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Old Nov 8, 2010, 5:12 AM   #11
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Ive enjoyed all the reading almost as much as looking at the great shots. Id love to hit that tower and catch the panorama of the Catskills. Maybe one day.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 9:45 AM   #12
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Thanks, Paul. Maybe one day when my wife and I feel courageous we'd go up the 3-mile "flight of stairs" again to the firetower.

#16) Woods along the trail.


#17) Fauna along the trail. My wife took this picture with her Z980.


#18) Rocks along the trail. My wife took this picture with her Z980.
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 11:02 PM   #13
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That z980 looks like it is working rather well some really clear shots here. I would like to go to the ruins and hold a seance or something spooky like that. I really enjoyed the tour. Thanks\

Frank
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Old Nov 16, 2010, 8:17 AM   #14
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Thanks, Frank. Yes, we are actually quite amazed at the Z980.

The Cragsmoor Stone Church administrator corrected me -- the ruins isn't really that of the Catskill Mountain House but rather of the Overlook Mountain House. Catskill Mountain House was another resort that was dismantled (or burned, I can't remember) down to the ground with hardly any ruins left.

Yes, I'd say it's a good spot to rouse up some spirits . I don't think it's patrolled by park rangers however there's a communication tower in back so utility men might be traveling up and down the trail a lot.

#19) Taken by my wife with her Z980 at the Buddhist Monastery in Woodstock.


#20) Communications facility in back of ruins.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 4:45 AM   #15
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Well, scratch one spooky seance, but it would be nice to take some kids on halloween and tell spooky stories. Man, that is one good looking yellow flower! Almost looks like I could touch it through my monitor!
Frank

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Old Nov 18, 2010, 11:05 AM   #16
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Thanks, Frank. It's really a very tiny flower. My wife did a good job waiting for it to be still as it was swaying in the breeze.

#21) Buddhist monastery--Karma Triyana Dharmachakra or KTD--across the road from the trail head.


#22) Main Shrine. The building on the right with the arch opening houses the bookstore. On its extreme left (you can see the door) is a shrine still under construction where my wife and I attended a one-hour free lesson on meditation. I'd say it's an experience that has a lasting impression. The teacher, Charong, is a white guy who told us, "I live here, I work here, I eat here, I sleep here," and so on. I'm used to hanging out with Wall Street types so his gentleness and, yes, inner calm is a big departure for me that I find my self averting my eyes when he addresses me with big open and smiling eyes. I could go on and on.


#23) Inside the main shrine. We were told by a woman we came at a special time because it was the last day of a retreat. Here the participants are practicing for the ceremony which was held later on the same day.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 10:23 PM   #17
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VV, that had to be an enlightning experience. I can feel it as you write it. By the way the inside looks so extravigant, is it so or does it just look like it? Great shot of the interior. Enjoyed this very much.
Frank
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 3:54 PM   #18
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Yes, it was a unique experience. One thing I noticed during the lesson is Charong is not shy to answer, "I don't know". For example, when one participant asked, "What is the ultimate goal of meditation?" He paused as if in reflection then said, "I don't know." When another participant said, "To tame the mind," Charong pointed to her with his open palm facing skyward as if to say, "There is your answer." I remember him answering, "I don't know" three times. Thinking about it, saying "I don't know" might actually relieve a lot of unnecessary stress on the part of a speaker.

We didn't see anyone making last minute decorations or making sure things were in their proper places so we think the interior is always like that.

#24) All footwear were left at the shrine's foyer.


Edit: I forgot to say my wife took the last two pictures (inside the shrine) with her Z980.

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Old Nov 21, 2010, 12:42 PM   #19
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I always enjoy your posts, in that you provide interesting scenes and often informative narrative.
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 3:36 PM   #20
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Thanks a lot, Steven. I'm glad you find them interesting.

#25) Buddha shrine.


#26) Similar to votive candles in Christian churches, you may drop a donation and the name of a person and the monks will pray for that person. Depending on how much donation you make, the monks will pray for a corresponding number of days.


One might think it suspect that the amount of donation translates to the number of prayer days. Why not just keep on praying for the person? This is my opinion only but one might need to understand how praying for someone -- or "remote healing" as it is sometimes called -- works. Sicknesses vary in length. A monk will be wasting his or her time praying for a once-sick person who is already well.

#27) Temple ceiling.


#28) Fellow tourists.


All shrine photos taken by my wife with her Z980.
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