Buddhist monks visit Frye’s Measure Mill
WILTON – A dozen Buddhist monks from Europe and Thailand, who were visiting the Temple Forest Monastery, also toured Frye’s Measure Mill in Wilton last week.
"They are visiting monasteries in this country and this is a place of interest," Abbot Ajahn Jayento said. He acted as interpreter for the group, translating owner Harley Savage’s brief history of the mill, which was begun in 1858 by Temple resident Daniel Cragin. The mill is known as E.B. Frye and Sons after the family, which purchased it in 1909.
Among the visitors was the Venerable Luang Por Liem.
"He is most revered in Thailand," Jayento said, describing him as a designer of monastery buildings. "He is taking a lot of pictures to take back with him to show to people."
Liem, who does not speak English, was all smiles, obviously delighted by the machinery.
The Temple monastery is located on the former Derbyshire Farm, which the monks bought last year from long-time owners Bruce and Barbara Kantner.
The monks live quietly and in solitude and have developed a place for meditation and the training of monks, with a goal of housing up to a dozen men.
Forest monasteries are composed of a small group of buildings built in the woods where the monks reside. Each monk has his own cabin. There is also a central meeting place for group mediation and places for visitors to stay. Monasteries are private but they provide space for those who wish to come and meditate.
The monks are required to be celibate, eat only between dawn and noon, and are forbidden to touch money.
"Ours is a collective economy of giving, people who appreciate our way of life helping each other. Places are rare where contemplative life is available and people support that," Jayento said during a previous tour of the farm. "We follow a 2,500-year-old tradition."
All financial matters, including raising funds to purchase the property, are handled by a nonprofit organization, Jeta Grove (jetagrove.us), where donations may be made.
To contact the monastery, call 654-2292 between 9 a.m. and noon, or write Temple Grove Monastery, 37 Derbyshire Lane, Temple 03084.
Information and the history of the monastery may be found at www.forest monastery.org.