Wow what a day Amber class have had! I would just like to say how much I loved every second of today, it was a beautiful trip and you were all a dream to take!
When we first arrived at the Buddhist Centre, after climbing what seemed the longest hill we have ever climbed, we were greeted by Garava and Jordanna. We then headed into The Great Hall to have an introduction to Buddhism, in which we learnt that Buddhist do not believe in a God. We also learnt all about the symbols that are important in Buddhism called the Three Jewels:
- golden: The Buddha (what Buddha’s want to be)
- Blue: The Dharma (the Buddha’s teachings)
- Red: The Sangha (community of Buddhists)
Whilst we were in the Great Hall we learnt lots of other interesting facts on Buddhism including: cutting you hair is a symbol for leaving old life, Buddhas hands are symbols, touching the ground is a symbol of confidence, the Dhava is like angels and protectors.
The Great Hall
We then headed back to the Great Hall to finish our day off. We learnt all about what Buddhists practice and how karma is often misunderstood. Karma means that our actions have effects and we need to think about our behaviour, speech and our thoughts and how they can effect ourselves and others. Below are some skills that are taught by Buddhists
- Be kind, avoid unkind
- Generous, avoid ungenerous
- Content, not craving
- Truthful, avoid lies
- Awareness, not distracted
The Story of Buddha
We all then headed into a room with a huge picture displaying the Story of the Buddha. We started by learning that Shirdhava’s mum dreamt of white elephant sbefore he was born, representing that the baby would be special. When Shirdhava was born he was born into royalty in India. After he had been born he got up and took seven steps, on each step a lotus flower appeared, which was particularly special. His father then built three palaces for him, however he was still bored with his life. Therefore he snuck out in his chariot and saw the four sights on his way: old age, illness/ sickness, death and a holy man. The sights shocked him, he had never seen them before. Because of this, he decided to leave his home and leave all his possession behind and search for true happiness through a holy life. In an attempt to have full happiness he stumbled across this saying, “Starve your body, you will feed your mind. Starved himself” so he limited himself to eating one grain of rice a day.
After a while, Shirdhava decided to eat and he had some rice pudding. Whislt he ate, he sat under a tree, quietly, calmly and he decided to sit there until he learnt something. In the end her sat there for 7 days. But after those seven days he became enlightened an became Buddha (one who is awake). Whilst he was sat under the tree he did have doubts in his mind whilst sitting under the tree, but after a while these disappeared. He then went on to find friends and teach them about enlightenment (dharma).
After the Buddha died he was cremated and his ashes placed into eight pots. These pots were then distributed to different places in India, all in different buildings.
We then entered the book room in which we were able to spend a few minutes with each artefact investigating them. These included: the mani wheel, the Mala, Mantra beads, singing bowl, demon dagger, Vajra, diamond thunderbolt, double Vajra and the Stupa.