This book teaches values of mutual respect, kindness, generosity, and, also, organizing for labor rights. The message was a good one for Labor Day.
Our older children and youth (about 12 of them), as well as a couple of young adults and parents (about 6 of them), spent some time in the Big Room with Geshe Tenzin Chöphel Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher from Land of Compassion Buddha in West Covina. You can find other teachings by him here.
There are countless resources about Tara online, but we can point to some here. For example, a great overview can be found here, while the benefits of the practice are described here. There is also a practice guide available here. Though we did not practice it, her mantra is very simple. You can find one of the great contemporary Buddhist singers singing it here, and also performing it as a folk melody in a performance at Stanford here.
Geshe-la arrived to speak with us about how to work with our anxiety by paying attention to our minds and about how compassion and kindness help us live our best lives.
He gave those present ideas about working with anxiety and uncertainty in school and work, and he suggested that keeping ourselves busy and distracted all the time might not be ideal in terms of bringing about a happy life. He also suggested ways that kindness and compassion can be used in almost any circumstances to make the situation better.
As part of his visit, Geshe-la also taught everyone how Buddhists offer bowls of water steeped lightly with saffron to help center their minds and remind themselves of the importance of always acting out of generosity and love. Everybody really got into learning the practice. Some stayed as much as forty minutes after time to work with him.
This water was also blessed by Geshe-la for the benefit of the whole community.
On Sunday, September 9th, along with the waters others gathered from all over, our children and youth brought water from that adventure to be used for the Intergenerational Water Communion, which we undertook with the whole community during the Time for All Ages in the Sunday Service. Many of those children and youth who participated made a connection between offering water bowls the previous week and the mingling of waters in our community, which is fantastic.
The September 9th classroom time was divided between the young children in the Rainbow Room and Sandwich Day for all others.
The Rainbow Room children had the opportunity to hear the book Milo and the Moon / Milo y la Luna.
This book shows how sometimes when people hurt us they don’t actually mean to, and, regardless, how forgiveness and love are better because they help us feel happier and also help us connect more fully with others.