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Thứ Ba, tháng 10 24, 2006

No. 1197 (Hạt Cát dịch)

Buddhist monastery born in woods of Marlboro

October 23, 2006

By DANIEL BARLOW Herald Staff

MARLBORO — The story of how an old studio down a dirt road in the woods of this rural Windham County town is being transformed into a Buddhist monastery is one of chance.

Or maybe fate.

Several months ago members of the Thosum Gephelling Institute, a new Buddhist group that formed three years ago under the teachings of a Tibetan monk, began searching for a permanent location to meditate, study and teach.

Jamkar, one of the members of the institute, walked into the Gallery in the Woods retail store in downtown Brattleboro to ask owner Dante Corsano for advice.

"He offered us this place," Jamkar explained on Sunday, motioning to the two-story home deep in the woods of Marlboro. "We were looking for a place and he was the first person I talked with."

But that's not where the good luck ended.

During a recent walk through the campus of nearby Marlboro College, Jamkar met Ryan Dolan, a student originally from Chicago studying philosophy and religion at the school. Jamkar told him about the new monastery, located about a 15-minute car drive away.

Dolan, who spent a week assisting in clean-up and construction following Hurricane Katrina, offered to help prepare the building. And on Sunday he brought six other college students and friends to help as well.

"This just sounded like a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon," Dolan said.

The building that will house the Buddhist center was once the studio and retail space for Gallery in the Woods, a business run by Dante and Suzanne Corsano that sells "visionary, surreal and world folk art," according to their Web site.

Dante Corsano said the building, which he occasionally also used throughout the years for yoga and meditation, has been empty since he shut down the retail store to focus on the Brattleboro operations. He was pleased to see the space so quickly find a use.

"When they came here to check it out they meditated inside for a while," he said. "They needed to see if the area had the right vibe and if the space had good karma."

Geshe Ngawang Singey, a Tibetan monk since he was 16 years old, said he accepted the building because he felt at peace there. He will be the full-time resident teacher at the facility and holds a Geshe degree, the highest obtainable level in the religion.

"This is the right place because it is very peaceful," he said through an interpreter on Sunday. "It is very quiet and clear here and perfect for meditating."

http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061023/NEWS/610230368/1003/NEWS02