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Letters to the Editor in August 2015

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Where in the Valley…?

Man! We thought we had you with this one; you clever readers know your Valley well. Based on our clues, you were able to identify the photo as the Great Buddha statue at the Chuang Yen Monastery in the Town of Kent.

This 37-foot statue, also known as Buddha Vairocana, is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, and in the Mahayana doctrine it is regarded as the highest form, a god of light. The 225 acres of land is also home to the Buddhist Association of the United States, and translates to “Majestically Adorned,” referring to the adornment of the Buddha’s teachings. The land was donated to BAUS in 1989 by Dr. C.T. Shen, with the hopes that it would one day provide North American Buddhists with a place to worship. Traditionally, Buddhist monasteries not only served as a focus for religious services and festivals, but as community centers, both religious and secular. Carrying on that tradition, Chuang Yen Monastery invites visitors to partake in religious services and festivals. The grounds are home to the Seven Jewels Lake, representing the treasure of Dharma, scenic walking paths, a rock garden, Chinese pavilions, and decorative bridges.

Nice job, Robert Babcock, for being the first to correctly identify the sacred statue and its home. Click here to guess the location of a fishy statue.

A few years ago when a dear friend passed, a few of us gathered afterwards by the koi pond under a beautiful flowering tree and toasted and remembered his spirit. It was a fitting tribute to our friend who had in the past found much peace and joy from this wonderfully serene respite.
Virginia Smith
Wallkill

I’ve been there many times and still look forward to going. I love to bring my out-of-state friends, relatives, and visitors to this place. I love walking around the beautiful grounds. So serene. So peaceful. Feels different during every season.
Harshad Patel
Millwood

This is a beautiful, serene sight. I visited the monastery a few weeks ago with a group of hikers after we hiked Breakneck Ridge. We enjoyed a delicious lunch and spent the afternoon roaming the grounds.
Gretchen Pollack
Monroe

A beautiful, peaceful day spent there with my mom prior to losing her to Alzheimer’s disease. I always hope a small part of her may still recall pieces of that day.
Karen McKinney
Stormville

I visited the Chuang Yen Monastary years ago on my 21st birthday. Not a traditional 21st birthday celebration, but a memorable one!
Dana Steele
Newburgh

A special friend shared the Buddhist temple with me after we hiked the nearby fire tower. He could have run up and down the mountain 10 times, but he patiently allowed me to go at my speed and finish. The temple was my reward. It opened up a whole new world to me — it is special.
Linda DeCicco
Campbell Hall

Welcome to the Valley

A big thank you to all who welcomed our Danish intern, Anemone, after reading her Coming to America: A Dane’s Experiences in the Hudson Valley article on our website. Haven’t read about Anemone’s first impressions of her new American hometown? Click here to find out what similarities our intern discovered between her home and the Valley.

Oh, I do hope you have a great time, Anemone! The Hudson Valley is one of my favorite places — so much so that I’m leaving San Diego’s endless summers to move back this fall!
Thom Craft
via Facebook

Enjoyed your first article. Look forward to more. Welcome.
Cheryl Harbolic-Gilmore
via Facebook

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