Protected: Not too busy at work today….

29 05 2007

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27 05 2007

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We finally made it to the monastery upstate….

24 05 2007

Chuang Yen Monastery…and we were lucky to be able to go, together, as a family yesterday. The grounds were really quiet and pretty. There weren’t many people around. So in a few halls we had the place to ourselves. Our first stop was in the “Great Hall” which houses the largest statue of the Buddha in the Western hemisphere. Inside I was impressed that there were a ton of books available free! Of course, you can make a donation, but if you really don’t have the money, the books are still there for you. I felt like I was in a place where I could leave my purse in the middle of the floor, come back in a few hours and find it untouched.

I wasn’t really sure what to do in front of the statue. I just kind of admired it. The few people who did pop in and out gave our family a fair amount of attention. All I really ended up doing was standing there, praying in my usual Catholic way….the only way I really know how to pray. I figured that was probably good enough. Next time I have to remember to bring socks. I had to borrow socks from CV.

Explorer thought she could run around like a maniac. I tried to keep her under control, but there was no way that was going to happen. We let her have fun outside, skipping around and picking “wishes”. We also ended up going into Kuan Yin Hall…she’s the buddha of mercy (that’s what they told us in China). I love Kuan Yin. I think of her as Mary or the Goddess. I enjoyed praying to her and found standing in front of her to be a moving experience.

We didn’t really get a chance to see much of the rest of the grounds at this visit. I’d like to go back again. They have some events and maybe we can think about going when the kiddos are old enough to sit still and when I know what the heck I’m supposed to do. I wish the place wasn’t more than an hour away.

Someone told me that twice a year ashes are interred in a nearby mountainside for all of the members of the monastery that have died recently. Apparently, for only three thousand dollar you can inter two people in urns. For the first time, I thought to myself that I might know where I want to be buried. It’s something to think about. Plus, I can’t resist a bargain. To be buried in our local cemetery or above ground mausoleum costs a fortune.