Monday, September 15, 2014

Beginning with Buddhism

This term we started looking at and learning about different faiths. We are using QED's World of Faiths series.

The girls chose to start with the book on Buddhism. These books are written by a specialist in the faith and aimed at children. They are simple to read and explain the faith in an easy simplistic manner without coming across at all preachy. We covered The Eightfold Path (or Middle Way), the Five Precepts (a guide for living which I think everyone should have on their wall to remind themselves of how to behave!), discussed the different types of Buddhism, read about some rituals, festivals, important figures, holy places and art and symbolism. It was all very interesting. They even inlcude some activities that you can do if you wish to and of course we wished to!

Tibetan Prayer Flag

One of the activities in the book was to make a Tibetan Prayer Flag. We had a GirlGuide afternoon tea fundraiser coming up that week where we were raising money towards a new cancer treatment for one of our GirlGuide mums, (whose breast cancer metastasized). We had already made some banners at Guides for the event so my girls made a banner not unlike the prayer flag to hang at the event also.

The different colours of the flag represent natural elements: yellow (earth), green (water), red (fire), white (cloud) and blue (sky).

A Meditation Experiment
Buddhists believe that unhelpful emotions such as anger, hatred and greed make the mind cloudy. The more cloudy our minds become, the more problems we encounter. We did this experiment to get a better understanding of the "clearing of the mind".

1. Put a spoonful of soil into a jar of water and stir. The water becomes cloudy.

2. Check your water mixture. Does the water become clear again?

3. Eventually, the soil settles and the water becomes clearer.  In meditation, our emotions settle and our minds become clearer.

Lastly the girls made up a poster to pop on the wall. I didn't want them spending too much time on this so suggested they photocopy some of the info from the books. The Fashionista was aghast as she of course wanted to make it all pretty and use lots of different coloured pens. So I suggested chalking over the white paper which sort of satisfied her.

Next up is the Jewish faith and they are quite keen to learn about this as some of their friends are Jewish and they wish to understand it more.


  1. What a great idea! Tell the Fashionista that she was right, it looks great all pretty and coloured!

    1. Thanks; kids have really been enjoying the series so far. Fashionista is a twelve year old girl ... she is always right. ;)


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