This year the Buddhist project turns three! Started in 2010 by the initiative of Ianic Camirand a Canadian from Montreal, the Buddhist project is still going strong. Classes are held all day every Friday by two Buddhist monks who travel up from Chiang Rai to teach the Half Day School Students.
The Buddhist project teaches the philosophy of moral and ethical thought, speech and action. The project teaches students about personal discipline, responsibility, and co-existence in society. The monks also like to use a variety of teaching skills from seminars to activities and video media. They also like to bring new things to class, such as this term they have begun teaching concepts of democracy. After lunch the monks have been using agricultural activities as an opportunity for the students to learn about agriculture but also to practice working together.
As a school with students from different religious backgrounds, Buddhism, Christianity and local traditional beliefs the monks communicate Buddhist philosophy in a way that is sensitive to this fact. Teaching in such a way that allows students of all faiths to participate and learn about what some would say are the basic and shared concepts of human kindness and compassion which are relevant to a diversity of beliefs.
Meditation, although often associated with Buddhism does not require one to be Buddhist to practice this skill of building concentration and peace in the mind. All students can and do benefit from this. The Buddhist monks will also teach Buddhist mantras to those who are Buddhist. Those who are not Buddhist do not have to participate, but can use this time to simply sit quietly and practice their meditation. The Buddhist project continues to bring confidence, guidance, hope and peace into the student’s lives.
DEPDC and all the students here would like to thank Ianic Camirand who brought us the Buddhist project and thank everyone who has generously supported the project. We wish you all a Happy New Year in this holiday season. May you all have the best of luck and joy for the upcoming year.