Samanera Day 2013
Every year at The Buddhapadipa Temple we hold a retreat for teenage boys who want to become Samanera (novice Monks). This year the programme was a full one and we have ten days to teach them the Buddhist way of life and to practice meditation. It is but a short time for them to learn all that we have to teach. It is very important for teenagers to learn this way of life that is so full of concentration and mindfulness. We mark this day in our calendar as Samanera Day.
We give these young men the opportunity to learn and practice The Buddha Dhamma (The Buddha’s Teachings) so we provide good teachers and appropriate lessons with useful techniques. What we teach and what they learn are in fact treasures that are very necessary to living their lives in a correct way.
We teach them The Four Necessities’ of Life, which include the clothes that they wear, the food that they consume, their accommodation and their medical health encompassing mental health
So as a novice they wear the yellow robes, they are taught to discard the desired brand names for this period. They eat two meals per day, breakfast and lunch, no more dinners for a while. They have accommodation to keep them sheltered and warm, but no more lazy days in bed watching television! They can take medicine if required to maintain good health. And for the moment this is all that they need to live the simple life of a novice monk.
They are trained to be content with what they have and who they are. With this training and practice they can understand the way things are and be happy with less materialism in their lives. They will realise that all is based on right education and correct understanding.
In conclusion they have learned to be kind and generous, responsible and truthful to themselves and towards others. Bringing mindfulness and care to their lives will enable them to live and be in the outside world with wisdom by their side. It has to be said that this is good training for a teenage boy in any society.
In the outside world, that is called reality, these attributes can and will assist them in many a situation that they may find themselves. Their good intention and truthfulness will make them careful and wise in all their actions. They will guide them as well as keeping them safe from life’s dangers and temptations.
So the training has been a beneficial one that will assist not only them but also all those that they come into contact with. A life journey with right understanding will bring about great happiness.
I can only conclude with my best wishes to you all and hope that you keep that which you have learnt here with you throughout your lives.