The last “Lazy Day” retreat of 2017 was held on a beautiful Fall Saturday, October 21. Hosted by the Venerable Thich Chuc Thanh and Thay Dong Dat, thirty-five people participated in all or part of the day’s activities.

The day began with a guided, seated meditation so the first time visitors to the temple could learn the basics of meditation.  Chuc Thanh followed with a dharma discussion. After the first break, Mark guided the group through a Metta meditation based on the Mettha Bhavana (Loving Kindness Meditation) taught to us by Venerable Bhante Vivek.

Chuc Thanh provided another discussion which was followed by the noon meal taken in silence.


The afternoon began with walking meditation.  Dharma Teacher Order class member Wendy Jayvanti provided the first discussion of the afternoon in which she demonstrated how we can use the Five Skandhas to help us with self-awareness in our daily lives.  Wendy’s discussion was followed by the World Peace and Healing meditation out doors for those who wanted to participate.  The rest of the group meditated in the Buddha Hall and then learned to chant the Medicine Mantra.  Ven. Thay Dat talked about meditation with the group.  Narissa Bond and Kyle Carrigan provided musical entertainment.  The retreat concluded with a tea service and wrap up discussion.

The day was full of learning and reflection.  Here are some of the key points Chuc Thanh made during the course of his discussions with the group:

-       See things as they are.  Accept things without complaint. Always take a positive approach.

-       Beauty is not physical.  It is loving kindness and compassion.

-       We do not need a lot of __________.  We just need enough of __________.  (You can fill in the blank with anything, such as money, power, food, clothing, love, etc.)

-       What are good investments for your money?  The Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, your Mother, your Father, the poor and the sick.

-       Ask yourself at the end of each day “What did I do, say or think today? Were they beneficial or not?

-       Buddhism teachers us to be practitioners, not followers. Practice the Five Precepts.

-       The Buddha said that his teaching is just the recipe. You have to do the cooking and enjoy the food.

-       You encounter your mind and body 24/7.  Make peace with yourself.  Don’t criticize or be angry with yourself. Take good care of yourself.

-       Building a physical, structural temple is easy.  Building the temple within yourself takes time and practice.

The next Lazy Day retreat is Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.

Mark Palamara

Oct. 24, 2017


Weekly Schedule


8.00 am - 9.00 am: Public Services in English: Such as chanting, Meditation,  Dharma discussing

10:30 am – 12.30 pm: Public Services in Vietnamese: Such as chanting, Dharma discussing (with English translator), offering to the deceased ones 


English Dharma Class, open discussion.
@ Dharma Hall, Virginia Beach
Tuesdays, 7pm-8.30pm.


5:45 - 6:45 pm: One Hour Meditation. Public is welcome. English language introduction. Silent, seated meditation in the Dharma Hall.
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Public service in English: Chanting, meditating, Dharma discussing in English


8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Chanting 21 time Great Compassion Mantra (Vietnamese)


423 Davis Street

Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Phone: (757) 689 - 3408

Direct: 757 - 406 - 1726 (Mr. Mark P.)

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