On May 26th, 2018, the San Francisco Young Adult Division hosted a Nature and Meditation retreat in the Marin Headlands, away from cell phone and Wifi reception. The retreat consisted of SFYAD members and friends of members, for a total of 25 participants. The participants of the retreat spent three relaxing days in the coastal mountains of Northern California learning about Buddhism, hiking through nature, and practicing various forms of mindfulness.
To start off the activities, the Event Deputy and SFYAD Secretary Qiulin Peng led the participants in a group prayer before setting off to Marin Headlands.The group went on a series of hikes and tours to a lighthouse, a beach, and even a former nuclear weapon deployment base. BLIA SF chapter president Katy Hsu gave a lecture on maintaining work-life balance. Venerable Miao Zhong guided us through meditation in the outdoors. We learned the correct posture for meditation as well as techniques for focusing on being in the moment. Members were divided into groups, and were guided through team-building exercises such as kite-making and a cooking competition.
The organizers of the retreat presented a novel approach to mindfulness. The groups changed every day to reinforce the concept of impermanence, and a modified basketball game showed players the importance of collaboration in ever-changing conditions. We learned how to engage in the present moment through workshops on mindful listening in conversation, and These approaches were well received, along with the Hall of Appreciation, where participants highlighted their appreciation of fellow participants. Another favorite activity of the retreat was Venerable Miao Zhong’s outdoor dharma lecture on self-knowledge, self-discipline, and interpersonal relationships.
The three days of the retreat were insightful yet relaxing, with participants connecting with nature through hikes and becoming aware about the habits of their minds. Throughout these days, new friendships were forged, and we left Marin feeling more connected to the earth and ourselves than ever before.
舊金山佛光青年在5月26-28日長週末前往Marin Headlands，舉辦第二屆回歸自然禪修學佛營，共有25位青年參加，以期在寧靜自然和繁華城市生活中找到平衡，認識自我，結交好友，了解佛法。本次活動以「平衡忙碌生活和平靜內心」為主題，前往Marin Headlands國家自然娛樂區進行三天兩夜的課程。
此次活動反應熱烈，學員表示獲益良多。來自溫哥華的白象幹部Danny Chen感受深刻的環節是和組員一起試飛自己製作的風箏，儘管風箏最後並沒有成功起飛，但是他表示組員一起努力和試飛的過程是最寶貴的經歷。來自北京的錢錢是這次營隊的典座之一，平時沒有經常做飯的她，在經過三天緊張有序地為大眾準備飯菜後，對自己的能力重新肯定，並發心以後多參與道場活動，同時她對這次活動中每天重新分組的安排覺得新鮮，讓她學會對待無常和時刻善待身邊的人。來自新加坡的青年Tony Tong期許自己Be Good at What You Do （做什麼像什麼），以及結緣總比結怨好。
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