Monday, June 18, 2007

Paramitas Review

In May I never got around to posting about the final few Dharma Schools. We had Wesak, and the Egg hunt, then just time for a review day before the day of skits. On review day, we talked a little about Upaya, or skillful means. Different things work for different people, and we chose that opportunity to make our meditation a chant, the Special Kanzeon chant. Kanzeon with the thousand arms uses skillful means to respond with compassion.

The girls decided they wanted to do a knockoff of a game show for our skit, which worked out well for me for the review. When we do this, the girls get to "compete" in the game show as we review, and then they present the game show to the adult sangha. They like the chance to test the adults.

We played Paramita Squares.

My co-teacher and I dated ourselves as we needed to spend time explaining who these celebrities are. J. Lo and Courtney were two that were possible Buddhists, or friendly-to-Buddhists. The rest are confirmed as following a Buddhist path. When we reviewed, I asked the questions, my co-teacher answered as the celebrity, and the girls said whether the answer was true or false. When we presented as a skit, the girls answered as the celebrities, and the adult contestants determined if the answer was true or false.

Each time we played, I got mixed up and asked the question before the contestant chose which celebrity was going to give the answer. We took the pressure off of the girls by reminding them that sometimes the celebrities would deliberately give the wrong answer in Hollywood Squares. They knew their stuff.

During the review, and the presentation, we got up to around #10. Kids and adults were happy to get little prizes.

These were the questions and answers:

1. There's nothing sweeter than this thing that helps us "cross over to the other shore." Paramita
2. When we make promises not to hurt others, this is the Paramita we are fulfilling. Sila
3. Someone spreads a rumor about you, but you don't get mad. Instead you say nothing and patiently wait for the truth to come out. Kshanti
4. The definition of this Paramita is "loving-kindness." Metta
5. The reward in this Paramita is to give without expectation of reward. Dana
6. Buddhist monks bowing full bows across California had a lot of this Paramita. Virya
7. Generosity without thought of self. Dana
8. A certain image of a female buddha with four arms, holding a book, a sword, and hands in meditation could be a representation of this Paramita. Prajna
9. This energy helps us endure the difficulties of spiritual practice and of life. Virya
10. May I be happy. May you be happy. May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from suffering. This is the practice of this Paramita. Metta
11. This is the wisdom of meditation, contemplation, of direct perception. Prajna
12. This kind of patience endures through hardship, is persistent and tolerant. Kshanti
13. The definition of this Paramita is skillful means or compassionate means. Upaya
14. Absorption or meditation. Dhyana
15. This Paramita is ethics, morality. Sila
16. Concentration or contemplation. Dhyana
17. Kanzeon with a thousand arms and infinite means to compassionately help in just the right way has plenty of this Paramita. Upaya

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