Ithaca’s Ceremonial Embers Still Burn
Ithaca NY

One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.

One cannot help but be amazed by numerous places of worship clustered together on Ithaca’s east side. They outnumber anything one would expect to find in a town center. I believe that this has to do with the numerous fields of consciousness that can be found in the area as well as a rekindling of spirit planted by Native Americans. Once a place takes on an identity, becomes a worship site, a home, a meeting place, etc. that consciousness remains. I call this a place’s geographic samskaras--its vibe. It appears that Ithaca’s east side was previously peppered with Native American ceremonial sites.

When traveling it was Native American custom to stop and pray or conduct ceremonies along the way. The intersection of trails was a favored spot for this. I often find ceremonial sites, prayer circles and sacred fires that once glowed at the intersection of trails; most notably at the home of the Where the People Gather community in Parish, NY I have found dozens of ceremonial/Sacred sites near where several Native American trails once intersected. Whenever we pray we begin to raise the Kundalini energy within our base chakra; similarly Mother Earth sends her Kundalini energy to a place if we pray long and hard enough there. This energy leaves a dowseable energy line and a very loving space to tap into and add to it. (Read:The Ability to be Transformed.)

“Old Indian Trails in Tompkins County” by W. Glenn Norris (1969 Dewitt Historical Society) has within it a map that shows numerous trails converging on Ithaca with several intersecting on the city’s east side. I believe that several of these trails intersected at Dewitt Park on the east side near the First Presbyterian Church of Ithaca. Norris noted that Native Americans have inhabited the area from at least 3,000 BC with the Lamoka. So there is a lot history and spirit to the area.

Ithaca is a unique place that has attracted the eclectic and those looking for spiritual alternatives. For example, Madame Blavatsky came to Ithaca within days of founding the Theosophical society to rest and think things out. See also our review of the Foundation of Light. The following is a survey of three places of worship in Ithaca that offer an alternative as well as a good spiritual experience.

Namgyal Buddhist Monastery

Namgyal Buddhist Monastery, 412 North Aurora Street, is the North American Seat for his holiness the Dali Lama. It offers studies in Tibetan Buddhism and group meditation (Friday evenings, additional evenings and Sundays as well—check website). Programs and times run to coincide with Cornell and Ithaca college campus schedules. Several Buddhist monks with little grasp of the English language live there so contacting the center could be challenging—they are cordial but depend upon the local Tibetan community to answer questions.

Namgyal has a great vibe to it. The area around the monastery is unfortunately blanked with negative samskaras, but once you get within ten feet of the monastery you will see a dramatic change to the positive. This is because of all the praying and meditating that has gone on inside. Walk in and you will feel it. Good Work Monks and friends. This would be an excellent place to go if you trying to learn how to mediate. The Monastery sits on a single field of consciousness that is very nice. A new monastery is being built at Tibet Road off of Rte 79 near Ithaca College. . A preliminary survey of the new location indicates that we will be writing it up once it opens.

First Unitarian Society of Ithaca

First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, 306 North Aurora is a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association. I know of the church because it is a meeting place for Catholic workers and others dedicated to social justice. The church is very accepting of alternative views and religious philosophy. Check the web site for services, meetings and other programs.

The church office next door affords easy access to the sanctuary. The sanctuary sits on a stacked (2) field of consciousness. Within the sanctuary there are numerous spirit keepers and other Native American sites. As you enter the sanctuary the area by the last pew on the left is particularly strong.

Tara House

Tara House, 101 Linn Street next to the waterfalls at Cascadilla Park gorge is a Buddhist sanctuary in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition. It offers Sunday morning meditations and other programs.

Tara House sits on a single field of consciousness and has a positive samskara.

In emailing me make sure to change (at) to @ in the address header: madis senner

Madis Senner

Ithaca Visitors Bureau

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