Tag Archives: natural materials

Panyaden’s New Eco-friendly Hall Official Opening

Panyaden's bamboo and earth assembly hall, seen from the school's rice fields

In with the new….. Panyaden’s new assembly hall is officially opened by Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro in a traditional Buddhist blessing ceremony. Designed and built by Chiangmai Life Construction , the magnificent structure is testament to the creativity and inspiration that are possible when art and science combine with natural materials.

Start of traditional Buddhist blessing ceremony for Panyaden's new assembly hall A traditional Buddhist blessing ceremony for Panyaden's new assembly hall Buddhist blessings by Ajahn Jayasaro for Panyaden

 Prayers during the Buddhist blessing ceremony for Panyaden's new hall Panyaden new assembly hall Buddhist blessing ceremony 2017 Arches and curved bamboo roof design, Photo by Panyaden International School

Intricate bamboo roof design, Panyaden International School's new assembly hall. Photo by Panyaden Bamboo poles and intricate roof design, Panyaden International School's new assembly hall View from inside Panyaden International School's new assembly hall

Futuristic look, Panyaden's new hall. Photo and design by Chiangmai Life Construction Panyaden's new assembly hall, reflections in the lake  Top view of Panyaden's new assembly hall. Photo by CLC

More photos here: Panyaden Assembly/Indoor Sports Hall official opening.
See also other photos of the hall construction in Panyaden’s blog image galleries.

Panyaden ‘My Project’ Term 1 Starts

Panyaden International School's Year 2 - 7 students working on their self-directed 'My Project'
Panyaden’s ‘My Project’ begins! Year 2 – 7 students start choosing, planning and designing their self-directed learning projects for this term. Topics include computer animation, making products from natural materials, building a tree house and more. Stay tuned for updates!

_MG_8697-logo Gardening - primary students working on their self-directed 'My Project' 2016/7, Term 1, Panyaden International School  _MG_8729-logo Candle-making - 'My Project': Panyaden's self-directed learning programme for primary students  _MG_8779-logo Panyaden International School's primary students working on their 'My Project'  _MG_8794-logo Panyaden students working on computer animation, one of the themes for this term's 'My Project'

Click for more photos on our blog and on Facebook.

K2 Makes Natural Dyes

Panyaden International School kindergarten 2 students picking butterfly pea flowers to make natural dyes for painting

“Colours are the smiles of nature”

– Leigh Hunt

Panyaden Kindergarten 2 Butterflies make vibrant dyes from natural materials such as roselle, butterfly pea, beetroot and pandanus. They collected the butterfly pea flowers themselves at school and created pictures on fabric.

Panyaden Kindergarten students picking butterfly pea flowers for making natural dyes Picking butterfly pea flowers to make natural dye, Panyaden International School kindergarten 2 student Panyaden students using natural dye for painting Kindergarten student painting on fabric, Panyaden International School

Panyaden Kindergarten Student Tents

DSC_3961 Panyaden School student in her tent!
As part of our ‘Green Fingers’ topic, Kindergarten 2-3 students learnt about the difference between man-made and natural materials. Students had to work out whether everyday items were man-made or from nature, then used all of the natural materials to make their own tents.

DSC_3991 Panyaden School kindergarten student making a green tent DSC_4001 Kindergarten students making a tent from natural materials, Panyaden School This is our tent! Happy kindergarten students, Panyaden International School File_007 This is our tent! Happy kindergarten students, Panyaden International School

See more photos on our blog.

Making of A Buddha Image

Panyaden Photo by Ally Taylor

พระปัญญานุภาพไชยมงคล

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” (https://www.lotussculpture.com/mudras.htm). The Bhumisparsha Mudra therefore symbolises Buddha’s victory over Mara, the demon that embodies “the Tempter, the forces of greed, hatred and delusion” (https://www.chiangmai-chiangrai.com/buddhist_ceremonies_1.html).

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:
https://www.lotussculpture.com/mudras.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iconography_of_Gautama_Buddha_in_Laos_and_Thailand
https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/buddhist-art/flash/thaiart-flash.html

Waste Water Management for a Green School

“Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.”

– The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Although Coleridge was writing about being surrounded by seawater that is unfit for consumption,
we may face the same ‘undrinkable’ scenario if we do not save our water resources or protect them
from contamination.

We apparently consume and generate an average of 10 billion pounds of solid and liquid waste each day. If we do not dispose of this waste responsibly, we could create environmental pollution that is hazardous to both humans and nature.

Waste water treatment
I wish there is a better way of naming this process but it is what it is – an efficient way of removing contaminants from liquid waste and safely discharging or reusing the resulting effluent and sludge.

Besides using natural materials for its construction, Panyaden School treats waste water as part of its ‘green mindfulness’  to save water to reduce its ecological footprint. The students gain firsthand knowledge of water conservation and responsible wastewater management.

How waste water is treated at Panyaden School
Have a look at the diagram of the waste water treatment (I’d refer to it as WWT) plant that the school’s construction company, Chiangmai Life Construction has discreetly built at the back of its premises with the help of environmental consultants from Utility Business Alliance (UBA*).

The UBA team from Bangkok has designed the main WWT capsule to be placed safely underground where it will not be an eye sore.

There are 2 basic stages to a standard WWT plant:

Primary Stage: From the Equalization or EQ Tank where it is contained, the wastewater first passes through a physical stage where large, solid garbage is filtered out and separated from the lighter waste such as grease and oils. These will settle to the bottom while the grease and oils rise to the surface.

Secondary Stage: This is the biological stage that can be either anaerobic or aerobic. The UBA team chose the latter type since the organic compound content in the School’s wastewater will not be high. It is also easy to control and operate.

Aerobic treatment: The wastewater is filled with oxygen and ‘good’ micro-organisms, which will decompose the organic waste. Once the water has been treated, it will be separated from the micro-organism afters it goes into the sedimentation tank. The solid waste will be released as bacteria-rich sludge.


After stage 2, the wastewater may still contain some organic compounds, phosphates, nitrates and pathogens. These can be further removed in the third level through a series of chemical and physical processes. However the effluent discharged from Stage 2 (with the proper design and operation) normally passes the effluent standard, hence eliminating the need for further treatment.

How the treated water is used at Panyaden School
The School’s WWT plant treats the water up to the secondary stage. The treated water is safe and clean enough to be discharged into the natural waterways. The bacteria-rich sludge is used as organic fertilizer.

Clean water everywhere
We can all do our part to conserve water and ease the pressure on waste treatment plants in our town, city or state. Pause and think a little before you turn on the tap. Let’s do what we can to ensure we will have enough clean water everywhere in the future, “flowing, ever flowing” (Andrew B. Paterson, poet).

*Utility Business Alliances Co., Ltd. (UBA), https://www.uba.co.th

Established in 2000 by a group of science professionals, the company specializes in water pollution management. It is accepted as one of the leaders in waste and water management treatment in Thailand.

UBA is certified with international qualification standards of ISO9001 and ISO14001 (Environment Management System).

The UBA team for Panyaden School is made up of K. Bordin Udon, K. Piti Julkhananukit, K. Somchat Sanghitkul and K. Alisa Wichichiencharoen. They are working on 3 projects for the School:

  • Designing and building the WWT plant
  • Designing the Food Waste Digester (look out for our next post on this)
  • Measuring the School’s carbon footprint and recommending ways of
    keeping it low