I found Ratna Ling on Groupon and it seemed too good to be true but it is a truly beautiful oasis in the trees. The grounds are absolutely breathtaking. The cottages are beautiful, comfortable and peaceful. The volunteers are amazing and helpful. I enjoyed the meditation and yoga offers and the food was so delicious. I will for sure be back soon for some more zen and nature!
I can't say enough about the peace and pleasant sense of the place. The staff are lovely, the food is fantastic, and the rooms just exude calm reflection. It must be mentioned that the rooms have lovely views, a stunning living area with a fireplace, and a kitchenette. It is run by volunteers who donate their skills to the institute. Hugs to them. I would come back in a heartbeat. Tip: there is poor phone signal and some GPSs will get the location wrong. If your gps stops you on hauser road by a mailbox, keep going up the road. You will not be able to miss it.
I went to Ratna Ling for a retreat with my wife on the weekend of 6/31/2018. From the moment we got there, I was very pleased at how cool everyone was. Not just the staff, but EVERYONE there. The drive took about 4 hours from Silicon Valley on Friday. I'm sure that this is abnormal as this is the weekend before the Fourth of July and lots of people were traveling to the Russian River Valley. There are lots of windy roads on the way, and the drive is absolutely beautiful. We got in at 4:15pm and went to a yoga class at 4:30. They provide all the mats, props, etc. You just go in and start. Our instructor was Gloria. She greeted us and told us a little about the weekend and brought us into the class. The yoga is pretty basic, it's not heated, and space is super clean. The whole facility looks brand new. These are great classes for beginners. Our cabin was huge and had great views of the surroundings. You get two bedrooms, high ceilings, and a Jacuzzi tub. The bed was incredibly comfy as well. The food is vegetarian. I wasn't super excited about this, but it turned out to be great, and had plenty of protein via tofu and eggs. These folks are Buddhist, so don't expect any steaks. The weekend we went was focused on chanting. I wasn't (and still am not) too crazy about this. I just don't get it. But that's me and it was still a great experience. When others were chanting, I just sat there quietly and has a very peaceful time. It's not often that I can just close my eyes, ignore every one around me and chill. You don't have to participate in everything, and Gloria made that known. My wife really like the chanting and so did the other participants. I was laughing a lot, which I hope didn't disturb the other patrons. If it did, they never let on. The whole staff was really nice. At one point on Saturday they had a little panel that told us of the history of the place and what they do. They are 100% non profit, and use the massive facility to preserve culture. Mostly Tibetan culture from what I heard. I guess the Chinese rolled into Tibet in the '50s and wrecked the place. Some monks rolled out and tried to preserve what they could. Ratna Ling reproduces lots of the books and things that these monks smuggled out. That's pretty good in my book. You'll not be put off by crazy hippies, these folks seem normal (besides being really nice, which is abnormal for me). And they aren't out to recruit you. They just share their culture at a beautiful place, and that is fine with me. I wish I took some photos, but this was a phones off weekend. Highly recommend!…
“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir This beautiful, peaceful, spiritual place is perfect for restoring your emotional body and mind. The accommodations, the grounds and the very healthy food are are equal to a five star resort without the noise or the bustling staff or guest.
I went solo on a retreat to Ratna Ling in March, and I had a lovely time. I connected with beautiful, amazing people. The vegetarian meals were delicious! I took all the classes provided and also had some solo time to reflect. The grounds and the cabin I stayed in were fantastic. My cabin wasn't very close to other cabins, so the nights were sometimes unsettling for me! The cabins have two bedrooms, a fireplace, a jacuzzi tub, and sloped ceilings. It was a relaxing and peaceful few days. I recommend going, and I definitely want to go back one day.