On Sunday, October 11, Dharma Realm Buddhist University welcomed 14 elders who came to participate in the third Elderhostel at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The elders, ranging in ages from 68 to 89, maintained a vigorous schedule and were immersed in lectures and activities from 7 am to 9 pm for one whole week. Lucy Lewis and Steven Tainer led the program. Lucy taught a course in Self-care and Steven gave instructions on Meditation. Mr. Pan from Taiwan taught Tai Ji.
Some of the keynote speakers for the evenings were Dr. Martin Verhoeven on Buddhism in America and Bhikshus Heng Shun and Heng Quan on recitingNamo Guanshiyin Pusa—the name of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Bhikshunis Heng Yin, Heng Re and Heng Jhuang introduced the Great Compassion Mantra and presented the elders with tapes of the mantra.
Other classes included Flower Arrangement, Vegetarian Cooking, and Chinese Brush Painting. Upasika Rebecca Lee held a class on Nutrition for the Aging and Reflective Writing.
A visit to the Girls’ School and Boys’ School was a highlight for many elders. “It was wonderful interacting with the students,” said Joe Wiedman from Tucson, Arizona.
At the farewell celebration the Girls’ School Chinese Orchestra played music and Upasika Lee told a vivid story of the life of the Buddha. Another Bhikshuni Heng Jwang presented the elders with paper lotus flowers and a lariat made from seven-colored strings.
Upasika Sandra Miner from Burlingame provided transportation for some of the elders and attended to their special needs while they were here.
Marie Philips from Delseyville, California, said, “What I value most about my visit was participating with members of the community.”