On August 23, 2006 a piece of property in Northwest Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains was found that had everything that I had long been looking for. This estate is very special and has many positive features, such as an excellent shape, several hills that are lovely to behold, and beautiful wooded areas, as well as waterfalls, creeks, and rivers. Numerous caves of varying sizes, which are ideal for accomplishing practice, are found across the land. It contains an abundance of excellent qualities that support practice with all of the marks and auspicious signs described in the Buddhist texts for identifying appropriate retreat land. Everything about this quiet and remote place is pleasing.
My intentions and aspirations for the land are: To build a temple and establish representations of enlightened body, speech, and mind; to develop courses for studying Buddhist philosophy in a traditional manner, called a shedra; to initiate a three year retreat center, called a drubdra; to establish an area designated for meditation retreats of varying lengths, called a gomdra; to build retreat cabins; and to create a healing center for body and mind. This work has already begun and is currently being developed.
I have called it Katog Choling Mountain Retreat Center, shortened to Katog Rit'hröd in Tibetan. Katog is the name of our lineage, and Rit'hröd encompasses the intention for my land due to its significance and depth of meaning. Ri means mountain, and T’hrod is a place or abode used for retreat practice. Hence, the translation “mountain retreat center.” However, the greater meaning that is contained within the word is as follows: First, it is a quiet and remote environment endowed with mountains, water, forests, practice caves, and other naturally occurring supportive attributes. Second, it is complete with all the outer supportive elements for simple and unelaborate living with the capacity to provide basic sustenance of food, water, and so forth. Third, for practitioners who come, their needs can be met simply in accord with the two previous qualities if they cultivate and live with little desire and greater contentment. If these three qualities are complete we can call it a ri-t’hrod.
~ Khentrul Rinpoche