Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

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Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:05 pm

I was asked to read something of my choosing to the pupils at school. The librarian said I could choose any book I wanted. I chose Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Wings to Awakening.

The pupils generally didn't enjoy it and the librarian looked almost angry at ne for not choosing a fiction book, I suppose.

Thought I'd share to see if it induced some Dhamma conversation here
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:31 pm

she should of been more specific :)
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:30 pm

the librarian looked almost angry at me for not choosing a fiction book


Well, you could have pointed to a few passages that would have helped them with that particular problem...
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:11 am

Greetings,

Mawkish1983 wrote:I was asked to read something of my choosing to the pupils at school. The librarian said I could choose any book I wanted. I chose Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Wings to Awakening.

My first thoughts here are cautionary, in relation to religion being presented in school without parental permission nor the ability to "opt out".

Something like that could cause trouble if parents were to complain.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:My first thoughts here are cautionary, in relation to religion being presented in school without parental permission nor the ability to "opt out".
Religious education is compulsory here, so I cannot imagine that being an issue.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:38 am

Greetings,

Good to hear... even if the experiment might have failed, it shouldn't backfire on you personally.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:...even if the experiment might have failed...
Hmm, it might have done, but I hope some of what I read will bury itself deep into the memories of some of the children so in the future they may be more inclined to do some Dhamma study of their own. I don't know. One of the boys did ask me later what it was I was reading, so I told him. Whether he was genuinely interested or not... I don't know.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby danieLion » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:08 am

I'm sure it's put me to sleep a time or two also (I'm technically not a child).
;)
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Kenshou » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:16 am

While I'm sure your intentions were good I'm not really surprised. It's more of a study guide than something that's good to present aloud to people who don't know anything about the subject.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:29 am

What are the ages of the children? If they are fairly young, there is always:

http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Siddhartha ... 0861713753

which has lots of pictures and is meant for a young audience.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:01 am

David N. Snyder wrote:What are the ages of the children?
From 11 to 18. It's a very academic school and the pupils are generally well read.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:04 am

Kenshou wrote:It's more of a study guide than something that's good to present aloud to people who don't know anything about the subject.
Yes I suppose that's right. I mainly used the book because it has some good suttas in and I explained the background a bit before reading. I can see why it wasn't well received.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Dan74 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:16 am

I haven't read Wings to Awakening but one of the key points I think is how something is read. I mean it generally has to be a very vibrant energetic, even passionate reading to keep modern kids awake.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:47 am

Dan74 wrote:...it generally has to be a very vibrant energetic, even passionate reading to keep modern kids awake.
I don't believe 'modern kids' are so different from the children of previous generations with respect to attention span. Indeed, the issue of motivation was addressed at the turn of the previous century (the 20th) in UK educational literature.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:51 am

Hi Mawk,
Mawkish1983 wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:What are the ages of the children?
From 11 to 18. It's a very academic school and the pupils are generally well read.


Every year I give a talk to our Year 10 students at the Christian school where I work. I've got a standing invitation from the school Chaplain to talk to the 16-year-olds about Buddhism. The theme is "death and dying" and fits in with a personal development unit that looks at how different religions approach death and dying. Although its also an academic school, I am very careful with how I present the Dhamma and focus on stories from the canon and the messages within those stories. One year I focused on the story of the Bodhisatta before his enlightenment and last year I focused on the story of Kisagotami. However academic the students are, I think it would be a rare student who would find a sutta reading or the reading of a scholarly work on the Dhamma of interest.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:26 pm

Ben wrote:However academic the students are, I think it would be a rare student who would find a sutta reading or the reading of a scholarly work on the Dhamma of interest.
I found that out the hard way. If the opportunity re-arises, may I ask your advice Ben?
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Alobha » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:42 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:What are the ages of the children?
From 11 to 18. It's a very academic school and the pupils are generally well read.


I'd go for "Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?" from Ajahn Brahm. Gives people quite a couple of good laughs and provides a good load of profound wisdom. You may just want to pick people up from where they are. I think Similes and stories one can easily imagine work very well for children and teenagers.

Ben wrote:Every year I give a talk to our Year 10 students at the Christian school where I work. I've got a standing invitation from the school Chaplain to talk to the 16-year-olds about Buddhism. The theme is "death and dying" and fits in with a personal development unit that looks at how different religions approach death and dying. Although its also an academic school, I am very careful with how I present the Dhamma and focus on stories from the canon and the messages within those stories. One year I focused on the story of the Bodhisatta before his enlightenment and last year I focused on the story of Kisagotami. However academic the students are, I think it would be a rare student who would find a sutta reading or the reading of a scholarly work on the Dhamma of interest.
kind regards,

Great! you must be doing really well if you've got a standing invitation :smile: Any insight what you find most important for talking to younger and non-buddhist audiences about Buddhism Ben? :smile:
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:23 am

Actually these suggestions could turn out to be very helpful indeed. I've been asked to supervise a 'Buddhist society' at the school. There is already a Christian Union, a Muslim Society and a Hindu and Sikh Society. A couple of the boys (it's an all-boys school) have approached me and asked if I would supervise their Buddhist Society. I know one of the boy's parents come from Sri Lanka because have have discussed some of the cultural aspects of his practice in the past. I am not sure how much demand there is for a Buddhist society at the school, but in order to be inclusive I will likely have to brush up on my Mahayana texts.

(Context for those who don't know, I'm a physics teacher at a prestigious single-sex (boys) grammar school).

It's likely I'll avoid in-depth study of the Satipatthana Sutta (a la Analayo), so advice about specific texts that might be worth using would be really appreciated, as would any references to any child-friendly (?) guided meditations.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:36 am

Greetings,

Mawkish1983 wrote:as would any references to any child-friendly (?) guided meditations.

A live Punabhava cover of Malcolm Huxter's metta meditation (as originally heard on Buddhanet) might be the go.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Wings to awakening puts children to sleep

Postby Aloka » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:05 am

so advice about specific texts that might be worth using would be really appreciated, as would any references to any child-friendly (?) guided meditations.




Hi Mawkish,

There's a Buddhist Studies section for secondary schools as well as other resources at Buddhanet which might be useful for you to browse.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/index.htm

It includes a meditation class http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/medclass/index.htm

with kind wishes

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