On the Path to Enlightenment: An Immersion in Buddhist Monastic Life by Stephen Metcalf
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On the Path to Enlightenment: An Immersion in Buddhist Monastic Life by Stephen Metcalf

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This summer I participated in the Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program at Fo Guang Shan Monastery near Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I experienced a week of silence, meditating for about ten hours each day. ...

This summer I participated in the Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program at Fo Guang Shan Monastery near Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I experienced a week of silence, meditating for about ten hours each day. There was no speaking, no hand gestures, and no eye contact. I also took part in the International Youth Seminar on Life and Ch'an where I met people from all over the world, both practicing Buddhists and those interested in learning. I studied at Fo Guang University and learned about Buddhism from monastics, professors, and experts on Ch'an and Pure Land. I toured the country for two weeks after the conclusion of the program, seeing much of what Taiwan has to offer. I shaved my head, became vegetarian, chanted sutras, and survived typhoons. I lived the monastic life and began to discover how fulfilling it is to focus my mind and search within.

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On the Path to Enlightenment: An Immersion in Buddhist Monastic Life by Stephen Metcalf On the Path to Enlightenment: An Immersion in Buddhist Monastic Life by Stephen Metcalf Presentation Transcript

  • “By understanding your true self, “If we learn to open our hearts, you will be able to see part of you in anyone, including the people everything in this world, and who drive us crazy, can be our everything in the world will be part teacher.” of you. This is true harmony.” ― Pema Chödrön ― Ven. Master Hsing Yun “Your mind is yours. It is the “You are an aperture through greatest thing you own and thewhich the universe is looking at greatest thing you will ever and exploring itself.” This summer I participated in the Humanistic Buddhist find.” ― Alan Wilson Watts Monastic Life Program at Fo Guang Shan Monastery near ― Ven. Master Hsing Yun Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I experienced a week of silence, meditating for about ten hours each day. There was no speaking, no hand gestures, and no eye contact. I also took part in the International Youth Seminar on Life and Chan where I met people from all over the world, both practicing Buddhists and those interested in learning. I studied at Fo Guang University and learned about Buddhism from monastics, professors, and experts on Chan and Pure Land. I toured the country for two weeks after the conclusion of the program, seeing much of what Taiwan has to offer. I shaved my head, became vegetarian, chanted sutras, and survived typhoons. I lived the monastic life and began to discover how fulfilling it is to focus my mind and search within. “Without inner peace, outer "The religion of the future will peace is impossible. We all wish be a cosmic religion. It should for world peace, but world transcend personal God and peace will never be avoid dogma and theology. achieved unless we first Covering both the natural and establish peace within our own the spiritual, it should be based minds. We can send so-called on a religious sense arising peacekeeping forces into areas from the experience of all of conflict, but peace cannot be things natural and spiritual opposed from the outside with as a meaningful unity. guns. Only by creating peace Buddhism answers this within our own mind and description... If there is any helping others to do the same religion that could cope with can we hope to achieve peace in modern scientific needs, it this world.” would be Buddhism.” ― Geshe Kelsang Gyatso ― Albert Einstein