There’s an International Young Adult Division (YAD) conference coming up this July at Hsi Lai Temple (in LA), youths from YADs around the world will have representatives attending.
This conference adopted the theme of “Consensus and Openness” as it aims to come to terms on an idea of Humanistic Buddhism throughout YAD members worldwide.
Come join us at this conference. Register here.
Conference Dates: 7/11 – 7/15/2017
Location: Hsi Lai Temple @ Los Angelas
Fees: $50 for attending (Waived for paid SFYAD Members)
Registration Deadline: May 5, 2017. Starting from May 6, 2017, the registration fee will be increased to USD$100.
If you are leaving from San Francisco, we are planning to carpool from the temple. Please indicate your interest for carpooling on the registration form.
Optional After Conference Tour
For those interested in touring Disney Land, Hiking, Shopping, Santa Barbara Coast, SF tourist spots, Yosemite after the conference:
Tour Date: July 7/16-7/20/2017
Package $ per person: One Day $160, Three Days $350, Five Days $550
If you are planning to attend this, you may need to plan your own transportation back to San Francisco. If there are enough people joining the after tour, we can arrange for carpool back.
San Francisco Young Adult Division (SF YAD) hosted their first Temple Life Experience camp for two consecutive weekends in June. Attendees were exposed to a wide range of activities including sitting meditation, seminars, Buddhism classes, tea meditation, sutra transcribing, Buddhist etiquette, and morning and evening prayers. The 20 attendees across both weekends even took turns handling kitchen affairs themselves; the experiences gained from the camp will hopefully serve the attendees well in their daily lives.
The first week of the camp was themed “Science and Buddhism”. The famed scientist Albert Einstein once said, “If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism”. Recent scientific breakthroughs have constantly resonated with the Buddha’s teachings from 2,500 years ago, and attendees learned about many unexpected connection between the seemingly distinct fields of science and religion. In the Buddhist etiquette and tea meditation classes hosted by Venerable Miaozhong, attendees were taught to use their five senses to drive away unnecessary thoughts and focus on the changes in causes and conditions.
Going into the second week, the theme was changed to “How to Live a Balanced Life”. The camp began with a special lecture, “Turning Point”, held by Venerable Dr. Juewei, Director of Nan Tien Institute’s Humanistic Buddhist Centre. Venerable Dr. Juewei used neuroscience to explain the reasons behind many psychological conditions, and shared stories of the practical application from Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s book “Humanistic Buddhism: Holding True to the Original Intents of Buddha”. The lecture brought a smooth transition between the science-oriented first week and the life-oriented second week.
The day’s activities included sutra transcribing, dharma instrument and Chinese knots classes, as well as a short film discussion. While participating in the activities, attendees learned how to focus on the present moment. Venerable Miaozhong led a discussion on the short film “The Last Knit”; attendees shared their many thoughts and reflections on the film, and learned from each other how to look at an event from different perspectives. Through Venerable Miaozhong’s guidance, students became more mindful of engaging in self-reflection, maintaining the right view, staying true to their goals, and practicing the Middle Way.
Cellphones and electronic devices were prohibited over the course of the camp; attendees were initially worried about being away from their phones, but later found that they became more focused and immersed in the camp. At the end of the Temple Life Experience camp, many attendees expressed their anticipation for the upcoming “International Buddha’s Light Young Adult Executive Conference” in July; they hope to bring back valuable knowledge and experience and host more spiritually cultivating events for Bay Area youths.
Text: Yen Ting Liew, Edited: Venerable Miao Zhong; Photos: Qiulin Peng, Selene Chew, Benson Kwek
The long weekend on Memorial Day was slightly different for the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) San Francisco Young Adult Division (SFYAD). SFYAD organized a 3-day meditation retreat at Point Reyes National Park.
Since Point Reyes has limited communication signals, the group was very focussed during the retreat.
Under the leadership and guidance of Venerable Miao Zhong and the event committees, the group successfully completed a 3-day retreat.On the first day, Selene Chew, President of SFYAD, led the group with a prayer before setting off to Point Reyes. Qiulin Peng, the organizer of the retreat, planned many activities for the group. Among these were several hiking trips, picnic, making meals together, cooking competition, bonfire, and most importantly, meditation sessions and discussion. During these activities, we made new friends, memories, and understood each other better.The group bonded very naturally, and everyone helped each other out with responsibilities such as cooking, washing, and packing.
During the meditation sessions, Venerable Miao Zhong led us to understand the benefits of meditation for both our physical and mental health.We experienced both indoor and outdoor meditation. We learnt several breathing techniques to aid us in rejuvenating ourselves, releasing stress from our bodies and minds.We learnt to anchor our focus point on a single object, be it the sound of the birds, water, or our breath. The venerable also gave us several questions to investigate throughout the day. They were “What does it mean to have the whole world within you?” and “What is the difference between water and wave?” At the end of the day during the bonfire, the Venerable led a discussion about these two questions, and encouraged us to practice our realization after the retreat.
Many of the participants gave very positive remarks about the retreat. Many enjoyed the Tomales Point Trail hike on the last day, cooking competition, the mediation, and bonfire. Everyone enjoyed the cooperative nature of the group, especially during the cooking competition. One of the participants said “Everyone is helpful and cooperated. It is simple yet fun and happy when everyone is trying to help. When everyone is involved, those chores become fun.”.
To sum up the experience of the whole trip, participants learned more about themselves during the retreat. New friendships and great memories were formed. Through being in nature for the 3 days, we learnt more about the nature of our minds.
Text: Winson Yang, Edited: Venerable Miao Zhong; Photos: KeeHeng Tiow, Katrina Chak, Selene Chew