Student Work

A Trip to Abhayagiri Monastery

By DVGS Editorial

Photography by Thanh Tieu (Class of 2020), Sola Long, and Iris Ng (Class of 2021)

Video by Iris Ng (Class of 2021)

The 12th of October marked an important day for Theravada Buddhists as it was known as Upāsikā Day. On this day, we, the juniors and seniors of Developing Virtue Girls School visited the Abhayagiri Monastery as part of our World Religions class. After a half-hour car ride, we arrived at our destination. Although it was located high on a hill, the weather was relatively warm and the sun shone brightly, reflecting off the golden hilltops.

After unloading the food from the van, we proceeded to the Main Hall for meal offering and to take the Five Precepts, which is a daily practice in the Theravada tradition. Following that, we had a delicious lunch while enjoying the wonderful scenery from atop the hill.

Since there was still time before the Dharma-sharing session at 1pm, we decided to take a tour around the premises and explore the area. To our surprise, there were many hiking trails. We chose one and started hiking.

The steep and uneven paths made our ascent a difficult one, but it was definitely worth the picturesque view from the top of the hill. At 1400 feet, all we could see were the green, rolling hills surrounding us underneath the vast blue sky.

Soon, it was time to make our way down, just in time for the Dharma-sharing session. We discussed the themes of love, friendship and attachment over the three-hour session. Students and laity asked thoughtful questions and shared insightful experiences, making it an interesting and engaging discussion. Soon, our visit came to an end, and we made our way back to CTTB. It was truly a mind-opening experience for all.