On the top of a mountain, sits a gorgeous Tibetan retreat you've probably never heard about. After traversing a long thin road up from the coast, you will arrive at the beautiful white gates of Ratna Ling, a tranquil and romantic getaway that offers lodging as well as yoga and meditation. Whether your thing is yoga or you just want someplace quiet to unwind, this is the place. The grounds are stunning and the main structure is in the style of a Tibetan monastery, made entirely of large timbers with a temple, and wide open outside dining area with stairs that literally pour into the view.
The accommodations are individual 2 bedroom cabins that are sprawled out over the large property ensuring added privacy and quiet. While the outside may look normal, inside features bright maple floors, cozy gas wood stoves and tons of light. Each cabin comes with a porch where you can sit and listen to the wind blow throw the trees, watch the sunrise or marvel at a night sky full of brilliant stars. The property is enormous with manmade lakes, huge prayer flags and stark, sparkling white temple sculptures. You can get your exercise just wandering over the grounds. Be prepared to meet various wildlife who consider the property to be their own (turkeys, deer, hawks, rabbits to name a few). While it's a bit chilly in Spring, it's quieter because it's the off season and if you love flowers, you're in luck this time of year. For the first time in my life I spotted a Northern California forest orchid which pretty much brought me to my knees and had me acting like an idiot down in the mud trying to get the perfect shot. They are utterly beautiful and very rare.
Ratna Ling is also the site of Dharma Press, a publishing company that specializes in preserving ancient Tibetan texts and sends books to over 500 universities around the world. The company is truly dedicated to all things Tibetan. All the staff are volunteers and everything left after expenses goes to preserving sacred objects from Tibet.
There's no cell phone reception so you can honestly tell work you "can't be reached," and while there is internet it's very slow. And talk about quiet. Ratna Ling is one of the quietest places on Earth. Aside from the chirps of birds and the shushing of wind through the redwoods, there's not a sound.
Meals are all vegetarian or vegan, if you prefer, and served family style at set times in the main hall. If you come, bring shoes that slip on and off as they have a barefoot inside policy and if you're like me, you can get tired of lacing and unlacing your sneakers. There is not much in the way of activities (yet another great way to unplug). You can reserve several different types of massage or take a short drive towards the coast which features some beautiful hikes down to the coves. Other than that, it's sit back and unwind time.
At the time of this post, Ratna Ling is gearing up for the Summer season so we recommend getting your reservations in now.
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