Phap Vuong Monastery
715 Vista Ave
Escondido, CA 92026
Dog-Friendly: On outside, yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
From Wikipedia: Deer Park Monastery (Vietnamese: Tu Viện Lộc Uyển,) is a 400-acre (1.6 km2) Buddhist sanctuary in Escondido, California. It was founded in July 2000 by monastic and lay practitioners from Plum Village, France.
The monastery is under the direct guidance of Thich Nhat Hanh and his Order of Interbeing in the Vietnamese Zen tradition. Deer Park follows the same practices and schedule as Plum Village and its sister monastery Blue Cliff Monastery in New York and Magnolia Village Practice Center in Mississippi.
Since its founding the monastery has grown to be very active. In addition to its regular monastic schedule, Deer Park hosts twice-weekly days of mindfulness which are open to the public as well as a variety of themed and general retreats. Deer Park hosts an annual retreat when Thich Nhat Hanh travels to North America. Over the years the ordained Sangha has been growing and currently consists of 14 monks and 23 nuns. Lay practitioners also live at the monastery.
The monastery is now composed of two hamlets; Solidity Hamlet for monks and laymen and Clarity Hamlet for nuns and laywomen.
All retreats at Deer Park Monastery include the basic practices of sitting meditation and chanting, walking meditation, mindful eating, group discussions, touching the Earth, total relaxation, and working meditation. Depending on the retreat, extra activities may include private consultations, mountain hiking, bonfire, and song & skit performances. Retreats are for beginners and experienced practitioners of meditation.
Personal Experience: I have visited this monastery on numerous occasions and have only experienced kindness and grace from the people. Although small in comparison to Deer Park Monastery, which is also located in Escondido, this spot is packed with beauty to feast your eyes on.
My grandpa is 93 in this photo and still going on adventures and exposing himself to new experiences. He instilled adventure in my mom who instilled it in me. Love this photo of him: