Monday, July 20, 2015

Dia friday

One way to enjoy Hudson Valley summers is to explore the area's many vast and walkable spaces, but when temperatures climb many of us seek indoor activities. How can you mix the two? A visit to Dia:Beacon is a sure bet.

This arts destination on the shore of the Hudson River in Beacon houses a collection of art from the 1960s to the present along with changing special exhibits, education programs, gallery talks and weekly public tours. Also onsite are a bookshop, cafĂ©, and gardens. The bookshop carries over 6,000 publications including publications on design, and regional and children's books.

The space opened in 2003 in an old Nabisco box printing factory, a space design especially fitting for what it now holds. Its 34,000-square feet of skylights make the site, as the website calls it, a "daylight museum" and the building is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. An estimated 75,000 visitors venture to Dia:Beacon every year and help generate a staggering amount in economic stimulus (see their website to find out just how much) for the region.

Visitors will find lots of perks, including air conditioning, making a day-trip to Dia one that is well-spent.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Enter mindfulness

What kind of place could be on Mindfulness Road in Pine Bush? Turn onto this short route and you’ll find Blue Cliff Monastery, a mindfulness practice center. Founded by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, it's is also a monastic training center.

My friend Susan and I wanted to meet there and a quick visit to their website told us Thursday was a good day to visit.  Every Thursday and Sunday Blue Cliff welcomes the public for a "Day of Mindfulness” which for us included a video presentation by the founder, walking meditation, lunch, bookshop access and a Dharma sharing session. Our group of about 20 was a mix of locals, travellers, and residents of all ages and with different spiritual goals and levels of knowledge.

A Day of Mindfulness  is held 9:30-3:00 and is free, though a donation is suggested. The vegan lunch was amazing and consisted of salad, tofu, soup, rice, cabbage and tea.

I recommend a visit the center’s website before making the trip to familiarize yourself with mindfulness and the teachings, as well as for practices on relaxing and meditation. Besides being a good day trip, the center holds recurring events and retreats.

Blue Cliff Monastery: