Monthly Archives: February 2013

Panyaden Wise Habit, Yoniso-manasikara

Panyaden teachers enact story about wise habit, yoniso-manasikara, Panyaden School Chiang Mai

This morning, our teachers enacted the tale of two birds looking for water in the mountains to illustrate how we can learn to use our minds skilfully (yoniso-manasikara).  

The thirsty birds find a bottle of water in the mountains but they cannot drink from it because the water level is too low. One bird starts complaining loudly. The other remains calm, and goes to look for a stone. She drops the stone into the bottle and the water level raises. Now the two birds can reach into bottle and drink. 


Panyaden honours Makha Bucha Day

makha-bucha-day at Panyaden

At Panyaden School, we began our commemoration of Makha Bucha Day on Friday with our P1-6 students sharing the importance of this yearly Buddhist event observed on the full moon of the third lunar month (‘Makha’). This was the day 2,500 years ago when the Buddha taught the principles of Buddhism called “The Ovadhapatimokha” to the 1,250 Sangha followers who came to see him that evening without any prior planning.

Panyaden students talk about the importance of Makha Bucha Day makha-bucha-day-vien-tien makha-bucha-day-vien-tien-1 makha-bucha-day-vien-tien-4

Kru Tee and Kru Sean then led the ‘vien tien’ ceremony at our Buddha Sala where we held flowers, incense and candles (‘tien’) while mindfully walking clockwise around our Buddha Sala 3 times to pay respects to the Three Jewels (the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha) before proceeding back to class.

Later in the afternoon, Phra Ajahn Jiew visited our campus to talk with our staff and children before he delivered a public Dhamma talk on “Happiness versus Suffering”.

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See more photos of today’s activities (taken by Ally Taylor) on our blog:

Makha Bucha Day

Honouring Buddha and his teachings

Viewn Tien ceremony, Panyaden School Chiang Mai

Panyaden School will mark this day tomorrow with a visit by
Phra Ajahn Jiew to talk with our teachers and students. In the morning, Kru Tee and Kru Sean will lead the ‘vien tien’ ceremony at our Buddha sala. From 4 – 5pm, our school assembly hall will be open to all parents, families, friends and members of the public to attend Ajahn Jiew’s Dhamma talk (in English and Thai) on “Happiness versus Suffering”.

Makha Bucha Dhamma Talk, 22 Feb

Dhamma talk for the public by Phra Ajahn Jiew

Ajahn Jiew at Panyaden School Chiang Mai

To honor Makha Bucha Day, we are delighted to invite you to a Dhamma Talk by the Venerable Ajahn Phuwadol Piyasilo (Phra Ajahn Jiew) on Friday 22 Feb from 4pm – 5pm in Panyaden School’s assembly hall.

A former student of Taan Ajahn Jayasaro, Phra Ajahn Jiew has been a monk for more than 20 years, the last 17 of which he has spent alone at Wat Pha Yen Boon in Chiang Rai province.

All are welcome!

‘My Project’ Presentations

Student self-directed projects


Panyaden School Prathom students’ weeks of planning, designing, constructing and creating their very own self-directed projects have resulted in the following creations proudly launched on 15 February at our school assembly hall. A beaming Kru Michel (Panyaden’s Head Teacher) said that the students did a wonderful job.

The main goal of the project is to nurture students’ passion and creativity, allowing them in the process to take responsibility for their own learning. They made their own decisions about what they would focus on, what materials to use, how much time they would spend on their projects outside the classroom and so on. During the presentation to their parents, they also shared how they applied the 12 Panyaden wise habits like khanti (patience) and viriya (perseverance).

my-project-presentations my-project-presentations-3 my-project-presentations my-project-presentations-5 my-project-presentations-8

See more photos here. We will feature  each project in our upcoming post next week.


Wise Habit, Generosity

DSC_1707 Panyaden School Director, Neil Amasby Panyaden School Director, Neil Amas



Giving and sharing

Panyaden School student giving massage to senior citizen, community service by the school in Chiang Mai

Panyaden students have been practicing Caga (jaa-ka) or generosity. Here is some further information that you may find useful.

Caga (pronounced jaa-ka) means generosity. It is the quality of delighting in giving, sharing or relinquishing and expecting nothing in return; it is when the love of giving becomes a virtue in itself. Caga is being generous not only with material things but also with your time, your energy, your forgiveness, and your willingness to be fair and just with other people. It is the opposite of selfishness, stinginess, being attached to me and my things, needs or views, and, as such, caga also means to give up those thoughts and habits.

Dana (’giving’ or ‘gift’) is the external manifestation of the internal quality of caga. While giving can be done without generosity, such as in order to get something in return or for the promise of a future reward, dana that is motivated by caga is so much greater.  Giving up the unwholesome thoughts that prevent generosity, such as meanness and unwillingness to forgive, are also qualities of caga. We might see this as a ‘gift’ to ourselves.

Caga is the foundation of dhamma practise, being a pre-condition for sila-samadhi-panya (Threefold Training).  It is also one of the 5 attributes that must be cultivated if one is to enter the higher stages of dhamma practise (‘stream-entry’): sadda (conviction), sila (moral conduct), suta (learning), caga and panya (wisdom).

Ajahn Chah
Ajahn Chah

Helping others and offering service are ways of stepping over the boundaries of me and mine which, when stretched, often make us feel uncomfortable or threatened (Ajahn Pasanno, A Dhamma Compass). Forgiveness is a further step, a higher form of dana, because it is more difficult to forgive than it is to give material things.  The highest form of giving is dhammadana or sharing the principles and practise of dhamma. This is not beyond non-monastics. Venerable Ajahn Chah once said, ‘It is enough to set good examples and follow the Precepts.’ Like the vine which grows and is shaped by the nearest tree, children are more effected by their parents’ example than anything else. When we think of the people who have most positively influenced our lives, ‘’it is not because of the kinds of cars they own or vacations they have taken but because they have been trustworthy, kind and patient with us. They’ve made us feel good, no matter how badly we feel about ourselves. This kind of giving is not beyond the capacity of anybody. Increasing well-being and decreasing dukkha (dissatisfaction, suffering) are gifts we can all give” (Ajahn Pasanno, ibid).

From an early age if children are praised and encouraged for freely giving to others, they grow up with a pleasant feeling associated with being generous. The idea that you gain happiness by giving things away does not come automatically to a young child’s mind, but with practice they will find that it is true. They will learn that when we give, we put ourselves in a position of wealth. The gift, no matter how small, is proof that you have more than enough. Caga helps build confidence in children because by being able to help other people we develop a sense of self-worth. It also creates a sense of openness in the mind which helps break down boundaries with others that otherwise would keep the goodwill from spreading around. Caga can be a catalyst for family togetherness because, as Venerable Jayasaro notes, ’’few things enhance the sense of connection between family members as group acts of generosity.”

The nature of the desire mind is that, even when we have enough, we feel there is always a lack of this or that, never enough, or we fear that something is going to slip away or get taken away from us. This creates a confined, fearful world because there’s never enough, as opposed to the confident and trusting world we create through acts of generosity. As we practice caga, we realise that we can get by on less, and that there is a pleasure that comes with giving to people. This, it can be said, is a true sense of wealth.

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Download above article in THAI (ในภาษาไทย): Caga_THAI, Panyaden School

Visitors from Wat Suan Dok University

children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks-1Panyaden School students present school's wise habits for Chiang Mai visitors children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks-4


Today 29 monks from Wat Suan Dok University, Chiang Mai, visited our school. Our P1-6 students welcomed them with presentations of Panyaden’s 12 wise habits in action in our assembly hall before our school director, Neil Amas, took them on a tour of our green campus. The monks, who come from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh, praised our students for their good behaviour and politeness. Well done everyone! children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks-10 children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks-5 children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks-8 children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks-2 children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks-9 children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks-7 children-present-12-wise-habits-to-visiting-monks

Above photos of the visit are taken by Ally Taylor. See more here.