The temple hosted the English language based “Summer Day with the Sangha” retreat on Saturday, July 29, 2017. Inviting the community through Facebook and Eventbrite to a casual way to be introduced to Buddhism resulted in over 50 people spending all or part of the day part of the day enjoying the various activities. About half of the attendees were visiting the temple for the first time.
Chuc Thanh did a wonderful job throughout the day with his dharma talks and guided meditation sessions. The morning activities consisted of meditation and dharma talk sessions. Narissa Bond sang some original songs to provide some pre-lunch entertainment.
After the now traditional Vietnamese vegetarian lunch taken in silence, the afternoon started with an indoor walking meditation due to the rainy conditions outside. Sangha member Stephanie Morell did an excellent presentation on mindfulness and inter- connectivity. Mark introduced the newcomers to chanting mantras. Ruth and the Ha Ha Chorale provided some well received classic songs revised with Buddhism based lyrics. Kyle concluded the entertainment by leading the entire group in a drum/percussion instruments circle that rocked the Buddha Hall. During the final tea service, the attendees provided extremely positive feedback on their experience, encouraging the continuation of the retreat series.
Chuc Thanh provided many thought provoking moments throughout the day. Here are just a few of his comments:
- Life is a big university. The best diploma you can achieve is pleasing all of the people around you.
- True happiness is not money or power. Finding out who you are is the best happiness.
- Humans have three conceits: I am better than you; I am worse than you; I am equal to you.
- No matter what your job is, you should polish your skill to be the best you can be.
- Learning Buddhism is not about escaping death. It is about approaching death, living life, with peace and happiness.
- If your mind is changing, your life is changing. How do you do that? Practice letting go of jealousy and ill will.
The next “Day with the Sangha” retreat is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, 2017.
By Mark Aryan