There are three levels of retreat practice for Tibetan Buddhists: beginning retreats (involving simple mind-training meditations—such as the practice of listening intently to natural sounds), intermediate retreats (concentrating on practices such as repeating the vows of refuge, saying the one-hundred syllable mantra, and making mandala offerings), and advanced retreats (involving meditational practices dedicated to one deity).
An Invitation from H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, founder of Sakya Monastery, Seattle
This retreat center is a sanctuary for all people. Come and rest your soul from the pressures of your samsaric existence. In this place of peace and in this moment of repose, let your tired spirit come in contact with the soothing realization of the nature of your own self.
In Tibet, hermits spent months and years in solitude high in the mountains. Today, we have this opportunity to go back to nature even in the midst of civilization and yet feel so close to our very basic origins. As sentient beings, we are all interdependent and so to respect the environment in which we live is very essential. May this retreat center serve as an example for the harmonious co-existence of humankinds and nature.
It is my prayer and hope that people may enjoy the pristine beauty of this place and take back with them a higher understanding of their purpose in life.
~ H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, founder of Sakya Monastery, Seattle ~
Some Photos of the Tara Meditation Center at Earth Sanctuary
click on thumbnails to see full-size photos