The Fourth Form had a wonderful opportunity to enhance their understanding of Buddhism with a trip to the Cambridge Buddhist Centre on the first day of term. In the Michaelmas term, the children had an introduction to the key Buddhist concepts and practices. The Buddhist hosts at the Centre built on this by answering the children’s questions and putting across the ‘flavour’ of a modern Buddhist life.
The children were fascinated to see the beautiful shrine and to feel the sense of calm in the shrine rooms. The children examined different Buddhist artefacts and learnt about the significance of each element of the shrine; the flowers are a reminder of the important concept of impermanence, and the candles are a reminder of how following Buddhist principles can be a light to follow one’s path through life. The hosts explained their own journeys towards becoming Buddhist, and what living as a Buddhist means to them. The children had many curious and imaginative questions and discovered many new things about Buddhism. They took part in walking and breathing meditations and many of them commented on the depth of meditation they could achieve in such a serene atmosphere.
Mrs Fran Hawkins, Religious Studies Teacher, explained, “The Buddhists were very impressed with the children’s knowledge of Buddhism and the interesting questions that they asked. They particularly commented on how wonderful it was that the pupils were already familiar with mindfulness practices from what we do in school, so they were very focused with their attention to the breath.”