Buddhist monks bring religion outside

VNS, July 28, 2008

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam -- Monks from the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha’s Giac Ngo newspaper have taken students from around the country on an annual camping trip.

Last weekend’s visit to the Giang Dien Waterfall in Dong Nai featured 1,200 students from 12 provinces and some foreign countries who learnt about Buddhism, including meditation.

The young campers were divided into four sub-groups named after Buddhism’s major doctrines – tu bi (compassion), tri tue (intelligence), tinh tan (industriousness), and thanh tinh (tranquillity).

They were instructed in mediation to enable them to achieve balance in life and reduce stress. They heard Buddhism doctrines on how to nurture belief in life.

There were also outdoor games and discussions with Sy Luan and Jenny Hai Yen – the two hot pop singers of the moment – about Buddhism.

The Venerable Thich An Dat, a reporter at the newspaper, said: "It is a social activity held every summer for students. We hope it will help them refresh both their body and mind after a tiring school year. It is a pity that the number of people wanting to join the event was higher than our initial estimate. So we had to turn down many of them. Next year’s programme will surely be larger."