Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Welcoming and Entering

Materials for Activity

  • Participants' Buddha and Eightfold Path artwork from Workshop 9
  • A 5x7-inch index card or piece of card stock
  • A small sand garden kit, or a wooden tray or terra cotta flower pot tray and sand
  • Optional: Materials for the sand garden, such as small stones of varied color and texture, a small Buddha, and a small pagoda or other structure, such as the kind found in aquariums
  • Optional: Tools or utensils for creating patterns and textures in the sand, such as forks, combs, or toothbrushes

Preparation for Activity

  • Post the images of the Buddha and the Eightfold Path artwork that participants created.
  • Fold an index card or piece of card stock into a tent shape, and make a small sign to put in front of the garden that reads, "Create a garden perfect in its simplicity."
  • Collect materials for the garden. Tiny sand garden kits can be purchased for low cost, and they include tools for creating pleasing patterns in the garden. All materials to be part of the garden should be natural, neutral colors-nothing bright, everything serene. You can also create your own garden, using the materials listed above.
  • Decide whether to have participants assemble a garden or to assemble it yourself and simply let the group experience it.

Description of Activity

Participants create or enjoy a small Zen sand garden.

As they enter, invite participants to the sand garden. Depending on how you have structured the activity, have them put it together or simply experience it. Invite them to work quietly or in silence. Demonstrate how to peacefully create patterns in the sand so youth understand how to enjoy the garden in a respectful way.

Including All Participants

Make sure the garden is accessible to all participants.