Tan Chew Peng
(father of 5 year old Bo Yi):
Studying at the Young Learners’ Meadow for the past nine months, not only did Bo Yi have a chance to receive a Buddhist education, but we as his parents also experienced the Buddha’s teaching profoundly: Not fighting, not being greedy, not seeking, not being selfish, not seeking personal benefits and not lying are the first gateway on our path to Buddhism.
Whenever Bo Yi was memorizing the Great Compassion Mantra, his two sisters would naturally pick up the memorization; similarly for other materials like
Standards for Students, the Heart Sutra, the
Great Learning, the Book of Common Essential Manners, the Shurangama Mantra, and so on.
Before going to sleep, the three siblings sit in meditation, looking as beautiful and awesome as if they were really cultivators… As their parents, we feel so pleased. We are grateful to all the teachers who have done their best to teach our children. Amitofo!
Note: Their whole family are complete vegetarians and the children have been vegetarians from birth.Bo Yi will be joining Standard One next year (one year ahead of his age group) as he sat for an assessment by the Malaysian Education Board which promotes bright children to primary school before they are 7 years old. Tan Bo Yi is the live wire of the class. He is never stingy with his comments, jokes and ideas. We will all miss him.
Chu Soo Fang
(Aunt of Bo Yi):
One morning, Alice and I were watching our children sitting in meditation, through the classroom window; I felt great joy for them. The twelve children are really lucky to have a chance to learn the Dharma while so young, in such a good place, and to have teachers who take the children’s benefit as their only concern. Yuan Ze is five, and this is her first time at school. She has become much more lively and talkative. Knowing that I’m going to write this essay, she urged me, “Remember to write that I love the temple and the Young Learners’ Meadow….”
The Young Learners’ Meadow is different from ordinary kindergartens. The children are not only taught knowledge, but virtue which is emphasized even more. For example, every day they bow to the Buddhas, sit in meditation and recite the Sutras. Propriety, righteousness, incorruptibility and a sense of shame are gradually imprinted in their minds and naturally applied in their daily lives. Yuan Ze’s father and I never imagined that she could memorize the
Standards for Students, the Book of Common Essential Manners, the Great Compassion Mantra, the
Heart Sutra…etc. Once, when my husband and I were arguing, suddenly Yuan Ze said, “Mom, we have to reconcile after we have offended others; when offended, we should practice forgiveness.” Feeling embarrassed and silly, both of us ended up making peace right away.
After attending the Young Learners’ Meadow, Yuan Ze understands more Buddhist principles. She is happy that she has been a vegetarian since she was in the womb. When she receives red packets, she and her sister put the money in the donation box, instead of going to buy candies. Even though she can still be naughty, under the school’s influence her compassion has developed. One day Bo Yi (Yuan Ze’s cousin and classmate) found a dead grasshopper in the grass; he put some flowers by the grasshopper and with my three-year-old daughter, Zi Zhun, recited the Great Compassion Mantra—it was an elaborate funeral. Once when we were watching the TV news about a war, she asked, “There are so many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; how come people don’t request some of them to go help?” Their good roots are growing bigger and firmer at the Young Learners’ Meadow, which relies on the love and patient guidance of the Dharma Masters and teachers. All the parents feel very grateful.
Note: All three children are vegetarian from birth and have never touched meat. The first time they were offered cake for lunch, they dared not touch it, saying that cakes have eggs—only the ones at home have no eggs. It takes real “samadhi” for young children to say that!