Kính Thưa Quý Thầy Cô và Quý Anh Chị,
I would like to share some of my reflections and personal feelings about Trại Tỉnh Thức (TTT). First off, I commend the team for your unwavering passion and perseverance for making a vision into reality the past 10 years. Just to put that into perspective, that is equivalent to someone going through high school, bachelor’s and a master’s degree in that time-frame.
I came in expecting TTT to be a Trại Tu Học which involves a lot of silence, quiet time, bells, and really must hold back your feelings of excitement, but to my surprise I have never laughed and learned so much in such a short period of time. Schedule wise, I really enjoyed all the breaks that were put in, it is long enough to take care of personal matters but short enough that you don’t lose sight of the overall schedule. All the activities were very meaningful and did their purpose of either breaking the ice, sharing deeply or just having a good time. I am also very impressed with all the talents that you guys have on the camp staff and the advisors. Everyone sure left a long-lasting impression on me. Dharma sharing was also very insightful and let us younger folks learn more about monastic life. Thầy Chánh Trí is too funny, as he made learning Buddhism entertaining and easy to digest for the common folks like myself. He gives off very positive vibes and people around him pick up on that. Daji was Thầy Thiện Từ honorary guest -- I appreciated that his ways of practice, thinking and response to questions was so different than the traditional Vietnamese monastics; us younger folks really enjoyed talking to him and listening to his experience. We hear about different ways to practice Buddhism, but never get to see or experience it this close. I hope we can have more of these types of interactions in the future.
Another thing that I really admire about TTT is how integrated the monastics are with the campers. It lets us know that they are human too and they are also practicing just like us. I would never have imagined my wife Sarah would be able to sit at the same table as Ôn, let alone be able to have breakfast with him and he even gave her half of his banana!!!!!
Overall, I really enjoy the experience. Hopefully, next time I can bring friends and family so they can share this experience together.
Hello ROA Staff!
I just wanted to reach out to thank you all for the wonderful and well-organized retreat! At these types of events, I normally feel like an outsider, but at this event I felt very welcome and I enjoyed meeting a lot of new people while also having many new experiences. I enjoyed how the monastics integrated into the group, which made them even more approachable throughout the retreat. Attending this event has also inspired me to want to get more involved, so please let me know if there is anything I could do to assist with the planning and/or executing of the ROA event next year. I would love to help out and hopefully make a positive impact on others like was done for me!
Thank you again!