As we settle into a new normal, numerous events have adjusted to an online format. Hsi Lai Temple has been fortunate enough to be able to provide not only large-scale events and classes but even retreats, virtually. Most recently, the Online One-Day Retreat was held via Zoom on Saturday, January 30. This is the first of a three-part series of virtual retreats, with this first session centered around the theme of “Reshuffle Life.” The next two sessions will be centered around “Recover Kindness” in March and “Regain Happiness” in April. Hailing from across the Americas including California, Texas, Canada, and even Brazil, 30 participants attended the online event.
The day began with meditation instruction from Ven. Zhi Xing followed by a group meditation session to focus and center everyone into the retreat mindset. Central to the day’s program, Superintendent of our Austin branch temple, Ven. Jue Ji then presented on the theme of “Reshuffle Life.” Faced with our new normal, we can reshuffle our lives like a deck of cards, and reorganize ourselves to better adapt to the changing world. A great suggestion was to set a practice for ourselves to give us a good foundation to work from. Rather than decide to do something grand and colossal, Ven. Jue Ji reminded us to set practical goals. Even a one minute meditation each day is a good start, as consistency is the important factor.
After breaking for lunch, participants were divided into groups to discuss how they could implement the suggestions for reshuffling our lives. Many said the simplicity of a one minute meditation was a practice they were confident they could maintain. Venerable Abbot Hui Dong made time to be with the participants for a Q&A session after which the day ended in reflections and closing announcements.