At dawn I wake up to bells . . . red-tailed hawks above the golden pampas grass and the great, still blue plate of the Pacific far below . . . Many places offer you beauty, grandeur, spaciousness; none but Big Sur, in my experience, tells you so powerfully that all those blessings lie within. —Pico Iyer on Big Sur, California
Some places move us at a profound level—with a kind of inner beauty that puts us in direct touch with the spirit. It might be a temple, a church, a monument, a wayside shrine, or a landscape feature that is saturated in the ambience of ancient sacred traditions. Such places are worth taking the trouble to visit. They add meaning to our lives, awakening a sense of beauty, tranquility or awe.
From the prehistoric megaliths of Carnac in Brittany to the Buddhist temple complex of Borobodur in Java, from the giant medicine wheel at Bighorn, Wyoming in the USA to the Confucian Temple of Heaven in Beijing, this book will guide you on a journey to 100 of the world’s most spiritually uplifting sites. Accompanying the superb photographs are evocative descriptions of each place, many from esteemed writers who share their personal responses in their own inimitable style. Read Joseph Williams III on Pipestone in Minnesota, Jan Morris on Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, Michael Ondaatje on the Arankale Forest Monastery in Sri Lanka, and more. And if you wish to seek out these places for yourself, there is a helpful gazetteer at the back of the book giving key facts for visitors.
By immersing ourselves in those special places where landscape, art, and spirit meet in a radiant intersection, we enlarge our perspective on life. This book gives us the inspiration and knowledge to do so.