Archive for the ‘gathering’ Category

Good Friendship

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

 

Note: The following quotes are from the handout that inspired the awesome discussion we had during our April 9th gathering on “Good Friendship, Wise Communication.”

This post is dedicated to S.L. and H.L., two courageous members of the YWP who will be temporarily ordaining as novice monks this weekend. We are happy for and proud of them and wish them all the best on their mission!

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In the suttas, the direct teachings of the Buddha and his disciples recorded in the ancient scriptural texts, we can see that the Buddha placed great importance on friendship. Few suttas said it more simply and clearly than this:

“With regard to external factors, I don’t see any other single factor like noble friendship as doing so much.”  (Itivuttaka: 1.17)

The Buddhist path is a gradual one and having good friendship is the best way to make sure we help keep each other walking on the path.

In addition to the above quote, the Buddha had also given many other discourses on friendship. In the Mitta Sutta, the discourse on friendship, the Buddha stated the “gold standard” of what constitute a good friend:

“A friend endowed with seven qualities is worth associating with. Which seven? (1) He gives what is hard to give. (2) He does what is hard to do. (3) He endures what is hard to endure. (4) He reveals his secrets to you. (5) He keeps your secrets. (6) When misfortunes strike, he doesn’t abandon you. (7) When you’re down and out, he doesn’t look down on you. A friend endowed with these seven qualities is worth associating with.” (Mitta Sutta: AN 7.35)

Another very famous sutta that focuses primarily on lay Buddhists provides ways we should behave when interacting with our friends:

“There are five ways in which a person should treat his friends and companions: (1) by gifts, (2) by kind speech, (3) by being helpful and looking after their welfare, (4) by treating them like himself, (5) by sincerity and keeping his word.”

There are five ways in which friends and companions thus treated by a person will reciprocate: (1) they look after him when he is careless, (2) they look after his property when he is careless, (3) they become a refuge when he is in danger, (4) they do not desert him when he is in trouble, (5) they show consideration and concern for his family.”(Sigalovada Sutta: DN 31)

In yet another sutta, the Buddha laid down “four grounds for the bonds of friendship”:

“There are these four grounds for the bonds of friendship. Which four? Generosity, kind words, beneficial help, and consistency. These are the four grounds for the bonds of friendship.” (Sangaha Sutta: AN 4.32)

 

Source: based on friendship post from “Handful of Leaves” blog: www.ahandfulofleaves.net

What is LOVE?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Note: Way back at the beginning of April, a few of us in the YWP hosted a Day of Dhamma for the UC Riverside Buddhist Student Association (BSA). The topic for the day’s teachings was the ever popular topic of “love”. Below is a thoughtful reflection from James, one of the participants that day:

love love love

Source:  Hyoin Min, www.flickr.com/photos/nyoin

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LOVE. Love is universal; everyone experiences love, whether with their family, friends (or acquaintances), or in some cases with complete strangers. I had a general idea of what love was, caring for that person and worrying for that person, but I knew that every individual has a different interpretation of what love is. Some people think it’s showing affection, jealousy, worrying for others, taking time for others, buying them things, etc. If you asked me a couple of years ago I would have agreed with people who thought of these concepts about what love is. Upon learning about Buddhism, I have come to understand what true love is.

One day a Buddhist monk asked a group of us, “What is love?” Before I learned about Buddhism I would have answered how most people would have responded to this question—taking time for others, worrying about them, jealousy, etc. This monk advised us that showing compassion or taking time for others is part of love but worrying about individuals or jealousy is not. I was amazed as to why not. He told us that jealousy and worrying about people is actually a “sign” of attachment towards another person. I was lost since I thought that being attached to people was a good thing? It was an expression of my love towards that person. The monk further explained how being attached to things or people leads to suffering because someone day that thing will be gone or the people we love will pass; everything is impermanent in life. He explained that it does not mean that we should be indifferent to people—that is not what it means—we should show compassion to a point where we are not attached to individuals or items. This idea of what love is made sense.

Love is a complex emotion that we experience, but we must shift away from the type of love which leads towards attachment. I have come to learn about metta, or loving-kindness, a pure, unconditional and selfless love for yourself and others. This form of love is something great and a wonderful gift to express to others; hopefully these people will pass it on. So go to a person you love or a stranger and express metta!

~Guest post by James , member of the UCR Buddhist Student Association (BSA)

 

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The Adventure to Tathagata Meditation Center

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Once upon a time…

On the 14th day of the 5th month, the YWP made their journey up north to the Tathagata Meditation Center (TMC) in San Jose to teach a class how to spot and defend themselves from the forces of darkness (Greed, Aversion, Ignorance).

Early morning when the sun barely touched the horizon, the YWP gathered three carriages drawn by well-trained and powerful horses (two vans and one car).Thus the elders, ladies, and lads began their tedious travel along the old northern path. During times when they were not fighting dragons and such, they entertained themselves with books, songs, games, and chatter. At last, while the sun was still high but was covered up with gray clouds, they finally arrived at the majestic temple.

They cautiously made their way around the temple, making sure to explore each and every corner. It is always wise to know the area just in case a quick escape is in need. When they exited the meditation hall, the last area they explored, they were greeted by a soft-spoken nun who lead them to the kitchen. She sat them down and the chief came out with drinks to rejuvenate them from the long journey. After getting acquainted with the residents of the temple, the nun showed the ladies to their room and a lord (manager) showed the lads to theirs. The elders on the other hand would be staying elsewhere (relative’s house).

After getting settled in, once more the YWP headed to their carriages to meet the council of the wise and kind (Nipun and Friends of Charity Focus). They met at an open meadow and sat in a circle. After getting acquainted, the council and the YWP shared stories of their kindness missions. Some had scars (people rejecting free flowers) while others were successful  (acceptances of the flowers). Stories of horrors, happiness, sadness, and enlightenment were passed around. However, their delightful meeting was at its end as the sun hid away.

Coming back from the meeting, the YWP were greeted with a feast. They ate with much joy for the meal was delicious. Having their fill, they were sleepy and headed off to bed.

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On the 15th day of the 5th month, the group ate their morning meal when the sun was just coming out of hiding. Later, some gathered together to prepare for the class that would be arriving in a few short hours. While others, who were more relaxed, decided to play pranks by putting rocks in the others’ clothing! Ah, the time has arrived, the children and elders of the class flow into the meditation hall, awaiting the teachings.

The temple’s monks lead the beginning of the class with a traditional chanting. After that the YWP’s teacher graciously asked to lead the class. He spoke of the forces of darkness, what they were and the dangers they brought. Then, two of the YWP leaders taught the class how to spot them, even in love songs. It was a lot to learn before the noon meal. When the class came back from a filling meal, two different YWP members told of an old tale, with the help of a few volunteers, of a hero and his friends (generosity, loving kindness, and wisdom), versus the forces of darkness. At the end of the session, the group leaves in high hopes that the knowledge they had shared will help people win in this on-going battle with the forces of darkness.

The End.

- Pas

 

Announcement: Vesak Day @ UCR

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Brought to you by our friends from the UC Riverside Buddhist Student Association (BSA), the UCLA University Buddhist Association (UBA), and the Buddhist Association at UC Irvine  – Please join us if you can on Saturday, May 21st, from 10am-2pm at UCR.

 

“Realize, Reflect, and Flourish:
Enlighten your mind and remember to open your heart.”

Join the Southern California Buddhist Student Association in our annual Vesak Day. “Vesak” is Pali for the celebration of the Buddha’s life; it comprises the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and great passing. Come hear from like-minded people and gain insight on how to live a happier life. There will be three speakers covering the topics of “Realize, Reflect, and Flourish”, performances from local organizations, and a panel speaking on their personal experience with Buddhism. This year’s Vesak Day will be a refreshing event, and all are welcome to attend. Lunch will be provided ☺

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Reminder: YWP Gathering on April 9th

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

10:30am – 12:30pm @ Sakyamuni Buddhist Meditation Center, Riverside, CA

(Please meet at the side house)

Friendship and communication are essential parts of our lives, yet it can be challenging for many of us to build and maintain good friendships and communicate effectively with the people in our lives. The Young Wisdom Project (YWP) invites you to spend a fun day learning about friendship and communication from the perspective of the Buddhist teachings! All are welcome, especially young people ages 15-30. Food and drinks will be provided. Hope to see you there!

 

Our First Big Gathering of Young People

Monday, February 7th, 2011

*apologies for the late post

event: SCUBA/YWP Dharma gathering
location: Sakyamuni Buddhist Meditation Center, Riverside, CA
date: Saturday, January 22, 2011

with the UCR Buddhist Student Association, UCLA University Buddhist Association, the Young Wisdom Project, and several indie Buddhists

This is the first of many large gatherings we will be having. Lets hear about the experience of some of the people who attended:

What to say about our first big gathering? I for one can say I was a little nervous. I am not used to being in a position of being a “facilitator,” especially with people my age and older. Of course, nothing is ever as bad as it seems. So I got through my part of the facilitation smoothly. It was a very enjoyable experience to see so many people interested in becoming better people in one room. There was a very loving atmosphere. I genuinely wish we can have more gatherings like this. Its always great to have young wise people hang out together.

~by Binh aka Santivara

It’s a typical morning day at the monastery. The sun is out, the air is fresh, and there’s this feeling of metta (loving-kindness) lingering around us. Today we get the chance to meet others interested in learning about Buddhism and making this world a better place, just like us. Twenty something people arrive in the morning for this event, and we introduce ourselves to each other. After a quick check-in, we all head over to the meditation center, and have ourselves a Q&A session with an elder monk. This then leads up to a meditation session in which a group of active young adults calm their bodies and give their wandering minds a rest. A simple yet appetizing lunch and a quick clean up follows. We are then taken on a tour of the peaceful monastery by a another monk who along the way teaches us some fascinating history of the Buddha. After the tour we gather into a circle and share our amazing stories of how we all got into the Buddhist teachings. Some tell of a similar story, others tell of inspiring tales, but all in all, the appreciation of Buddhist teachings pulls us together. As the end nears and we prepare to leave, a metta circle is called upon, and with each breath, send all the love we can muster into this unpredictable world.

-by Sunbrye aka Jayanta


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