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Reflection on Youth Program at Dharma Drum Vancouver Center 2016.10.02

The best thing to hear after a fun afternoon get together is that the children are already excited about the next class!

The youth program began with Julianne getting the group of children (ages 5-12) together introducing their names. At the beginning there were a few shy ones but not before long, every child was already feeling quite comfortable. Once they introduced themselves, they moved over to the drumming area and Julianne started to introduce about drumming and its techniques. To my astonishment, after some direction, the older children and the younger ones all picked up the rhythm and it really sounded like they have drummed before! The children all enjoyed this session very much and I could feel their excitement.

After drumming, it was an introduction to a meditation sitting session. Venerable Chang Xuan was so good with the children and she also had a special "friend" that joined them on the cushion. Once the children calmed down, most of them were able to sit for a few minutes learning to relax their body and mind. I could see instantly that the atmosphere and environment has changed drastically. From the excited group that was drumming away, to a group that was now calm and relaxed.

Once they had a taste of meditation, there were delicious and healthy snacks that were prepared for the children in the dining hall and they were able to enjoy that and take a break.

The last part of the afternoon program was about "Love and Kindness." Our teacher Roberta took us on a journey looking at children's bedrooms from all over the world. Then the group had a chance to draw their own bedrooms and realized how much they have and how much they really need. It was very interesting to see their detailed sketches and they all worked very hard on it. At the end of the session, Roberta talked about the different kinds of love that each person likes to receive and give and it was empowering to hear their responses!

When it was time to go home, we heard the children say how much they enjoyed Julianne's drum teaching, the help by the big brothers and sisters, the meditation session with Venerable Chang Xuan and the wonderful teaching by Roberta that they can not wait for our next program! And not only that, the parents also said they will highly recommend this program to their friends as well! And I couldn't agree more. Watching these teachers with these children really inspires me and shows just how meaningful these programs can be for each and everyone of us!

I can't wait to see everyone at our next get together!

By Nancy Tseng



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