Teen and Young Adult Summer Meditation Retreat
During the last three days of the fourth week of June (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), we host a special retreat for teens and young adults. This is a time for the younger members of our family to practice mindfulness and have a break from the busy world. This is also a time for them to get back in touch with nature; much of the time spent here will be without electronic devices and exploring the grounds around the Monastery.
While the teens and young adults are here, they will learn mindfulness practices which they can bring home and improve relationships with family and friends. This training can help in a modern world where we are constantly connected to and bombarded by media and devices. This retreat also helps with group skills in teaching teens and young adults how to work as part of a team. Our hope is to train them to be mindful and responsible to their family, their home, and their selves. As these years in a person’s development provide many biological and psychological changes, the mindfulness practices such as Sitting Meditation, Walking Meditation, Qi Gong, Dharma Talks, learning to discuss and share, Total Relaxation and Mindful Eating can help them stay in touch with and understand themselves better, and to appreciate and be grateful for what they have and who they are. The mindfulness practices also teach them to control their temper, and better understand and deal with their anger- especially during this time in their lives when they are more receptive to new information and learning. This will be their foundation for happiness in the future. These practices also aid in respect towards parents and communication with parents and siblings. We also encourage them to develop their personal talents and skills during Tea Meditation, and discussions.
We would like to note that many of the teens that have participated in this retreat have reported significant changes in their attitude and ability to control themselves in their daily lives; and the differences these practices have made in their home life and personal lives. These teens also report a strong belief in themselves and being more open minded towards their parents and able to share and communicate with them as well. Also, their focus in school has improved, and their ability to be confident in what they strike out to do is greater than before.
Therefore, we feel it is very important for teens to take part in this retreat, especially if they have a long weekend during the summer. We encourage parents to send their teens to Quan Am Nam Hai Monastery, or other monasteries that organize teen retreats.
Things to bring to the Monastery:
• Sleeping bag, blankets, etc.
• Hiking shoes
• Bug repellent
• Personal hygiene items
• Any medications they may need
• A hat
• Sun block
• Sneakers, flip-flops for normal wear
• Any musical instruments they may want to bring
• Sports Equipment
• Ao Trang (if you have one)/Buddhist Youth uniform (if you have one)
• Note book, pencils, pens
Please bring proper but comfortable clothes for sitting- remember no shorts, short-sleeved shirts, and no low-cut shirts. T-shirts and tank-tops can be worn inside one’s room, but not around the grounds or during services.
You are also encouraged not to bring electronic devices such as ipods, other mp3 players, video games, or laptops to the retreat so you are able to connect better with the natural environment around the Monastery.