1st Youth Meditation and Heart Sutra Reciting Class at Great Compassion Bodhi Prajna Temple
Great Compassion Bodhi Prajna Temple, a registered temple in Canada, is located in a quiet mountain area near Toronto. The temple practices and emphasizes the equal importance of the three methods of attaining wisdom: hearing, thinking, and cultivation. The abbot Master Miao Jing and the residence Master Miao Yin took refuge in His Holiness the 17th Karmapa to learn the Buddha-dharma and meditation. When the conditions matured a few years ago, the temple began taking on the great responsibility of spreading the Buddha-dharma in Canada.
The two Masters uphold the Buddha’s teaching that “all sentient beings have innate Buddha-nature and benevolence,” and believe that children must learn kindness, filial piety, morality, and sense of responsibility from a young age. So the Masters started holding youth summer meditation camp to let children naturally experience meditation in their daily conducts since 2014.
Starting from this year 2016, the temple held weekly meditation classes after the camp ended in order for the camp attendants to continue their learning and enhance their understanding of Buddhism. In the classes, in addition to teaching meditation, the Masters had interesting and engaging lesson plans to let children happily and correctly learn about morality the Chinese have long valued.
The classes aim to bring Buddha-dharma into everyday lives, instill a correct sense of morality, and open up children’s compassion. The classes also have time for writing and reciting the Heart Sutra. It is very interesting that although most of the students are second-generations in Canada with very little understanding of Chinese, yet after 12 classes the children could recite from memory the whole Heart Sutra.
We believe that the Heart Sutra holds immense blessing from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Therefore children could naturally connect with the wisdom of the Buddhas and open up their innate compassion. We have see many students loving their parents more, respecting others more, and being able to control their emotions more, and revering the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) sincerely. These are very encouraging results.
The Masters encourage parents to let their children recite and write sutras to calm their hearts and minds, to learn compassion, giving, and thoughts control through the Buddha-dharma. These qualities will be the corner stones to a successful life. We believe that these seeds of compassion will be a stream of purity and stability to the future society.