DDRC recently hosted its Family Fun Day on May 6, 2023, as a special event dedicated to serving the local community. Invitations were sent to the neighbors, and the event was designed to cater to families with kids as well as senior couples.
The festivities began at 10 am, with volunteers setting up booths along the path from the parking lot to the dining hall. The registration booth, located closest to the parking lot, warmly welcomed families with kids and provided them with colorful gift bags filled with candies and cookies. One of the highlights of the event was the face painting booth, where professional artists skillfully transformed children’s faces with various designs. Additionally, kids had the delightful opportunity to take home artistically arranged balloons. Adjacent to the face painting booth, the handicraft booth offered materials and provided step-by-step demonstrations on making Chinese knots and necklaces. Participants interested in Chinese calligraphy were able to select their preferred Chinese words, which were beautifully written on traditional rice paper.
On that sunny summer day, the bubble tea station emerged as a crowd favorite, offering a refreshing treat to attendees. The veggie barbecue service began at 11 am, allowing everyone to savor grilled vegetables while enjoying the delightful flavors of bubble tea. As people indulged in their delicious meals, they found a comfortable spot in the seating area facing the ceremony platform at the back of the dining hall. The abbot of DDRC, Guo Yuan Fashi, led a donation ceremony where DDRC generously contributed $6,000 to the Town of Shawangunk.
Following the donation ceremony, Guo Yuan Fashi guided participants through a captivating sound meditation session. With closed eyes, attendees immersed themselves in the resonating sound waves produced by the Gong and Drum. At the center of the ceremony platform, a standing Buddha statue and a water basin were placed, offering individuals the opportunity to engage in their own personal ritual of bathing the Buddha. Guo Yuan Fashi demonstrated the proper steps for this sacred ritual. Nearby, the tea meditation booth, inviting attendees to mindfully savor a cup of tea and immerse themselves in the present moment.
In addition to the veggie barbecue, the kitchen prepared a delectable selection of vegetarian dishes and fruits for the participants. After lunch, attendees had the option to remain on the main campus, engaging in various activities such as horseshoe games and making wishes at the wish-granting fountain. As the event came to a close at 3 pm, people lingered around the tea booth, unwilling to depart from the joyful atmosphere and treasured moments shared throughout the day.