I returned on Sunday, September 9 from a four-day retreat called the “Apollo Academy for Health and Humanism.” It was held at a magnificent facility called “Ratna Ling” in the coastal mountains of northern Sonoma County, about three miles east of the Pacific Ocean.
The following is going to sound like a sales pitch. IT IS NOT A SALES PITCH. It is, rather, an attempt to set the stage for what was, primarily, a musical retreat at one of the coolest places I’ve ever been privileged to visit.
Ratna Ling means “land of jewels” in Tibetan, and was so-named by its founder, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche because of his vision that the precious jewels of the teachings brought from Tibet would touch hearts and open minds. Visit their site at http://ratnaling.org
Touch hearts and open minds his teachings have done, but the designation “precious jewel” applies equally to the facility itself. Set on 100 acres, Ratna Ling consists of the main lodge, which houses all of the retreat facilities; 14 two-bedroom “cabins” (which are, in fact, luxurious, beautifully furnished roughly 1200 square-foot homes with fully appointed kitchens, air conditioning, etc.); and a wellness center for massage and bodywork. The property is home to Dharma Publishing (the largest Buddhist publishing facility in North America), which features a large printing/publishing facility and warehouses for storing sacred Tibetan-Buddhist text.