School vacations held in pagoda

While many parents want their children to join extra classes or go to the countryside during the summer vacations, others want them to stay at pagodas, as they believe their children will have a good time, be in a serene environment and have spiritual lessons. When they return to school they will be refreshed and energized.

The learners, dressed in monk habits, must carry out simple work, such as cleaning and preparing food for lunch, washing dishes, washing their own clothes and help others.

Hoang Phap Pagoda in Hoc Mon suburban district, HCMC, has become such a destination for the young this vacation.

The one-week meditation course is for 13 to 25 year-olds and is held just once a year, with the course provided free.

The first course was held in 2005 with 500 participants and more than 3,200 in 2008.

This year, the pagoda will receive 3,500 young people.

Registering for the course, Hoang Van Viet, a second year student at HCMC University of Natural Sciences, said he wants to meditate and relax after one year of busy study.

Nguyen Thanh Long, from Tay Ninh Province, who came to the pagoda to register for the course, said after sitting in silent contemplation with his grandmother at his hometown’s pagoda he felt “sound of mind” and was relaxed, so he wanted to join the course in the Hoang Phap Pagoda.

Joining the course, young people need to adapt to the silent atmosphere and the pagoda’s strict rules, such as getting up early to sit in silent meditation.

At the pagoda, they will be taught maturity, self-reliance, language in daily activities and how to be good human.

The learners, dressed in monk habits, must carry out simple work, such as cleaning and preparing food for lunch, washing dishes, washing their own clothes and help others.

After spending time praying to Buddha, the learners must sit in silent meditation, which helps them to calm down, restrain anger, be agreeable and become sound of mind.

It is difficult to sit in silent contemplation for the first twenty minutes for young people, however, after that they get use to it, said a former student of the course, Le Dieu An, from Dong Nai Province.

The course is just a short time, but has brought many useful lessons to learners and helps them return to schools refreshed and full energy.


 

By H. Hung - Translated by Q.Thoi

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