Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chuang Yen Monastery

This blog entry is on Chuang Yen Monastery. As you might have read in my profile this is where I spent years in practice while living in New York. CYM is one of those rare and special places. In my effort to advise you on buddhist resources here in the west I felt I had to show you this wonderful treasure. The Chuang Yen Monastery (CYM) is one of the Country's greatest wonders. It is the largest Buddhist monastery in the eastern United States and is the seat for the Buddhist Association of the United States (BAUS). It houses the Woo-Ju Library, the only library in the US exclusively specializing in Buddhism. Chuang Yen is also home to the largest indoor statue of the Buddha in Europe and the Americas. It is truly awe inspiring. Kuan-Yin Hall houses a colored porcelain statue of Kuan-Yin Bodhisattva which dates from the Ming Dynasty. It is the largest colored porcelain statue of Kuan-Yin in the world. The monastery is located on 225 acres of serene, rural beautiful land in Putnam County, New York. It is my hope that when you are in New York you will endeavor to visit. I can not possibly explain to you the feeling that is present there. From the natural beauty of the land to the sacred geometric perfection of the buildings to the ornate altars and relics, everything about CYM is so incredible and meditative. The monks and nuns are so welcoming and the amount of resources are vast. You know when you are there that you are in the buddhas' land! Please enjoy the video and photos, let it be your Darshan (gazing at in a holy manner) for the day.

Chuang Yen Monastery
Route 301
Kent, NY 10512
Ongoing Monastery programs in English are held on Sundays in the Tai-Hsu Hall:
Morning Meditation AND Dharma Talk: 9:30 - 10:30am
Book Discussion Group: 10:30am - noon
Vegetaria lunch served (Sunday only): Noon - 1:00pm

**Special note** - CYM has some really unique programs, they offer a summer camp for children, special seasonal ceremonies and workshops, Dharma talks as well as monastery stays where lay individuals can take the monk or nun vows for a set amount of time...kinda like trying on the monastic life. Very cool adventure for the more serious buddhist - and yes you will have to shave your head! You take the vows and live exactly as a monk or nun would for your given stay then you go through a ceremony to relinquish your vows before leaving the monastery stay.

Copy and paste this link into your browser for a PDF file of the 2008 Calendar of Events for the Monastery:

Video produced by CYM/BAUS:


Notice the girl to the right of the photo to get the scale of the great Buddha!

It is a photographers Dream!

Map of the Monastery Grounds

It is also very beautiful in the winter but know that the rural roads are hard to pass when ice and snow covered so it is best to plan your visit for the spring, summer or fall.
chuang yen monastery in upstate ny. isn\'t it gorgeous in the snow?

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