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Whittier Winter Retreat: Los Angeles

Whittier Winter Retreat

Program Duration

Seven days in mid to late January

Program Location

This Program will take place at the Hsi  Lai Temple, Hacienda Heights, California (near Los Angeles).

Program Objectives

This Woodenfish program engages students from Whittier College in the practices of a modern Chinese Buddhist temple. For ten days students live in the temple and experience firsthand the lifestyle and training of Buddhist monastics.

Classes (taught by knowledgeable monastics and staff) cover topics such as Buddhist history, doctrine and philosophy and introduce students to liturgical instruments, monastic etiquette, Tai-chi, meditation and chanting.* All instruction will be given in English. A class of approximately 50 students participate in the program.

*The program director may change specific activities to accommodate the needs of the participants and fulfill program objectives.

Accommodations

Room and board at Hsi Lai Temple will be provided free of charge to participants for the duration of the program. Students will live in guest housing near the temple and will be expected to follow proper monastic behavior and dining etiquette.

Daily Schedule

Here is an example of the daily schedule that participants will follow. Near the end of the program all of the students will participate in a silent meditation retreat. Please note that this schedule is subject to change.

5:30 AM Wake-up call
6:10–7:10 AM Morning meditation and Tai-chi
7:20–8:00 AM Breakfast
8:00–11:00 AM Classes on Buddhist philosophy
11:00–11:30 AM Break
11:30 AM–12:15 PM Lunch
12:30–1:30PM Meditation (both walking and sitting meditation)
1:30–3:30 PM Community service
3:30–5:30 PM Personal projects
5:30–6:30 PM Medicine meal
6:30–7:30 PM Chinese culture classes
7:30–9:00 PM Lecture / Q&A
9:00–9:30 PM Vespers
10:00 PM Lights out

Additional Info

  • All meals served in the monastery are vegetarian. Meat products are strictly prohibited on the monastery grounds. Meals cannot be adjusted for those with food allergies or special dietary needs.
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs are strictly prohibited on the monastery grounds. Violation of these prohibitions may result in expulsion from the program.
  • Participants are expected to observe basic Buddhist etiquette while on the monastery grounds i.e. the Five Precepts (No killing, No stealing, No lying, No sexual misconduct, No taking intoxicants).
  • Hsi Lai Temple is an active monastery; participants are expected to act appropriately and modestly in this environment. Please be mindful of interactions with the opposite sex.
  • Participants are not required to shave heads or wear monastic robes as other monastics-in-training.
  • Participants are expected to keep a clean appearance. Women are asked to keep hair tied back. Men without facial hair are asked to shave regularly.
  • Participants are responsible for bringing personal care products, and appropriate and modest summer clothing. White socks and white undergarments must be worn when in uniform, as well as closed toe shoes or sandals. Insect repellent is strongly encouraged.
  • Participants are also asked to limit their use of technology as much as possible such as, ipods, laptops, etc. Please, no cell phones. A computer lab will be provided for participants to check email on a limited basis. We ask for participants to cherish two weeks without such distractions.

 

Program Background

Find out about the organization and people who make the Woodenfish USA program possible.

About Hsi Lai Temple

Completed in 1988 in the traditional style of Ming (1268-1644 C. E.) and Ching (1644-1911 C.E.) dynasty monasteries, Hsi Lai Temple was built to serve as a spiritual and cultural center for those interested in learning more about Buddhism and the Chinese culture. Hsi Lai means "coming to the West" and signifies the dedication of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order to spread the teachings of the Buddha to those in the West.

  • Address: 3456 S. Glenmark Dr., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
  • Phone Number:  626-961-9697

© 2014 The Woodenfish Project

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