I fell in love with The Bodhi Tree the first time I visited the famous LA store in the late 70s. Stuffed to the brim with rare books, crystals, Tibetan flags, Buddha statues and more, the store quickly became a favorite of mine. The owners invited conversation, browsing, or curling up with a book for hours if you wanted. In an age before Amazon or the Internet, they either stocked or would order any book you desired, and getting the phone call that “your book is in” was always a happy event.
Being a transplant from London, I was reminded of my other beloved haunt, Watkins Bookstore, off of Charing Cross Rd. The Bodhi Tree was the first place in America that recreated that wonderful feeling of community and belonging. I spent hours in both stores, researching and validating the wonderful mystical experiences that I had over the years, and found like-minded friends with whom I could discuss metaphysics, Eastern religions, philosophy, and more.
I was so sad when I learned that, after more than forty years in business, The Bodhi Tree closed in 2011. Even though I’ve lived on the east coast for several years now, I still cherished the idea of this important resource and icon of spirituality flourishing in my absence. So I was delighted to learn recently that there is talk of reopening the store in a new location! Visits to The Bodhi Tree Facebook page offer updates on the opening and promises for a new website for online orders. I know that there will be hundreds of long- time fans like me, eager to visit or place an order, and — who knows? — maybe tapping into that magical feeling of community again.