In Guangzhou’s Dafosi Temple, there is also a meditation camp. One student told Southern Weekend that she used to work in the internet industry, but many companies downsized, and her project was shut down due to poor management, resulting in the closure of the entire Guangzhou branch. “Because I’ve been unemployed recently, I tend to overthink and feel anxious.”
To alleviate her anxiety, she read many books on spiritual healing and practiced meditation. Later, she saw on Xiaohongshu (a Chinese social media platform) that Dafosi Temple was recruiting volunteers and meditation camp students, so she went there.
Unlike regular temple volunteers, Dafosi Temple volunteers are divided into categories such as animation group, music group, foreign language group, and media group. Volunteers in the media group are responsible for managing the public account, live streaming, new media operations, and on-site event photography. On Xiaohongshu, there are numerous posts by volunteers about the Zen tea room activities at Dafosi Temple. The animation group is responsible for creating emojis and anime works, and they have already designed two sets of emojis featuring Master Mingfeng, a monk at Dafosi Temple.
“In your twenties, there is usually a lot of pressure, and it’s easy to feel anxious and think too much. You don’t know who to talk to or what to do, and it can be frustrating.” Wang Han, a girl from Shandong, did not have a “proper job” that met her family’s expectations, and she had two difficult romantic experiences. Carrying the anxiety of job hunting and confusion about intimate relationships, she traveled for 8 hours and arrived at Nunatakan.
Nunatakan is located at the top of Xiaotianchi, the northern peak of Mount Lu, within the national-level tourist scenic area of Mount Lu. Since 2001, Nunatakan has been regularly organizing free public-oriented purification meditation activities for young people in society. Typically, four sessions are held each year, each lasting five days, with accommodation and meals provided in the temple.
Ven. Chuanhua, the abbot of Nunatakan, explained to Southern Weekend that since 2001, Nunatakan has been promoting its activities through online platforms, starting from Tianya Community, Baidu Tieba, and later on WeChat public accounts. However, it only attracted attention on a small scale, and the number of registrations was limited.
In 2020, a video about Nunatakan’s meditation camp, posted by a student, went viral on social media. Ven. Chuanhua described the incident as “unexpectedly popular.”
While Nunatakan gained significant attention on internet platforms, the number of people applying for the meditation camp also increased. The purification meditation camp began holding three sessions per month, but there are still many unsuccessful applicants. “Since the beginning of this year, almost every session has had five to six hundred applications, but the temple’s resources are limited, so we can only accept around 50 people, which is a ratio of about 1:10,” Ven. Chuanhua told Southern Weekend.