New abbot oversees a widening mission

Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, abbot at Zen Mountain Monastery since John Daido Loori succumbed to cancer two years ago, fairly bounds about instead of walking. Inside the historic structure first built by Norwegians as a retreat of another sort at the Plank Road site on the way to Phoenicia from Route 212, he prepares two coffees from a side table in the heavy-timbered downstairs refectory, while monks talk in front of the space’s massive bluestone fireplace as people start to vacuum and mop floors.

“Shall we find a quieter place?” Ryushin asks, leading us out heavy doors to a . . .

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