Monthly Archives: March 2011

Training Our Teachers

Teacher Professional Development

To ensure a consistently high standard of education at Panyaden School and to encourage continuous growth and development, we place great importance on training our teachers. In addition to regular in-house training, we frequently engage other experts and educators to conduct workshops for our teachers.

One of these experts is Mayura Phakdeerod from Learning Gallery. Mayura has worked as a human resource trainer and coach for the last 23 years. She uses a test called the Emergenetics® Profile to help our teachers understand themselves better and to use the insights learned to become more effective in the classroom.



What Motivates Us?

The Emergenetics® Profile is a unique tool that uses colours to map out what drives the thoughts and actions that makes us who we are. It helps us to understand our strengths and weaknesses and how we can effectively use these insights to better ourselves, to communicate, teach and motivate others.


Extensive research has shown that thinking and behaviour are inter-related and are fundamental to understanding oneself. Drs Geil Browning and Wendell Williams created the Emergenetics® Profile that focuses on four different thinking attributes (differentiated by colour) and measures three behavioral attributes, the “4 + 3 magic formula” as Mayura calls it.


Magic Formula

4 Thinking Attributes


















3 Behavioural Attributes
























Understanding yourself and others, your thinking styles and how they affect your range of behaviour; for example, how you learn, how you approach different situations, how you get things done, how you communicate with people who are not like you etc


1. Analytical:

logical, rational


1. Expressiveness:

the degree of outward displays of emotions toward others, ranging from quiet to spontaneous, gregarious

2. Structural:

detailed, methodical, disciplined, predictable

2. Assertiveness:

the degree of energy invested in expressing thoughts, beliefs & ideas


3. Social:

sensitive, friendly, compassionate, empathic, intuitive

3. Flexibility:

the willingness to accommodate to the thoughts and actions of others, how much you dislike change, how opinionated, amiable; seeing different points of views, putting others’ needs before self.


4. Conceptual:

an analytical preference; inventive, imaginative, unconventional,

visionary, global and aesthetic


Adapted from

Applying Emergenetics®

The test can help our teachers to improve the way they teach their class or approach their lesson plans. For example, if the teachers are green-dominant, they may need to consider adding some yellow-dominant activities to make their classes more interesting in order to cater to the students who prefer to learn through inventive games.

Using this tool, Mayura believes teachers will be better placed to transfer knowledge to their students simply and effectively, to develop in them a positive attitude towards learning and be able to assess and understand students’ learning styles.

Read more about training courses for Panyaden staff and teachers in future posts.

In Memoriam

Remembering Kru Gareth

by Neil Amas, School Director

Gareth Dickens, 1984 – 2011

A t 9am, all the staff gathered together and each of us said a few words and shared memories about our beloved colleague Kru Gareth, followed by a 5 minute silent meditation. We then planted a Guava tree together in our school grounds that we have dedicated to Gareth and which will grow and forever remind us of him.

We laughed, we cried and shared some wonderful memories about our friend and colleague for whom there was so much love.

Panyaden Summer Fair

Session / Talk Schedule

by Ms Areerat Kaewkla, Organiser

Meditation, Yoga and Alternative Healings – Session and Talks

Time Session / Facilitator Venue / Note
10.00 – 10.30 Kids yoga (4-7 years old)
A fun and calming class for kids.
Taught in English By Ms. Areerat Kaewkla.
Yoga Room
10.45 – 11.45 Mindfulness yoga (all levels)
A gentle and cooling sequence focusing on breathing and relaxation.
Taught in English by Ms. Areerat Kaewkla.
Yoga Room
11.00 – 12.00 Dharma Talk
By Taan Ajahn Jew.
Assembly Hall
12.00 – 12.45 Guided meditation
Led by Mr. Steven Jay Ebstein.
Yoga Room
14.30 – 15.30 EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
An introductory talk and demonstration by Ms. Jaz Gove.
Yoga Room
Education & Psychology and Sustainable living – Talks and Discussions

13.30 – 14.30 Buddhist Values. Bilingual Learning. What is Panyaden’s approach?
School Director Neil Amas will present findings from visits to some of Europe’s most successful bilingual schools and discuss how Panyaden will develop its methods. School Founder Yodphet Sudsawad will outline Panyaden’s Buddhist approach and how this will benefit our children. Questions and answers will follow.
Discussion Room
15.00 – 15.45 Raising well-rounded individuals’ / ”เลี้ยงลูกให้เป็นเด็กอารมณ์ดี”
A talk and discussion by Mr. Sombat Tapanya, a clinical psychologist and lecturer from Chiang Mai University. A father of two boys. A researcher on parenting.
Discussion Room
16.00 – 17.00 Voting three times a day: community agriculture in Chiang Mai
Introducing the idea of community supported agriculture (CSA) and talk about experiences helping to set up a CSA network in Chiang Mai. By Mr. Jeff Rutherford.
Discussion Room
Inspiring Activity – Demonstrations
11.30 – 12.00 


14.00 – 14.30

Aikido Demonstration
An exciting demonstration of the Japanese form of martial art by a group of skilled young people. Presented by Mr. Sombat Tapanya.
Demonstration Room 


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Summer School: Course Details





This year’s Summer School will be five weeks of fun and educational activities based upon experiencing, appreciating and taking care of our environment. With a focus on learning through experience, using our hands and hearts as well as our minds, we will explore and appreciate the key elements of nature.


The Summer School will be taught in three groups:

Group I: Nursery and Kindergarten 1 (2 – 4 years old)

Group II: Kindergarten 2 to Prathom 2 (4 – 7 years old)

Group III: Prathom 3 to Prathom 6 (7 – 11 years old)


Week 1: Love the Earth

Week 2: Water

Week 3: Earth

Week 4: Air

Week 5: Trees


Students will become aware of and understand the key elements of nature and how these support life. They will learn how to interact with them wisely, to save not exploit.

Our activities will focus on 4 aspects of your child’s development:

1. Intellectual Development

2. Physical Development

3. Moral Development

4. Emotional Development



1. Experience how our surroundings consist of different elements of nature.

2. Improve fine motor skills.

3. Make friends with each other and nature.

4. Feel the calming effect of nature.


1. Identify man-made and natural aspects of our environment. Show appreciation for time spent in natural surroundings.

2. Develop fine motor skills, physical coordination skills, agility and balance.

3. Be capable of working together with friends in pairs and small groups.

4. Develop personal awareness of, and love and care towards, living things.


1. Use creativity and independent thought to identify ways to use and save the environment and avoid exploitation of the environment.

2. Improve physical coordination skills, agility and muscle strength and learn how to take care of the body.

3. Be capable of playing the role of both team member and team leader and be able to positively influence people; be able to explain the global aspects of changes in nature.

4. Be able to explain why it is important to use our natural resources efficiently and demonstrate good habits and self-discipline in regards to consumption.


Panyaden Summer School will run from 28 March to 6 May 2011 with a one week break between 11 and 15 April. The School will open at 08:30 each day until 15:00.


For more information and details on enrolment, please contact

TEL : 080-078 5115 and 085-484 6095

E-mail :

Website :




Basic First Aid Training

B ruised joints, minor wounds, insect bites, colds and other childhood ailments are regular incidents in any kindergarten or school. Therefore Panyaden School has its own well-equipped First Aid Room.

But as hardware is nothing without the knowledge of how to use it properly, Panyaden’s teachers and staff were trained by experienced nurse Nittaya Koonrat on basic first aid skills such as cleaning and bandaging minor wounds and how to deal with lively youngsters in physical distress in general. This kind of training will be an ongoing part of the overall teachers training programme at Panyaden.



First Aid class for Panyaden School's Teachers', English school in Chiang Mai


First Aid Class at Panyaden School, English school in Chiang Mai (Thailand)


Tik and Nurse at Panyaden School First Aid Class for teachers

Panyaden Teachers learning first aid at their English School in Chiang Mai

Stillness In Motion

Cultivating Self-Awareness Through Movement








“When the body moves, know it. When the mind moves, know it.”

Luangpor Teean Jittasubho


A ll forms of meditation teach us to focus on one thing – whether it is the breath, a visual or specific words; the aim is to clear our minds of the myriad thoughts that float in an out all the time and to achieve a state of calm self-awareness in the now. Dynamic or Movement meditation is no different. What is interesting about this meditation technique is how natural and ‘normal’ it feels.

Dynamic Meditation* is a form of vipassana or insight meditation developed by Luangpor Teean Jittasubho . It seeks to generate mindfulness and insight through the rhythmic repetition of certain hand and arm movements.

Phra Ajahn Mahadirak Buddhayanando demonstrating the movements at the Meditation Retreat.

You can easily practise this technique anywhere and anytime by sitting comfortably, standing or walking with your arms folded across your chest or behind your back. You can also meditate lying down.

Keep your eyes open, breathe naturally, observe every step you take and watch your thoughts. You can switch between the four basic postures whenever you want and stay on them for any amount of time that feels right for you. The continuous hand and arm movements developed by Luangpor Teean Jittasubho are simple and repetitive and a good way to calm your mind so as to cultivate awareness of your thoughts and feelings in order to clearly see things as they are.

Awakening Our Minds

This is exactly what our teachers and staff of Panyaden School spent doing this past week (28 Feb – 6 Mar). Meditation retreats such as this allow the staff to take time off to focus on knowing and strengthening their minds (one of the key principles of our school). Any insight developed will help in awakening oneself.

Luangpor Teean Jittasubho believed that “to awaken ourselves means we are not asleep. Our eyes are awake (we can go anywhere); our minds are awake (we watch our thoughts). When we are aware all the time, then panya (knowing or wisdom) will arise and when knowing arises, we are able to cure ourselves or solve our problems…anger, delusion, greed will fade away and be replaced with the calmness of freedom from attachment” (transcribed from youtube video ‘Developing Self-Awareness’).

Sitting Practice: Step by Step

1. Rest the hands palm down on the thighs. 2. Turn the right hand onto its edge, be aware; do it slowly, then stop. Do not say to yourself: “turn the right hand”; being aware is enough. 3. Raise up the right hand, be aware, then stop. 4. Lower the right hand to rest on the abdomen, be aware, then stop. 5. Turn the left hand onto its edge, be aware, then stop.
6. Raise the left hand up, be aware, then stop. 7. Lower the left hand to rest on the right hand, be aware, then stop. 8. Move the right hand up to rest on the chest, be aware, then stop. 9. Move the right hand out, be aware, then stop. 10. Lower the right hand onto its edge on the thigh, be aware, then stop.
11. Face the right palm down, be aware, then stop. 12. Move the left hand up to rest on the chest, be aware, then stop. 13. Move the left hand out, be aware, then stop. 14. Lower the left hand onto its edge on the thigh, be aware, then stop. 15. Face the left palm down, be aware, then stop.

Text and illustrations from Luangpor Teean Jittasubho, A Manual of Self-Awareness, p. 15 – 25. Self-published September, 1994, by Luangpor Teean Jittasubho (Pann Itapew) Foundation.


*also known as Mahasati Meditation

Other Sources:

  1. A Study Of The “Dynamic Meditation” Practice Of Luangpor Teean Jittasubho by Mrs. Venica Pookgaman. A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of The Requirement for the Degree of Master of Arts (Buddhist Studies), International Master of Arts Degree Programme Graduate School Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University Bangkok, Thailand 2550 BE
  4. Interview with Phra Ajahn Mahadirak Buddhayanando at Panyaden’s Meditation Retreat


Making of A Buddha Image

Panyaden Photo by Ally Taylor


Phra Panya Nu Phap Chaiyamongkol

Auspicious Victory Through The Power Of Wisdom

This is the name given to the Buddha image that is currently being created for Panyaden School through the collaboration of two Thai artists. It captures the essence of the school’s belief in helping its students develop and apply wisdom in their lives.

The materials uTook & Thana Photo by Ally Taylorsed for the Buddha statue are bamboo and earth mixed with rice husks – the same natural materials that compose the walls, floors and roofs of Panyaden School.The inspiration for this sculpture came from a smaller Buddha image made by Thai artist, Metta Sudsawad (Took). The main sculpturing is done by Chiang Mai artist Thana Chaiyasien. Khun Took is overseeing this important undertaking. She is also instrumental in crafting the details that will make the image come alive.

The Making Of A Buddha Image

We follow the journey of our main Buddha statue as it begins its life on paper as a 5-foot tall drawing made by Pi Took (white Buddha in the main photo above).

Buddha image skeleton Photo by Ally Taylor


Pi Thana first creates the skeleton from bamboo pieces which he enhances with rope and holds everything in place by wooden dowels. 3 days later, he starts to flesh out the body with a mixture of earth, rice husks and water. A week later, we join Pi Took as she examines and works out any changes with Pi Thana. Once she is happy with the structure and proportion of the main body, she will start working each day to finesse the little details that are so important in creating the right posture, attitude and feeling that this Buddha image will evoke. It is refreshing to see the two artists quietly working together to create a statue that will embody Buddha’s wisdom and compassion.

Buddha Photo by Ally Taylor


I ask Pi Took if her vision for the statue is based on any specific Thai tradition of Buddha art. “I would say it’s a contemporary style, closer to the Rattanakosin School which makes the Buddha image more realistic and closer to human anatomy and features. However, instead of a flame at the top of the head, I will sculpt a hollow lotus bud, which I think is a softer and more peaceful symbol. Ajahn Jayasaro will place a Buddha relic in the bud during the installation ceremony at Panyaden School.”

The Buddha statue has its right hand, palm down, touching the earth in the Bhumisparsha Mudra (ปางมารวิชัย, pang maa ra wi chai or ‘Calling the Earth to Witness’) gesture (mudra). It is believed that Shakyamuni (before he became Buddha) touched the earth, calling out to the Goddess of the Earth, Sthavara, to testify to his purity.


The left hand, held flat in the lap in the dhyana (meditation) mudra, personifies “the union of method and wisdom, samasara and nirvana, and also the realisations of the conventional and ultimate truths” ( The Bhumisparsha Mudra therefore symbolises Buddha’s victory over Mara, the demon that embodies “the Tempter, the forces of greed, hatred and delusion” (

After the torso and refining of the fingers, hands, feet and robe of the statue comes the difficult task of crafting the face.  Pi Took feels that when most people look at a Buddha image, they tend to look at the face first. This is why she wants to spend enough time mindfully crafting it.

“The Mind Is Everything. What You Think You Become.” – Buddha

Working on the statue is almost like meditating. “It’s like communicating with Buddha. I talk to him and it seems like he is talking back to me! I feel close to Dhamma. This helps me become aware of my emotions. I need to clear my mind because I have to focus and put positive energy into it or the statue will not come out right.”

Panyaden Buddha photo and Took by Ally Taylor Ajahn Decha, Bamboo Master Builder of Chiangmai Life Construction looking at Buddha
Buddha Photo by Ally Taylor for Panyaden School, bilingual school in Chiang Mai


Further reading about different styles of Buddha images and the meaning of their gestures/positions:

Career Opportunities



Looking For A Job?

Panyaden School is looking for dedicated people who enjoy working in a nature-friendly environment with other like-minded people.


We are now recruiting the following staff (2 positions are available for each job):


  • Stock Controller (experienced)
  • Assistant Teacher (must have a good command of English)
  • Maid
  • Maintenance Technician (experienced)
  • Kitchen Assistant
  • Assistant Chef


Call Kru Tom at 080-311 1859 or email to