Approaching Quackvana

Carmel, NY

With J.J. Kwashnak and Russ Minton

May 2011

Among the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley in New York State quietly sits the Chaung Yen Buddhist Monastery, a quiet place for reflection and contemplation of the Buddhist way of life.

Chaung Yen Monastery

After parking, the pilgrim approaches along a stone walkway guarded by Foo Dogs and other sculptures that reaches up a gently sloping hill towards a large imposing temple at the top.


Walkway 2


Once inside the temple, with shoes left outside the door out of reverence, the centerpiece of the temple comes into view. inside is the Largest Indoor Buddha statue to be found in the Western Hemisphere. Rising 37-feet high, the statue of the Buddha Vairocana (explain??) sits the Buddha in contemplation.


As if this imposing Buddha was not enough, he is surrounded by 10,000 statuettes which are arranged on a lotus temple semicircle as a miniature spiritual stadium.

Miniature Buddhas 1

Miniature Buddha2

A collection of books and pamphlets, in languages including Chinese and English, are available for the reader to learn more about the way of the Buddha, the tenants of Buddhism and the monastery itself. Overall a strange find to see in the woods of New York



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Photos courtesy of J.J. Kwashnak

Last Updated May 2012