My Buddha’s Birthday Experience

Today was Sunday, May, 24, 2015; it wasn’t a normal typical day, it was Buddha’s Birthday. It started out with me panicking and trying to remember exactly what I was supposed to do in the drumming performance. Even though deep down I knew the song perfectly, for some reason I needed to be a perfectionist and play the song with everything I had because I knew everyone was counting on us to perform a show that nobody would forget.

I arrived at 8:30 and saw everyone pitching in and helping, but that wasn’t what inspired me, what truly inspired me was all the volunteers who were working with huge smiles on their face. Even when their work was done they didn’t go take a break, instead of that, they decided to go help other people. What really inspired me was that the volunteers were happy that they were here to help people understand Buddhism. I wondered why they were all here pitching in and not at home relaxing on a Sunday, and then it hit me: they weren’t here for the volunteer hours, they were here to see people enjoy themselves and have a great time, because that was what really mattered.

The song we were performing today was really different and unique. What made this particular song so special was we had a lot of fun behind the scenes perfecting it. There was a lot of trial and error. It’s too bad the audience didn’t get to see the ”before”, but at least they got to experience the ”after” and see what we accomplished.

When we went on stage, 20% of my brain was thinking about the song and the other 80% was thinking about enjoying myself and having fun with my friends, because at the end of the day that’s what really mattered. We started the song with confidence and ended it with power.

I feel like everyone worked super hard today, but there is one group in particular I want to give thanks to, and that’s the volunteers in the kitchen because they probably started to prepare the food even before the sun came up, and they had to work throughout the day. They probably wanted to take a break but didn’t because if they did we would be hungry. The day was a huge success because all the volunteers had fun. I, for one, learned something that was far more important and meaningful than laying on a couch and texting my friends: I learned the value and virtue of a huge family and how people help others not only because it’s right but because it is important to them and makes them feel happy with themselves. I had a memorable and meaningful day, and I was so blessed and honoured to be a part of this amazing event.

(by Crystal Yang*)

*Note: Crystal is 15 years old. She is a member of the Dharma Drum Vancouver Center youth drumming group.

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Crystal is the front-row middle standing girl.
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