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Whether searching for relief from an overactive “monkey mind” or battling bigger demons, the Buddhists at this Sōtō Zen monastery—the oldest in the United States—believe meditation can be the tool that quiets the storm. Built in 1967 deep inside the Los Padres National Forest just southeast of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the center offers three and five-night retreats on topics as introductory as The Nature of Zen to as specific as Finding Equanimity in a Difficult Profession: A Retreat for Lawyers.

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