The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW) is an international FPMT project advancing Universal Education for Compassion and Wisdom secular education programs for people of all ages and cultures.
In this issue’s online content, FDCW is highlighting two FPMT centers that are finding innovative, contemporary and authentic ways to communicate the essence of the Dharma teachings to children and young people using its educational initiative 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life. You can read about Centro Yamantaka in Colombia below. Learn about Losang Dragpa Centre’s program here.
“I am now kinder to my friends at school and more respectful of the employee behind the counter of the shop and apologize if I do something I shouldn’t.” – Child participant at Centro Yamantaka
Centro Yamantaka has been running a successful 16 Guidelines-based children’s program for over three-and-a-half years with very positive results for the kids, families and the center. The project started because many of our students who have children wanted to share Dharma with their kids, but in a way that was fun and interactive. As director I realized that it was a missed opportunity to not offer activities for children, as at this age people are more open and receptive to these messages.
After I learned about the 16 Guidelines, I thought it would be an ideal framework for our children’s group, so we developed our program based on them with activities ranging from group discussions to outdoor excursions. The experience has been very positive as the kids begin to grasp what the different attitudes mean in their daily life, at least conceptually, and they also talk about the value of the 16 Guidelines in helping them solve conflicts. The 16 Guidelines also give us a way to introduce Buddhist concepts such as karma in a way that is accessible to them.
Among other benefits, the program has helped to strengthen the connections between the children and the facilitators who run the activities. For example, Sandra Guevara, who is the mother of one of the participants and also facilitates the workshops, shares that since her son started participating he is more aware of his actions and always tries to relate to one of the guidelines. Sandra feels very happy about this as she knows that he now has a tool to manage his life positively.
I would definitely encourage other centers to offer activities for children; it is a highly rewarding activity!
You can learn more about Centro Yamantaka on their website.
For more information on FDCW and its programs, or to sign up for newsletters and updates, visit www.compassionandwisdom.org.
In this issue’s print edition of Mandala, you can read about Kadampa Center’s Children and Youth Program in the United States.Tags: 16 guidelines, centro yamantaka, children's program, colombia, foundation for developing compassion and wisdom