New Children Dharma Class at Guan Yin Hall, Paris
There’s nothing more important than helping our children be more focused, calm and relaxed with good hearts and mindfulness. Instilling basic Buddhist values, such as compassion, empathy, and altruism, into children will benefit them in a long run and effectively promote their cognitive and socioemotional development. This is why Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door Buddhist Association of Paris started the Children Dharma Class in late Fall of 2017, dedicated to planting the seeds of Dharma into the awareness of young minds. Using an innovative teaching style and fun activities, the program exposes kids into a joyful, funny and relaxing learning environment and makes Buddha’s teachings more easier to grasp.
On Jun 23, 2018, the ninth Children Dharma Class started at Guan Yin Hall in Paris and dozens of kids attended. The main topic of this class is “The Virtue of Patience”. It aims to help children explore how to deal with conflicts and anger by arising the awareness of forgiveness, tolerance and forbearance. In daily life, it’s quite normal and inevitable that kids fight and fall out with each other because of varies issues. Parents normally intervene to take action. But beyond that is the better way to help kids learn to manage their emotions. In this class, through the study of several interesting Buddhist stories from Master Jun Hong Lu’s books, the kids harvested some practical methods to deal with this issue. At the end of one of the stories, Master Jun Hong Lu said, “When we were in the situations making us feel angry, we need to focus on what our breathing actually feels like, calm down our mind and slow down heart rate. Understanding the other person’s perspective will stimulate the growth of love and our capacity to endure and to accept. When it increases to a certain point, the feeling of anger will dissipate.”
To help the less motivated learners take part in, volunteer teachers invited some of the kids to act out roles in their favorite stories and become a part of a play drama. By using the role-play, kids had a deeper understanding about how to concern for people and their views. Afterwards, the kids and teachers played cooperative fun games together. One of the volunteer said, “Dealing with anger is a big issue for kids. First, letting them be more aware of their emotions is important. Then providing them the opportunities to cultivate the virtue of patience is essential. This will help kids raise the awareness of valuing other perspectives and people, which is one of the best ways to boost compassion and love. As a matter of fact, if we practice the Four Immeasurable Minds of loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity according to Buddha’s teaching, our heart will grow. And we will have the capacity to accept everything. “
Finally, under the instructions of volunteer teachers, every kid learned how to write the Chinese character “Patience”. 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.