talk about it more

a virtual baby book

When she was two, Fiona regularly said "Talk about it more!" to express her desire to know more about whatever we were discussing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Buddha: he's not just for bedtime

We discovered Buddha at Bedtime when it first came out, and love to check it out periodically. It contains 20 stories chosen from the Jataka Tales- stories believed to have been originally told by the Buddha himself. Besides a basic introduction to Buddhism, there are overviews for visualization, meditation, and creating outlets for encouraging imagination during the stories. Each short story has a connected moral value at the end to discuss together, like "It is only natural to want things to stay as they are, but life is a journey and change is unavoidable. A wise person accepts this and enjoys each precious moment as fully as they can."

I originally picked up this book because some aspects of Buddhism resonate with Ian, and I wanted to share some of his tradition with our girls. But as a practicing Catholic I couldn't see anything in this book that didn't jive with the way we're already trying to live. Here's an excerpt from the introduction, "What is Buddhism?" that describes The Six Perfections:

When a Buddhist's heart and mind are fully inspired by metta (universal loving-kindness) they are said to be a bodhisattva - someone who delays their own enlightenment to help others reach the same state. The bodhisattva follows the path of The Six Perfections, which are a set of positive qualities that we can all benefit from cultivating in our own lives.
1. Dana: the wish to give freely to everybody without exception for no reward

2. Sila: the development of ethical behavior
3. Ksanti: the quality of patience and the ability to remain calm, especially in troubled times

4. Virya: enthusiastic effort, which promotes the strength and diligence necessary to progress through the boddhisattva path

5. Dhyana: concentration or meditation, which involves developing the mental ability to stay focused in order to make our actions more effective

6. Prajna: wisdom, not only intellectual understanding, but also gaining a direct insight into the true nature of reality

Anyway, we really enjoy reading and discussing it together. The techniques for listening to and for telling the stories give us tools that are helpful beyond the pages of this book.


At 10:38 PM, Blogger Sr. Dorothy said...

Too cool! interfaithfully yours, Gran


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