2007 Central Cal Jr. YBA Conference

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November 17, 2007 Fresno, CA

Michelle Tanaka, Nishi

Michelle Tanaka is a Past President of Southern District Jr. YBL

The 49th Annual C.C Conference was held on November 17th at the Fresno Buddhist Temple with an intriguing theme of “Follow the Buddha Brick Road.” It was such a great privilege to be able to attend Central Cal’s annual conference because it is the only event in which delegates are able to unite with one another aside from athletic events. The theme was used in comparison to the notorious yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz. Our activities and discussions were not centered on the yellow brick road but rather the Eightfold Noble Path.

Like any other Conference we started off the day with opening service, which was held by Rinban Nobuo Miyaji. The guest speaker was Mr. Gordon AhTye who gave not only an inspirational sermon but also a comic and musical sermon that clearly awakened all of the drowsy delegates. As the day moved forward we headed out to the multi-purpose room to split up into our groups and begin the activities. Seeing that no one really knew any of the delegates other than the ones from their chapter the icebreakers were fortunately able to “break the ice!” Once everyone was able to meet and greet within his or her own group we began the workshops, which lasted throughout most of the day. The workshops consisted of discussions such as: how do you use the Eightfold Noble Path in your everyday life, when have you attained enlightenment, how do you react when others question your religion or try to convert you.

After finishing the first workshop it was finally LUNCH! We were not only served a delicious lunch but also provided with entertainment, a talent show in which each group related their skit to the Eightfold Noble Path. From High School Musical remixes to “Buddha Loves You” it was a great way to see how Buddhism is used in our everyday world. Following lunch we reunited with our groups to take part in the remaining workshops.

With a blink of an eye conference was already coming to an end. Closing service reflected on the workshops that were held throughout the day. I learned that the Eightfold Noble Path truly does help us through life; we learn to accept both the positive and negative things that occur and not let them prevent us from truly living.

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