Being known from the opposite of Pacific Ocean

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Students and teachers from Riverdale Country School     Time:2017-05-28 14:11:18
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On March 28th, Longquan Monastery welcomed a group of American high school students to visit and to enjoy the unique atmosphere of Chinese Buddhism. Nearly 30 students and teachers from Riverdale Country School were toured around the monastery and watched cartoons of Xian’er. They came to the animation center to explore how Xian’er was created and how modern technology was borned to Chinese Buddhism. Followed by a documentary shot by an American journalist, Ven. Xianren shared his story and answered the questions from students and teachers. The heated Q&A dialogue showed much interest of American students in Chinese Buddhism. Ending the visit with lunch at the monastery, students were glad and attracted by the great and unique culture here. The following is the feedback from the students and teachers.

By Phoebe Hoffman:
“In the Longquan monastery, I thoroughly enjoyed continuing the theme of exploring lives of people that are very different from my own. It was fascinating to learn more about the ways of these Buddhists and get the experience to walk around their actual temple. Eating in silence, and needing to finish every last grain of rice, was definitely a new experience for me. Although it was challenging for some of us, I appreciate that I was able to take part in one of their everyday routines. Another aspect that I found particularly interesting was how the growth of our technological world has affected a group of people that are known for removing themselves from materialistic things."

By Rachel Horne:
“I really enjoyed yesterday at the monastery. I found it fascinating how the monks here were living such simple lives, yet they interacted with some of the most up to date complex technology. I found the meal to be a very interesting experience.  When everyone ate silently, I thought it was a little odd at first, but then I realized that it could actually be peaceful. I also was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to finish all of my food, and another lady saw me and offered to eat some of my bread. Of course, I declined and finished my food soon thereafter. I thought it was very interesting that a woman who saw me shove that roll into my mouth was willing to finish it for me. The dedication the people had to the practices at the monastery was inspiring to watch and to be a part of. I hope to see this monastery again some day! ”

By Jordana Levine and Ciara Schmidt:
"We started the day off with an early 6 am wake up and a 6:50 departure to the Phoenix mountain or Feng Huang Ling to see the Dragon Spring Temple, otherwise known as Longquan monastery. We walked up the scenic pathway to the contemporary monastery where we met with our tour guides. We later discovered that our tour guides are full-time volunteers. In fact, there are 300 full time volunteers at Longquan monastery who volunteer out of love, compassion and support for Buddhism. This monastery is unlike many other monasteries in the way that it is not traditional or isolated from the world. The Longquan monastery is known for its modernized ways of spreading Buddhism such as creating Xian'er, a cartoon Buddhist character who through videos, pictures, and other forms of art spreads and teaches Buddhist beliefs. This is not traditional for monasteries, but rather a more friendly and modern approach to reach the outside world. Later, we met with a Buddhist Fashi who lives at Longquan monastery. He told us about his background and life experiences as a Buddhist. And afterwards to answer our many questions we had a Q and A session with him. Following this meeting we had a traditional and unfamiliar style Buddhist lunch. We were told that we would not be allowed to speak and that any food we had in our bowls we would have to finish. There was no leftover food allowed because it is symbolic to the Buddhists to make sure that food is not wasted and well appreciated. After lunch we took a scenic hike next to the monastery grounds. It was warm and the sun was shining, allowing us to fully enjoy the natural beauty of our hike."

By Lu Li:
"Our group was unbelievably fortunate to be hosted by all the volunteers at Longquan Temple. Xianren Fashi, Ma laoshi, and everyone involved arranged a perfect morning for my colleagues and students, so that we can start to learn about Chinese Buddhism. We had the opportunity to visit the elegant halls, high-tech equipped cartoon center, to have a thought-provoking conversation with Xianren Fashi, and to enjoy a meal with calming mantra playing around us. I appreciate how devoted everyone at Longquan temple to actively seek ways to help people live a better life with Buddhist teaching. I hope to go back again to learn more and make some contributions to Longquan and others!"

Editor:Iota, Lv Shunli
Tags:Students, Riverdale Country School, Longquan Monastery, Chinese Buddhism

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