Guan Yin Citta Netherlands opens its first Buddhist Children’s Class
Since the opening of the first Buddhist Practice Center in Amsterdam in June 2018, Guan Yin Citta Netherlands has organized a number of activities, such as Buddhist group study session and free vegetarian tasting events to spread the Buddhist teachings of Master Jun Hong Lu and traditional Chinese culture. On October 14, 2018, Guan Yin Citta Netherlands launched a brand new Buddhist Children’s Class for free. It attracted dozens of kids and their parents, and received positive responses.
The aim of the program is to teach children Buddhist morals and ethics, help them cultivate a gracious attitude, spirit and heart with the mind of tolerance, appreciation, and compassion. By learning the basic concepts of Buddhism, children can develop a right world outlook on life and values, which will benefit them in a long term. The class also leads the children to overcome and correct inappropriate thoughts and bad habits, helping them fit and flourish in society.
The first Children Buddhist Class contained four sections, including introduction of Guan Yin Bodhisattva and other five Bodhisattvas, Buddhist story sharing, Buddhist scriptures Reading, and table manners teaching. At the start of the class, volunteer teachers showed the children how to make prostration and show respect to Buddha. After learning the names of Bodhisattvas worshipped at Guan Yin Citta, every kid kneeled down in front of the figures of Bodhisattvas and made prostrations. After that, the class processed into the Buddhist story sharing section. One of the volunteer teachers told the children a story from Master Jun Hong Lu’s books. It’s about how a jewel business man, who has been sincerely reciting The Great Compassion Mantra every day, was saved by two Bodhisattvas in a dangerous situation. The riveting story made the children realize the importance of reciting Buddhist scriptures on a daily basis and the amazing effects. Once hardships come or bad things happen, people who have been performing diligent reciting practice can receive protections from Buddha and Bodhisattva.
And then in the Buddhist Scripture Reading section, children were taught to read the “Great Compassion Mantra“, “Heart Sutra“, and “The Cundi Dharani” (Zhun Ti Shen Zhou). The children were full of confidence and chanting very well. Their positive attitude and earnest interest towards the learning moved some of the parents to tears. Some of the children were even able to recite the “Zhun Ti Shen Zhou” during the class, which was so amazing and incredible.
Another highlight of the class is the teaching of table manners. In this section, volunteer teachers taught the children the proper dinning etiquette, and Buddhist prayer before a meal to express gratitude to Guan Yin Bodhisattva. The teacher said, “When you have a meal, it is important to avoid some things. First, don’t insert your chopsticks upright in the bowl of rice, because it’s a way to offer to the spirit of a dead person. Second, don’t beat your bowl with spoons, chopsticks, because it can be associated with the behaviors of begging in the old times. Most importantly, do not point at other people with your chopsticks at the table, which is considered to be rude.” Under the guidance of teachers, the children were immersed in the traditional Chinese culture and happily enjoyed their meals in the right way.
After the class, three kids expressed their interest in reading Buddhist scriptures and took some Buddhist books home. Everyone was excited and grateful for having such a good opportunity to learn so much. They are looking forward to the next gathering in the near future.