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Year 9 Buddhist Temple Visit

On Tuesday, 7 May, the Year 9 classes, along with the senior Chinese classes went to the Fo Guang Shan Chinese Buddhist Temple for the annual Cultural Sharing Festival. The purpose of the trip was to learn about the act of kindness through Chinese Buddhism. Rutherford has never gone on a trip like this before, we are very lucky that this year, all of the Year 9 classes had the opportunity to go and learn about Chinese culture.

While we were at the Temple, we were taken through different activities including; meditation, calligraphy, talk with the New Zealand Police, and learning about the 3G and 4G ’s. These are to teach us the fundamental value of kindness which is also our school philosophy. 3G means: say good words, think good thoughts, and do good deeds; and 4Gs means: give others confidence, give others convenience, give others joy and give others hope.  We were encouraged to practice 3G and 4G in our everyday life to make the world a happier and better place. The change needs to start from each one of us.

While we were at the temple, we also learned about meditation. It is known as the ability to introduce positive change into our lives. It calms us down and helps us focus as we have too many distractions in our lives, eg. devices. It is a good idea to meditate sometimes so that we get to clear our head and refocus on what is important. It also has many benefits to it such as; reducing stress, promoting health, etc. Everyone at the temple had such positive energy. After trying it ourselves, we certainly felt calmer and our mind clearer.

One of the activities we tried was Chinese Calligraphy. We were taught about the basic rules of practicing calligraphy and everyone had a chance to learn to write a few Chinese characters.  We were also shown a video about the founding Master Hsing Yun who is the creator of one-stroke calligraphy. It was his own style of writing that once he starts writing, he doesn’t stop halfway and finish the words in one single stroke. He would practice every day and write hundreds of characters so he can perfect his writing. Through his story, he taught us perseverance and to work hard in our life.

We were all very grateful for the amount of help and effort the teachers had put into organising this eye-opening and enjoyable trip. We’re also thankful that the volunteers at the Chinese Buddhist Temple were able to give us such positive energy and the chance to learn about a different culture and how we can use some of their traditions and philosophy to benefit ourselves and others.

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