國際佛光會蒙市第二分會
BLIA Monterey Park Second Subchapter
Senior Home Visits

 

By Thuy Le

 

Folk dancing from the plateau of Tibet to the musical sounds of spring in Saigon enlivened the halls of the  Monterey Park Convalescent Hospital on the morning of Sunday, August 4, 2019.

 

Members from the Hsi Lai Temple Social Care Group and the BLIA Monterey Park Subchapters I, II, and III came together to entertain the residents with song, dance, and music. Nine performances were presented that showcased the diverse cultural heritages across Asia. Included were traditional dances of Korea and Japan -- further brought to life by performers in beautiful costumes. 

The songs selected for that morning spanned the spectrum from 800 year old Cantonese opera to modern American pop thus providing both the residents and hospital staff a glimpse into the past while maintaining a connection to the present. And if anyone might have been still sleepy that morning in their beds past 10am, they were roused awake to a saxophone playing lively and festive melodies.

More than thirty-five residents attended the show. Most were in wheelchairs or walkers and half actively participated and joined in by singing or clapping. The hope is that the show uplifted the spirits of everyone and filled their hearts with joy no matter where they may be in their recovery and life journey.

 

The Hsi Lai Temple Social Care Group spearheads monthly visits to facilities that service seniors and is accompanied by different BLIA subchapters on each visit. August's visit brought Thirty temple members to the hospital, many have had the opportunity to volunteer previously and for others, that day's visit was their first time. We believe the visits make a positive difference to the lives of the seniors while we wholeheartedly know these moments help the volunteers develop a greater awareness of the preciousness of life and the importance of compassion and kindness. 

To step away from our own lives and to witness the challenges of others is humbling. Yet, it is heartwarming and a reminder for all to acknowledge that despite the physical ailments that may present themselves as the body ages, finding comfort in the shared experiences of life creates deeper connections we can have to each other; this is Humanistic Buddhism in action. Let us all cherish this life that we are given and do our best to provide support for all sentient beings.

 

If you have a desire to be of service and a penchant for singing, dancing, or music then shine your flute, sweeten your voice, and put on your dancing pants and bring your talent and excitement to a future visit. In addition, it’s always nice to have people who prefer to be in the background to provide support through their enthusiasm and gentle engagement with the seniors. We hope more people will be able to join their BLIA subchapter at the next visit. 

 



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