Taking a break from Busy City Life during the Double Tenth holidays

One hundred youths enjoyed the simplicity of Chan

During the October 10th National Day Holidays, a group of young people put away their cell phones, laptops, and SNS APPs, and headed to a monastery far away from the modern cities. They adjusted to a slower pace of life, lived in quietude, and practiced Chan in every aspect of daily life. Adapting to a relaxed pace, with a keen sense of awareness, they were able to enjoy the simple nature of life.

From Oct 6th to 10th, nearly one hundred young people from Britain, USA, Vietnam, Iran, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, attended the Youth Chan Practice Camp hosted by Tiannan Monastery, in Sanxia, New Taipei City.

They participated in activities like yoga, Eight-Form Moving Meditation, sitting meditation, walking meditation, transcribing Buddhist scriptures, prostration, and tea ceremonies, etc. Many first-time participants who experienced full relaxation could not help but commented on how they had taken a “real” holiday this time.

Mr. Sou Zu Wai, a software programmer from Hong Kong, took his family’s advice and came to Taiwan for Chan practice for the first time. He said usually he couldn’t be fully relaxed while resting or playing sports. However, to his surprise, he managed to let go of his wandering thoughts gradually when applying the method of Chan practice during meditation and walking. “Although I still feel pain sitting cross-legged, and sometimes there were still a lot of wandering thoughts. By using the Master’s instructions and learning from other participants’ experience, I managed to focus on the breath and enjoy the relaxation of both body and mind.” he said with a smile.

“To improve my working skills, I like to attend classes and get certificates. When it comes to purifying my mind, I prefer to join this Camp.” said Ms. Chen Li’an, who recently came back from USA. She regularly attends Camps held by DDM. Practicing Buddhism enabled her to realize the need to reduce her ego, and adopt a humble attitude in viewing her smooth life. It also helped her to identify areas of improvement, and learn not to allow meaningless issues or vexations bother her. While most people tend to vent their emotions through eating, singing or confiding in friends, she would try to identify the origins and meanings of her vexations so she can learn from, accept and resolve them.

“Buddhism enables me to let go of winning and losing. It makes me focus on my inner needs rather than chase external achievements”, said Ms. Wang Siwen. She enjoys Buddhist chanting and practices Buddhism with her whole family. She applies the method in her daily routines: “where the body is, there is the mind; relax consciously and expand it to the whole body” . The practice helps her to slow down, to better understand life’s situations stay out of harm’s way, and guard her body and mind.

The camp also invited the founder of CAN culture art and nature, Mr. Lin Juncheng, to share his ideas on “How to Be Happy at Work.” He talked about managing culture and art business, solving community problems, and helping children in need to grow and develop. He encouraged the participants to live with compassion and wisdom to bring out the best in their lives.

Venerable Chang Dao, from Dharma Drum for Young People (法鼓山世界青年會) indicated that DDM organizes “Youths Chan Practice Camps” (社青禪修營)during public long holidays in spring and autumn for young adults, aged 22 to 35, who have work experience. A series of courses aimed at “recharging the mind”, teaches participants how to balance their mind and body with positive energies in daily life.

Texts / Photos” Lin,Ya-yin (林雅櫻)
Translation: Wang, Hao (王皓)
Editor: Agnes Chan (Canada), DDM Editorial Team

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