葉蓮花 文 (女 莊惠貽)
By Yap Lian Far ( Mother of Chung Hui-Yi)
It is truly wonderful that my child can study at the Young Learners’ Meadow. She is six. Originally she was in another kindergarten, and I never thought of transferring her to a new school. Moreover, she was shy and would have been afraid in a new environment. But after her tuition was paid in advance for the next year, my husband’s job changed, and then her core teacher left the school, which made transferring necessary.
Actually, I had been searching for a children’s classics reading class but my wish had not been fulfilled; so it is really superb that I can bring my child to study here.
Under the care and patience of the Dharma Masters, teachers and a voluntary loving aunt, my child has opened up gradually and no longer is scared, clings to her mother, or is picky about food.
Every day she is happy to go to school. After school, she always chants the
Standards for Students, the Heart Sutra, the Great Compassion Mantra, the book of
Common Essential Manners and the Meal Offering. Her sister and I can’t help but join in her resonant chanting. In order to create blessings for her sister, even though I’m a housewife, I have started a Classics Reading Class at home and take in neighborhood children. “Children need not understand the texts, but only recite them well.” Reading classics has drawn the three of us closer. Not only have they improved their vocabulary, pronunciation and memory, but I, reading along with them, have also improved my Chinese. Their characters have improved, and now they are gentler and more compliant in dealing with people and affairs.
I think it must be my child’s blessings from a past life that allow her to study at the Young Learners’ Meadow in Prajna Guanyin Sagely Monastery and finish kindergarten. Amitofo!
Her daughter used to be a very picky eater. Now, she polishes off all her
vegetables with a smile. Although not fully vegetarian, the family tries to stick to
a vegetarian diet now, after much encouragement from other parents.
Striving Against the Current —
Transformations of Self and Others
By Lim Wan Loong
(father of four-year-old Lim Zi Qing, whose mother is Teacher Chan)
Seeing my own child growing up from babyhood, I had this feeling: “In one way, this is a cause for joy, but in another, a matter for worry.” The joy is for her growing up; but I worry about whether I can provide the most appropriate environment for her education so that she may successfully become a whole and healthy person.
It is said that parents find it easiest to earn money to spend on their children. If our financial situation allowed it, we would all send our children to kindergarten. Once you start to search, you realize that there are all kinds: Montessori, Overall’s systems, after-school programs, elite kindergartens…. After a deeper investigation, I realized that actually they aim to prepare the children to be very “outstanding” competitors —fighting for merit, reputation, benefits and wealth.
Coincidentally, Prajna Guanyin Sagely Monastery established the Younger Learners’ Meadow, offering a program of both Buddhist Studies and Chinese Classics. After attending the school, my child has learned something —to sit in full lotus posture, to memorize the
Heart Sutra, Great Compassion Mantra, Standards for Students, The Great Learning and the
Doctrine of the Mean. She even recited the texts on stage. Her father could only exclaim: “How envious I am!” I studied the Chinese Classics after I was admitted to the Chinese Department of a university at the age of 20. While only 4, she has received a worldly and world-transcending education that covers the moral, intellectual, athletic, social, and aesthetic aspects. I realize my child’s blessings are many!
Moreoever, the educational environment at Prajna Guanyin Monastery is “uncontaminated.” Once they go back to the outside world, the children will face the flood of fighting, greed, seeking, selfishness, self-benefiting and lying. How can the children understand themselves and others, transform themselves and others? To strive against the tide requires our combined efforts!