The great corn arrives.
The child-rain arrives.
In a way of beauty arrives.
From the west arrives.
In a way of beauty arrives.
The Turtle Hill Sangha is a small group of Nyingmapa householders living in the hills of southern - middle Tennessee. The sangha came together in 1989 to garner the benefits associated with
studying and practicing Buddhadharma in community. We also hang out together, garden, play music, go camping and depend on each other for regular good company. Presently (late 2010) only a handful of us are living on the land, sharing approximately 100 adjacent acres around Turtle Hill. This is an historically poor part of the country which is naturally ideal for solitude and contemplative retreat.
Dim Stirrings in the Cultural Swamp
of the Second Millennium
WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED
TO HAVE MADE MEANINGFUL CONTACT
WITH THE LINEAGE OF ENLIGHTENED
The freedoms and favorable conditions
are extremely difficult to obtain...
hundred million years ago, large portions of the southeastern United
States were submerged under the waters of a large inland sea called the
Appalachian Basin. Streams and rivers from mountains on the eastern
edge of the Basin deposited countless tons of sediment in everchanging
patterns as three entire ranges rose and eroded over a period of three
hundred million years. Beds of limestone and sandstone were laid down.
Shorelines shifted, deltas transformed into swamps, repeatedly rising
and submerging, building layers of shale and coal, until finally, the
last inundation occured about two hundred and fifty million years ago,
at the end of the Paleozoic. This was at the beginning of the most
recent period of mountain building in the area, called the Allegheny
Africa was pushing up against the coast of
southeastern North America with sufficient pressure to fold, buckle and
lift the pre-cambrian bedrock of the previous ranges over 15,000 ft.
into the sky. Today these peaks have eroded well below 7000 ft., and
people call them the Smokies. Because the force of the collision
dissipated as it moved westward, inland areas were not as severely
deformed and great slabs of rock hundreds of miles in length responded
to the pressure by uniformly rising as a tableland stretching from the
southern border of New York to northeastern Alabama. Millions of years
later, this feature remains 2,000 feet above sea level and is known
locally as the Cumberland Plateau. Located on the remnants of an eroded
spur off the extreme western edge of the plateau in what was once the
depths of the Appalachian Basin, a hill shaped like the shell of a box
turtle rises in the midst of a sea of rolling ridges, almost a thousand
feet above sea level. Turtle Hill is akin to a natural stupa or earth
mound and is blessed with an abundance of terrapene carolina
Liberation Upon Seeing
This script is a terma revelation by Terton Migyur Dorje:
retreat in the wilderness, like summer in a lush place where herbs grow -
I don't remain here, there is no way for
good qualities to be born.
high up in the mountains, don't
wander back into black towns.
I truly practice the sublime teachings.
If I must do something, may
Buddha's teaching bear it witness.
If I must do something, mix mindstream and dharma.
I must accomplish something, read
the life stories of past masters.
the use of other things? Spoiled brat!
a low seat and become rich with contentment.
hard to get free of the eight worldly concerns.
-His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche
TURTLE HILL SANGHA
is registered with the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)3, allowing us to
accept tax-deductible donations. We welcome all contributions toward
our projects which presently include land preservation, charitable
offerings, sacred arts, a retreat cabin and supportive crew, media and educational
materials, a non-denominational lending library, and maintenance of
If you are interested in helping support
any of these efforts or want more information,
please write us at
Some sources used for quote on this page
Self-Liberation Through Seeing With Naked Awareness, trs. by John Myrdhin Reynolds, Station Hill, 1989
A Buddhist Histroy of the West, Studies in Lack, David r. Loy, SUNY Press, 2002