Welcome to the Center of the Universe

It's at the top of a grassy knoll overlooking Vidette Lake

The following is part of a series of articles by Kamloops travel writer Teresa Cline, author of Where to Go and How to Get There - a guide to the off the beaten path sites in the Interior of B.C. available at Walmart, Runner's Sole or the Golden Buddha.

In 1980, a man dressed in white robes arrived at Vidette Lake in Deadman Valley claiming to have found the Center of the Universe.

The apprentice monk from San Francisco had been sent there by his master teacher who had pointed to a location on a map claiming it to be the spot. The apprentice conducted a series of tests, which produced positive results thus clearing the way for his master teacher's visit.

Along with his entourage of followers, the master completed his tests proclaiming the top of a grassy knoll overlooking Vidette Lake to be the real deal.

Monks believe that the Center of the Universe is an area where power lines intersect and one can find peace, or get centered, hence the name.A number of markers were used to identify the area: it needed to be shaped like the prow of a ship and sloping to the South and supernatural occurrences like hearing the sound of singing and seeing fire with no source of ignition must take place.

Whether supernatural occurrences took place here or not, I don't know, but I do know that there is a great deal of electromagnetic energy in the area - a result of the ground's mineral content.

Gold, silver and copper veins were known to prospectors as early as 1898. However, active development did not take place until 1931, and following 335 metres of underground exploration and development, the Vidette Lake Gold Mine was put into production in 1933.

Between 1933 and May 1939, the mine produced 1,449 kilograms of silver, 929 kilograms of gold, 43,825 kilograms of copper and 161 kilograms of lead. It was this mine that provided jobs to many Kamloops men during the Great Depression.

What is magical is how the site, which is part of the Vidette Lake Resort, became owned by Ray and Ruth Stad.

Years prior to purchasing the property, Ruth clipped out images of the life she wanted to create and pasted them to a dream board.At the bottom corner of the board, she pasted a picture of the view of Vidette Lake from the Center of the Universe.She had no idea where the picture had been taken, she just liked it.

A few years later she received a phone call from a friend telling her to check out a resort that was for sale.She and Ray purchased the resort but it wasn't until a year later that Ruth realized it was the same place from her dream board.

When visiting the site, it is best to call ahead and request a private tour from Ray, who loves to regale his guests with tales of healers from around the world who have made the pilgrimage to the site.

Be sure to ask him to point out Larry the Healing Tree, a tree named after healer named Larry who hugged the tree out during a visit, advising Ray that hugging the tree for 20 minutes a day could cure any ailments one might have.

When entering the site, Ray will no doubt bring you to the Portal Stone whereupon it is best to remove your shoes in order to better connect with the Earth's energy. After walking around the stone five times in a clockwise direction, (a spiritual cleansing ritual) one enters the site where they first come across some Tibetan prayer flags hung by Buddhists.

It is believed that as the wind blows the flags, the prayers said unto them make their way into the universe to be answered.

Also ask Ray to point out Turtle Rock, where healers place their feet in the footholds and meditate allowing the sites energy to heal them.

Before it became the Center of the Universe, this grassy knoll was a native holy site. Turtle rock was named by the native people of the area.

Before leaving the site, visit the altar and leave an offering. Previous guests have left such offerings as a card blessed by the Dalai Lama, a cufflink with a red cross left by a Swiss doctor and a bracelet from a Canadian soldier who had served in Afghanistan.

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