Hi my name is Seja. I am 10 years old. I live in Wisconsin, and my parents are originally from Sri Lanka. I will tell you about our meditation classes.
My meditation class is usually held once a month, on a Sunday. I get to see my family friends. The class takes place at one of the homes. A Buddhist priest comes to meditate with us and teaches us Buddha’s teachings. We call the priest a Sadhu.
When everyone arrives, we start the meditation. First, we take refuge in Buddha Dhamma Sangha. The first three lines are: “Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sam Buddhassa.” And we repeat that three times.
After that we recite the five Buddhist precepts, which are:
- I shall not kill.
- I shall not steal.
- I will not be greedy for worldly pleasures.
- I shall not lie.
- I will not take intoxicating substances.
Then we do a compassionate meditation. To begin, we say: “May I be well, happy, and peaceful. May I be free from hostilities. May I be free from afflictions. May I be free from distress. May I be capable to overcome all the difficulties in my life. May I live happily and in peace.” We start with ourselves and then wish the same for our parents, siblings, relatives, teachers, friends, and finally, for all the living beings.
After all of that I feel relaxed, calm, and happy. The priest also asks some questions. For example, he asks us to think about other kids around the world, and how hard it is for some of them to get food, clothes, go to school, and so much more. He says that we should feel fortunate for having food, clothes, a good school, etc.
I sometimes think that since I have resources that some people don’t have access to, I should take care of what I have and not waste anything. I should be grateful and not waste what I have, and also donate and help others in need whenever possible.
The priest sometimes gives us books to read. There is one he wrote that I really like. It is called, “Why Mama wasn’t worried.” It is a great story.
After we’re done with the formal part, we serve the priest Sri Lankan food. Until he is done, us kids play a little bit. When the priest is done, we eat next, and then the adults.
When everyone is done eating, the parents and the priest talk a little bit and then we all bow to the priest before he leaves.
This meditation class is very helpful to me. I learn a lot about many things. My favorite part of the class is serving the priest and doing the compassionate meditation.
Art and writing by Seja Kularatna, Age 10, Wisconsin.