Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Birthday Tribute to H. E. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche!

To celebrate the 58th Birth Anniversary of H.E. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, students and teachers of Lhomon Education at Chokyi Gyatso Institute organized few activities such as planting fruit saplings, reciting long life prayer for Rinpoche, practicing meditation, reciting sutra in English translated by 84000 project, offering butter lamps, and offering prostration. It is a humble tribute that equals to a firefly amongst the sun, the moon, the stars, and metropolitan lights to cherish and to celebrate Rinpoche.
The celebration is a time for students and teachers alike to reflect on how we celebrate Rinpoche’s profound vision and aspiration in small ways, yet in holistic manner. Sowe had a good discussion about how we generally celebrate birth day, normally with cutting cake, blowing off a candle, and bursting of balloons, etc. we questioned on how this practice helps environment, oneself and others in deeper level. After weighing all the pros and cons we concluded that we need to celebrate the birthday in holistic manner. We did some brainstorm on holistic celebration and came up with this list: tree planting, butter lamp offering, saying prayer, practicing meditation, reading sutra, offering prostration, offering flower, cleaning environment, cutting cake, dancing, also bursting balloons, etc.

Our approach is to celebrate the day by contributing few trees to the mother Earth; reading the words of the Buddha; being generous to self by contemplating; and saying long life prayer for Rinpoche. 
This short video is a tribute to honour Rinpoche! We dedicate our merit to all sentient beings. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tshering Chenmo cover song - Music Video as a fun part of learning and educating!

The lyric of the song goes ‘‘…Any thought in my mind, reminds me of dharma practice…’’and it ends ‘‘…I have equity in human birth, but not in fortune and merit, as I have to leave my own birth place and linger in others places...’’

This song is a melodious in tune and good in its message, that reflects the singer’s urge of wanting to visit the sacred place of dharma and the land of Guru Padma Jungney, to practice the Dharma. However, she/he is being in the Samsara has the responsibility to take care of her/his son and old parents and that makes her/his wish of Dharma practice impossible.
As the song melodiously ends, she/he complains, that it is unfortunate and less in merit of her/him not being able to use the fortunate human birth for Dharma practice. 

As we have shared in our last post, the singing of song and playing music are fun part of study and it is considered as an offering. We hope to use music as a medium to educate our students and other people through composition and music videos. The profound concepts such as interdependence, inclusiveness, karma, kindness, etc. can be taught through the music. 

Music is a social art. It enhances team work, cooperation, and brings people together. Today’s social media are filled with music and videos. Many young people love singing and listening to music. It is a trend! Why we educators don't take advantage of it? 

With this we would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Simon Thomas for your time and effort in raising funds to buy some instruments for LME students. We also sincerely thank the individual donor for your generous contribution.

Let us not forget the team Misty Terrace. This music video is outcome of inspiration from the team (Tshering Chenmo music video). Thank you Mr. Tandin Wangchuk (Misty Terrace) and your wonderful team mates.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mindfulness Camp Participants (Teachers), Making differences in their Schools!

Students practicing sitting meditation, Gomdar Central School 
The 4th Annual Mindfulness camp was held at Chokyi Gyatso Institute in Dewathang from 7th to 13th January 2018.

As a result of the camp, teacher participants actively initiated various mindfulness activities for teachers and students in their respective schools through establishing mindfulness club and School Based In-service Programme (SBIP). 

The mindfulness practice is integrated in a week long value orientation programme in few schools including Karmaling Higher Secondary School and Pemathang Lower Secondary School at the beginning of their academic session (2018). On a regular basis, all the teachers who took part in the camp do few minutes of practice with the students every day before they begin their lessons in the class.
Mindfulness program at Pemathang Lower Secondary School

A participant from Arekha Middle Secondary School, Chukha district integrated the mindfulness practice during their lunch time to encourage students to eat mindfully, to make meal offerings, and to sit for few minutes of practice. The mindful walk is another practice Madam Dechen of the school encourages her students to do every morning after the assembly as they walk back to their class rooms.  For teachers of the school, Dechen was successful in initiating a 5 minute practice every before and after the staff meeting.
Students of Ura Central School practicing Karma yoga

Another participant, Madam Tenzin Dema of Ura Central School, Bumthang integrated the mindfulness practice in doing community services through the practice of karma yoga (work as practice). The Karma Yoga is a practice to apply the supreme methods for refining ones intention and motivation to carry out any service selflessly for the greater benefit of all sentient beings. With the help of Dema the peer helper club members did a mass cleaning in one of the local temples in Ura. On the other hand Dema also led the scout club members of the school to clean a local stream coinciding with the world water day.
LME students attending one day mindfulness camp
Recently, Ms. Sangay Wangmo, one of the past camp participants from Karmaling Higher Secondary School, Phuntshothang wrote a proposal to her school administration requesting to permit her to carry out Mindfulness training as a strategy for the disciplinary issues in the school. The school administration wholeheartedly accepted her proposal and she is now ready to commence her plan.
SBIP for teacher at Ura CS

Back at Chokyi Gyatso Institute a daylong mindfulness camp was organized for LME students, teachers and CGI lopons. More than 60 participants took part in the program. The program was organized to continue and emphasize the importance of mindfulness practice. It was to deepen their understandings of practice and to appreciate it as a part of themselves. It was also to introduce the existence of mind and the mindfulness techniques to newly enrolled students.
The mindfulness practice of 3-5 minutes is maintained on daily basis in the class. Besides daily practice, once a week students practice karma yoga as they do their social work in the Institute. The karma yoga practice is also integrated when the students are involved in volunteer works and social services in their community.

Students practicing walking meditation at Karmaling Higher S School

SBIP for Karmaling HSS Teachers
Karma Yoga at Local temple, Ura, Bumathang

Ura CSS, Photo session after the community services 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Appearance is not the conclusion - A short film

A man smiles and puts his hand on a door frame to balance himself. He is unsteady on his feet. As he smiles, he shows a set of dark, stained teeth. It looks like he has never brushed his teeth. He is wearing a black gho and a pair of old leather shoes with no socks and he looks like he has never washed.
"I am here to meet…" he says. As he speaks, his breath smells foul of alcohol…

To such an encounter if many of us don’t raise our eyebrows and prejudice, we should be proud of ourselves!

A short film acted by the students of Lhomon Education to convey a message that appearance can be deceiving. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A short film

 ‘‘When you meet people, you have to be more open-mind because preconception can be dangerous.’’ is the core message a short film ‘‘The Visitor’’ tries to convey.

The film will be uploaded soon!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Don't Forget the Soap

You play music in the class! It is not uncommon to observe students taping feet, moving bodies, clapping hands, and snapping fingers with the beats of the music. You can also see their lips pretending to sing and synchronize with the song. These are unspoken expressions of interest students have in the music.
The young students of Lhomon Education (LME) at Chokyi Gyatso Institute in Dewathang, Bhutan wrote and performed the song title ''don’t forget the soap'' with the help of Mr. Simon Thomas. The theme for the song is healthy living!

The song composition is a platform for students to consider music as means of learning and sharing their ideas; to learn and experience simple song writing skills; to consider music as fun part of life and also to approach music as an offering in essence and generous in its message and melody.
We would like to thank to Simon Thomas, Gary DysonBrian StevensBrodie Cass Talbott, for your help in production. Watch the video and share it!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The camp ends

‘‘In this materialistic time just to have little interest to look inside, contemplate inside, not getting distracted by outside and really looking inside is very important. It's worthwhile to spend our time and energy in it.’’                                                                                                --- Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

                               Photos and short video clips from the camp 
A week-long mindfulness camp at Chokyi Gyatso Institute, Dewathang ended on the 13th of January, 2018. The camp was an essential platform for introduction and foundation of mindfulness techniques offered to Bhutanese educators and others. Our goal was simply to give everyone a chance to experiment and explore the inner working of their minds so that they may benefit their students, community members, and others through their examples.
The camp was organized keeping intact the tradition of our profound and deep meditation practices from the Mahayana teachings. The camp’s content included meditation practice, teaching about meditation, practice techniques, mindful offering of butter lamps, selection of local agriculture produced, waste minimization, cooking, eating & walking, karma yoga (work as practice) & sharing of experiences. 
The camp was resourced by Chungtrul Jigme Tsheltrim Wangpo of Tharpaling Monastery, Bumthang, Khenpo Tshering of Chokyi Gyatso Institute (CGI) and Dr. Yang Gyeltshen of Lhomon Education. There were 54 camp attendees including organizers: 18 teachers, 3 lopens from CGI, 3 from Youth Development Fund (YDF), 6 civil servants, 3 from Sherubtse College, 2 youths, 3 parents, 9 Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative (SJI) youth interns and 7 SJI staff. 
The camp is an integral to SJI's education program (LME) conducted annually, primarily targeted for educators, community leaders, and others in collaboration with Chokyi Gyatso Institute (CGI), Dewathang.

‘‘If the teachers are interested in value of Mindfulness, this is a good sign for the future of Bhutan. If the interest of mindfulness grows at a grassroots level, then we will have hope for our nation. If not, we will become mindless. We will become insane, our country will soon be filled with greed and insanity people.’’                                                                     --- Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche