Hearst Castle & New Camaldoli Hermitage…well, not so new.

August 16, 2010 Evolutionary

Hearst Castle or Spanish Cathedral?Hearst Castle was really quite something to see.  W.R. Hearst was fascinated with building things and getting them just right.  The Castle reflects the influence on his life from the Cathedrals and Antiquities of Europe.  He shipped over allTablesorts of icons, ceilings, tapestries, fireplace mantels, monastery furniture and crosses. The whole front of the Main House looks like a Spanish Cathedral with bell towers and all.

Actually, Camaldoli was the name of the town in Italy where the Benedictine monks came from..hence, New Camaldoli. The monastery was anything but new as it’s the closest I’ve come to asceticism. I didn’t know that Hwy. 1 along the coast, however beautiful, doesn’t have a lot of places to stay. Because that is so, it’s why they charge $150-250/night and gas is $4.95/gallon! Yep! When I came upon New Camaldoli, I just stopped in to see if they had accommodations for me 1 night early, and, indeed, according to a very gracious woman, “it just so happens that a woman left early..unexpectedly.” What a surprise! And, it was the hermitage I was supposed to have the following day.

Kairos (My) Hermitage with church aboveBare bones to say the least.  I really didn’t know what to expect but I was glad for the bed as I slept no less than 13 hours Friday night, after a 30 minute meditation, after their Vespers service.  Yes, meditation with Tibetan bowls,

Camaldoli Meditation Chapel

cushions and in their meditation chapel…a whole, beautiful, simple chapel dedicated to meditation.  Who knew?  Everyone was very nice and brought me books for chanting, which was beautiful and just nodded their heads this way or that to give me directions.  I was just so surprised when they held meditation after each Vespers service.  So, so quiet and sacred.

Meditation Chapel Ceiling...Heaven meets Earth

I spent a good portion of Saturday morning at one of the benches writing and reading and just looking at the immense view from this bench so high above the Ocean.  They had great Italian hot chocolate and just took a cup down the road to this bench.  A long conversation with God ensued.

Bench above the World

My mind was finally beginning to quiet down after weeks of planning, selling, organizing, packing and taking care of all sorts of details.

View from the Bench..edge of the cliff.

 The bookstore here was fabulous!  All kinds of CDs, Books and altar pieces.  The Camaldoli’s just might be New Thought..or at least open to all spiritualities.  They had a great CD…added now to my collection…of a Taize service.  It is a lovely collection of Taize pieces.



Entry Filed under: California Travel, Monasteries, Pilgrimage, Retreat Centers, Spirituality, Travel

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Marie Z.&hellip  | 

    Dear Mark,

    Sending you a hug, outside, in plein-aire, under the sunlight, and with best wishes on your continuance ever forward.


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