Shantivan - "Forest of Peace"

The 22-acres of woods at Cortesia Sanctury are nothing short of stunning. There are towering firs over 150 years old, groves of big leaf maple and ash, and several species of oak. The understory contains numerous herbs, wild blackberries, strawberries, elderberries, Oregon grape, vine maples, ferns, among other vegatation. The forest also houses abundant wildlife ranging from deer, rabbit, wild turkey, bobcat, big horn owls, and over 20 varieties of birds.
Fir Shadow on grass of Front Meadow
Shantivan - Cortesia Sanctuary

The landscape of the Cortesia ridgeline is slightly east sloping. However, there is wide variation to the land: meadows, thick forest, draws, benches and a swift moving creek on the eastern border, all make a valuable watershed. The sacred forest of Shantivan, near the homestead and gardens, contains the oldest trees. This upper bench of land is what allows the panoramic vistas at the northern edge of the ridgeline outside the gardens.

The Magic of Light

One of the most magical and mystical qualities of Cortesia Sanctuary - one that affects both the gardens of Gan Eden and the woods of Shantivan - is the lighting.

Depending on time of day, or season, the ridgeline landscape is forever being drawn by the movement of the sun. In the mornings, the light from the east, through the woods, casts a golden and silver blue hue on the land. In Spring and late Fall, when the sun's arc is further south, its beams create a stunning lightshow as it is fractured by morning fog resting in the forest.

In late afternoon and evening, the waning sun sets the woods ablaze in gold turning to crimson, orange and red as the evening approaches. If one stays long enough in the woods or at the viewing benches, the purple and blue veil of the Blue Hour after sunset soothes the landscape to sleep.

Take this opportunity to look at the following galleries
of the woods, settings and light of Shantivan.
We have thousands of images in our archives.
From time to time we will add more to this page.

Sanctuary for a Minute

Enjoy Some Music While You Gaze at the Images in Gallery 1 & Gallery 2 (below)
Soul Etude

from Sanctuary CD by Confluence
information and to order at
Sanctuary Music

Roll mouse over thumbnails to see new image.

Gallery 1

Vistas to Touch the Soul

The northern vistas at the edge of Shantivan reach over 80 miles away, looking out over valleys, a lake, the Coastal Range, and Mary's Peak, the highest peak of the coastal mountains. Sunset Trail and Maple Trail traverse the ridgeline's northern edge, allowing the visitor to sit at several benches to take-in the views: Sunset Bench, Gandhi's Bench and St. Francis Bench. The eastern edge of the upper bench of Shantivan is accessed by Guru Trail. Here one can sit at Master's Bench, and several other places, to meditatively view down the forested hillside of fir and maple to the lower bench of land.

A trail system allows the visitor to meander through most of Shantivan, both upper and lower benches. It is maintained and marked. There are very powerful vortexes on the land, identified as the Fir Vortex, Maple Vortex, Oak Vortex and Ash Vortex. At the junction of Sunset Trail and Maple Trail is a powerful vortex that is the site of the Labyrinth, a popular point of interest for most visitors.

The following gallery demonstrates the
effervescent quality of light at Cortesia Sanctuary.

Gallery 2

The vast energy and balm of Peace resides at Cortesia Sanctuary.

We all desire Peace in our lives.
It is important to seek it in sanctuary.
It is important to steward a place with your
heart and soul so that it may become
your Sanctuary.
Then Peace will always be at hand.


Shantivan Spirits - Cortesia Sanctuary

photo Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

The Blue Hour - Cortesia Sanctuary

photo Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

Cortesia Sanctuary

Related Links

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Copyright 2007, Cortesia Sanctuary