Temple New Year Event reflection

I attended the Dharma Drum Vancouver New Year Young People Event with the hopes of starting 2018 off on a positive start, and get a chance to meet new people who have similar interests in Buddhism, meditation and spreading compassion in the world.

The event started off to a delicious start with warm hot pot that emphasized the communal aspect of the event. All the participants sat it small groups and enjoyed the meal together, serving each other soup and other vegetables. It was a great way to reconnect with old faces and get a chance to interact with new people. Food is always the perfect way to bring individuals together!

After the hot pot, we played a few icebreakers and games to get to know each other better and practice working in groups. In the first game, we had to find people who had certain characteristics on our Bingo sheet and the first 10 people who completed their sheet got a prize! It was a great way to find people with similarities with you. The next game was a task to build the tallest tower out of spaghetti noodles, string, tape and a marshmallow! I definitely had a good laugh while doing this activity and everyone was so determined and enthusiastic to build the best tower. We all thought outside of the box to bring out the best result possible!

The next part of the event was small group discussions, where each group talked about a specific topic, such as health, meditation, family relationships and more. My group talked about meditation, and we shared our experiences and journeys through Buddhism with one another. One of our group members had never experienced meditation before so I hope we were able to convince him to start a practice!

The final and most resonating component of the event was the candle light offering. We each received a burning candle and placed it in front of the Buddha statue. This was symbolic of the new year and our wish to spread the positive energy with everyone in the world. This practice really allowed me to remember that it is my responsibility to spread as much joy and love into the world as possible.

We were all gifted with Knot charms that all the Fashi made themselves. It was an extremely thoughtful gift and one that I will keep in my room for good luck and positive karma. Overall, the event was a lovely one that connected all the young people of Dharma Drum Vancouver together. I look forward to future events with everyone!

Written by: Julianne Nieh, Dharma Drum Vancouver Center

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