If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.
I can’t believe that I’ve been teaching ‘Wednesday Workshops’ for a whole school year. The time has flown by! I thought that it would be a nice idea to end the term with a workshop on ‘Giving’. It was a wonderful afternoon, with the children far exceeding my expectations in terms of their understanding and reflections of the virtue of giving.
For the last meditation, the children imagined that they were wish-fulfilling jewels, giving everyone in the world something that would make them happy. We then sat in a circle and imagined that we were giving the person sitting next to us something that they would really like. I wondered if the children would pick some crazy gifts just for a laugh, but they were incredibly sensitive and, with no prompting from me, decided to give gifts such as diamonds, friendship, love and a cuddle!
For our arts and crafts, most of the children chose to make mala bracelets to give to friends/family as presents, while one of the boys chose to make ‘friendship’ badges, which he was going to give to the children in his class.
All in all, it was a wonderful end to the term and I’m incredibly proud of all the children. I awarded certificates in recognition of how well they’ve done in their meditation practice, and gave each of them gold stars and a treat 🙂
A baked treat that’s popular with these children is my dairy-free shortbread stars. One time I made 40 shortbread stars for the children and within a couple of minutes they’d all been eaten! These stars are also popular in our house as snacks and lunchbox treats for both Lil’ L and M. Here’s the recipe.
This weekend we went to the Dharma 4 Kids Festival at the Nagarjuna Buddhist Centre in Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire. We had a fantastic time there and met some wonderful people!
The event was really well organised, with lots of fun activities including art, drama, football, table tennis, table football, snooker, bouncy castles, as well as fun sessions on Buddhism.
There were quite a few teenagers at the festival and it was great to see activities specifically targeted at their age group. They even had their own teenage marquee! In the evening, there was a karaoke disco party in the teenage marquee which was invaded by a number of parents… including us. I’m still not feeling 39!!
I loved the relaxed atmosphere at this festival. The place felt very safe so I was happy to let Lil’ L come and go as he pleased. I think he really enjoyed having some freedom! At one point I went looking for him to remind him that the kids’ Buddhism session was about to start, only to find that him and his friends had already taken themselves off to the meditation room. That impressed me!
The weekend felt like a real break for us. The cafe and shop were open throughout the festival, which was a plus point. I loved the soya lattes served in the cafe. (M and I had lots of them!) Luckily, there were enough breaks in the rain for the lunches and dinners to be served on the front lawn.
Lil’ L made some great new friends this weekend, which he’ll hopefully see again next year. I spoke to some of the teenagers who said that they’d been coming to the festival for the past 5-6 years and looked forward each year to catching up with their festival buddies. I also made some great new friends and hope to see them again next year!