On March 6, 2016, a group of senior Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) Young Adult Division (YAD) members from ten to twenty years ago gathered together at David Chou’s residence. This event was initiated by the BLIA Los Angeles Mentor Board, and organized by past YAD presidents including Joe Chow. Hsi Lai Temple’s Abbot Ven. Huidong and Director of Social Education Department Ven. Youheng participated in this event. In order to let them be more connected to Hsi Lai Temple, the members discussed how to continue to learn and practice Buddhism in these new chapters of their lives, amidst their busy schedules.
Many dedicated young people who used to organize and participate in various activities are often busy with their jobs and families after they graduated and got married, and thus have little time to go to the temple. This happens not only in Buddhist organizations, but are common across all religious and social organizations. One member asked, “How do we practice Buddhism in our busy lives?” Ven. Huidong replied, “Those people with such questions have separated Buddhism from their daily lives, and therefore they feel like they cannot handle both. But actually, they are one thing, daily life and Buddhism are inseparable. We need to use the Buddhist teachings in our workplace and within our family, and always remember to self-reflect and experience the teachings of the Buddha. It is difficult to get an in-depth understanding of Buddhism when we are idling; only when we are very busy can we truly attain realizations.” He suggested that this senior YAD committee can organize some events that are applicable to their current stage in life, such as sharing of experiences to help each other solve their present problems.
A total of over 60 people from more than 20 senior YAD members and their families attended this gathering. Most of them were founding members or past presidents of the BLIA YAD LA Sub-Division, while a few were from San Francisco, Guam, and St. Louis. Some members even travelled all the way from Mexico and San Diego for this reunion. Participants included the first generation YAD members Joe Chow, David Chou, Eddie Chen, Meric Wang, Connie Kuang, Alan Wang, Andy Liao, George Chen, Sharon Cheng, Chiun-Chu Chang, Raymond Kong, and Vivian Ngo, as well as members from the second generation such as Annie Chou, Corinne Liao, Calvin Lee, Jon Wu, Zindel Kao, Annelora, and Ruby Tai.
Since this year marks the 20th anniversary of BLIA YAD, this reunion event is particularly special. In order to strengthen the Buddhist spirit of these senior YAD members, the committee decided to organize such gatherings four times a year.