Last Friday the Chinese language classes took a trip to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple to participate in the 3G4G Festival of Cultural Sharing. 3G4G is the basic principles of Buddhism which means doing 3 good deeds: do good deeds, say good words and think good thoughts and 4 kinds of giving: give others confidence, hope, joy and convenience.
The festival promotes being a better citizen and person in general.
When we arrived we were split into groups and got the chance to do a range of activities. We were taken through the entrance and into an incredible courtyard surrounded by the magnificent buildings of the style of Tang Dynasty. Everything had so much detail and meaning behind it. We learned about some of the details of the courtyard such as the grass which was grown to look like farmers fields and flowers which plays a large role in Buddhism.
We were taught how to hold the brush, how to write some characters and the technique of the calligraphy. The volunteers there taught us about the Buddha’s story, how to bathe the Buddha and write wishing cards. We talked about ways we can be better people such as helping someone out, or complimenting someone. This philosophy is very much like our Rutherford School motto.
We had the chance to use the wishing bell where we could wish for anything we wanted, even better NCEA results! Later in the afternoon we all met up for a Tai Chi and meditation lesson. We were taught how to sit in while meditating and why it is useful to clear your mind, focus and relax. In the end, there were two police constables talking to us about how to prevent bullying and they reinforced to us that by doing 3G4G, we can change the world for a better place.
Before we said goodbye to the friendly and kind volunteers, we were all given wind chimes to take home to remind us to apply 3G4G principals in our everyday lives.
It was great to experience a new culture and get a better understanding of Chinese people and their beliefs. Everyone at the temple were extremely kind and friendly, and everyone enjoyed the trip just as much as I did.
I hope everyone can take some of the 3G4G ideas with them and be the best person they can be.