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Year 9 Buddhist Temple Visit – 3G4G cultural sharing

On Tuesday, 3 May and Wednesday, 4 May,  the Rutherford College Year 9 students were invited by Fo Guang Shang Buddhist Temple to participate in 3G4G cultural sharing and mindfulness event: 3Gs mean “do good deeds, say good words, and think good thoughts”. 4Gs mean “give other joy, give other confidence, give other convenience, and give other hope.”  It was a trip I will never forget. On this trip, we learnt a little about Buddhism, how to apply 3G4G in our lives, Chinese calligraphy, and various etiquettes when visiting a temple. We also got to make wishes using a bell, and we even got free food “Laba fried rice”! For me, a highlight of the trip would definitely have to be the delicious fried rice made by the wonderful volunteers.

To begin with, we were greeted by volunteers, and then entered the temple. An exquisite smell filled my nostrils, and the inside of the temple was even more beautiful than the outside. We walked outside to the gorgeous garden and went to our first activities. We got to write wishes on paper and pin them on walls, surrounded by five trees all glistening with fairy lights. We learnt about the garden, and made another wish using a bell. Once we finished our delicious lunch, we watched a movie about Buddha, and practiced mindfulness. It was all very calming, and a wonderful day.

I learnt so much during this trip, and I would like to go back someday and learn more.

By Ashley Smart 9GL

Today 5 classes including my class, 9CW, were lucky enough to attend Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple. When we got there they greeted us at the front and told us a little bit about what we were going to do today. After which they sent us away in our groups. I was in group two.  When we walked off in our groups we went to this room with multiple desks. On the desks there were pens and a piece of paper with a Chinese writing template. One of the volunteers who was already in the room started telling us about how Chinese writing is important to Buddhist culture.

After we finished in that room our volunteer group leader led us to a positivity room where there were 4 trees that had different meanings. The trees were about giving convenience, giving confidence, giving joy and giving hopes. At the trees there were  lots of notes of positivity, one of the notes I had picked out of the basket had said “A smile is the most beautiful colour in the world, praise is the best sound in the world”. They continued to tell us to write a wish on a piece of paper and put it on the wall so it can hopefully come true.

Continuing on from this they took us into an outside space where they explained the meanings behind the landscape in the temple. Grass shows strength, you can knock it down by standing on it but it will always get back up which is what we go through in day to day life.  After, our tour guide took us to the bell, where we were shown how to ask for a wish with a wishing bell, and learned that a wish will not come true unless we also put in the effort to make it come true.

One thing I learnt is that Buddhists do not eat meat or bi-products of animals. We were treated to fried rice, which had fake ham which tasted like beans, chick peas corn, carrot and potato.

We also watched a short movie about Buddha. In the story, we learned about not to judge people by its book and each person’s value is judged by how one’s heart and intentions, not how one’s look or dressed.

At the end of our trip, we had a talk from the NZ police about how we need to be aware of the temptations around us and need to use our conscience to make the correct decisions in life. We were also able to explore some parts of the temple, and I stumbled upon a really cool water feature.

By Izzy Thompson 9CW

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