I just got back a few days ago from a trip to California where I visited King’s Canyon Nat’l Park and then I was blessed to visit the Land of the Medicine Buddha retreat center which is near Santa Cruz (above Soquel). LMB is beautiful, peaceful, quiet, contemplative and fascinating – the road to get there is narrow and hugs the edge of a hill above a creek. Then the roads once you get there are narrow and steep, as the land is adjacent to the Enchanted Forest of Nisene Marks state park (which is very hilly). When I got there, I explored the lower buildings which include the gift shop / bookstore, the gompa (shrine room) and the dining room. Plus there are several large prayer wheels (mani la khor) which are supposed to help generate great amounts of merit and blessing when you turn them.
The LMB shrine room has the 7 Medicine Buddhas statues plus a Shakyamuni Buddha statue – very beautiful. There are several pictures of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, one of which is above an encased sand mandala.
There is a little area above the main buildings which has a statue of Ksitigarbha, a Namgyalma bell and a gong. Plus there are multiple prayer wheels up there as well. I loved resting down at the main buildings and hearing the sounds of the gong and bell drift down the enchanted hill. If you get the chance, just sit and soak in the ambiance on a weekend (when they have more visitors) and you will probably hear the same thing.