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Peace, beauty and enlightenment found below the Trinity Alps | A Bartell's Backroads Pit Stop

Go inside the Chagdud Rinpoche Rigdzin Ling, a remote Buddhist temple in Junction City, CA.

JUNCTION CITY, Calif. — Just below the Trinity Alps off Hwy 299 in Northern California, a constant breeze keeps a line of colorful prayer flags in constant motion at the Chagdud Rinpoche Rigdzin Ling in Junction City.  Lama Padma is one of the teachers at the temple. It’s his job to guide people on their path of meditation and enlightenment.

“We think just walking around them creates positive energy,” says Lama Padme. “Just being here gives people the space to just collect themselves.”

Lama Padma guides likes to guide guests through the stoopas along the hillside. A stoopa is tall monument housing sacred relics associated with the Buddha, or other saintly person. At the end of the stoopas is a massive statue of Buddha, which was handmade by the great Buddhist master Chagdud Rinpoche, the founder of the Junction City Temple.

“This statue was carved out of a single piece of cedar wood,” Lama Padma says.

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Great care and detail was put into all the monuments. The colors and ornate designs represent different expressions in the religion.

“Expression of enlightenment and expressions of awakening,” Lama Padma says.

Inside the temple, Tibetan canon’s -- or scriptures -- line the wall next to a shrine for Chagdud Rinpoche. He passed in 2002. You can pay your respects by making offering inside the Butterlamp Room.

“When you light a light, you are creating something that has not been there before,” the lama says.

The Chagdud Rinpoche Rigdzin Ling is open to the public either for day use or for multi-day retreats. You don’t have to be religious to admire the art or spin the prayer wheels. This is a place for all to come and feel at peace.

HIT THE BACKROADS:  Summer is here! Plan your ultimate road trip with John Bartell's list of California's top 10 destinations to visit.

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