JOSEPH - Up a dirt road, on five acres of sloping wooded grassland, Buddhist monks chop wood and carry water. Following a centuries-old balanced daily practice of meditation, physical work, formal ceremonies, vegetarian meals and discussion of the teaching, the monks of the small remote mountain temple welcome those who join them in search of inner peace.
Sounds like a scene from ancient China?
It's happening right here in Wallowa County, about a quarter-mile uphill from the Hurricane Creek Grange, at the Wallowa Buddhist Temple.
Visitors come from afar to retreat for a week or so, usually one-by-one. Local folks take time for inner reflection, individually or in small groups meeting Sundays and Wednesdays for a morning of meditation and discussion.
Walking paths wind through pine and aspen on the forested temple grounds, ideal for quiet contemplation. Sitting quietly on a bench along Hurricane Creek, a guest or a resident monk may find solace by the tumbling glacial waters.
Speaking with the priest of the temple, Reverend Meido Tuttle, one may find a spiritual refuge. A familiar brown-robed figure in the county since she came to settle here nine years ago, Rev. Meido freely offers a kind ear, a cup of tea, and good practical wisdom to those who ask it of her. After more than 30 ears as a contemplative monastic, Rev. Meido has come to embody the compassionate teaching of her tradition. Also practicing at the temple under her guidance is Reverend Clairissa Beattie, a younger monk who came from Portland last October after 10 years of monastic training.
The Wallowa Buddhist Temple is a log cabin heated mostly with wood, so the monks are kept busy splitting and stacking firewood. During the summer heat, Rev. Meido waters young fruit trees by hand where drip hoses don't reach. Seeing her carrying water in buckets recently, a neighbor couple kindly insisted on the monks using their nearby faucet. .cont/.... here