Anyone who has ever watched children engage in their lives recognizes that seemingly simple every day actions are imbued with whole-hearted attention. The Dharma School brings these qualities forth and engages children in fundamental Dharma teachings.
Through various developmentally appropriate activities in art, music, play, storytelling, discussion and meditation, children will deepen their understanding of themselves and the world they live in. They begin to recognize and practice simple values such as listening attentively, paying close attention to their actions, developing the process of patience, giving, receiving and many other important teachings. As of 2014 we have enriched our classes by integrating the curriculum of Mindful Schools.
Level 1 – Ages 5-7 (5 by December 31)
In level one children are introduced to the Dharma teachings. We explore questions such as “How can hanging up our coat be an act of generosity?” “What is patience in relation to watching a plant grow?” “How is kindness reflected in how we eat our food?”
The children learn to meditate for very short periods of time and begin a process of reflecting on their thoughts, feelings and actions.
This class meets the first Saturday of every month from 10:15 am to noon beginning in October 2015.
Level 2 – Ages 8-11 (8 by December 31)
Children at this stage of their development begin to explore the Dharma teachings with greater sophistication. They will deepen their exploration of generosity, patience, kindness, truthfulness, mindfulness, concentration and how to practice them in their everyday lives.
Their growing capacity for self-reflection and for holding the perspective of others is the ground for deepening the practice of caring for the self and others.
Mindfulness and meditation are further developed as the children learn basic centering and how to follow their breath.
This class meets the second Saturday of every month from 10:00 to noon beginning in October 2015.
Each class (both levels) will include a snack.
Although it is not required for parents to be zen practitioners for their children to be involved in the dharma school, parents often find that joining the adults upstairs for a sitting period, service and Dharma talk while their children are downstairs is a great way of connecting with the same teachings their children are learning about.
If you would like to join us simply come upstairs after you have dropped your child off downstairs. If you have no sitting experience someone will be available to help get you situated.
If you have further questions about Level 1, please contact Elana Auerbach at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further questions about Level 2, contact Elanne Kresser at email@example.com.
The Dharma School teaching team for 2014/2015 includes Elana Auerbach, Patrick Riley, Elanne Kresser and Ron Kane.