Participation & eligibility
The Retreat is aimed at and designed for English speaking university / college students and graduates aged 18-35 years old who would like to have an authentic experience of Chinese Buddhist monastic life. We strongly support equality and accept students of any nationality, ethnic identity, religious faith, sexual orientation, and gender. Though students and graduates from all majors and disciplines are considered, an interest in Asian religion and culture, especially Chinese Buddhism, would be a valuable asset. While personal religious conviction in Buddhism is not required, and no tests of faith will be made on applicants, note that students will constantly be surrounded by the strongly religious character of the monastery and monastics. Due to the often radical religious and cultural differences between Chinese Buddhism and Western culture in general, while allowing the students to directly experience monastic life as much as possible, our staff will be on hand to provide the bridge between cultures when necessary. The challenges and benefits faced with the cultural full immersion experience is one of the key elements of the Retreat.
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Who will be leading the Retreat?
The Retreat will be led by a well experienced team of Fo Guang monastics, both monks and nuns, several of which are faculty at universities and other tertiary institutions. There will also be a number of other monastics and lay students from the FGS Buddhist College assisting with day to day activities. Other monastics and specialists will lead specific parts of the Retreat, such as the intensive cultivation/meditation phase. FGS has a long history of monastic education programs, from university and college programs, youth programs, precept and ordination retreats, and many more. You will be in good hands.