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Children’s Life Education and Family Ethnics Courses at Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia

Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia launched the Compassionate Mind Class, a children’s life education course, in 2017, with an aim to continually nurture the seeds of Bodhi already planted over the past few years. The first term of the course wrapped up on May 7.

Help participants learn to slow down their pace and calm their body-mind

Focusing on the ideas of the Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance campaign and covering diverse aspects of Chan practice, humanistic cultivation, and artistic experiences, the program includes children’s class and parent-child group, to help participants learn to slow down their pace and calm their body-mind. For instance, in practicing the Eight-Form Moving Meditation activity story situations were used as a context to guide participants to relax their body and mind. The Spiritual Snacks for Tea Time activity, which requires parents and children to jointly prepare the refreshments, not only enhances parent-child relationship, but also empowers children to develop a good concept and habit in diet, as well as to cultivate a sense of appreciation and gratitude for food. In an active and lively learning ambience the class inspired the children to set off a life-exploring journey full of fascination and meaning.

Cultivate children's altruistic mind

In the “A Journey to the Happy Island” activity, designed to prompt them to live a frugal and simple lifestyle and cultivate an altruistic mind, children were invited to board a “Luxurious Cruise” to the “Happy Island,” along with their favorite objects picked from a variety of food, toys, and personal items available. Then, during the journey, the boat suddenly crashes into a reef and is about to sink. Children have to fix the holes by letting go and making use of the items they have brought aboard. The situation challenges them to discern what they “truly need” from what they “simply want,” thereby teaching them about needs and wants, or what they can and should want.

Children of the World: Deliver Your Love

Teachers continued the lesson with “Children of the World: Deliver Your Love” by sharing stories from the Iskul Sama DiLaut Omadal, a school for child refugees in Pulau, who are truly in need at the moment. Learning about the severity of their situation, participants offered to give away what they had brought from home to the school children at Iskul Sama DiLaut Omadal. Meanwhile, they were encouraged to contemplate on the meaning of donating by thinking from the recipients’ perspectives before deciding on what objects they should share. In addition to the materials, children also gave their heartfelt wishes.

Signifying the importance of family ethics

For the “Path of Growth” game, children went through the stages of human life cycle—from embryo to birth and from infancy to where they are now—to discover the miracle of life and observe its growth from a fresh perspective. They also assimilated the feelings of the second phase of pregnancy, to experience the hardship of being pregnant. In the “Mom’s Navel” activity, children could relate to how the whole family wholeheartedly expected the coming of the new life, and how busy they may become. Finally, in the “Serving Tea to Show Filial Piety” ritual children prepared sandwiches for their parents by performing the tea-offering ritual, to show their love and best wishes to their parents, signifying the importance of family ethics.

The first semester of the Compassionate Mind Class has wrapped up successfully

The first semester of the Compassionate Mind Class, DDM’s life education course for children, has wrapped up successfully. Children participants are welcome to join the next semester’s journey in search of the meaning of life, to nurture their seeds of wholesomeness.

Text: Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia
Translation: Elenda Huang (頤嵐達)
Editor: Christine Huang, Chiacheng Chang (張家誠)

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