It has been a dry winter in Santa Fe, not a good one for a town at 7,000 feet that depends on snowfall for water. But in the absence of snow, the landscape emerges in its own right.
I’m drawn to the quiet of the winter months; the sense of rejuvenation that is just around the corner; the zen of the natural cycles. These pictures are from two of my favorite places (so far): Upaya and Ojo Caliente.
Both have a strong sense of place. Upaya, in the hills above the town, has a serenity congruent with the Buddhist center. It is happy and serene.
Ojo Caliente nestled at the base of towering rock cliffs, has an anchoring in the ancient, in the spring waters that burble to the surface and in the tribes that went before us.
Both seem rooted in spirit, in different ways.
Upaya is a journey within. And from the peace within, it radiates a welcome to all who visit.
Ojo Caliente is more remote and adventuresome. It is a stop on a journey of ancient peoples, at a healing spring. It is sacred land in a way I cannot define. Perhaps it’s the reach of waters, over time, to touch and heal. Perhaps it’s the lingering mysticism of a civilization no more.
Both transcend time.
Both are worth a visit.
Ojo Caliente is destined to become a destination. The combination of hiking and mineral waters is simply too irresistible. And it’s just an hour from Santa Fe. Far enough to be a bit of an adventure; close enough to make it a periodic habit.
Upaya is just down the road. I stop in on occasion to join in one of the three daily meditations open to the public. The serenity, the energy and the silence are deeply restorative. It is a reminder of the rich simplicity possible in a life less encumbered.
This is an American Indian poem that seems to suit the timeless nature of both locales:
SOULS OF YESTERDAY
They still walk the plains, when the moon is high.
Their ghostly figures upon their horse, as they go riding by.
The wolves upon a high rock, with their frosted breath of air,
look out upon the poor souls, with their amber stare.
The cold plains full of snow, the weary band draws near,
silent is the night, but for the wailing cries you here.
Marching onward they go, moving far away,
soon they disappear; the souls of yesterday.
More Posts About Zen And Travel:
Ojo Caliente, Wind Chimes and Waters
Ojo Caliente Encore!
Thoughts on the Metaphor of a Road trip
The Zen of Upaya
11 Life Lessons Learned From the Road
Traveling the Timeline of Now
Travel Packing List: Quotes, Wisdom and a Minimum of Luggage
Travel Minimalist: 17 Reasons Why Less is More
Reflections on Life With Cancer
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