The Guiding Philosophy – Children’s Program
1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EST
Garchen Children’s Practice (For Teenagers and Older)
2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 am EDT
Garchen Rinpoche’s message on Garchen Children’s Practice Program – English-translated:
“Tashi Delek. I want to thank Drikung Dharma Surya in Virginia for the wonderful Sunday School Program for all children. At this time, children are blessed with new brain and their minds are gifted with wisdom and therefore are able to retain knowledge. It will be very beneficial for them to learn the importance of loving kindness and compassion. The program is very positive. Drikung Dharma Surya, Thank You.”
Using the 16 Guidelines of the 6th century Tibetan Dharma King Songtsän Gampo as the baselines to help nurture, facilitate and guide the mind in the direction of happiness through wisdom and compassion.
Plan of Activities
- Yoga Exercises
- Opening Prayers and Chanting
- Story Time
- Dharma Discussion
- Creative Activity
- Closing Dedication Prayer
Classes will be starting promptly at 10:00 am EST with a prayer in English, followed by short guided meditation, a story from the life of the Buddha or Jataka story, and discussion of a virtue or quality highlighted in the story. We have an interactive discussion of how to apply it in day to day life and the challenges we might face in applying it.
We will be inviting and encouraging the students to ask any questions related to the story, Buddhism or spirituality to include in the discussion. We find this to be a particularly important part of the program because we are welcoming some students who are new or just starting to explore Buddhism.
In addition, we wish to be very respectful of all faiths and traditions, considering the fact that most of our students have friends and/or family members who are not Buddhist.
Please ensure your child signs on by 10:00 am EST or a few minutes before so we can begin our program on time. However, we happily welcome them even if they are late in joining us.
To request the Zoom meeting information for the practice, click the button below. If you do not receive the email, please check your Spam folder. Thank you!
Donations are Gratefully Appreciated
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The Garchen Children Practice (GCP) class teachers are Drikung Dharma Surya Center (DDSC)’s active sangha members who, with most sincere motivation from the heart to be of benefit to children, bring their personal experience of BuddhaDharma practices and appreciation of children’s development to their lessons and classes.
Parent involvement plays an important role in the DDSC GCP program. Parents can help find school supplies and necessities for children activities, serve as buddies for new families, or serve as assistant teachers as needed and lend overall support to the GCP program. Parent involvement also helps develop a healthy and positive bond between parents and their kids, which is the foundation of a strong family and the basic seed of compassion.
When a new teacher volunteer applies to join, they first serve a short apprenticeship under a more experienced staff person and then assume the role as assistant teacher.
Under the spiritual guidance of Garchen Rinpoche and leadership of DDSC Spiritual Director, Khenpo Samdup, the DDSC GCP Council is formed to serve, guide and administer the GCP teaching programs.
We strive for a non-sectarian atmosphere and curriculum, as numerous children from various ethics communities and Buddhist traditions participate in.
Current GCP Teachers
- Lisa Buschmann has been practicing Buddhist daily meditation for over 25 years. She was trained to teach the Dharma to children and began teaching in 1995. In 2000, she taught weekly Dharma school at the Maryland Buddhist Vihara. She wrote a manual for teaching Buddha Dharma to children, with a set of lesson plans, which was published by the Buddhist Publication Society in 2010 as “Morals in the Life Story of the Buddha”.
- Alex Smirnov received his education in humanities and natural sciences, and also studied esoteric doctrines of the East such as Oriental Martial Arts, various Yogas, Daoism and Tibetan Buddhism for over 25 years. He also enjoys teaching and learning Taiji & Qigong with seniors and younger folks alike. Alex has one 5-year old son and one 9 year-old daughter who are rapidly growing and facing number of moral challenges in our integrated, multicultural communities. His passion for early children education in body awareness and leadership started with establishment of children’s program at DC Aikido Center in Washington.
- Lance David Bergerson aka “Pops” has been following the Tibetan Buddhist path and a dedicated meditation practitioner for 40 years. He has a passion for the Buddha’s teachings and has been teaching BuddhaDharma for the past 12 years. Pops says, “Giving access to the sublime Dharma teachings is the most important gift we can bestow upon our children.”
- Fawn Bui took refuge with His Eminence Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche and has been following the Tibetan Buddhist path since early 2008. She has received systematic study of Buddhist texts and extensive training in meditation practices and techniques. While serving as the key volunteer at Linton Hall School, a Catholic School for elementary to middle, she has been a dedicated practitioner, teaching loving-kindness and mindfulness to the children. Her teaching is gentle, supportive, and sensitive to individual abilities.