To encourage American youths to experience traditional Buddhist monastic life and also to discover wisdom of life, Hsi Lai Temple held a 5-day Youth Short-term Monastic Retreat starting from July 20. 32 young boys signed up on their own to shave their heads and practice Buddhism. This year had the most participants yet. Many participants even came from other states, and all had great expectations to experience practitioner’s life. Notably, one of the young participants, Ye Pumen from Guang Ming Temple, Florida, joined the retreat for the 6th time.
The retreat was held entirely in English and filled with many different activities starting from 6:20am to 10pm. There were quiet activities such as meditation, Buddhist etiquette, meditative meals, Buddha’s stories, filial piety in Buddhism, as well as active classes like sutra transcription, working meditation, Chinese yo-yo, and basketball. The goal of the retreat was to let the youth understand Buddhism, experience monastic life and also followed the rules of monastics.