Furnace Mountain In February

Furnace Mountain is a Zen Buddhist Retreat Center in Powell County, Kentucky, in the heart of Appalachia.
The surrounding area is not exactly a hotbed of Zen Buddhism, yet despite that fact Furnace Mountain has existed and thrived for over 25 years.

I attend retreats as often as I can. I just returned yesterday from spending five gorgeous days there.

The Mountain

The Mountain

I’m keeping two hives of bees there this season.

Apiary Beginnings!

Apiary Beginnings!

I have a lot of work to do before bee season!!

Clouds Of Wonder

There are two (at least!) great things about meditation retreats.

The obvious is the sense of peace and contentment that accompanies the process of meditation itself. I’ve often wondered whether I’m really that spiritual or just so lazy I like not thinking.

A little of both, probably.

But the less obvious is even better.

After the retreat, I get to discover what I’ve “downloaded”  during my hours of meditation – those hours when I wasn’t busy thinking/worrying about stuff that ultimately doesn’t matter.

On my drive home, I discovered that my writer’s block had disappeared.

Then my petty grudges.

Who knows what I’m going to discover today?

I’m sure it will be awesome!

The Lotus Pond

One of the most beautiful features at Furnace Mountain is the Lotus Pond.

With all the heat, it is in full bloom now. It usually doesn’t flower until August.