Earth Sanctuary: A Nature Reserve, Meditation Parkland and Sculpture Garden

The Earth Sanctuary Blog

How do you outsmart beavers?

January 14th, 2016

On the trail to the dolmen, there is a weir, i.e., a device that allows water to flow from the Middle Pond to the West Pond.  When beavers hear running water, they are programmed to plug up the leak with mud and sticks.  To prevent the Middle Pond from filling up and overflowing, we have to either keep opening up the beaver dam or put in a mechanism called a “beaver deceiver” to prevent the beavers from blocking the weir.  We have tried several beaver deceiver” and found only one that actually works.  It is called the  Clemson Beaver Deceiver.

Will Hallberg was responsible for installing two Clemson Beaver Deceivers at Earth Sanctuary that are working flawlessly.  Click here to read his report and see photos of the Clemson Beaver Deceiver.


Minimalist landscape sculpture introduced at Earth Sanctuary sculpture garden & nature reserve

September 13th, 2014

Langley, Wash. — Earth Sanctuary, a sculpture garden and nature reserve on Whidbey Island, Wash., has introduced the first in a series of outdoor minimalist sculptures called “Veils of Reality.” Designed by Chuck Pettis, founder of Earth Sanctuary, and his wife Claudia Pettis, a classically trained and award-winning artist, “Veils of Reality” incorporates a reclaimed and transformed sacred object into a contemporary mirror, uniting the magic of Tibetan Buddhism with modern minimalistic art.

The “Veils of Reality” minimalist sculpture incorporates a black steel square plate with a multi-layer translucent black fabric. The consecrated steel plate was part of a sacred Tibetan Buddhist fire ceremony conducted by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, head lama of Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism at the Earth Sanctuary Buddhist stupa monument. The sculpture juxtaposes opposites to create a balance—the square black ceremonial steel plate with a multi-layer square black fabric. The black fabric square is the opposite of the black plate—the fabric is soft; the steel plate is hard. 

“The use of paired opposites creates a balancing force that facilitates transcendental experience, that is, the ability to comprehend phenomena that cannot be explained objectively,” said Chuck Pettis. “This principle is integrated into all the sacred spaces at Earth Sanctuary.” Pettis is an expert in sacred spaces and author of the book, “Secrets of Sacred Space.”

According to Claudia Pettis, in minimalist art the artist takes what is less and makes it more. “If we look hard and long at a pure piece of art, we will be looking at ourselves in a new light,” she said. ’’’Veils of Reality’ encourages viewers to view their lives with new insight and perspective.”

Chuck Pettis, founder of Earth Sanctuary, created the “Seattle Ley-Line Map,” utilizing a grant won from the Seattle Arts Commission. Ley lines are the energy found at most ancient monuments and sacred places around the world. The map, displaying ley lines that run through Seattle, is part of Seattle City Light’s 1% for Art Portable Works Collection.

Claudia Pettis, classically trained in the techniques of Titian, Rubens and Rembrandt, is an award-winning artist with a loyal following.  Her work can be seen at and her gallery, Museo, in Langley, Wash.

Earth Sanctuary is a sculpture garden, nature reserve and retreat center located on Whidbey Island, Wash. near Seattle. It is a peaceful oasis to enjoy nature and spiritually inspired sculptures with 72 acres of forest, ponds, wetlands, streams, open space and natural Northwest habitat. Its unique art pieces, sculptures and meaningful spiritual symbols include a hedge labyrinth, “Stonehenge” stone circles, Buddhist stupa monument and prayer wheels, megaliths, and authentic Native American medicine wheels. Earth Sanctuary’s retreat center, a house for overnight and day retreats, is a non-denominational, non-sectarian spiritual haven for relaxation, meditation and peaceful reflection. Earth Sanctuary is open to visitors every day of the year during daylight hours ($7/visitor fee). There are two entrances to Earth Sanctuary: 2059 Newman Road and 5536 Emil Road, Langley, Wash. 98260.  For more information, visit Earth Sanctuary at Chuck and Claudia Pettis can be reached at 360-331-6667 or at



Note to editors: Photos of “Veils of Reality” and others of Earth Sanctuary are available by contacting Chuck Pettis, (360) 331-6667,

It was an honor to breathe in such a sacred space.

August 14th, 2014

Yesterday my friend and I had the pleasure of visiting Earth Sanctuary.  We even had the pleasure of chatting with you at the end of our visit.  Thank you for your vision.

It was an honor to breathe in such a sacred space.  We walked most of our journey in bare feet- walking mindfully and lightly on the earth.  The life of the sanctuary greeted us in abundance, even in the heat of the day.  The blue Herron and osprey were talking and circling.  The frogs sang their symphony and the blackberries called our name:)

I was surprised and in awe at each turn.  At one point my friend entered the medicine wheel and I had the chance to sit and listen- it was heavenly.

Thank you for your vision and I’m guessing a bit of sweat equity in creating this sacred space.


From Chuck Nevin – Earth Sanctuary Retreatant:

June 4th, 2014

“My first visit to the Stupa – I was overcome by my emotions. I wept uncontrollably until I walked back to the house. The next morning, I walked up to the Stupa, I circumambulated 44 times after leaving a piece of Rose Quartz to gather healing energy. For the first 22 circumambulations, I recited Tara Mantra and for the second half, I sang Amazing Grace. All the while two black rabbits foraged nearby and a deer was also just down the hill. On my last rotation, a second deer appearerd about 40-50 yards to the North and we shared a beautiful moment together. At the conclusion, I received back the piece of Rose Quartz and left my mala in its place. My intent is to offer this crystal to someone in need of healing. Finally, this Stupa has had such a profound effect on me, that no matter where the current of Life takes me, I will plan to return here on pilgrimage to offer my Heart for the healing of Humanity and Earth.”

Birding at Earth Sanctuary

May 22nd, 2014

Earth Sanctuary is a peaceful place, with lots of life! Watch a great video of Earth Sanctuary’s birds by expert photographer and birder, Craig Johnson. Check out their Facebook page at Puget Sound Backyard Birds.

Demi Allen comment to Chuck

May 22nd, 2014

Chuck: I just want to thank you for the care you have taken in creating Earth Sanctuary. It really is a lovely place and a perfect retreat spot for me, since it combines everything I love and value. It is quite a gift to the world. My visit was too brief, and I hope to return soon.

FYI, I noted a pretty remarkable level of bird activity for this time of year, with lots of species – that seems like a good sign.

With gratitude, Demi Allen

[Thank you Demi for your kind words! – Chuck]

Stupa Blessing Ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014

February 17th, 2014

On Thursday, February 20, twelve Tibetan Buddhist Lamas will visit the Earth Sanctuary Stupa and conduct a traditional blessing ceremony.  The ceremony, open to the public and friends of Earth Sanctuary, is scheduled to start at 10:00 am and last 30 minutes.  Since the entourage is coming from Seattle, it is recommended that interested people be at the stupa by 9:30 am.  Present will be: H.H.  Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, H.E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya, H.E. Zaya Rinpoche, H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche, H.E. Abhaya Rinpoche, Dagmo Lhanze, Tulku Pema, Jamyang Gyantse, Gen. Tashi Nyima, Ven. Khyentse, Tsering Ghompo, Khenpo Jampa, Tulku Yeshi, Lama Migmar, and Ani Dolkar.

Directions: From Seattle, take I-5 north. From the Eastside, take I-405 north to I-5 north. Take Exit 189 from I-5 to the west and follow the signs to the Whidbey Island/Mukilteo ferry terminal. Get into the ferry line where the signs tell you to do so or whenever you see the “end of the line” of cars. Ferries leave every half hour on the hour and half-hour. The ferry ride from Mukilteo to Whidbey Island lasts about 20 minutes. Once on Whidbey Island, drive north on the main highway, Route 525, for approximately 7.5 miles. Turn right onto Newman Road. To park at the Stupa entrance at 5536 Emil Road, go 0.25 mile and turn right onto Emil Road. Drive up the hill 0.2 mile and turn left into Earth Sanctuary on the gravel road.

Candlemas Ceremony to be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 3:00 – 4:30

January 23rd, 2014

Sorry for leaving that out in the previous post!

Candlemas Sacred Space Purification Ceremony

January 20th, 2014


In the Celtic calendar, Candlemas marks the first day of spring and the rebirth of nature. It is a holiday of purity, light, and new life.


The altars in the Dolmen and the offerings in the Labyrinth and the Cottonwood Stone Circle need to be cleansed. We will visit each of these sacred spaces and clean and bless each space.


We will start in the 2059 Newman Road parking lot. Come early and enjoy the entire Earth Sanctuary ahead of time. Consider parking at the Stupa entrance at 5536 Emil Road and walking to the 2059 parking lot.


Please bring a candle.




Sacred Space Interview & Interviewer’s Experience Visiting Earth Sanctuary

November 11th, 2013

On July 23, 2013, I was interviewed about Sacred Space on KKNW by Martha Childress.  Listen to the interview.

On November 10, Martha and some friends visited Earth Sanctuary and here is what she said:

Dear Chuck,

I just wanted to thank you again, for taking the time to meet with us out at your site yesterday. It was a wonderful experience, and your personal touch amplified it even further.

What a powerful and inspiring model you are, with what you have made possible with your vision. With the Earth Sanctuary, you have blended current awareness with ancient wisdom, and blended them in a way which they serve as one, and serve for all.  You have created a truly new sacred site, and living example, of a modern doorway for integral transformation and expansion. All easily accessible, inviting, and available for all who are called.

Gratitude and blessings. The whale is still with me, and I am still singing. Thank you again.


–Thank you Martha for your support of Earth Sanctuary!