“These four days are truly magical,” I shouted with indescribable joy inside of my heart, as all the missionaries from the Buddhist Academy waved good-bye warmly with biggest smiles on their faces. The four-day training had come to an end; I was on the bus heading back home.
I could not help but reflect on the experience I had had. Before these four days, I thought the life in the Buddhist Academy was stricter than that in army.
I am a girl from Taiwan, a tropical island in Asia. I had never been to any kind of training before; and undoubtedly, I fully embrace freedom and resent restrictions in my whole life. I was told that in the Academy, millions of behaviors were not allowed. Therefore, I thought to myself there was NO WAY for me to last a day in there! But after this four-day experience, I genuinely feel that I received so much in such a short time! It has definitely overthrown my concepts toward the Academy, and I cannot feel more grateful in my life!
In the Academy we were taken good care of by missionaries and all the members in the School. We followed a regular schedule every day. Every morning, I woke up at 5:50, getting ready in 15 minutes for morning assembly.
During the assembly, there were exercises and affirmation of the purpose of the training. Besides, we practiced “saying YES” in Japanese. The pronunciation was so clear and refreshing that I felt energetic already. Morning assembly ended in 20 minutes and everyone joined the cleaning. We were assigned to clean from stairs to the laundry room; each spot in the building was fully covered.
At around 7:10, everyone changed formal clothes for chanting. At around 8 o’clock, we had breakfast with all the missionaries in the restaurant. The dishes were beautifully done and extremely tasty. Missionaries warmly expressed their concerns for us, and listened to our feelings during the meal. Everyone felt satisfied afterward, gaining full energy to work harder later! The meal ended around eight thirty. The missionaries left the dining area earlier than we did. They warmly suggested to us to eat more food and chat more.
After the meal, some of the students helped doing the dishes, and some helped set up the classroom for lectures. Missionaries came to give us lectures every day from 10 to 12 in the morning, and 2 to 4 in the afternoon. The lectures were so precious that they were nowhere else to be found in the planet! After the lectures, we chanted. Then, we had dinner together.
After washing the dishes, we cleaned up the classroom together, taking turns to take a shower, and set the bedding. And finally we could call it a day at 10 pm. The lights would be turned off at 10:30, but we could still work on what we had not finished in the rooms they prepared for us. For instance, we should hand in a journal every day by 10:30. In the journal, we could reflect what we learned from the lectures and practice in a day. All of them would be read by a teacher.
The schedule was similar the next day. After 4 days in a row, I could feel that my mind and body were gaining more and more energy than I could imagine!
These four days were truly magical, and I would like to seize any chance to go back again! Every invaluable lecture and everyone who worried about us moved me to the core.
In the Buddhist Academy, I could tell that every little detail is thoroughly considered by Takamori Sensei. Therefore, I deeply felt warm and grateful to Takamori Sensei, the missionaries and all the members in the School.
Now I really see with my own eyes how thoughtful they have been towards us! I will cherish what I learned in the school, and try my best to be a better Shinran follower!
By Kristi Kuo, Taiwan
Kristi Kuo contributed the following article to us regarding her stay at the Buddhist Academy. Let's see what she learned at the school.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #06 | 2011, My 4-day Buddhist Academy Experience
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The Buddhist Village Times #06