Sunday, September 02, 2007

Greetings from Crestone

This morning Jim is learning about energy efficiency retrofits (best bang for the buck) at the Crestone Energy Fair while I'm out taking photos of town with our dog, writing poetry, and, apparently, blogging. Crestone looks like an old mining town, but it's actually far older. It was part of the Spanish Land Grant and is on the Old Spanish Trail, which also connects New Mexico to Los Angeles. And before the Europeans, Crestone was used by the Commanche, Kiowa, Ute, and Pueblo as hunting and camping grounds.


Today Crestone is home to dozens of religious centers, including the Dharma Ocean Foundation, Dragon Mountain Zen Center (gorgeous photos!), Crestone Mountain Zen Center, Karma Thegsum Tashi Gomang, Yeshe Khorlo, Haidakhandi Universal Ashram, The Spiritual Life Institute, and Vajra Vidya Retreat Center. I'm pretty sure that's not even all of them. But to summarize, I think it's mostly Buddhist (and mostly Zen and Tibetan), some Hindu, and at least one Christian (Catholic).

And then there are spiritual centers and organizations without explicit religious affiliation: Crestone Healing Arts Center, EarthArt Village (great photos there too!), EDUCO, Sacred Passage and the Way of Nature Fellowship, Shumei International Institute. And that's not all of them. Take a moment to poke around on those sites because there is intriguing work going on.

Why are there so many spiritual and religious organizations in rural Colorado? Because of the Manitou Foundation, which removed a large portion of the surrounding land from housing development and consolidated the lots for use in their mission: to create a place for spiritual retreat and donate land for the preservation of world wisdom traditions. So there you go. Sustained spirituality. Sometimes it takes a foundation.