I made a visit several days ago to a big new Korean temple under construction way outside New York City. Won Kak Sah is one of the first Korean temples in the US, but it was just a ramshackle little building before this massive injection of capital from a prominent monk in Korea, has manifested this huge and deeply impressive set of structures nestled in the mountain.
They are making a huge new set of traditional temple buildings, workmen flown in from Korea, massive tree trunks shipped in from the Pacific Northwest, deep in Canada. But I wonder if all of this grand construction will lead to any consequential benefit for sentient beings. The good monks who run the temple, who I know, are notoriously unable to connect with local American people. They focus only on educating – – or, temple-staying – – guests from the Korean diaspora who wander in or get gathered in groups for a “well-being training 웰비잉 체험”.
We bowed to this Buddha three times on the visit and left.