Driving down Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos, into the expanding suburb of San Elijo, one would never know or expect that there was a magical 640-acre parcel of open space at the heart of the neighborhood. Questhaven Retreat, with its meticulously groomed paths, fountains, buildings, statues, churches, and chapels, has been offering serenity to all those who seek it.
One might miss the fact that there resides in this protected and sacred parcel of land, all that exists in the unseen world. It is literally a magical realm. Once you pass through the gates you feel like you are walking through an energetic field and thrown back in time.
Started in 1940, drawn to this open space, groups of followers from far and wide would gather around the old oak tree to hear the founder, Flower Newhouse. She would speak about past lives and her connection to angelic realms, emoting an angelic presence herself. Her teachings revolved around the idea that there is so much happening around us in the things we don’t see.
Coming into contact with those things we can connect more easily to the Divine within. Discussions about how to live as Spirit on earth, and the conscious steps necessary to accomplish that are a moment by moment choice. That life is either circumstantial or a choice.
A renowned speaker and writer in all things New Age, audiences flocked to hear discussions on the deeper mysteries of life. Flower’s mystical gifts were discovered when she was a young girl, and through her lectures, essays, lessons, and books, her following built rapidly when her words were published and distributed worldwide.
With her husband Lawrence and a small staff that grew over time, it was evident they needed to create a center to support their mission to continue their important work. Flower was led by unseen Masters and entities with instructions on creating this special retreat center and was given a vision of what it should look like to best help seekers and pilgrims awaken the “I AM” in themselves.
The goal of Questhaven is to allow guests to vibrate with the self-knowledge of God inside each of us. To find solitude and serenity in a quiet, unadulterated natural setting and to draw closer to that God. Students of Truth, religious teachers, ministers, scholars, and artist come from all over the world to Questhaven for inner renewal.
When asked what message I could bring back to the readership of The Coast News, Reverend Blake Isaac, the longtime director, and beloved steward to Questhaven had this to say. “Life is a journey of uncovering the real self within. We have got to get back to the Living Christ, not just the image or remembrance of Christ, or stopping at the consciousness of Christ. We must invoke the light of this transformation out into the world.”
Described as a Christian Mysticism, it is believed that the Christ energy exists in all things. It is through our connection to that energy, which is realized in nature and in silence, we realize our connection to all things. That we are All One.
Spending time at this retreat center, that is open to a public that is open to it, helps expedite that journey. “There is an accelerated spiritual growth that comes by being connected to the Questhaven energies, no less powerful than Mt. Shasta, Peru, or Sedona,” says Gary Palisch, who lived onsite for three years as a steward and ambassador to the retreat center.
All of the land at Questhaven is sacred, with 5 miles of trails to connect Spirit and Soul. Because of Flower and Lawrence Newhouse, it will never be developed because of a land agreement with the Escondido Creek Conservancy. The Christward Ministry is the nonprofit, non-denominational organization that was founded here by the Newhouses. There is currently an academy on site that serves as a school of Ministry, a retreat center with some overnight accommodations, a friendship hall and Sunday services in the Church of the Holy Quest.
When you are ready for a visit, please adhere to devout and reverent silence. There is a gift shop that serves as a welcome center, and three pools representing Peace, Reverence, and Love that have been constructed with drought-tolerant native plants around the waterfalls. This first stop on the path will prepare the visitor for the loving exchange of energies available on the site. It is and always has been for those spiritual seekers that are drawn here. It is not by chance you will find yourself here. Whoever is meant to find it will find it.
Whether it is in the church sanctuary, the labyrinth, one of the meditation trails or the I AM path below the loving stare of the bronze statue of Christ, your quest for enlightenment will be enhanced by a visit to Questhaven.
Soul on Fire will hear from Soul of Yoga on our next discovery, as we continue our quest for enlightenment in North County.