Community Beyond BordersOn Thu, 14 June, 2018 - 15:21
As the Mainland Europe Young Buddhist Convention in Valencia draws nearer, three ‘Young Buddhists’ from Valencia share a bit about their inspiration to practice the Dharma and how they have benefitted.
“Last year I attended the meeting of Young Buddhists in Berlin. It was an incredible experience! I met young people from other countries, and it surprised me that we could connect really well despite cultural differences.
The atmosphere was very nice, open and fun. We had really great moments! here was time for a lot of different things: we looked at group dynamics and how to get to know each other, meditations, reflection activities, artistic workshops, there was even free time for a small party and other things that arose spontaneously. There were truly magical moments.
I will always remember the light that came through the window in that spontaneous concert of piano and voice. Some gave us a little of their talent then. They flowed without a score in the same feeling, letting themselves be carried away by the music. Huddled on the floor in a circle, we listened with hot tea in our hands while we shared a delicious fruit plate. Time had stopped at that moment. I keep all these experiences as a treasure.
The meeting helped me visualise the potential of the spiritual community beyond any border.
“I live in Valencia and my first contact with the Triratna Buddhist Community was during a Young Buddhist retreat.
I went there because I realised that I needed to make a change in my life and I thought this could help me to improve, to grow and to connect with myself.
The experience was great even without knowing anything about Buddhism. I could feel the ideal of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha just by connecting with people, the teachings that they shared, and above all, with myself.
Since then I have been in many other Buddhist retreats - and that has been a great gift for me. I think they are an incredible opportunity for learning.”
“My first day in the Valencia Buddhist Centre was the Open Day, in September 2015. I went there because I had seen the event on the website, but I didn’t know anything about Buddhism. I had never thought before about this and I was very curious. After that day I knew that Buddhism could be, for me, a philosophy of life that could enrich my life very much.
I immediately started going to Young Buddhist group. Very soon I felt I was part of something that was much bigger than me - and I loved that very much. I learned to focus on the things that made me feel good. We meditated, we spoke every week about a topic (such as “the wheel of life”, “the four noble truths”, etc.)
I learned quickly to release all things in my life that damaged me or that did not enrich me. The other people of the group quickly became my friends. They are caring, compassionate, friendly people who do not judge you at all.
Also, it was a great discover to learn Metta Bhavana meditation. This practice helped me to see even strangers in a different way, thinking about their welfare and trying to help them.
In a few months I went to my first retreat. I had never had that feeling of peace inside before, being aware of live and feeling the present, ‘living in the now’. I learned that every day you can choose how to live your life; ;every moment I can choose which thought I decide to hold.
I think in this moment I realised that I really wanted to be part of the Triratna community more formally. Although the decision crystallised one year later, from that point there began to grow in my head the idea of being Mitra.”
The second Mainland Europe Young Buddhist Convention will take place in Valencia, Spain from the 6th to 9th July and booking is open.