About Our School

We meet on Wesleyan University Campus
Middletown, Connecticut,
Sundays 9:45 a.m. to 12 noon
Down the street from the Buddhist Faith Fellowship’s weekly gathering

(Directions available upon enrollment)

Classes are in summer recess until September 7, 2014

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 ages 2 – 12 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

Beginnings

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 was 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 present Buddhist Sunday School. This new school is truly a rare treasure as it is designed to meet the needs of children by integrating Buddhist, Montessori, and secular mindfulness educational approaches to provide the very best spiritual experience for children, while allowing parents an opportunity to enjoy the adult community gathering. As of this date, we continue to be the only Buddhist Sunday School in Central Connecticut.

Walking the Path Together

At your first visit, you are welcomed to stay and observe or to join the adult community at the Mansfield Freeman Center for Asian Studies. An important part of your child’s educational experience is having you equally engaged in spiritual development by learning the content, application, and traditions of the Buddhist path. This means you cannot just drop your children off and go grocery shopping. Your own spiritual development is an integral part of your child’s education. We invite you to attend the adult Sunday morning gathering starting at 10 a.m. where you will learn how to assimilate the dharma into your life so that you and your child can walk the Buddhist path together.

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 welcome both individuals and families with open arms, and easily integrate children of all ages into community life. Since the beginning of the 20th century, 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 Sunday Dharma School is designed to help children experience the Buddha’s teachings 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.