In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program
Youth visit a Buddhist temple or center or participate in a meditation session.
Visiting a Buddhist Temple or Center
Remind participants beforehand that they will be visitors in other people's sacred home. They come not as observers, but as people of faith worshipping with other people of faith. Some things will be unfamiliar and surprising; they should save their observations for discussion later. This is a learning opportunity and a privilege.
At the site, support the host in whatever ways you can.
After the service, if you've pre-arranged a question-and-answer session, guide the youth and host through the questions you've prepared and any questions that arose for youth during the service.
Before leaving, be sure to thank your host.
Participating in a Meditation Session
Remind youth that they are about to engage in a spiritual practice and should treat it with the same respect they would accord any other spiritual practice.
Depending on which form of meditation your practitioner leads you in, there may be talking, intoning, or walking throughout the mediation. Participate or actively observe, and take note of your own experiences to guide the post-engagement discussion.
If you pre-arranged a question-and-answer session following the meditation, guide the youth and host through their questions.
Be sure to thank your host.
Concluding Either Type of Engagement
When the engagement is done, process the experience. Ask participants for their immediate responses. Prompt them with guiding questions, as needed.
The questions you ask will vary depending on which engagement option you chose. For the temple visit, you might ask:
For the meditation session, you might ask:
Thank the youth for their thoughtful participation.
If the group will go to a temple or center, visit it ahead of time to determine any accommodations needed for youth with disabilities. If the group will participate in a meditation that involves movement, discuss with the leader how participants with mobility challenges can participate in a meaningful way.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
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