I felt alive and much better!

 I felt alive and much better!

 Sanadi Dharmabandu

There are various things I learned about from the retreat. It was difficult for me to wake up at 5:00 in the morning because I’m not such an early bird and I wake up usually later in the day. After I awoke, I felt alive and much better! We did sitting meditation a lot throughout the day. Deepankara Thero then discussed walking meditation, and when I tried it, it was much easier for me to focus more, and it helped me to not fall asleep. During the walking meditation, the hot pavement hurt my feet and the scorching sun burned me, but I still pushed forward. We did many Dhamma discussions, such as when Deepankara Thero said you should learn to live life without luxuries and that you should not be attached to luxury items. If you are forced to live without certain luxuries it would be difficult for you to adapt. Deepankara Thero also mentioned that you should not crave items and material things or ask your parents for unnecessary items and to be mindful of what you think about and how you act. We also discussed how you should cultivate loving kindness and always have loving kindness thoughts and if you spread loving kindness to all beings, it will return to you. During a different discussion with Bodhi Thero, he taught us about Ratana Sutta and Metta Sutta. He told everybody what each verse in each sutta means. Ratana sutta is a protective chant and Metta Sutta is about loving-kindness. We did three Buddha pujas each day and we chanted and recited gatha. I also loved the Arts and Crafts period it was very fun to color and create rocks related to Buddhism with Piyananda Thero. Whenever it was time to eat breakfast or lunch Bhante Wajirabuddhi  Thero would always say don’t have any feelings about whether the food was bad or good, to appreciate the food you get, not to waste, and to thank the people who made the food. We went to two separate temples, the Cambodian temple, and the Laos Temple. It was so fascinating to see how Buddhism can vastly spread throughout the world and to see how other countries view Buddhism, I also observed that animals on the side of the road or next to a building are fierce and feral and will attack anyone or anything, but the animals at the temples are nice and kind, it’s almost like they got disciplined too. This year’s Retreat was my first Retreat and I learned so much from it.

Thank you to the adults and the Bhantes for organizing and preparing this retreat.

2023 Youth Retreat

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