T’was a Family Affair

12 August 2009 - 2:49am Comments Off

The kids clearly had a lot of fun, a lot of love and would soon be surprising their parents with their colourful creations.

“Real Dharma Practice is harmony within the family, with each other, with your kids, with elders, with the law, with your neighbours and everybody around you.”
Dharma Teaching by H. E. Tsem Rinpoche

There is nothing more valuable to families than time together.  And yet it seems tougher than ever to find, with so many of us living such busy lives.  Kechara House (KH) members and friends of three generations spent quality time together on a week end indulging in activities that did not seem like Dharma in the conventional sense.  But it was Dharma practice.

Mummy I want that balloon, but I’m scared of the clown.

Kechara’s first Family Day kicked off with a good vegetarian lunch by Kechara Oasis at KH 2.  KH2 was a hive of activity with kids teeming in every corner; Mums busy comparing notes and fretting if their charges had had their fill.  Balloon man, Kennie was working hard fulfilling orders from the children for pretty balloons, twisting and turning and churning out colourful animal and flower designs.

Happy faces, intricate balloon creations

After tucking into lunch, Ms. Phng Li Kim, CEO of Kechara Media & Publications and mother of three young boys, gave the parents an inspiring and thought provoking sharing on Spirituality and Parenthood. She shared practical tips with a dharmic twist on helping our kids in handling bullies, tackling the dreaded homework time, the importance of open communication, inculcating discipline from young, creating a value system, among others.  Yes it’s tough being a parent.  The takeaway was that basically there’s no quick-fix.

Li Kim, an animated and engaging speaker

Parents in rapt attention, imbibing every practical parenting tip

The children were whisked away to KH 1 for an afternoon of fun with colours, acrylic paint, giggles, spilt mess, natural creativity and a vivid imagination, then viola, plain white canvas was turned into colourful masterpieces.  The theme centered on kindness to animals and their habitat, and the children drew beautiful scenes of marine life, the safari, frogs, peacocks, dogs, ladybirds and ducks.  The Manjushri Kids Class (MKC) coordinators, teachers and volunteers were on hand to guide and encourage the children.

Before any Dharma activity, prostration to the three jewels. Settled down and ready to start their art projects.

The serious budding artists and MKC teacher Han Ling, always great with the littlest ones

“Kids are very important and they have a very special place in my heart.  May they always be blessed by the Three Jewels.”, Tsem Rinpoche

Interpretation of the marine life sanctuary Give you only one guess, which frog is mine?

Dharma is so funny, Mummy MKC teacher Gim Lee with the red brigade

MKC coordinator and teacher, Ashlee Tell me it does look like a dog ok?

You don’t believe I did this myself, eh? Now, do I get paid for this?

The next activity was Animal Liberation and Feeding, inspired by our Spiritual Guide, H. E. Tsem Rinpoche who recently taught us the Joy of Liberating Animals meant for the cooking pot.  Once again, Chef Au of Kechara Oasis Vegetarian Restaurant and Ms. Chuah Su Ming (Liaison of Tsem Ladrang) organised the purchase of the live catfishes from the local wholesale market and delivery to the scenic TTDI lake nearby for liberation.  Also released were live turtles and pigeons.

Animals that were held in captivity for human consumption getting their first taste of freedom.

Rinpoche had taught that such a great act of compassion creates the merit for long life and creates the causes for the Kechara Animal Shelter to arise.  By letting our children witness this kind act, we inculcate in them the importance of kindness to animals.

Fun time feeding the pond inhabitants with commercial feed

Grandma creates the cause for her long life Completion Dedication at the end of any Dharma activity

A gift of appreciation for Chef Au, from the Ladrang presented by Liaison Su Ming

The Family Day fun ended with everyone tired but having enjoyed themselves, but more importantly, knowing that they had spent their afternoon engaged in positive and meritorious activities.  The kids had reported witnessing a distinct rainbow created by the spray of water formed by the fountain in the park, so distinct and vivid was it that everyone stopped and looked, enthralled.  That must be another sign that the local land deities were happy too.

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