Leverett Peace Pagoda: A Place for Reflection

someone was clearly inspired
This time of year is a great time to reflect and to contemplate what lies ahead.  The Peace Pagoda, in Leverett MA, was designed to inspire reflection so I headed there on a clear and crisp day.  
Are you wondering what a Peace Pagoda is? According to the New England Peace Pagoda’s website, Peace Pagodas are structures dedicated to the realization of universal peace on earth. Peace Pagodas are run by Nipponzan Myohoji, a Buddhist sect but they are meant to provide inspiration to people from any belief system. The first modern Peace Pagoda was created in Japan wake of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then the Nipponzan Myohoji has created 70 Peace Pagodas throughout the world. The Leverett Peace Pagoda was created 25 years ago and was the first Peace Pagoda in North America. 
a view of the Mount Holyoke Range
I am not very familiar with Nipponzan Myohoji or Peace Pagodas so I can only comment on what I observed during this visit. The Leverett Peace Pagoda’s physical location is instantly inspiring. It is situated high in the hills of Western Massachusetts with a commanding view of the Pioneer Valley and the Mount Holyoke Range.  The air had a clean and crisp alpine feel, during my visit, which made the trip even more awakening.
the main building at the Peace Pagoda
The Peace Pagoda’s main building is a beautiful white dome structure with statues surrounding it. I don’t know exactly what this building represents but it is definitely beautiful.  I took a walk around it and used the time to think about my life in the past year.
a stone bridge at the pond
The building is surrounded by a lovely pond with several stone bridges and many prayer flags.  The grounds also feature several short trails and many benches to sit and reflect. I may not have known what everything represented by I could certainly appreciate the quietness and physical beauty of it.
prayer flags
The Peace Pagoda’s hilltop location combined with the beauty of the buildings and grounds certainly left me feeling a little more at peace. I recommend that you visit it if you are ever in need of some reflection in a new setting.
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