Thank you James for recalling the story I told of visiting 12 monasteries and retreat and Buddhist centers in the Southwest US.
I put them all together in a first volume, then expanded it in the second: A Pilgrimage Beyond Belief. I guess you could call it a spiritual memoir that was cleansing and deepening both for me. I think I am still a Roman Catholic because of the monastic tradition in the West. When I can get to my favorite place, New Camaldoli Monastery in Big Sur, I am right next door to heaven.
Highway One keeps collapsing, making it hard for people to get to the monastery, so their income is slashed considerably. Post-covid, I hope to fly out to Santa Barbara, rent a car and head north to that sacred place, about 8 miles south of Esalen. I have enjoyed all your posts, James; they are so insightful.