Wheel of Dhamma Children's Meditation Courses

Dhamma Siri - Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center
Kaufman, Texas, USA
Bodhi Leaf
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Bodhi Leaf    Upcoming Children's Anapana Courses    Bodhi Leaf
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One Day Children's Courses

  • Saturday - Sunday, June 8 - 9, 2013 - Teens from years 13 to 17
    Dhamma Siri - Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center, Kaufman, Texas, USA
    Registration closes Saturday June 2, 2012

  • Saturday - Sunday, July 6 - 7, 2013 - Children from years 8 to 12
    Dhamma Siri - Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center, Kaufman, Texas, USA
    Registration closes Saturday June 23, 2012

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Bodhi Leaf    Register / Apply    Bodhi Leaf
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Step 1:   Read the registration guidelines before applying

  • Please read the Code of Conduct for Children's Courses before applying.
  • Please read the Parent / Guardian Information before applying.
  • Please leave all writing materials, books, games, cassette players, etc. at home.
  • One form per course
    Submit a separate form for each course.
  • One form per child
    Each child must submit their own application - one form per child.
  • Changing courses
    If, after submitting a course application, you wish to change your original course date for a different one, please submit a new application.


Step 2:   Fill out and submit the application form via email

  • Children's courses require pre-registration.
  • To apply for a course, choose the course from the Childrens Course section on the course schedule and click Apply.
  • Complete and submit the online form. This requires both the student and the parent to complete their own sections.
  • After we receive the completed application form, we will review the application and contact you.

If you have any questions, you may contact the children's course registrar at Childrens-Course@siri.dhamma.org or call at 1-972-692-3244.

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Bodhi Leaf    Introduction    Bodhi Leaf
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Dear Young Friend,

Children's one day meditation courses at Dhamma Siri are exclusively for children and teens between the ages of 8 to 17. Children interested in a course must read the code of conduct and timetable below very carefully and complete the required medical emergency form and application form. Parents must complete the permission form and return it with your application. After we receive your completed application and permission forms, accepted students will receive a letter of welcome to attend the course.

During a children's course, you will learn how to practice Anapana meditation - awareness of respiration - along with the five "promises" or precepts. These courses have been specifically designed for children. You will have the chance to practice Anapana meditation with guided instructions in the meditation hall for periods of up to 30 minutes. These sessions are mixed with story and discussion sessions, break periods and games and art activities throughout the day.

In the words of some children who have completed similar meditation courses at other Vipassana centers around the world:

"I learned that I like meditating because it makes me feel relaxed."

"I like this course because I like playing outside, playing with clay. We also did tie-dye. I also like this course because it seems like I’m at home and the food is so good"

"At school if I need to concentrate on what the teacher is doing or saying I can use Anapana. And if I am mad and angry I can use Anapana."

"I think meditation is very important in this busy world because it helps us to maintain a stable state of our mind and also it helps us to do our work with right understanding."

Adults who have completed a ten-day course can apply to volunteer during the children's and teens' courses. Help is needed in the kitchen, as well as with leading activities for the children.

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Bodhi Leaf    Code of Conduct    Bodhi Leaf
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Code of Conduct for Children's Course

Learning to practice Anapana meditation is very valuable because it helps you to become a better person. Practicing Anapana meditation will help you to train your mind to become concentrated and calm. This will make your mind strong so that you will be able to avoid doing or saying things that are hurtful or harmful to yourself and to others. This strength of mind will help you to feel happier and more peaceful. Practicing Anapana and learning to concentrate will help you to become the master of your mind.

To help you succeed in practicing Anapana meditation it is important that you do your best to follow the instructions that you will be given during the course. While you are at the course, it is also important that you agree to follow the Code of Conduct written below. In the same way that a house needs a good foundation to support it, so the practice of Anapana needs a good foundation. This good foundation for Anapana is built by following the Code of Conduct. It will help you to avoid performing actions that are harmful or hurtful to yourself and others.

During the first meditation session at the course you will be asked to repeat the following five vows or precepts. These are written in bold and underneath each is an explanation. Please read them carefully so that you will understand what you are saying when the time comes:

  • I shall abstain from killing
    I promise to try to treat all beings kindly and not kill them or harm them in any way.

  • I shall abstain from stealing
    I promise to take only what is given to me and not take anything which belongs to others without permission.

  • I shall abstain from a life of misconduct
    I promise to treat other boys and girls as if they were my brothers or sisters or best friends.

  • I shall abstain from speaking lies, harsh words, backbiting, etc. which will harm others
    I promise to speak truthfully, kindly and gently, and not to tell lies or to say hurtful things to anybody or about anybody.

  • I shall abstain from taking any intoxicant
    I promise not to take any alcohol, drugs or intoxicants, but to keep my mind clear.

At the bottom of your application form you will find a question that asks if you agree to try to follow this Code of Conduct while you are at the one-day meditation course site.

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Bodhi Leaf    Timetable    Bodhi Leaf
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One-Day Course Timetable

Time Period Activity
9:45 Registration
10:15 Orientation with Group Leaders
10:30 Anapana and the 5 Promises
11:30 Lunch and Play
12:15 Meditation Session 1
12:45 Story and Discussion
1:00 Art Activity
1:45 Meditation Session 2
2:15 Small Groups
2:30 Snack and Play
3:15 Meditation Session 3
3:45 Story and Questions
4:15 Metta Practice
4:45 Writing Activity
5:00 Course Ends

  

Overnight Course Timetable

Time Period Activity
SATURDAY
12:00 - 2:00 PM Course registration / Lunch / Children settle in dorms
12:30 PM Lunch is served
2:30 PM Welcome & orientation talk for children and parents
3:00 PM Course begins in Meditation Hall
3:45 PM Activities
4:15 PM Meditation Hall & Checking
5:00 PM Dinner, free time
6:00 PM Meditation Hall
7:00 PM Games
7:30 PM Meditation Hall (Review Discussion & Open Questions)
8:30 PM Back to dormitories
9:15 PM Lights Out

 

SUNDAY
7:00 AM Wake up & physical activity
7:30 AM Meditation Hall
8:00 AM Breakfast & Activities
9:30 AM Meditation Hall
10:00 AM Activities
11:00 AM Meditation Hall & Checking
12:00 Noon Lunch, Writing / Drawing Activity & Clean-up
1:15 PM Meditation Hall Closing Discourse & Metta
2:00 PM Clean-up Dormitories
2:30 PM Course ends after clean-up

 

FAREWELLS

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Bodhi Leaf    Information for Parent or Guardian    Bodhi Leaf
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General Information Sheet for Children and Teenagers’ Courses
as taught by S. N. Goenka

In a time of worldwide social transition and upheaval, more and more people throughout the world are seeking concentration, purification and peace of mind through the practice of Vipassana meditation. Vipassana means "to see things as they really are" and is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation. Many come to Vipassana later in their lives, wishing they had found this technique sooner because it is so effective in learning the art of living peacefully and harmoniously.

The ideal time to begin the first steps of this mental training is in childhood when children as young as eight years old can easily learn the technique of Anapana meditation. Anapana is the first step in the practice of Vipassana meditation. It is the observation of natural, normal respiration, as it comes in and as it goes out. Anapana is a simple technique that helps develop concentration of the mind. It is easy to learn, objective and scientific. Observation of the breath is the ideal object for meditation because it is always available, and it is completely non-sectarian. Anapana is very different from techniques that are based on artificial regulation of the breath. There are no rites or rituals involved in the practice or presentation of Anapana and it is presented in a non-sectarian format. This approach is traced back to the Buddha, who rediscovered and taught this technique 2500 years ago. The Buddha never taught a sectarian religion; he taught Dhamma—the way to liberation—which is universal. Following this tradition, this technique is presented in a totally non-sectarian approach. For this reason, it has had a profound appeal to people of all backgrounds, of every religion or no religion, from every part of the world.

Besides helping them to calm and concentrate their minds, Anapana helps children to better understand themselves and how their minds work. As they learn to calm and concentrate their minds, they gain mastery over their impulses and actions. They develop an inner strength that helps them to choose right and appropriate actions over wrong actions. This is a natural byproduct of the technique. For this reason, Anapana provides them with a tool to deal with the fears, anxieties, and pressures of childhood and adolescence. Because of its simplicity, they find the technique easy to practice and understand and they appreciate its scientific and universal nature.

Over the past 15 years, hundreds of Anapana courses have been conducted exclusively for children around the world. These courses have yielded substantial benefits for the thousands of children who have attended them. Many of them have experienced a positive change in their outlook, behavior and attitude. Many have found their ability to concentrate has improved and that their memory has strengthened. And above all, these children have acquired a tool that is of immense value to them for the rest of their lives.

Children are, by nature, active and enthusiastic, with an eagerness to learn and explore. For this reason, it is appropriate to offer them an opportunity to explore themselves and their mind with all its hidden faculties, latent abilities and subtle complexities. Learning Anapana plants a wholesome interest in self-introspection and meditation, which may open an entirely new dimension of life for them later on.

There are two courses offered, grouped by ages. The children’s course is for children ages 8 to 12 years old. The teenagers’ course is for teens ages 13 to 16 years old. Courses are generally two to three days in length. One-day courses may also be offered. Parents or guardians who have completed a ten-day course with S. N. Goenka or his assistant teachers are welcome to stay at the center untill the course is over. They will be following a different schedule of meditation than the children and will have opportunities for Dhamma service. Other parents and guardians who are dropping off their children are welcome to stay during the registration time but will then leave the center until the course is over.

During the course, meditation instructions are given by S. N. Goenka via audio and videocassette. In addition, there may be other activities such as art, story telling, games, journal writing and service activities. On teenagers’ courses there are longer periods of meditation and of noble silence. On all these courses, children are assigned counselors who support and guide them and make sure their needs are taken care of during the course.

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Bodhi Leaf    Serving a Children’s Course    Bodhi Leaf
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Adults who have completed a ten-day course can apply to volunteer during the children's and teens' courses. Help is needed in the kitchen, as well as with leading activities for the children.

To apply to serve a children’s course, adults need to apply and be accepted to the course. Additionally, adults must have a background check to be at on site during a children's course.

To apply to serve a course, please complete the following steps:

  • Step 1: Click here to download the server application forms.
  • Step 2: Click here to download the background check form.
  • Step 3: Step 3: Complete both forms and email or fax to the Children's Course registrar. Fax or email is the best option; if you cannot fax or email, you can also mail the completed forms to the address below.

Fax: 1-972-692-3244
Email: Childrens-Course@siri.dhamma.org
Mail: PO Box 7659, Dallas, TX 75209

All adults onsite during a Children’s Course must complete and submit these forms one week prior to the start of the course.

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* Indicates links to external websites


  Registration, Information & Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 7659
Dallas, TX 75209, USA
Tel:  1-972-962-8858
Fax: 1-972-346-8020
registration@siri.dhamma.org

Last updated May 8, 2013
  Center Contact:
10850 County Road 155A
Kaufman, Texas 75142, USA
Tel:  1-972-962-8858
Fax: 1-972-932-7868
info@siri.dhamma.org

Suggestions:  webmaster@siri.dhamma.org

 



Bodhi Leaf    May all beings be happy!    Bodhi Leaf