We meet on Wesleyan University Campus
most Sundays 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Down the street from the Buddhist Faith Fellowship’s weekly gathering
Directions available upon enrollment
Please visit our meetup.com site “Mindful Kids” for more details & schedule
Please visit our enrollment page to pre-register and RSVP on Meetup.com
We believe that children should never feel forced to participate in religious education. To that end, we have adopted a Montessori inspired and mindfulness-based format for children from birth -13 yrs. which nurtures your child’s innate curiosity with respect for individual and developmental needs.
“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”
– Maria Montessori
In 2011, the Buddhist Faith Fellowship began supporting area parents and their children in the practice of mindfulness meditation and the understanding of Buddhist teachings through its Family Dharma program. The intention of this program is to nurture the whole family so adults and children could learn and grow together in the Buddhist teachings.
A Rare Treasure
In 2013, the Fellowship transformed its Family Dharma program into the Buddhist Sunday School, and then later in 2014, it underwent further revision to the current non-sectarian model, the Mindful Kids Program. This new program is truly a rare treasure as it is designed to meet the needs of parents and children by integrating classic Buddhist meditation, the Montessori educational model, and secular mindfulness approaches in order to provide the very best experience for the entire family in a non-dogmatic way. When we say we are non-sectarian, we mean that the program’s content is not specific to any Buddhist sect nor is it designed to propagate “Buddhism” as a religion but its focus is on mindfulness practice, emotional health, and compassion. Parents and children do not need to be Buddhists or even aspired to become Buddhists in order to participate. Mindful Kids is about learning to be more attentive in the moment, making right decisions, and being open-minded and loving toward others; these are universal human qualities.
Walking the Path Together
An important part of the Mindful Kids experience is having parents equally engaged in mindfulness practice by learning its content and practical applications. Because your own mindful development is an integral part of your child’s education, we require parents or guardians to attend the program’s meetings with their child. Additionally, we invite you to attend the Buddhist Faith Fellowship’s Sunday morning gatherings starting at 10 a.m. or another local meditation group on alternate weeks so you can learn how to assimilate meditation and mindfulness into your life, In this way, you and your child can together walk the path of awareness, balance, and compassion.
A Buddhism for Families
Most Buddhist communities in North America and Europe are geared toward serving the spiritual needs of adult seekers. They employ a modified monastically based teaching and practice for their lay members. However, Shin Buddhist communities have always welcomed both individuals and families with open arms, and easily integrate children of all ages into community life. Since the beginning of the 20th century, North American Shin Buddhists have provided religious youth education as an integral part of community life.
The Shin Buddhist tradition was founded almost 750 years ago in Japan as a reform movement to bring the heart of Buddha’s teachings to ordinary lay people. It is a school of Buddhism dedicated to the common man and woman with hefty work schedules and families to support. Therefore, unlike many other Buddhist denominations, Shin does not have a monastic class nor does it demand rigorous monastic practices of its adherents.
Today, Shin Buddhism, also known as Jodo Shinshu, is Japan’s largest Buddhist denomination. It is part of the much larger Mahayana tradition called Pure Land Buddhism, which has the most adherents of any Buddhist school in the world, spanning among nations like China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, as well as the USA, Canada, Brazil, and Romania.
At the Buddhist Faith Fellowship, our Mindful Kids Program is designed to help children experience mindfulness practice in a practical, uplifting, and commonsensical way that cultivates understanding and compassion while avoiding any semblance of rigid indoctrination. We hope you and your family can join us on Sunday mornings and on other meeting days.