Colorado's Shangri-la offers inner peace―and a nice garden

Two guys softly strum guitars in a wildflower-blanketed meadow.Inside a meditation tent, students strike a yoga pose and hum. AtShambhala Mountain Center―named after the mythical kingdomalso known as Shangri-la―celebrating inner peace is a way oflife.

Tranquility seekers journey to this 600-acre Buddhist retreat inthe mountains near Red Feather Lakes to ponder life throughmeditation and the study of yoga and nature―and tocontemplate the sacred symbolism of the kaleidoscopic Great Stupaof Dharmakaya. The three-tiered structure, dedicated to thecenter's late founder, Chëgyam Trungpa Rinpoche, is one of thetallest stupas (domed Buddhist shrines) in North America, rising108 feet above its foundation. Take a guided tour (2 p.m. Sat-Sun; $10 donation) or explore the striking firstfloor of the Great Stupa on your own; wear comfortable shoes andbring water. Visit on September 3 for the Shambhala Botanic GardenDay ($8), complete with a reception and tours of the nativeplants and Oriental healing gardens.

INFO: Shambhala Mountain Center (10-6 daily; 4921 County Rd. 68C, Red Feather Lakes; www.shambhalamountain.orgor 888/781-7221) is 45 miles northwest of Fort Collins and 110miles northwest of Denver.

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