Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Calgary Kids

August 20, 2013

Last month I got back from three weeks in Calgary, Canada, where I was invited to teach a daily class on Buddhism to the Burmese kids. Here we are:

2013-07-10 2013-07-10 001 004After each class adults provided snacks, such as popcorn.

The great advantage I have in teaching kids, aside from being a father, is that the kids speak English better than they speak Burmese and are quite acculturated. Although the pressures of modern life allow the parents to spend less time with their kids than their counterparts in the homeland do, they pick up an abiding respect for Buddhism if not much understanding of it. Many of the questions they have about it are very familiar to me as a Westerner, like “Why all the bows?”

A short time before my departure a few of the boys in the class ordained as temporary novice monks and lived at the monastery for a few days.

SAM_4522rightThis is a traditional rite of passage for Burmese boys. I gives them an opportunity to experience what it like to be part of the Sangha, and receive respect (for a change) and offerings (which I guess they already get)  from their lay parents.

The Buddhist Child and the Sangha

April 25, 2013

Uposatha Day, Full Moon, April 24, 2013

Traditionally Monastics have played a great and pervasive role in the way Buddhist kids are exposed to Buddhism. Of the three Gems the Sangha is the only that is a living breathing presence. The Sangha exemplifies and teaches and at the same time becomes an object of veneration, generosity and affection for the little Buddhist.

Most immediately the Sangha provides a constant breathing example of what it is to live a Buddhist life. They are walking science experiments, demonstrating with every word and gesture what happens when one lets go, when one renounces everything that common sense says is necessary for felicity, for fun, for fulfillment: they end up being the most joyfully contented people in the village! The Noble Ones serve as a reality check for folk people as they make life’s decisions, and a subversively civilizing influence on the whole community.

The wholesome practice of veneration extends particularly easily to the living Gem and dovetails with the project of satisfying their material needs, which becomes an expression of both veneration and affection. The needs of the monastics are modest but constant, and in fact, according to the Buddha’s regulations, somewhat artificially constant. This puts the devout layperson right at the center of the wholesome practice of generosity (dana), which becomes the lifeblood of the Buddhist community, producing an economy of gifts. The monastics are not allowed to participate in the exchange economy in any case, are sustained entirely from gifts and are at liberty to give immaterial gifts freely. The early communal life centered around the monastics, and later around the monasteries as they commonly become at the same time community centers for the laity.

Through their support of the Sangha as well as the rest of the Buddhist community folk Buddhists develop the joyful feeling of doing their share, of participating fully in bringing the civilizing influence of the Noble Ones into the community and in upholding the sasana to preserve Buddhism in its pristine purity for future generations. The relationship between the Sangha and lay community is one of complementary roles in partnership. The Sangha upholds the teachings, produces the adapts and thereby serves the community.  The Noble Ones are the soil that provides not only the nourishment of water and mineral but ensures that the entire practice, roots, leaves, stem and blossom, will not be carried away by the wind in the years to come. The community supports the Sangha’s material needs. Generosity on both sides binds the two together.

It is important to recognize that there is little here in the way of hierarchy. What authority the Sangha holds arises from its own attainments and is conveyed as wisdom or knowledge and conduct. The Sangha has no coercive power beyond  the layperson’s willingness to accept advice or admonition or to view the monastic as a role model. The laity actually has authority over the Sangha that carries more coercive power: Dissatisfaction with the monastic Sangha can turn into withdrawal of support, a constant external check on the integrity of the institutional Sangha.

Because generosity is such a joyful condition, monasteries are very happy places in which kids can learn this fundamental Buddhist value, along with selfless veneration. It encourages community involvement, requires no sophisticated knowledge of Dharma and provides a wholesome environment into which to bring the kids. It also opens into an opportunity to rub shoulders with Noble Ones, benefit from their wisdom and advice and begin to learn and practice the Path to Awakening. The Buddhist community provides an oasis of sanity in a world otherwise  perpetually spinning crazily out of kilter, out of control.

Lest my promotion of the Sangha be seen as impure horn-tooting mention that it comes not from representing that Gem but the other way around. In fact I considered ordaining in a Vinaya tradition for many years because my practice leaned me in that way. My name, “Cintita,” which means “good thinker,” was given to me because I thought about this very matter for so long. However, clinging to worldly ways I suffered from many doubts about my own capacity for living a celibate life or for representing the Sangha well. The deciding straw arose after much study and contemplation with the realization that the monastic sangha is, by the Buddha’s design, the lynchpin of the Sasana. This meant that without real monks and nuns practicing in the traditional way Buddhism was not going to make it in the West. It never has anywhere else. And so I resolved to myself, “It’s a clean job, but somebody has got to do it,” and finally ordained.

Now, we have a dilemma: How do we teach a child to venerate and befriend the Sangha, to learn from its way of life and from its teachings, when there is no Sangha at hand? I have a few suggestions:

1. The Sangha is in America, for one, hardly anywhere very far away. However it is mostly in culturally Asian temples. Visit some! Both language and culture may be challenges, but will make it a great experience for kids, like traveling the world with them in tow. Do not be alarmed if what passes for Buddhism does not look familiar; this is folk Buddhism, and will differ from Western folk Buddhism (seem my writings about folk Buddhism). The nuns or monks will almost certainly know a more sophisticated Buddhism, …  but might not speak English. Make contacts, see how it goes. You will learn a lot yourself.

2. Just as kids learn from the life of the Buddha, they can learn from the lives of monks and nuns. The Dalai Lama is a monk and movies have even been made about him. I played Kundun for a group of Burmese-American kids; there were fascinated by it. Zen about Dogen Zenji, or Spring, Summer, Autumn Winter about a fictional monk might also work.

3. Try to find Western monasteries and develop a long-distance relationship with one. Arrange so that your child can make a regular financial contribution; the amount is no issue. Make a project out of it, explain to your child what the money might be used for. Then make an occasional trip to the monastery, offer a meal or find an occasion where people make robe offerings to the monks. Do not be afraid to ask someone about etiquette. Generally there will be times when you can “pay respects” to a nun or monk and meet privately. Ask your child to formulate a question.

Most Western monasteries are not as generously supported as Asian monasteries since support of monks and nuns is not yet integral to our culture. However their needs are very modest; they don’t own boats, nor are they running a bar tab, nor are they trying to put a child through college. I would particularly recommend (all other things being equal) finding a nuns’ monastery to support at a distance. Generally nuns have a harder time of it than monks, not so much in the Far Eastern traditions as in the Tibetan and Theravadin. The unfortunate reason is that in some Asian lands monks are more readily supported than nuns and the Asian monasteries in the West on average more readily absorb Western monks than Western nuns. Certainly if you hear of a monk or nun without monastery affiliation, sometimes living in an apartment or house trailer someone has provided, seek them out and offer to help, even if just a little. The success of the monastic Sangha in the West will depend as much on lay support of monastics as it will depend monastic aspirations taking root in laity.

4. If you happen to live near Austin, Texas, you are in luck. There are two Western monks and many culturally Asian monasteries, including the two we live at. Come visit. Otherwise if you have trouble googling up a monastery near you let me know and I’ll give it a try.

5. Look at the comments below for other people’s ideas and experiences!

The Buddhist Child Bows to the Buddha and to the Sangha

April 17, 2013

Uposatha Day, First Quarter Moon, April 18, 2013

A handicap in being a Westerner or a child of the European Enlightenment is that it makes bowing problematic. I learned this first as a personal exemplar of this profile and second as a Buddhist teacher who has felt compelled to teach bowing to other exemplars. Even children beyond a certain age find bowing problematic. And yet anjali, the mudra of joined palms, often embellished with prostrations, was a ubiquitous expression of respect or greeting in Buddha’s India, and was accordingly used to venerate the living Buddha as well as the Sangha, and this practice of veneration, including veneration of images of the Buddha, has continued in all Buddhist lands in which Buddhism has taken root. No culture that I am aware of has chosen either to abandon it nor to substitute for it an indigenous expression, such a wave, a salute, a nod or a hearty hand clasp. Its adoption in Christian prayer speaks of its crossing over some yet to be fully understood ancient connection between two great traditions. Why is the bow so important in Buddhism?

Refuge and veneration are causal factors in attaining wholesome qualities of mine. Bowing and other expressions of veneration powerfully generate personal humility, they deflate the ego, knock it out of its privileged position in the universe by deferring to another. This seems to be a function of veneration or worship in all religions I am aware of, and I presume an essential function of God as an object of veneration in most. Prostration in particular seems also to be a natural embodiment or enactment with deep genetic roots; consider how lesser dogs instinctively make a similar gesture to express submission to our greater furry friends. This practice is an easy and profound antecedent to the gradual weakening, along the Path, of self-view. Expressions of veneration result in calm and the stilling of inflictive emotions as self-centeredness relaxes.

Bowing belongs to ritual conduct, as does shaking hands or wearing a tux to a formal dinner party. Robert Sharf writes, “Ritual habituation inscribes the self with a set of perceptual orientations, affective dispositions, automatic responses that are precognitive.” It begins by enacting these as if in play within an implicit frame of reference that one does not have to believe in or acquiesce to any more than one believes in the grammar of one’s mother tongue. To bow to the Buddha is to enact veneration for the Buddha, to enact veneration of the Buddha is to feel veneration for the Buddha, to feel veneration for the Buddha is to put aside one’s preconceptions and open one’s heart to the teachings of the Buddha. To do this is to align with the Buddha’s path. Any culture involves many such implicit frames of reference; consider how we carve out personal space, for instance: in the West a couple of square feet in front of you as you sit at a table is understood as “your space,” such that if someone puts something into that space it counts as “yours.” Most Asians make no such assumptions. Bowing invokes a frame of reference little known in the West; we must learn it.

In Burma children learn to bow before they can talk. They learn to bow to five kinds of people: to the Buddha (actually a representation thereof), to the Sangha, to parents, to teachers and to the elderly. Imagine the benefit of learning veneration for teachers! This is not a difficult practice if learned in a Buddhist temple environment in which bows and other ritual expressions of veneration are observed. It is a practice even easier and more pleasurable for kids than adults who have not learned its intricacies from childhood. The adult generally has the greater ego to complain. Either benefits enormously from the practice of bowing; one might even venture to state that Buddhist practice begins with bowing.

Let me recount my own personal experience, very much as a rationalized adult, in ritual expressions of veneration some fifteen years ago, from Through the Looking Glass:

My corporate job allowed me a certain amount of vacation time each year and I began to spend it all in sesshin [Zen meditation retreat], which meant a couple of long sesshins each year. The next spring I want to Green Gulch Farm above the ocean in Marin County, to sit a sesshin led by Rev. Norman Fischer. This was far more elaborate in form than anything I thought was possible. In fact I would suffer cultural shock for the next seven days.

Shortly after arrival, before the start of the sesshin in the evening, newbies were instructed in the fine art of oryoki. This involves a ritual process of receiving and eating meals, and of cleaning one’s bowls and utensils, all in the zendo, seated in meditation position. … This is not all: There were precise ways to enter the zendo (for instance, leading with the right foot, not with the left), to hold the hands as we walked, to bow toward those seated in our row then to those in the remaining rows, taking care to turn clockwise, then to sit backwards on our zafus and spin around to face the wall. For lecture we continued to sit cross-legged, not to raise our knees to our chins if we could stand it. I longed for the days when just not throwing spitballs nor passing messages got my by.

Service was a complex affair with many bows, led by Fischer Roshi, who offered incense initially with the help of an attendant and who also at precise points in the chants would make additional bows or approach the alter to offer additional incense. We, in the meantime, held our chant books in a certain way and were to chant with energy. Behavior outside the zendo was also similarly regulated. We did not break silence but bowed upon encountering each other, we could make ourselves tea, but had to sit while we drank it, and so on.

Of the minority with no robes,  I seemed to be the lone person in the sesshin who had not known to wear black or highly subdued colors. I wore things like green or blue., thankfully not yellow or orange Fortunately I was later relieved to see that, digging deeper into their suitcases during the week in search of a change of clothing, other participants came up with increasingly brighter colors eventually to rival or surpass my own.

This was all amazing to me. Why would people do all this? This was not at all like the Zen described, promised, so vividly and accurately by Alan Watts, not like real Zen. It wasn’t even cool and it entailed a lot of bother and stress. And this was on top of the agonizing pains in my knees and back from the unaccustomed long hours of sitting for seven days. I was already suffering from Zendo Stress Disorder.

In contemplating the challenge to my cultural sensibilities and natural inclination toward the casual, during the subsequent weeks I came up not so much with a resolution as with a way of arriving at one. The easiest response to my discomfort would have been,

“Balderdash! Ritual forms are nonsense, they are a perversion of real Buddhism, of real Zen, or … or else a cultural artifact of the East Asian cultures in which these ritual forms arose that are of little relevance in the critical-thinking West. Ha!”

With this response in hand I would have been free to seek out retreat centers that loosened up on this nonsense. I did not know at the time of the ubiquitousness of such Buddhist meditation centers, largely to satisfy the demands of the thriving “balderdash” community. But the “balderdash” response was not good enough: How would I know that the response is correct?
In what for me was an almost unprecedented display of good judgment, of smarts and wisdom, I chose the opposite response: I accepted as a working assumption that there is a purpose for all of these ritual forms and related nonsense that I simply had yet to fathom. How could something persist generation after generation with no purpose? Furthermore the only reasons I could think of not to participate in the ritual forms all had to do with ego, pride and self-image, things I knew I was supposed to let go of in any case. For these reasons I make the decision to begin sitting every week with … Flint Spark’s group at the Clear Spring Zendo, the group infamous for its bows and ritual forms that until then had inhibited my participation.

I did not yet know it, but this is the moment when I fully aligned myself with Buddhism, the moment when I acquired Buddhist “faith” and in return relinquished the arrogant assumption that I already knew what I was doing. I had already learned in my career as a scientist that there was little danger in such a leap of faith as long as one did not thereby relinquish wisdom and discernment as well. I had given myself over to Generative Grammar on a similar basis as a linguistics student, and in fact came eventually around to rejecting it rather soundly, yet in the meantime developed quickly into a scholar. If the ritual and bowing thing did not work out, I would simply give it up and be all the wiser for it. What I did now was to establish a general policy to accept with a degree of wholeheartedness whatever I was taught by respected Buddhist teachers or texts, at least until I got to the bottom of it in my own experience. This policy would serve me well in the years to come and sustain an explorer’s sense of curiosity throughout my career of training.

The reader might well be wondering, How did the leap of faith thing work out, especially all the bows? Reb Anderson once wrote,

By giving up our habitual personal styles of deportment and bringing our body, speech, and thought into accord with traditional forms and ceremonies, we merge in realization with buddha. We renounce our habit body and manifest the true dharma body.

A short time ago this would have been incomprehensible to me; now it made perfect sense.
I discovered that learning ritual forms had gone through stages.

The first was awkward. There was uncertainty whether I was doing a bow correctly or holding the incense properly. My self, Little Johnny, was manifestly embarrassed and hoping nobody was looking.

The second was smooth. I knew exactly how to do the bow, where to offer incense, when to ring the bell, how to walk, to hold the chant book, to open the oryoki bowls. Little Johnny was manifestly proud and hoping everybody was looking. (They were of course too busy being either embarrassed or proud themselves.)

The third stage was clear and serene. I knew to care for the form, to bring body and mind fully into accord. The last hint of Little Johnny dropped away, along with his agenda, along with his perpetual “what’s in it for me,” along with his resistance and anxiety on the one hand and with his pride on the other. For at least the moment I could experience what liberation must be like, complete perfect release from all the little self’s baggage. At that moment  a hammer struck emptiness, there was no actor, there was only the form and the awareness of body and mind following along. The form was doing me.

I had discovered a crucial Dharma gate that I had a short time been ready to dismiss on the basis of unexamined tacit assumptions.

The Buddhist Child and the Triple Gem

April 10, 2013

Uposatha Day, New Moon, April 10, 2013

Last week I brought up the topic of Buddhism for children. What do we teach them and how do we do it? I am glad that so many posted comments, which I take as indicative of the importance of this topic in many people’s lives. I proposed that we look at the following progression of practices or contemplations (I renamed a couple of them for clarity):

Refuge in the Triple Gem.
Development of generosity.
Development of virtue.
The higher prospects.
The drawbacks of samsara.
The rewards of renunciation.
The Four Noble Truths.
Right View, Right Resolve.
Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood.
Right Effort, Right Mindfulness,Right Samadhi.

Today I want to take up Refuge in the Triple Gem. This topic began with my ongoing project of writing about Buddhist religiosity. I discuss the Triple Gem HERE. One’s task as a parent is to instill awe in the little ones for that which is truly awesome.

Trust in the Triple Gem is essential for bending our minds around the Buddhism, not always an easy project to internalize. Until we understand what it is the Buddha realized, what it is the Buddha taught and what it is the Sangha has upheld for one hundred generations, we cannot be certain where this way of life and Path of practice will lead us. Until we have experienced deeply this way of life and traveled far on this Path of Practice we will not understand what the Buddha understood, taught and entrusted to the Sangha. Therefore, until we have experienced this way of life and traveled far on this path we require trust, ardent trust in the Triple Gem, to nourish our Buddhist aspirations and practice just as sun, water and soil nourish a flower. This is what first turns our heads toward virtue, wisdom and peace.

The Triple Gem is the basis of Buddhist faith or trust as we embark on the path. “Faith” is not a bad word as long as we are clear that his is not blind faith. As we progress we have every opportunity to test it and actually until we verify it for ourselves we have not made it our own. When we take Refuge in the Buddha we see in the enormity of this personality the highest qualities we might choose to emulate. Refuge in the Buddha is nonetheless an act of trust that such a personality is even possible. With our own progress on the Path that we will begin to see how his qualities of mind actually start to begin to commence starting to emerge gradually. Trust is necessary in the beginning until we see for ourselves,
veneration encourages trust, it opens up the heart and mind to the influence of the Buddha.

Children seem to be easily fascinated with the life of the Buddha and telling the Buddha’s story is an traditional way of instilling awe in this personality. There is a range of versions of this life, some very simple and unembellished, others full of magic, earth quakes, heavenly visitors. Kids take it all in, but how much mythology is introduced might be a matter of taste. Make use of modern media! There are a number of movies about the life of the Buddha and documentaries, many of them can be downloaded for free. Of course we all naturally develop reverence for personalities.

Unfortunately in modern culture we find a hard time finding personalities that are worthy of awe; so we worship celebrities. The movie “Little Buddha” actually features a very well-known celebrity actor playing the Buddha, so that might be a sneaky way to divert your kids’ energy in a more wholesome direction. Next week I will write about ritual and bows as traditional physical ways of expressing, and therefore developing, veneration.

Art is also a way to relate to the Buddha. There are many depictions of the Buddha that can be quite inspiring. When I teach Sunday school I print up some pages from the life of the Buddha for the little kids to color.

The Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha, is a bit more abstract for children, though adults who come to Buddhism generally start here. A unique quality of the Dharma is described by the Pali word “ehipassika,” verifiable, literally from “come-and-see-y.”  When the Buddha says “come” he is shouting down to us flatlanders from the mountaintop. To arrive at his vantage point we need to scramble up hills, struggle through brambles and ford rivers. When the Buddha says “see” we need to focus our eyes intently in the right direction to barely make out what the Buddha sees with great clarity of vision. In order to be willing to do any of this we have to establish from the beginning great trust that the Buddha knew what he was talking about. This is Refuge in the Dharma. What else would induce us to make the difficult climb up the mountain? Investigation and personal verification are necessary parts of following the Dhammic Path but they take time and effort before we can say, “I have come and now I see.” Until then trust is essential.

A traditional way to express reverence for the teachings is through chanting, though that might take some getting used to. Any exposure to the teachings is helpful. The Jataka stories, stories of the previous lives of the Buddha, are a media that children enjoy and that are good at conveying Buddhist values and can be used to promote discussion. Also the Dhammapada might work for older kids; it is full of short nuggets.

The Sangha is the living representatives of the Buddhist life. Living, breathing role models are found in every religious tradition, but in Buddhism these become primary objects of veneration and faith. This makes perfect sense since living breathing persons have the most immediate influence on our lives and are most likely to have brought us to Refuge in the Triple Gem in the first place. Unfortunately sometimes we often accord this privilege unknowingly to ruffians, scoundrels and celebrities rather than to admirable friends. In Buddhism the word Sangha is ambiguous: There is an Ariya-Sangha (Noble Community) and a Bhikkhu-Sangha (Monastic Community). The Ariya-Sangha is most worthy; these are people who have made great progress on the path, have reached at least the first level of Awakening. The Bhikkhu-Sangha is like a school that trains people to become Ariyans but actually lets in monks and nuns when they still have little attainment. It is actually the monks and nuns who are readily recognized as a Sangha thought their distinctive attire. As such the Bhikkhu-Sangha not only sustantially includes the Ariya-Sangha, but nuns and monks collectively or individually symbolize it, even if sometimes much as a piece of plaster sitting on a modern altar might symbolize the Buddha.

The Sangha is the easiest Gem to develop a relationship to … if you can find it! This is a big problem in the West, the Sangha (either kind) is pretty meager. However, this relationship is important for a number of reasons. First, the Sangha is a wonderful source of living breathing inspiration and teaching (the Buddha said that hanging out with admirable friends is the entirety of Buddhist practice since it inspires one to the rest). Second, their code of conduct actually defines the structure of the entire Buddhist community.

Next week I will talk about ritual and bows as means to develop awe. The week after that I would like make suggestions about how to find and cultivate connections with Sangha and Buddhist community in your area. In the meantime keep posting comments and questions.

The Buddhist Child in a Nutshell

April 2, 2013

Uposatha Day, Last Quarter Moon, April 3, 2013

threewalnutsLast week I outlined a gradual course of practice beginning with the Refuges and generosity and ending with samadhi, a course that gives a much broader and well-rounded perspective on practice than we are generally used to in the west, but most of which is much more familiar in Asia, and in any case comes directly from the horse’s mouth. After my post appeared an astute parent recognized the implications this course might have for Buddhist education for children and emailed asking if I might post something about teaching Buddhism to children. I would like to begin this topic herewith.

First I should mention an unsettling aspect of most of Western Buddhism: We don’t know how to involve our kids! Western centers are notoriously child-unfriendly. This should be astonishing because Buddhism over the last 100 generations has always involved children, ever since Rahula, the Buddha’s son, became a novice monk at age 7. How hard can it be to get a handle on this?

Sometimes it is a matter of attitude. I have heard some Buddhist parents say that their intention is to let their kids grow up so that then they can make up their own minds whether to become Buddhists or not. Personally this viewpoint puzzles me; it seems presuppose that we are each endowed with a degree of rationality and free-thinking that can be preserved in a pristine state through childhood and then let loose on the world. A free thought is in fact a rare thing; I am not sure I’ve had one for weeks. The success of the marketing industry makes clear how impressionable each of us is, suckers and chumps from toddlerhood  for the most irrational of influences.

The best any father or mother could wish for her or his child is that he or she be exposed to the healthiest, most wholesome influences possible, those that are maximally conducive to the development of personal happiness, of kindness and compassion toward others, and of wisdom all around. We as initially non-Buddhist adults are generally drawn to Buddhism because we recognize that it has exactly these qualities, and then we find we must persevere against our own upbringings to realize these qualities in ourselves. Our children are already such  easy marks for the many offensive influences running through our society that there is a certain urgency about making the values, world view and wisdom of the Buddha an integral part of their upbringing.

CoreFlowerI think this puzzling aspect of Western Buddhism arises from a far too narrow focus in our practice and understanding of Buddhism. This narrow focus not only shuts our children out of participation but inhibits our own development as well-rounded Buddhists as well. The realization of this is my reason for writing the series/ebooklet on “Buddhist Religiosity,” to try to instill a richer, more complete and holistic sense of what Buddhism is … without sacrificing a smidgen of rationality, free thinking or wisdom in the process. As I have described in this series, well rounded Buddhism is like a flower, while much of Western Buddhism is like the stem of a flower, or maybe just the upper third of the stem. The stem, the Path proper, culminating in meditation practice, is the most intense practice and tends not to be a draw for children. The rest is fun and more interpersonal, and provides a strong support for the more intense practice also for adults.

I propose that I go through the gradual path to discuss how each point in turn can be developed in the young, and even in adults. Recall that the steps are as follows:

Refuge in the Triple Gem.

Development of generosity.

Development of virtue.

MeditatorFlowerThe heavens, that is, an understanding of the transcendent dimension of our life and practice.

The drawbacks, degradation and corruption of sensual passions, that is, an understanding of the downside of samsara, the soap-operatic quality of conventional life.

The rewards of renunciation.

At this point the mind is already “ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elated and bright,” but we might continue with what Western Buddhists are most likely familiar with:

The Four Noble Truths.

Right View, Right Resolve.

Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood.

Right Effort, Right Mindfulness,Right Samadhi.

Next week I will write about children might develop awe for the awesome, for the Triple Gem, the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. I hope as we go through these points that parents post comments with their own ideas and experiences or confusion in working with these areas. I hope to focus on practical tips.