Overseas News


Life Education for Children:
Compassionate Class Beautifies the World

Thirteen children who led by Venerable Yan Xiang (演祥法師) and twenty volunteers from Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia took an outdoor learning trip on July 22nd. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, they came to a green-filled town- Sungai Buloh (雙溪毛糯) to visit a local asylum for Leprosy called the Village of Hope.

Children practiced Eight-form Moving Meditation in the beginning, as usual, because only when we calm our body and mind at any time, can we bring others the stability.

The tragedy makes people introspect, the disaster makes people mature, and the love from it make them courageous. The patients of leprosy in the Village of Hope are struggling to live, and they are constantly using medicine to help the world to find a wholesome leprosy medication system. During the British colonial period, leprosy was like a horrible plague. Due to the invasion of bacteria, their muscles became heavily distorted, and the victims were viewed as aliens. Also, they were forced to be separated from their families, and were tortured both in body and mind. Children listened to "Their Story" in the story hall with their young, inexperienced minds.

Children’s minds are like an empty field. In order to cultivate the mind to understand and cherish blessings with gratitude and compassion, the children tried to find the "Four Hearts of Happiness" through a treasure hunting game- The first part of The "Happiness Experience" was to travel specific treasure sites, find pieces of the "Flower of Happiness", and put it together: With maps and hint cards, the children were separated in groups of two and each helped their team mate in the participation of activities that aim to help the children understand the difficulty of the blind. The first activity they learned was to become the eyes and crutches of others. In the circumstance of limited mobility, they tried to cross the barriers placed on the road. The final activity involves experiencing the difficulties of holding a pen, and painting on the ground through cooperation. The children experienced the inconvenience of recovering leprosy patients from imitation activities. At last, an outdoor "mind-tea dessert" was held. The delicacies and healthy desserts made from vegetables went well with the rustic atmosphere of the town. What a feeling!

The value of life lies in giving others happiness. The elderly people of the Village of Hope dedicated their whole lives to help the world away from the threat of leprosy. However, the lives of the elderly fade away gradually, until they are forgotten. In the second part of the "Happiness Experience", the children replaced their fears with an understanding sympathy, and gave the elderly citizens painted paper windmills in person with a sincere blessing- Thank you for beautifying the world. At that moment, the kind smiles of the children colored the faces of the elderly. These little kind gestures leave behind a beautiful memory. Sincere care and small blessings are the strength behind compassion. As a result, the children saw the magic behind little acts of kindness, and remembered not to neglect the trivial virtues.

In the end, the children came home with a game about "Finding Happiness in Life", and began their journey of preserving it. Living is a joy, but health is a present. The happiness of humanity depends on finding the wonderful things of life with your heart.

Report: Chen Pei-Qi (陳佩琪)
Photography: Kong Shao-Hong (孔紹鴻)
Translation: Frances Liu (劉珮如)
Editing: Christine Huang (Canada)

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Compassionate Class Beautifies the World