The fall term of Dharma School has concluded. Information about a second term will be out shortly.
Through stories and songs, art projects and games, discussions and ritual, children in our Dharma School are offered opportunities to deepen their understanding of themselves, the teachings of Buddhism, and the practice of the Dharma in their daily lives. We strive to navigate a Middle Way between a sense of the sacred, mysterious, and ceremonial, and the light-hearted songs-and-gamThrough stories and songs, art projects and games, discussions and ritual, children in our Dharma School are offered opportunities to deepen their understanding of themselves, the teachings of Buddhism, and the practice of the Dharma in their daily lives. We strive to navigate a Middle Way between a sense of the sacred, mysterious, and ceremonial, and the light-hearted songs-and-games side of life. The children learn to use tools to tackle the deeper questions, and have a good time doing it.
Dharma School is for children and young people ages 3-18 who are interested in Buddhism or who come from Buddhist homes. We do not require that either the family or the child identify as Buddhist, much less as a Soto Zen Buddhist. Some Dharma School students have no affiliation with Dharma Rain Zen Center outside of Dharma School. Acknowledging the validity of the spiritual path that their parents are on is an important part of supporting these children. We do ask that children have parental consent, that they are interested in Buddhism, and are willing to participate fully. Parents who are interested in Buddhism are encouraged to participate in Dharma Rain adult programs.
Because of Covid-19, the format of Dharma School will be different this year. For the fall term, we met on Zoom for 6 consecutive Sundays, September 13th-October 18th, from 9:30am to 10:15am. We’re planning a second term starting in January, but the form that takes remains to be determined.
Our students will be divided into three groups:
Mighty Oaks: Preschool through elementary
Spruce: Middle school
Doug Fir: High school
After singing, Spruce and Doug Fir will go to their own breakout rooms. The Mighty Oaks will have a choice of two activities. We’re hoping that this will allow children to select the activity that interests them and is most appropriate for them.
We also have a new theme for this year: Kanzeon Who Hears the Cries of the World. We feel that this theme is very relevant right now, as we live through the suffering caused by the pandemic, and address racial and social injustice, systemic discrimination and violence. As the Boddhisatva of compassion, Kanzeon meets our distress with compassionate wisdom. We can turn to her for support and guidance and we can strive to embody the compassion that she brings to the world. So we hope that our classes this year will address the world we live in right now, with compassion and courage.