To provide an opportunity for many to momentarily relieve themselves of the stresses of daily life, beginning on August 28, the temple held a three-day-long Mindfulness Workshop. With “mindfulness” as the guiding topic, the 27 students from various backgrounds learned methods of calming the mind through the practice of active and stationary meditation.
Since this was the first event of this kind ever attended by 80% of the students, three explanatory classes were added to the curriculum. “Exploring Mindfulness: Its Origins, Practice, and our Health; Building Stress Resilience Through Daily Mindfulness Practice; and Challenges of Mindfulness Practice & Strategies to Establish a Daily Practice” were all presented by Marjorie Jacobs, teacher, developer, and counselor at the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Through demonstration and guidance, Ven. Man Kuang taught students the practice of sitting, walking, and tea meditations. After three days of training, most students were able to endure 40 minutes of sitting meditation and also adjust their breaths to be smoother.
Before the end of the workshop, there was a Q&A and Experience Sharing hosted by Ven. Man Kuang. Students expressed their views and shared their experiences, hoping the temple will continue to hold such events regularly—a hope that received the most applause. About half of the students also signed-up to join Lotus SoCal volunteers, and also Buddhism and meditation classes.
The workshop was staffed by students of the six-week-long Buddhist Practice Program, and though it was also their first event, the experience of “learning while doing” allowed them to mature a great deal, too.