On January 15th, Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple held an online One-day Buddhist Retreat, in English. A total of 26 students from the United States, Canada, Luxembourg, Australia, and the Philippines participated. This course was the first of three online retreats. Each retreat has a different theme: January - “Understand the Mind: How It Works,” February - “Calm the Mind: Understand the World,” and March - “Create Peace of Mind: The Power of Concentration and Compassion.” January instructors included Ven. Hui Dong, Abbot of Hsi Lai Temple, Ven. Miao Zang, Superintendent of Hsi Fang Temple, Ven. Hui Ze of Hsi Lai Temple, and Ven. Hui Cheng of Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Taiwan.
Ven. Miao Zang introduced the Buddhist interpretation of the “mind" and explained that we can naturally maintain a state of mindfulness and thus become carefree through observing our daily habits in life and increasing awareness.
During the final Q&A session, student Selene asked, "When we become aware that we are angry but we can’t get over it emotionally, how do we deal with the fact that 'mindfulness' cannot stop our emotion?" Ven. Abbot Hui Dong replied, “If we want to be aware of our state of mind, daily meditation is necessary. Just like going to the gym, our mind needs to be trained. It takes time to develop different levels of mindfulness to better cope with emotion. In addition to maintaining a state of mindfulness, repositioning, and/or thinking from another person’s shoe is also a way of being compassionate”.