Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Decent Human Being - A subject of field trip

A field trip to Palri Buddha Park is in line with Education statement made by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, in facilitating necessary conditions for students to grow into being a decent and an elegant being outwardly and inwardly.
“I want to teach children how to make a fire, and that the source of water does not come from the tap. The aim of this education is to refine ourselves so that we will see the world in a different way so that we can help others, and through helping others make ourselves happy and content. Therefore, what we are learning is not to get jobs, but to refine and make ourselves elegant both outwardly and inwardly… To do that, I would like to create an atmosphere at the school, so that classes can be taught under a big tree, by the bank of a river, or in the paddy field, and so that lessons could involve getting up at three in the morning and watching the colour of the sky and listening to the sound of silence.” Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Thus, various activities were incorporated in the trip such as stories, meditation practice, the offering of prayer, smoke offering and karma yoga practice.
As a pre-activity, a story was shared about the importance of refining one’s motivation and aspiration in doing any task. It is about a woman beggar… ‘‘There lived an old woman, who was a beggar. She offered a tiny bowl of butter lamp, which she begged from her community. Her offering accumulated a great deal of merit as she did with pure devotion and positive intention.’’… Hence, through story students were made to reflect the prime importance of one’s own mind and motivation, be it simple offering of feast or time or service.
The Karma yoga practice was included in the trip as an important endeavor to carry out social service. This was to create an opportunity for students to accumulate merit and to learn to be socially responsible individuals. The garbage collection along the pilgrim sites was considered not as a labor-intensive social work, but it was deemed as a contemplative practice that has an environment, health, social and emotional causes. Again here, students were briefed, that their intention is so important in determining the impact of work they do, despite the nature of work. To add-on, another story was narrated about Yogi Milarepa’s first meet with his master Marpa in the field, where Milarepa was assigned to plough the field and that eventually turned into an auspicious meet for his great enlightenment.
We strongly believe that these are necessary conditions we educators must facilitate and help guide students to become a decent human being and contributing member of the society. These contemplation practices of cherishing the importance of MIND are incorporated in almost all LME activities, to nurture young people to be kind, compassionate and helpful beings.

To Experience Inexperience

How do we facilitate more interconnected, actively-involved, and life-long learning opportunities for students? 
One such opportunity is to take a field study tour. The tour has to offer wide ranges of experiences that are often memorable, fun and remain intact in one's memory. LME students and teachers took a field visit to Palri Buddha Park, Mukazor, Wamrong to learn about the Twelve Great Deeds of the Buddha. The trip is to facilitate to learn through various experiences such as travel, explore, listen, participate, observe and interact. It is also to help develop the values, knowledge, competencies, and practical life skills that will enable to live full and satisfying lives and to become contributing members of the society.