Buddha was a man who embarked on the search for truth and experienced enlightenment. Buddhism is a faith with an emphasis on each individual looking at and thinking about our own lives. Buddhism shows us how to understand ourselves and how to cope with our daily problems. Buddha believed that all the sorrow of the world was caused by selfishness. He believed the secret to life is love. This month, we share delightful Zen stories and focus on the basics of the teachings of Buddha. See Entire Lesson Here
The Story of Buddha
Craft: Pipe Cleaner Lotus Flowers
Symbolism of Craft: The lotus flower is a well-known symbol of Buddhism. Its growth from the mud to above the water’s surface represents the journey from darkness to light. To explain this concept to a child you could make this simple lotus flower using pipe cleaners. It makes a pretty decoration, or could be given away to family and friends. You could also add beads to the pipe cleaners, which is a great fine motor activity for little hands.
Materials: 5 pipe cleaners of any color
Instructions: make circles out of 4 pipe cleaners then twist to make figure eights. Use 5th pipe cleaner to attach the four figure eights together. Bend half circles upward to create flower.
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The Farmer's Luck
Craft: Origami Fortune Teller
Symbolism of Craft:
Japanese origami began sometime after Buddhist monks carried paper to Japan during the 6th century. Paper disintegrates easily so no early origami forms are left for historians to study. Paper is very important to Buddhists because it is how they delivered the message of their scripture. Also, the Japanese use paper, and origami – most notably cranes – in many sacred ceremonies.
The Origami Fortune Teller should be developed to share spiritual truths with the children. After it is created, the child may write short words of inspiration under the folds, i.e. You are Love, You are Joy, You are Peace, etc. Or, for older children, they may write longer Buddhist sayings.
It is also a great way for kids to connect with one another and have fun!
Material: 1 sheet of colored paper, cut into 8x8” square.
The Heavy Load
Craft: Paracord Prayer Beads
Symbolism of Craft: Beads become prayer beads when making and using them is part of a meditation practice. If you string beads as prayer beads, then each time you touch them you’ll remember their purpose. In that moment, you will feel your feet on the floor and your grounding on the earth. If you continually bring small moments of silence into your life, you will stay in the present moment, and your opportunities to notice spiritual connections will grow.
Prayer is a way of being silent and knowing that God is within, and God is taking care of our every need.
Prayer beads can be made with beads on pipe cleaners or cord or wire or Paracord.
Make sure the children attached a good or kind thought to each knot/bead.
The Greatest Thing
Craft: Generosity Worksheet
Symbolism of Craft: Every karmic ‘debt’ or ‘seed’ from the past brings with it an opportunity to grow in love and understanding. As the proverb says ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. Usually we learn most, and grow most, through difficulties and suffering. But instead of grumbling and being unhappy when we have to face difficulties, we can learn to make the best of them and thank God for every opportunity. When we suffer, we can learn important lessons. Everything that happens in our life is an opportunity to help us grow closer to God and more loving to others.
Instructions: Use the worksheet to write down what you can do for others with each of your senses
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