The central ideas explored in Family Zen activities are drawn from the Zen Buddhist tradition. Our intention is that all topics we present should be useful to the children at whatever age they are right now. This is a program designed to engage children in an interactive and fun exploration of basic Buddhist concepts and practice like mindfulness, compassion, kindness and connection.
The class lasts for approximately 1½ hours. Each class begins with a short, seated meditation of 2 or 3 minutes. Our group meets monthly on the 3rd Sunday of the month at the Upper Valley Zen Center Zendo, from 4 -5:30 PM. Each meeting we follow the same structure with a different topic. The children have become comfortable sitting silently for 3 minutes at the beginning. We begin with our topic by reading a story. We talk about it, and then follow it with an art activity. We end with a snack and another brief sit.
Thanks to our teacher, Shinji Goodman, her creative activities, thorough planning and generous contribution, Family Zen has gained much popularity. The number of participating families is growing, while the demand is increasing and the cost for art supplies are also accumulating.
In order to sustain and potentially expand the Family Zen to meet the increasing interests, we would like to make an education kit, which contains books, art supplies and lesson plans align with each monthly topic. We ask for $600 donation for the books and art supplies that help us sustain the program. (For more information or to contribute, please contact us.)
Shinji Goodman, Jing Mayer and Gendo