Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Jul 25th
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Home Education Tzu Chi Academy Introduction to Teaching with Calm Thoughts Aphorisms

Introduction to Teaching with Calm Thoughts Aphorisms

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“Calm Thoughts Aphorisms” are derived from Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s life experience.  Based on them, teaching with moral as practised by our teachers is developed.
Teaching with Calm Thoughts Aphorisms does not replace current education formats.  Its role is to stimulate children’s kind thoughts and promote love; encourage them to treasure what they have, appreciate what they are given, and be grateful.  It allows students, teachers, and parents to mature in conducive environment.

Teachers actually gain the most from practising Calm Thoughts Aphorisms Teaching.  The noteworthy part of Calm Thoughts Aphorisms Teaching is its ability to calm one down and reflect.  During this process of reflection, defects of recklessness, lack of manners, greed would be self-apparent.  Illusions in life and unrealistic expectations could benefit from the directives and introspections.  The teachers already benefit from these before they are passed on to the students.  It could be said that the teachings are more educational to teachers and parents than students.

▋ The Spirits & Characteristics of Calm Thoughts Aphorisms Teaching
This teaching concept encompasses education of life, character, and living.  It is a process of gradual change and subtle conviction.  It stimulates and converts subconsciously.

To practise Calm Thoughts Aphorisms Teaching, the teachers must first follow the apothegms.  From experiencing and understanding such, their own personalities are enhanced and set character and moral examples for the students.  In the classes, create atmosphere of love with bright smiles and care.  Build a family-like environment of warmth, forgiveness, mutual help, and joy.  Only in a large environment of love can we produce energetic children who are willing to offer love and kindness.

By choosing simple, easy-to-remember, and appropriate Calm Thoughts Aphorisms, aided with stories, children can be guided to understand and accept the teachings.  Teach them to understand and to reason; to handle life harmoniously.  Teach them to apply what they learn; to offer their helps with enthusiasm, patience and perseverance.  To benefit others, show the spirit of love, and make life more meaningful.  It is hoped that in this age of confused values and unclear meanings of life, we can set an example of education, motivate future social education concepts, cultivate a generation with good characters and ideals.

Master Cheng Yen did say: “Teach and learn; learn and practise”.  Simplicity is easier to remember.  What can be applied and achieved most would be the best.  We can only claim to have learned the essence of the truth if we can apply it in handling our daily lives.

▋The 5 Parts of Calm Thoughts Aphorisms Teaching
The teachers should choose appropriate aphorisms to complement school syllabus.  Be flexible in teaching and be aware of schools’ facilities and environment, students’ background, how they were brought up; their standards and requirements.  Put emphasis on writing down what have been learned from teaching.  Good communication with students and treat them as your own.  Create free flow of information between students, teachers, and parents.  Join school education with family education.  Allow learning to grow under the warmth of love and achieve “education with love”.

Activity 1.  Experience.  Teach with the surroundings.  Guide with actual facts or with scenarios, allowing students to understand the aphorisms from experience.

Activity 2.  Story telling.  With enticing voice and body language, draw their attention to relevant stories.  Achieve the results of little stories, big revelation with touching stories.

Activity 3.  Introspection.  Guide students to discuss and explore worthwhile sections of the stories.  Encourage free and active discussions.  Clarify the concept of values from deduction and judgement.

Activity 4.  Calm Thoughts.  Let students learn from same age groups.  Make their own mental discoveries from what others have encountered. Linking these with their own experience will deepen their moral concept.

Activity 5.  Life practice.  Practising Calm Thoughts Aphorisms in daily lives will lead to their greater understanding and strengthen students’ moral conducts.

▋Accomplishments of Calm Thoughts Aphorisms Teaching
1、Stimulate students’ kind thoughts, conscience and conscientious power.
2、Enhance introspectiveness and willingness to accept others.
3、Cultivate a caring outlook for environment and others.
4、Improve students’ behaviour, characters, and personality development
5、Enhance students’ abilities in listening, speaking, writing, drawing, and creative thinking.
6、Strengthen communication and bonding between students and parents.
7、Strengthen parents’ involvement in education.  Enhance their complementation with school education system.