New food for thought (and action)
While we eagerly await the Kung Fu Chef to introduce a new tasty ingredient to add to the special soup mix, let’s review how some of us practised ‘being truthful’ (สัจจะ) last week. Kindergarten student, Din, for example, realized that being truthful also means keeping your promises to people. Bence and Por made the mistake of throwing sand on the floor and told their teacher the truth. Well done to these children and to everyone who have been trying hard to put into action each wise habit.
Now enter our clever Chef with another deft kung fu move. Hands stretched out and joined at the wrists with palms open, he exhorts us to think about how to use our senses wisely (‘Indriyasamvara’, การสำรวมระวังอินทรีย์). Ears, eyes, nose, mouth, body and mind:
In Buddhist teachings, our mind is also a sense organ. It perceives thoughts and ideas in the same way that our eyes sense light or our ears pick up sound waves. Like the different ingredients in our soup, our senses interact with each other to create our awareness and perception of the world within and around us.
How can we use our senses wisely? It can be as simple as sitting upright and attentively during class (using our body wisely). P3-4 student, Oliver pointed out that we could walk with vitality and wholeness, eat a balanced diet and speak kindly to one another. Perhaps these are not as easy as they sound but we can only keep trying.
Community service by our school choir
Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present the Panyaden School choir! Led by our teachers Kru Tee, Kru Amanda and Kru Noy, the students from P1-2 and P3-4 performed in public for the first time. Our choir sang and danced for the senior citizens of Baan Thammapakorn Chiang Mai. They entertained the appreciative audience with both English and Thai songs. Many were surprised when one of our foreign students introduced a song in fluent Thai.
This performance and the gifts of snacks and juices that our students and teachers brought for the home are part of our school’s regular community service projects. These projects help our students to learn and put into practice the wise habits of being generous (‘Caga’, จาคะ) as well as being kind and compassionate without expecting anything in return (‘Brahmavihara’, พรหมวิหาร).
“A child’s smile is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.”
– Author Unknown
Let’s add sparkle to our smiles by taking good care of our teeth and oral hygiene. Regular teeth brushing and flossing help to keep our teeth and gums healthy, and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Eating a healthy diet that limits sugary drinks and foods will also help. Have a dental check-up at least twice a year. And remember to keep smiling!
Serving Up Sacca
Fellow cooks, are you ready to add more ingredients to our soup pot today? The Kung Fu Chef applauds everyone for their efforts in using the last 2 ingredients (Sati, ‘being mindful and alert’ and Samathi, ‘being calm and focused’). Often, it does not take a lot of effort or time to serve up any of the wise habits that our capable Chef has introduced to us so far. There are many simple ways we can do so as evidenced by the letters you have sent in to Master Chef. Aiko, for example, practices staying calm during walking meditation, Eufa uses Sati and Samathi when colouring pictures and Nova always remembers to say thank you to her teachers after class.
Being truthful, Sacca or ความซื่อสัตย์ (สัจจะ) is another tasty ingredient that we can add in our daily lives. Today, Kru Noy acted as a student who loved to play the guitar and sing. He accidentally kicked Kru Michel’s vase when he was about to play the instrument. In came Kru Michel to find his vase and the flower on the floor. He thought a cat was responsible but Kru Noy told him the truth. This is not always easy but we can keep trying. See you next week!
Go Team Panyaden!
Catching human flies, sprinting around the school compound, bouncing on large rubber balls, jumping over bamboo poles and kicking footballs were just a few fun games our students and teachers did today on our school’s first Sports Day. What an exhilarating day! Spirits were high, pulses were racing and we screamed ourselves hoarse as we cheered on our teammates. Many of us (including the little ones) clapped, drummed or played different instruments and danced along with Kru Tee, Kru Jeab and other teachers which added to the joyful atmosphere.
At 9am, we eagerly gathered at our football field as Kru Michel gave a brief opening speech to mark the start of the day’s events. Kru Jeab helped us to warm up with an energetic aerobic exercise. Then our PE teacher, Kru Noy who was in charge of organizing today’s activities, divided each class into 2 teams: orange or green. Off we went to different stations around the school to play the interesting games our teachers have prepared for us.
Orange or green, we all gave our best. It was fun to be the fastest runner or to score the most number of goals but more than that we enjoyed laughing, playing and helping each other in the team events. Hurray for Panyaden! Hurray for our schoolmates, for Kru Noy and all the teachers who made this day a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable one! And a big thank you to all our parents for joining us on this beautiful day!
We have many more photos on the Panyaden blog gallery.
Panyaden’s Special Soup Recipe
Add a dash of Mattannuta (‘knowing the right amount’, มัตตัญญุตา) and a sprinkling of Chanta (‘desiring knowledge, truth and goodness’, ฉันทะ) to the broth in our Kung Fu Chef’s large shiny soup pot. Stir in a tablespoonful of Awihimsa (‘not harming’, อวิหิงสา) to taste. With the help of your fellow cooks, throw in a few long stems of Wiriya (‘persevering’, วิริยะ) along with 5 ounces of Khanti (‘being patient and tolerant’, ขันติ). Stir slowly in one direction with a large ladle.
Well done! We now have to add in 4 cups of Sati (สติ). This is another special ingredient that means ‘being mindful and alert’ as demonstrated by Kru Michel who acted as a student who realizes he has to be mindful and not to forget to remove his shoes when entering the assembly hall and put them to the side so they would not block the entrance.
A final ingredient for the soup today is Samathi (สมาธิ) or ‘being calm and focused’. Here Kru Michel and Kru Noy acted as students who concentrated on paying respects carefully and quietly to Buddha by sitting correctly, holding hands up in the middle of their chest (doing the ‘wai’) and then gently bringing their hands down on the floor. They had to repeat this 3 times but Michel being easily distracted lost Samathi and bowed 4 times instead!
In the coming weeks, our Chef will introduce more ingredients that need to be added to his special recipe. In the meantime, be mindful and remember to practice the Kung Fu moves our skilful Chef has taught us.
Three medical personnel from the Ministry of Public Health (Hang Dong) visited Panyaden for a basic health check on our children last Friday morning. This is a mandatory annual screening required by the Thai Ministry of Education to ensure the good public health of all students in the country.