Peace Revolution Fellowship for Youth — July 2010
21 June - 20 July 2010
Our environment and world today is in a state of turmoil; valuable morals are being questioned and overturned. In our social structure we are becoming more and more estranged to each other. The world is changing very quickly, and many people feel lost and confused when loosing peace of mind amidst all the modern developments. Buddhism is a heritage of peace, harmony and happiness that goes beyond limitation of space and time. Peace Revolution gave 17 peace rebels from 13 countries who were scattered around the globe a chance to come together in Thailand, practice meditation and study Buddhist principles, Buddhist cultures and Buddhist approaches to peace building.
The three week retreat commenced on the June 21st 2010 in Bangkok where they learned more about each other, and familiarized themselves with the exotic culture of Thailand. From here the rebels travelled to the Suk Sawang retreat site in Chiang Mai. The retreat site is situated so that it feels a world away from civilization.
“The retreat is so wonderful. First with the people that I’ve met here so diverse but so much the same. It’s just bring me to all just one family anyway and the view the sitting is the perfect and the people working here wonderful and really you have no stress when you come here only thing you need to focus on is yourself and that’s what it’s about. It’s inner development and to gain your inner peace, your own inner peace so it’s a perfect, perfect sitting I think it’s the best.” Zenta Yarrow, South Africa
In these surrounding the group of peace rebels practiced meditation with experienced Theravadan teaching monks. The monks guided the rebels into deeper and deeper levels of peace, as they studied the wisdom of the Buddha parallel to the practice of meditation. The Buddhist studies included the Noble Eightfold path, the Law of Karma and the Ultimate goal of meditation.
“(The retreat) has helped to build a capacity in me to meditate in a better way. A second thing and the most important thing is that I am really eager to convey some of the message I have learn from here when I go back home, especially to my colleges those who working with me. Because I believe that when I share this information to them, they will have a great capacity … to possibly conduct better the meditation session when they’re out. And so many things, one thing is it has given me a kind of opportunity to recognize myself much better. In the past 28-29 years I don’t think I had ever had any time like this (for myself).” Kishor Das, India
Some of the activities included outdoor meditation at the Pine Tree Forest, visiting the organic vegetable garden of Lanna Monastery (Wat Baan Kuun) and group sharing with the brother monks.
"...There’s a lot that we don’t know about, as the universe is so big. So just by going within myself, stilling my mind, it gives me a lot of clarity and vision to understand the things around me." Angely Narayan Keita, France
“…I started to realize that every word, every movement I make has consequences in life. So I start thinking more carefully, in a more peaceful way because now I am more conscious…” Gabriela Velarde, Peru
As the retreat drew to a close the rebels prepared for their journey back to Bangkok. The last week of the camp afforded them opportunities to learn more about Buddhist culture and the great meditation master, Phramonkolthepmuni Sod Chantassaro.
The rebels observed the largest Buddhist monk ordination in the history of Thailand.
“…Buddhism is a possibility to go and develop yourself, I guess that is what the Lord Buddha did. It is a universal way to become better…” Ivan, Belarus
The next turn took them on a voyage back in time, to the Bangkok of the turn of the century, through the various landmarked sites and temples of the life of the great master of the Dhammakaya Meditation, Phramonkolthepmuni Sodh Candassaro or Luang Pu Wat Paknam. On the journey they learned how to make traditional jasmine garlands, and gave alms along the canals. They also visited the famous Wat Paknam temple, where the great master takes his name from.
As part of the experience, they were invited to attend the live broadcast DMC Studio. The program is broadcasted free via satellite, and hosted by the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, The Most Venerable Luang Phaw Dhammajayo. On the show he greeted them personally by name, in their own language, and he gave them very special meditation guidance.
“…The temple is very organized and clean. I see happiness in the faces of every staff member. (Attending the) DMC studio was a very good experience for me and I felt happy being part of the recording that will impact the lives of (people) in the world. The Abbot is an inspiration to not only me, but for the world at large…” Joseph, Sierra Leone
Budd camp concluded on a high note with the closing ceremony. The Peace Rebels expressed their gratitude by singing a peace song they had been practicing, and the organizers presented them each with special gifts. This would be a month they would never forget, new friendships were forged, ancient wisdom of the Buddha revealed and the source of inner peace was uncovered within. Budd Camp will be a time that is treasured in their memories forever.