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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. 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.