New Hartford Buddhists

By Max Wittstein, The County Times, April 21, 2011

Litchfield County, Connecticut (USA) -- The Dae Yen Sa International Buddhist Temple - one of two Buddhist temples in Litchfield County; the other is in Morris - is offering a series of lectures that started Tuesday and run weekly through June 7, on topics pertinent to the templeís humanitarian mission.

Speakers include acupuncturist Dr. Peter Allegra, who will speak about how his practice can treat the body and improve health; Bill Duesing, executive director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, speaking on the practice of ecologically sound farming and gardening; Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener of Temple Beth Israel in Winsted on sustainable living; and a ìMeeting the Buddhaî segment that was arranged by the temple.

May 10 will also see a speech by the Ven. Ocean-of-Wisdom Sakya, a Buddhist priest and Abbott of the Middle Way Peace Order. A donation of $10 costs is suggested for each talk.

Lori Chernyha of Winsted, a two-year member of the temple and its event planner, set up the talks with the hope of increasing the templeís visibility in town and reach out to the community.

ìWeíve been around for about 30 years, but not everyone even knows we exist,î she said.

Ms. Chernyha, who has studied Buddhism for the past 20 years, said it has been invaluable to her in her own life.

ìI think that it makes you aware of other peoplesí situations, makes you more compassionate through mediation and our dharma talks,î she said. ìWe talk a lot about how to make ourselves a better person to impact society. Buddhism in the U.S. isnít real common, and we thought people might be confused by it, and we thought weíd invite people in to see our temple. The topics are all beneficial to the community, and things theyíd all be interested in.î

The talks run each Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dae Yen Sa Buddhist Temple is located at 19 Kinsey Road in New Hartford, and can be reached at 860-459-6255.