A retreat this weekend on a lovely stretch of coast just up from Stinson Beach made me wonder why the monasteries—both Buddhist and Christian— always have the finest views. Because they are remote, one is tempted to say. Because they are in and of the wilderness. Because the fine blue distances invite contemplation, draw one unresistingly closer to the divine.
I have been in wonderful—and full of wonder— monasteries now in the remote Carmel Valley, on a steep coast on Mallorca (a hermitage, really), on the St. Bernard Pass, in the south of France, in Sicily's Erice, on the Amalfi Coast, and on Santorini—that one sheer, white.
image: Meteora 2, Vaggelis Vlahos