| Young people join a retreat at Huyen Khong Pagoda. Photo: Huyen Khong Pagoda
Some young people also choose short-term retreats and meditation courses before making a big decision or simply need moments of serenity in the face of the events they have been encountering.
For Hong Ngoc, a young girl working in banking, meditation is indispensable. "Working in a stressful work environment like mine, meditation helps me relieve stress and balance my life," shared Ngoc.
The girl who just turned 32 told me that she was guided by the monks at a pagoda in Hue in meditation practice. At first, she was a bit surprised and thought it was a sublime therapy. But when applying it, she learned that meditation can be practiced just with a few simple movements plus concentration and perseverance.
Besides sitting in the right posture, the back is always straight; the breathing rhythm is regular, and the meditator’s spirit must be peaceful and serene. Meditation is so simple, but in the first days of practice, Ngoc got also extremely difficult.
“When the postures were right, my mind was confused and not focused. It took a long time for me to master it, and since then meditation has been effective," Ngoc said. And now, meditation is her companion in work and life.
Aside from meditation at home, Ngoc regularly joins some meditation courses organized by some pagodas. There Ngoc shares and learns many interesting things from people with similar tastes. Therefore, she lets go of groundless anger, controls her emotions, and knows how to calmly handle unexpected situations.
Besides joining meditation courses, many young people also join the retreats of “xuất gia gieo duyên” ( renunciation for sowing good karma - that is, the practice of leaving home to become a Buddhist monk or nun for a few days and then returning to normal life). Huyen Khong Pagoda (Huong Ho Ward, Hue City) has, in recent years, become a familiar address for the many, including young people who attend retreats.
| Young people experience the activities in a retreat at Huyen Khong Pagoda
Besides the young people in Hue, these retreats at this Theravada Buddhist pagoda also attract a large number of young people from the South and the North including celebrities in the entertainment world.
During the retreat, participants must comply with the pagoda regulation and not use cell phones. The pagoda will guide participants in the Dharma study, meditation practice, chanting, dharma talks, tea talks, alms pot issue, etc.
Venerable Minh Giai, in charge of communication at Huyen Khong Pagoda, said that every year the pagoda organizes 6 retreats, 4 of which are for “renunciation for sowing good karma” and 2 for young men. These retreats were formed in 2010, with few participants at first, then a gradual increase in number. The “renunciation for sowing good karma” retreats always draw a large number of participants. To participate, you must register more than a month in advance.
Each such retreat usually lasts from 8-10 days, with about 80-100 participants. Among them, young people account for 60-70%. The retreat has a lot of activities, organized regularly and methodically, requiring participants to be really serious like a real monk.
“The pagoda always guides people in self-cultivation, but it is associated with their daily life. Only then can the retreat help people to resolve their sorrows and sufferings in their own lives, thereby recognizing and overcoming the adversities in life", Venerable Minh Giai said upon talking about guiding participants in the retreat.
According to Venerable Minh Giai, thanks to those meaningful things, after each retreat, there is a lot of positive feedback. "The retreats have helped the students change their perception, thereby changing their behavior, and bringing the participants peace," said Venerable Minh Giai.