Joyful learning for teenagers at camp 

Wat Photivihan is  well-known for its 40-metre statue of a sleeping Buddha — the longest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Wat Photivihan is well-known for its 40-metre statue of a sleeping Buddha — the longest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Early this month, 10 Nalandians made the journey to Kelantan to organise a Teenager’s Learning Camp at Wat Pracacinaram.  About 122 participants, aged 13 to 17 years, from various parts of Kelantan participated in the four-day camp, from 2 – 5 June.

The main activities in the camp included Dhamma sharing session, meditation and group activities that enhanced the students’ learning of Dhamma and spiritual cultivation.  Participants were also brought to visit the famous Wat Pothivihan in Kelantan to better their understanding of Buddhist culture and heritage in the state.

Meditation session on the beach.

Meditation session on the beach

Wat Photivihan is located in the district of Tumpat, Kelantan.  The temple is one of 25 found in Tumpat, and is popular with both local and foreign visitors.  It is well-known for its 40-metre statue of a sleeping Buddha — the longest of its kind in Southeast Asia. The devotees of this temple are mainly ethnic Thais, and the temple itself is typical of a Thai place of worship.

About 122 shared a wonderful  experience at a learning camp at Wat.

About 122 shared a wonderful experience at a learning camp at Wat.

While visiting the temple, the students learned the meaning of some of the Buddhist symbols such as the Bodhi tree, Dhamma wheel, stupa and Buddhist flags, as well as  the different mudras (hand gestures) of the Buddha images in the temple.  The facilitators also took the opportunity to inform the participants on the proper etiquette when visiting a Buddhist temple, such as the proper attire, cleanliness, mindfulness, and always maintaining and respecting the sanctity of every temple visit.

Thanks to the camp facilitators and volunteers, without whom the camp would not have been possible.

Thanks to the camp facilitators and volunteers, without whom the camp would not have been possible.

The camp ended with a touching and memorable appreciation ceremony, where the teenagers knelt in front of their parents and bowed with reverence and appreciation, some doing this for the first time in their lives.

Participants get to know each other better during ice-breaking games.

Participants get to know each other better during ice-breaking games.

It was truly a happy and meaningful camp.  Many thanks to Persatuan Meditasi Mettarama, Dhammarakkhita and Persatuan Peranakan Cina Kelantan for their valuable contribution and cooperation in making the camp a success.  Sadhu anumodana!