Thursday, 18 September 2014

Children playing at Kun Lay Monastery




Kun Lay Monastery is located in a very traditional and conservative village in a place where little has changed in the passing years, and even decades. At no time is this more evident than on full moon days. While full moon days have an important significance in the Buddha's life and within Buddhist societies, the day is honored with more devotion at Kun Lay than can be seen in many other places in modern Myanmar today. 

On this day, villagers from all over the surrounding region come to the monastery. In this short video, one can see the role of the children. According to Sayadaw U Kumara, the Rector of Sitagu Academy in Sagaing, children are given free reign at monasteries from a young age, allowing them freedom to explore and grounds on their own terms. U Kumara also notes that this allows powerful positive associations between monks and meditation to form with playtime and fun. When the child begins to age, gradually they will be introduced to simple suttas, Jataka Tales of the Buddha, basic Pali, and introductory meditation techniques. But the basis of future spiritual development begins with, simply, having fun!

For the children shown in this video, they are still young enough that monastery visits are still firmly associated with fun and pleasant times. As this video is being shot, interestingly, the childrens' mothers are meditating together with the monks in the Dhamma Hall, after having finished their daily cooking tasks.