"Got Buddha?"

The Southern District Annual Conference, Labor Day Weekend, 2000

Over Labor Day Weekend, 2000, the BCA's Southern District held its 50th annual Young Buddhist League Conference. Teens from all over the Southland attended, representing temples such as Senshin (hosts), Venice, Nishi, Higashi, San Fernando, West Covina, Oxnard, Pasadena, Orange County, Gardena and others. In the photo above, our own West Covina group is wearing the blue shirts in the lower right hand corner (by the way, the black area in the lower left is what happens when you take a group shot in the shadow of a tall building--yuck).

The theme, "Got Buddha?," was of course a take-off on the "Got Milk?" commercials. In those commercials, we typically see the main character in a situation where he unfortunately does not have milk and is suffering (because he cannot swallow the chocolate brownie, donut, peanut butter, etc. that is stuck in his throat). Similarly, at this conference, teens were given down-to-earth examples illustrating the need to "Get Buddha" in your life. The message was that having the Buddhist teachings in your life is essential to living the fullest and most rewarding life.

What takes place at these conferences? Well, here's the schedule from the event:

Saturday
12p: Registration
12:30p: Opening Service
2p: Panoramic Pic
3p: Hotel Check-in
4:15: Icebreakers
5:30p: Workshop 1
6:30p: Free Time
7p: Dinner
8p: Murder Mystery Night (a fantastic interactive game of "Clue" with professional actors)
11p: Free Time
2p: Room Check

Sunday
9:30a: Delegates meeting
10:30a: Brunch
11:30a: Free Time & Hotel Check-out
12:30p: Team Twister Games
1:30p: Workshop 2
2:30p Break
2:45p: Closing Service
3:45p: Get Ready for Banquet/Dance
6p: Banquet and Dance
11:30p End

All in all, it was a very memorable occasion, and hosts Senshin Buddhist Temple should be thanked for the tremendous effort they put it to make it such a success.

-Namu Amida Butsu