The Sacred Space: A Little Piece of Heaven
“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.” – Alan Watts
In 2005, the small town of Summerland welcomed The Sacred Space to what is now the heavily decorated corner of Lillie Avenue. But the wall of green foliage, the healing Buddhas, prosperity elephants, the array of stone garden art, and palm tree swaddled door – acquired from a temple in India – is only the beginning of Jack and Rose Herschorn’s haven of eastern artifacts and furnishings.
Scattered among the conscientiously stocked, sage, and candle-scented locale – initially a pioneer’s cabin built in the late 1800s – the Hindu art and smiling Buddhas, contemporary gems and pearls, pyramid candles and incense, are unbiased symbols of religion and spirituality: Native American dream catchers, Catholic Rosaries amid Christian crucifixes, books on spirituality, ritual items stored in an antique Burmese treasure box… the list goes on and on.
Then, through the back doors, onto paths of little white stones that guide you through the tropical and bamboo garden are antique architectural stones and lanterns, rustic statues of Buddhas and water maidens that stand along the shores of Koi-filled lily ponds. Not to mention the Bali-built Pavilions made of various hardwoods and coconut wood: one Pavilion in-particular with white curtains, a divan with a canary-yellow cushion, and a rustic wood table to hold the guest’s complimentary tea.
The Pavilions are custom-built and assembled in Bali by experienced carpenters. Then, they disassemble and ship the Pavilion to the customers’ destinations where Jack’s crew of skilled craftsmen reassembles and installs the open or closed Pavilion for meditation, yoga, reading, anything the client desires.
“This is our contribution to mankind, and it comes directly from our hearts,” Jack says of the 15-year-old business. It’s a place for people “finding themselves in personal-growth.”
The inception of the Herschorns transpired in 1973, when Jack noticed the blonde pedaling Rose, waiting on her bike at a traffic light in Portland, Oregon – Rose’s hometown, and where Jack studied chiropractics. Eventually, Jack moved to Los Angeles and started his chiropractor business in Venice Beach. So, after a feverous yet long-distance relationship, Rose joined Jack in L.A. in 1979.
But it was the dawn of the 21st century when Jack, Rose, and their children, David and Lauren, took a six-month family excursion that would alter the future of their lives. The clan of four voyaged to the holiest of places in Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, Burma, venturing to places such as the Middle-East, where John baptized Jesus in the River of Jordan, inside Jesus’s tomb, to the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem. They visited the Hindu goddess Lakshmi’s Temple in India, the inside of the Mother Temple of Bali, up to the northern realms of Asia, where the southern edge of Mongolia meets the Great Wall of China.
On their six-month trip, Jack and Rose filled two 40-foot containers and shipped their shop’s signature architectural antiques and rare artifacts, the antique furniture, the grotesque garden art, Eastern clothing and jewelry still admired today at The Sacred Space, to their home in Montecito. The two kept and sold the precious discoveries throughout the next couple of years, until the birth of The Sacred Space in 2005.
And let’s not forget the devoted Santa Barbarans, who visit Jack and Rose’s all-inclusive sanctum as much as they can: Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges, and the late Jonathan Winters. As well as Santa Barbara author-poet, Chella Courington, who also teaches English and Creative Writing at Santa Barbara City College and says, “I absolutely love the spacious, meditative garden with its waterfall and fountains. If I lived in Summerland, I’d be there every day.”
The Sacred Space is open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, but every Thursday at 6 pm is a guided meditation, a course led by various teachers, author Radhule Weininger, Ph.D., for instance. Also, this summer, author Phil Goldberg will visit for the promotion of his new book. Every month in the lecture hall are speaker events and performances by spiritual leaders and musicians. And in the first week of September, a group of six monks will also visit The Sacred Space.
I have touched on a fraction of Jack and Rose Herschorn’s gift to the community, the world, and everyone in and out of their personal consciousness. Everything you want to know about events, products, and so forth is on their website: www.thesacredspace.com. Their address is 2594 Lillie Avenue in Summerland. The phone is (805) 565-5535.