KID'S METTA | 6-week Applied Loving-kindness Meditation for kids aged 7-12
Today I have learnt a new insight of Lankan culture, another aspect that is the (anti-)counterpart of the hidden beauty. I couldn't help stopping myself for 30 minutes, asked the tuk tuk driver to come back in order to collect all the Buddha statues thrown away on the street, then heading to another Monastery for a little "farewell" ritual for those little damaged statues.
May Triple Gems bless us all.
With much love and uncountable efforts, today I'd like to introduce a new website for Sri Lankan Bhikkhuni Sangha. They're having a new Opening Ceremony on August 4th, 2018. A group of devotees from Singapore, led by Jinxing brother and Bhante L.A. Thero, happily dāna 200 good quality Thai robes on account of this big coming event. Thus I have spent time fulfilling the very basic concept of the site. Here it is:
When I refer to "Sri Lankan Bhikkhuni Sangha", there is no separation between a precept nun vs a bhikkhuni living here by their mere title. Rather, my love for renunciant sisters has conquered all other unwanted and troublesome issues happened over the past month. I wish this place would turn the Dharma blossoms, thereby becoming a bridge to unite all renunciant sisters. So far as it goes, Lankan society associated with its typically political, cultural, and traditional characteristics may need a timely, internal call to bond themselves together in an only and united sangha. The journals shared by Univ. scholar Mrs. Gihani de Silva have touched my heart regarding social strata of Lankan nuns since the date of bhikkhuni revival in Sri Lanka. Their monastic lives are still in a hardship, from education to ethics of living, from inward dilemmas to outwardly social issues. As an observant traveler, there's nothing more I could do to help. Even though equality and equity are values I respect in Buddhism, real-life situations are somewhat uncontrollably occurring day by day. Let's the Triple Gems bless us, and Dhamma protects us.
Should a thought of compassion arises in you, you can contact me for any kind of contribution towards Sri Lankan Bhikkhuni Sangha.
May all beings be happy and at peace,
 Silva, GD 2016, The Bhikkhuni revival debate and identity problems: an ethnographic inquiry, Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, 2016(11):52-70.
Further reading: Revival of the Bhikkhuni Order in Sri Lanka
To my dear backers and supporters:
Since I intent to make my Lanka trip in June 2018 more meaningful - particularly for my benefactors and supporters’ future benefits, I have decided to change the research topic into:
“Meditation practices in the secular movement – A case of Sri Lanka”
which would expectedly introduce a publication, possibly a reference book or booklet version once it will have been accomplished in few years later.
In my nearly two years’ time (2016-2018) studying and practicing in Australia, I have seen a number of meditation retreats both in temples and meditation centers, for commercial- as well as non-commercial purposes in Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne and Queensland. We also had some debates between traditional- and contemporary mindfulness in today’s applications during class at Nan Tien Institute, Wollongong campus. The movement and benefits of mindfulness practices have become so powerful that mindfulness today is seen as one of a “billion-dollar business” in the US. And yet, we raised some questions such as ethics of the meditation teachers, commercial purposes and the different goals of practitioners in choosing either traditional- or secular practices.
Interestingly, the recent Global Mindfulness Summit that was taken place in Colombo, Sri Lanka last February has drawn my attention in-depth. During which, the Sati Pasala Foundation stood out as the pioneer having conducted the [basic] mindfulness lessons at public schools and organizations for over two years. Furthermore, Venerable Dhammajiva Thero - founder and spiritual director - has wholeheartedly made it so fascinating and successful that the secular movement keeps widespread throughout Sri Lanka and gets real attentions from both domestic and international educational organizations at the moment. At first, I had thought that I would make an experiment to test out and compare the possible outcomes of mettābhāvanā, loving-kindness meditation, and satipaṭṭhāna, mindfulness practices. But later on, a change of descriptive method that is to acknowledge and learn the cultural and social differences in a south Asian country associated with an early rich history of Buddhism; promisingly brings about new insightful perspectives on political, social and personal concerns when an ancient Buddhist-derived practice is applied in the secular movement today.
As soon as the dissertation is being submitted, I would like to once again express my gratitude for all your heartily support along with a list of benefactors included in the paperwork. In all sincerity, I hope this journey of experiencing a modern-day approach of Buddhist meditation would benefit everyone who loves and cares. An estimated budget is enclosed here.
May you all be happy and at peace!
 Pāli: puñña, aka. ‘merits’. Ref.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merit_(Buddhism)
The song HAPPY NEW YEAR performed by ABBA since early 1980s has become quite popular. Several years ago, I read a Vietnamese commentary on the song lyrics. Recalling in my memory of their ideas, it was quite a rigorous critique of historical [Western] cultural adaptation. Nonetheless, a spiritual practitioner cannot help thinking introspectively about the lyrics. It is likely the rhythm of worldly musings pervaded in the hearts of vintage music lovers. The whole body of words seems to connote some Dhamma meanings through the lens of Buddhism. Should there be such a thing named causal coincidences, let patiently put yourself in Dhamma’s shoes to contemplate the implicitly universal meanings.
THE IMPERMANENCE OF MENTALITY-MATERIALITY (NĀMA-RŪPA)
No more champagne/ And the fireworks are through
Here we are, me and you/ Feeling lost and feeling blue
It's the end of the party/ And the morning seems so grey/ So unlike yesterday
The implications of words are subtle while the video’s visual performance is sadly sophisticated. Welcoming the first day of a new year, there appears indeed a feeling of disorientation and depression. The woman clearly sees a reality: that party already ended. Likewise, every year-end party is subjected to ending inevitably. Joyful moments in the past were gone, now she sees nothing but a transient feeling of (dis)satisfaction. The new day dawns but deep down in her heart it is so gloomy. In moments of introspection, what does she keep thinking about?
Sometimes I see/ How the brave new world arrives
And I see how it thrives/ In the ashes of our lives
Oh yes, man is a fool/ And he thinks he'll be okay/ Dragging on, feet of clay
Never knowing he's astray/ Keeps on going anyway...
It is the sagacious contemplation for her to take materiality (rūpa dhammas) as the meditative object - Which is the body itself. Parties were over whereas the ‘beautiful’ body is nothing more than a nature of decay. This rūpa dhamma (the body) attributes the impermanent characteristic to its own intrinsic values. The body ceases moment to moment; yet he who is still a worldling hardly knows and sees the truth genuinely. A defiled mind that never sees a reality of being “astray” at the end of some day. Hardly has he seen the made-of-clay statue which shall be toppled over one day and fallen as time goes by, no matter how solid and stiff the built-in materials used to be.
Seems to me now:
That the dreams we had before, are all dead… Nothing more than confetti on the floor.
It's the end of a decade… In another ten years’ time, who can say what we'll find … what __lies waiting down the line… in the end of eighty-nine...
Now please detach your emotional feelings to see for the impermanence of mentality (nāma) - which that includes feelings, perception, volitional thoughts and consciousness underlies the surface. All of a sudden, the woman self-realized unstoppable instant deaths associated with her boredom mental state as seeing the “confetti on the floor”. Beautiful dreams no longer exist at the moment the ultimate realities have awakened an insight in her. No one knows either what tomorrow brings about nor in ten years’ time. Feelings and Perceptions are changing moment to moment. So are the thoughts. Also, even consciousness keeps passing by to every new arisen contact. There the truth is:
DEATH IS INEVITABLE
the women now comes back to its only present moment
TOWARDS THE CULTIVATION OF LOVING-KINDNESS AND AMITY
It is the truth, that no one can escape from DEATH. Thus she prays for all world-lings and favorably sends the aspirations of benevolence, amity and future wishes. Introspecting about the Deaths - the impermanence and suffering of nāma-rūpa (mind-and-body or mentality-materiality) - triggers the wish to renounce from worldly entanglements of alluring material things. What we care every day and love the most [truth be told is this very body] will decay and perish once its life faculty ends. This is the fact that no one can change no matter how desperately one wants to try.
Thus in this very moment when we say “Happy new year!” to each other,
Let’s open our true hearts to spread more love, support, tolerance and empathy.
If you are on the way to search for happiness, just share a hand and don’t hesitate to give your heart away…
(Viet post in 12-2015)
UPDATED on 13 August 2017,
As some parents' requests to split the weekends for their children to join other extracurricular activities, Loving-kindness meditation and life lessons for kids thus will be conducted on every Sunday mornings, starts from August 20th, 2017.
Mrs. Như (host) : +61414805201
Mrs. Cúc (assistant teacher) : +61423303888
UPDATED on 05 August 2017,
Due to an unexpected sickness disease that has happened recently at some homes and schools, Mrs. Như & Mr. Văn have asked for one week deferral of the LKM course for kids. The course will thus start on next Sunday, August 13th, 2017.
Any modification of time will be updated officially on this site.
Thank you for all your support and accompany with KidsMetta.
May you all be happy and at peace :)
Dear parents and children,
as hosted by Mrs. Như and Mr. Văn (Burwood East, Victoria), we would like to invite you to participate 05 Sunday sessions of Loving kindness meditation for children under the guidance of Venerable Joticandā from Vietnam. The purpose of the five-day meditation course is to create an environment for kids to develop a "mental vaccination" at their early age, and build up spirituality in later years. Children will have an opportunity to learn more about the Buddha's teachings, especially selfless love and compassion as well as kindness in action which can be applied at homes, schools and society.
Tentative time: 9 am - 4.30 pm, please reference the teaching themes here >>
Address: Burwood East, Victoria, Australia
Age range accepted: 7-13 years old.
Medium of instruction: English.
Vegetarian lunch will be provided.
The Loving-kindness meditation course for children is offered free of charge. Donation is welcome and greatly appreciated. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us (Vietnamese/English):
Mrs. Như (host) : +61414805201
Mrs. Cúc (assistant teacher) : +61423303888
We look forward to welcoming your kids.
May you be filled with loving-kindness, wellness and peace :)
On behalf of KidsMettā,
By: Ashin Sarana
I got a chance to teach meditation to several pre-school children (4-6 years old) in Czech Republic. My friend then asked me to write a summary of the way that I taught them. See below for a summary and a detailed example of what a session may look like. During the second session I have realized that the key to gain the children's attention is to teach them by small groups, possibly by three, or max. four at once. As soon as there are more than three or four, the teacher might lose the attention of some children while he/she pays attention to another child. Also, in an irreligious and multi-religious environments it is the unavoidable requirement to get written permission from the parents of each and every child for teaching them Buddhist meditation, and possibly show the parents the text of the procedure (e.g. the one presented below) before the first session. This time I wasn't super-strict, and there were complaints. To prevent further complaints from the parents, my next invitation to teach the children was cancelled.
You can read the detailed reflection of the teaching: meditation for kids
in the NewPilgrim 170425 here >>