A reading for a Scout event?

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A reading for a Scout event?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:13 am

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

Long time since I've posted here, sorry for the absence. I was wondering if anyone had any idea of what would make a good reading for a Scout event.

Some background: the Scout event is the annual district 'renewal of promise' event. All of the scouts from all divisions and units within the district will be there, and I have been asked to prepare a reading on the subject of 'diversity and overcoming challenge'.

I know this looks like I'm asking someone else to do my homework, but does anyone know any passages in the Pali canon (perhaps in the Dhammapada) which discuss diversity and/or overcoming challenge in a positive way without too much reference to the specifics of Theravada Buddhism? I would like the reading to be as accessible as possible, because there will be Christians, Muslims and Atheists at the event (and very few Buddhists!)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks

Mawkish1983
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby Monkey Mind » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:48 pm

When I was a Scout, I would be annoyed whenever someone read from the Bible. I assumed scouting was a secular activity, and I didn't understand why one scoutmaster in particular kept whipping out his Bible for every event. I had the same curiosity about sports.

As you have already described the audience as being interfaith, why force the issue of a Buddhist reading?

May I suggest a reading from Henry David Thoreau instead?
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:54 pm

On the subject of diversity you could ask why there are no gays present!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby daverupa » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:57 pm

I would use my personal understanding of the Dhamma to craft a piece on what sort of motives are appropriate & inappropriate for those in leadership positions, but I wouldn't just read something to these folk because they can do that on their own. With Scouting, I would try to report back from my advanced placements in the field of life, such as they were, and let the audience combine this with their own readings & experiences while they talked among themselves about what it means to craft a sustainable life of community and helpfulness.

Otherwise, it's just camping with friends.

If anything, I would use nature poetry from the T-Gathas to emphasize the trees and wilderness as occasions for contemplation and internal investigations.

lyndon taylor wrote:On the subject of diversity you could ask why there are no gays present!!


They're working on that, as it happens.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Monkey Mind wrote:When I was a Scout, I would be annoyed whenever someone read from the Bible. I assumed scouting was a secular activity, and I didn't understand why one scoutmaster in particular kept whipping out his Bible for every event. I had the same curiosity about sports.

As you have already described the audience as being interfaith, why force the issue of a Buddhist reading?

May I suggest a reading from Henry David Thoreau instead?

It's a thought, thank you. I'm not well enough read to know what's worth sharing though.
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:39 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:On the subject of diversity you could ask why there are no gays present!!

Who said there aren't? I'm in the UK. Homosexuality is not an issue here.
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:42 pm

daverupa wrote:I would use my personal understanding of the Dhamma to craft a piece on what sort of motives are appropriate & inappropriate for those in leadership positions, but I wouldn't just read something to these folk because they can do that on their own. With Scouting, I would try to report back from my advanced placements in the field of life, such as they were, and let the audience combine this with their own readings & experiences while they talked among themselves about what it means to craft a sustainable life of community and helpfulness.

Otherwise, it's just camping with friends.

If anything, I would use nature poetry from the T-Gathas to emphasize the trees and wilderness as occasions for contemplation and internal investigations.

I've started crafting something taking various short extracts and weaving them together. I was only asked to prepare this last minute; delegated from the top all the way down to me, and I would delegate it further except I don't see the scouts again until after the Easter break, by which point it is too late.
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby daverupa » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:43 pm

Here's some Cliffs Notes for Emerson's Nature, which may be helpful.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:44 pm

daverupa wrote:Here's some Cliffs Notes for Emerson's Nature, which may be helpful.

Thank you for your help
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Re: A reading for a Scout event?

Postby Anagarika » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:43 pm

Mawkish:

One good story told by Ajhan Brahm can have different applications, one being dealing with adversity and making the best of the moment you're in. A group of Scouts might enjoy the actors in this story and the subject.

Take a look, and see if this favorite from Ajahn Brahm's "Who Ordered this Truckload of Dung?" is helpful:

http://books.google.com/books?id=RQw10t ... ke&f=false
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