After many rehearsals of singing, dancing, acting, and playing musical instruments, Blossom Day was an amazing show! Student performances took us on a journey harvesting tea in the hills of Thailand, to the ASEAN countries in Asia, to the rainforests of South America, and all the way to outer space and back.
Nursery students win the hearts of the audience with their rendition of the Music Man. Cleverly crafted moving scenery took us on a bear hunt adventure with the K1 students. K2 then ‘wowed’ us with their creativity and environmental awareness in their eco-fashion show. Demonstrating Caga (generosity), the K3 students presented a new and improved version of The Giving Tree, focusing not just on taking from nature, but also how we can give back by planting trees.
The first Thai astronaut blasted into outer space as the P1 class showed us how each planet orbits the sun. P2-3 brought us back to earth with a play about the beauty of the animals and plants in the rainforest, as well as the importance of its conservation. P4,5,6 plus some friends from P2-3 welcomed us home to ASEAN to showcase traditional clothing, dance, and their own research on trading between the 10 ASEAN nations.
Congratulations to all the Kindergarten students who graduated to Prathomsuksa. We also witnessed the graduation of Panyaden’s first Prathom graduate, congratulations Nick!
The outcome of our students’ and teachers’ enthusiasm and perseverance was spectacular. A big thank you is an order to all who helped behind the scenes to create such a successful show.
Read previous article on this special day: https://www.panyaden.ac.th/blog/panyaden-school-blossom-day/ and see photos of the student performances, graduation and market on our blog galleries:
Parent Evaluation of Blossom Day
Here is feedback from parents on Blossom Day 2013
I was impressed with the setting and viewing
I was satisfied with the Blossom Market
I was satisfied with the quality of food at the Market
Blossom day activities reflected what students learned in academic year 2012-3
The whole event ran smoothly and was well-organized
Yoniso manasikara (pronounced yo-nee-so mana-see-kan in Thai) means to apply the mind skilfully, or wise reflection. It is thinking in terms of causal relations, such as the consequences of thoughts and actions, or by way of problem-solving, in order to help us to see things as they really are, leading to wiser decisions. Ultimately, it is the conscious use of thought to bring the mind to peace.
Yoniso comes from the Sanskrit yoni, meaning “the womb or origin (place of birth).” Manasikara means “directing the mind or attention.’’ So yoniso manisaka means literally “directing the attention to the core or essence of the matter.” In Buddhist texts, yoniso manisaka is listed among the four “virtues conducive to growth,” These are 1) association with a wise friend (such as a parent or teacher); 2) listening to good teaching; 3) wise reflection; and 4) practicing in accordance with good teaching. As such, yoniso manisaka cultivates mindfulness and full awareness, which, in turn, are the conditions for the arising of ‘Right View,’ or understanding the true nature of the Four Noble Truths and the law of kamma.
Venerable Prayut Payutto writes, ‘Yoniso manasikara directly precedes wisdom. It acts as a link between sati, mindfulness, and panya, wisdom. It is that which guides the stream of thought in such a way that wisdom is able to get down to work and achieve results.’
Venerable Jayasaro explains that there are two aspects to yoniso manasikara. Firstly, it is using the reflective quality of the mind to replace negative mental states with positive ones in order to improve the mind. For parents, this might be encouraging our child who is angry with his friend to write down all his friend’s positive qualities. Or to ask him to imagine his friend when he is happy, such as when they went to the playground together. This helps children replace negative feelings with wholesome thoughts and tolerance.
The second aspect is using the reflective quality of the mind to increase understanding of things as they really are, namely, impermanent (annica), unsatisfactory (dukkha), and not- self, or without intrinsic identity (anatta). Having the ability to see our anger arise and pass is helpful, but it will continue to arise in the future until we begin to understand why it arises, its root cause. Venerable Jayasaro suggests that thinking of anger as an illness helps reduces out resentment towards others, not because of ‘positive thinking’ but because we are seeing it as it really is. If we scratch our new car we tend to get upset, but when our neighbour buys an identical model and scratches his, we feel nothing. We are so attached to this sense of self.
In relation to the other Wise Habits, yoniso manasikara is the action of applying critical thinking to them in order to achieve their ultimate purpose: wisdom. For example, we can help children see the impact of applying viriya (perseverance) without khanti (patience), which invariably results in frustration instead of success. Practising yoniso manasikara will help children to develop a true understanding of right and wrong speech, right and wrong action, right and wrong livelihood, as long as teachers and parents encourage their continuous reflection of causal relations, of solving problems with correct attention to underlying causes. Yoniso manasikara creates chandha (enthusiasm) within children because it helps them to see the benefits of doing tasks which they may initially see as pointless or unpleasant. Helping around the house not only gives a sense of achievement once the job is done, they learn skills, concentration and get physical exercise; it makes mum and dad happy, and ultimately the child herself. Like us, children will begin to understand that they have more patience, perseverance and motivation when they see the value and benefits of what they do.
As humans we learn from experience, but not without being attentive to why things happen. We have to think about it. Was it beneficial or not? Examine it, investigate it, understand what actually happened, and then consider whether we would like it to happen again in the future or not. Experience itself does not guarantee wisdom. Skilful reflection, however, moves us towards a richer and more peaceful way of life.
Recycling banana leaves as plates
Panyaden Summer School’s Group 3 students went to Mae Hia Market this morning. Instead of using plastic bags, they brought their own handmade cloth bags for the food and snacks they bought. They then cleaned and re-used the banana leaf food wrappings to make cones, plates and bowls.
Sense of hearing
Our Group 1 children focused on their sense of hearing today. They played and listened to the sounds and music produced by instruments like the drum and xylophone. They also made and decorated their own shaker with recycled material and beans.
After that, it’s straight to the school pool for a cool dip!
Photos of today’s different group activities are here on the blog:
Panyaden Summer School’s theme this week is ‘water’. Yesterday, everyone first went to Ob Khan National Park in the morning to observe aquatic life and splash around in the cool river.
In the afternoon, we each spent time observing ice melting and condensing into little droplets that are then released into the air to combine with other water vapors to form clouds. After that, we all changed into our swimsuits and jumped into our school pool to enjoy the refreshing water to cool off again on this hot summer day in Chiang Mai.
Finally, we washed the little rocks we had collected from Ob Khan and around our school for painting interesting patterns for use as ornaments or just simply creative pieces of art.
More photos here on the blog image galleries:
Nursery students learn about the sense of smell
Here are some photos of our Group 1 nursery students learning about the sense of smell. Kru Aae took them around the school to smell different things before they visited the Panyaden School farm to see what a pig nose really looks like. Everyone then had fun back at class making pig masks! These photos and more are also in our image gallery.