Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens
In the rolling hills of Byron Shire lies an extraordinary spiritual center, The Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens, a place of peaceful rest & reconnection with the sacred. I had the pleasure of celebrating my 25 birthday here while living close by at an eco - yoga village near Murwillumbah. The Byron Shire is a region that boasts gorgeous green hinterland & a refreshingly relaxed and spiritual lifestyle.
The Castle lives on 5 hectares of private botanical gardens and was designed by architect Edwin Kingsbury who had pioneered the concept of 'harmonious architecture'. The Castle was built on a point where the earth's energy lines intersect and when Naren King first step foot onto the property at a New Years Eve party in 1985, he knew he had stumbled upon something really special.
With a lot of persistence, Naren managed to obtain a loan from a bank manager intrigued by his vision of a crystal centred business. Crystalight was Australia's first direct importer of quality natural crystals from around the world and soon became open for trading to the public. Since then, the castle has been operating as a unique business attracting those with a love for crystals, the natural world, and who are seeking a place to unwind.
Every day the Castle has a number of activities for visitors to take part in.
- throughout the day the peace stupa plays beautiful music & The Great Bell Chant - a prayer for the end of suffering spoken by Buddhist monk & activist - Thich Nhat Hanh.
- the peace experience is a surreal meditative session induced by the soothing sound of large crystal bowls followed by a walk to various sites in the garden leading up to the peace stupa.
- the music of the plants workshop presents the unique vibrations that display the innate intelligence of the plant kingdom. an opportunity to see their sacred dance.
- shambhala garden tours allow visitors to become acquainted with different features of the property, the diverse crystal specimens & sacred statues that fill the gardens.
Giant crystals from around the world dot the lush paths & labyrinths of the gardens.
- the crystal experience is workshop that introduces a bit behind the the science of how crystals are formed, why they work, and their ancient uses for healing, divination, and as protective talismans & charms. During this session individuals will have an opportunity to tune in to which stones speak to them & how to set powerful intentions when working with their crystals.
The Shambhala gardens have the honour of being the home of an artifact of great spiritual significance - a Kalachakra World Peace Stupa. The only of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and one of only seven around the world. It is a sacred monument built under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, inside it holds a treasury of sacred objects and at its center, the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is a wooden pole at the heart of the structure covered with thousands of mantras written in gold; created and designed to protect against negative energies & restore the earth to balance in times of conflict & environmental destruction.
And indeed Naren King and his family do more than just collect beautiful stones and sacred items from around the world, they help build community and support projects in sustainability and education both in Australia and around the world.
The Rainforest Walk project is one where The Castle worked together with a local not-for-profit organization to create a beautiful 1 km trail through regenerated rainforest. It is a firm commitment to the well-being of the area's natural eco systems - The Big Scrub was once the largest expanse of subtropical rainforest in Australia and although less than 1 percent remains, it is still the most diverse eco system in NSW. The vegetation provided in this regenerated space is now a habitat for many local birds and animals and every individual tree planted will absorb around one tonne of carbon in its lifetime.
Naren & his wife Sono are also supporters of The Jambange Project, providing Tibetan & Nepalese refugees basic medical & dental care as well as donating funds to Doctors Without Borders. The Castle also offers support for individuals on their spiritual journey including a young buddhist monk in Bhutan as well as four refugee Tibetan nuns living in The Holy Caves of Northern India.
A pair of immense amethyst caves amplifying the pure energy of the gardens & valley, one of many pairs scattered around the property. Amethyst is a stone of the mind and sacred to Buddha, it is excellent for fostering connection to the divine and considered an extremely protective stone, no wonder amethyst is a favourite at the Crystal Castle.
There is something truly sacred about the power of this pink stone; one of unconditional love, unity, and compassion. Rose Quartz is an incredible tool used for healing, nurturing, and expanding our capacity to be loving individuals living in union; it is also the most abundant stone on the property. In the courtyard alone you are standing on 20,000 pieces of rose quartz.