A Taste of Monastic Life at Dharma Drum Mountain
2014 DDSU Awakening Camp◎YanFa演法(Daniel Owens)
My experience at the Awakening Camp (自覺營) was very wholesome. Everyone was very friendly and patient with us as we learned to live the monastic life (寺院生活). I didn’t think I would be learning to fold clothes in my eight days as a monk (僧人) and didn’t see the point at first. Regardless my group and I found ourselves practicing putting on hai qing (海清) and manyi (縵衣) during our free time. What seemed pointless at first became quite fun as we all helped each other to learn. We heard Dharma talks (開示) about the real monastic stories of leaving home (出家), some of those stories spoke greatly to my experience. Some of the moments most important to me were the counsel we could seek from the monks assigned to our group, they answered all our endless questions again and again until it made sense to us. We were asked to spend eight days in the moment which I can’t say I achieved all the time. But I did learn about some of the more mundane aspects of a monk’s daily life, which is more important than one might think.