Buddhist Students and the Sacred (Holy) Lotus Plants.

The Buddha with lotus plants

We don’t have to be a follower of the Buddhist religion to learn  about the man called the Buddha and his connection to the Lotus plant.

All religious leaders have used nature to give lessons to humans.

The Buddha was an Indian prince who later became a monk.  Monks, priests, rabbis and other religious leaders spend their lives helping people.

The Buddha was such a kind and happy person that his preaching led to many men joining him as monks.

Buddhist monks

Like Jesus, the Buddha used flowers to give teachings to his followers so that they could become better human beings.

Why Did the Buddha Pick the Lotus Plant?

The Lotus plant grows everywhere in Asia where the Buddha and later his monks travelled: India, Sir Lanka, Thailand, China and Japan (just to mention some Buddhist countries).

The Lotus plant often grows in muddy ponds, lakes and rivers.  It’s roots are in the mud, yet it is able to bloom into a clean and beautiful plant.   The message is that when can start in the mud (bad habits, unkindness, etc) but we can become a beautiful and clean blossom with kindness, good actions, honesty and truth.

The Lotus Plants – Buddhist Symbol

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The Lotus plants come in many colours.  The Buddha used each colour to remind his followers that each colour should have a meaning in their lives.

A white lotus flower – reminds people to have a pure mind that does not concentrate on hate or doing bad things.

A red lotus flower – reminds people to have compassion (pity) and love in their hearts for everyone.

A blue lotus flower – reminds people to be wise and to think and act carefully.  Our actions always affect ourselves and others.

A pink lotus flower – reminds people to remember the actions and life of the Buddha.  People should read his words and act like he did in his lifetime.

A purple lotus flower – reminds people of their spirit – people are flesh and there is a spirit inside of everyone.  Our bodies die, but our spirits go on to eternity (heaven).

A gold lotus flower is usually found in paintings and statues. Yellow lotus plants can remind people of the gold lotus.  It is total love for God, people and nature.  It means thinking of others before thinking of yourself.  It is a peaceful plant that makes friends.

Buddhist School Children

Buddhist children will have images of the Buddha in their classrooms and probably in the school yard there will be ponds with Lotus growing.

Those of us that are not Buddhists, can look at our own wild flowers – see their colours – and match them to the Buddha’s teachings.   All religions practise a love of God and a love for every person.

More Winnie the Pooh Quotes to Inspire Everyone

We can all learn from Winnie-the-Pooh.  Look at the smile as he hugs his friends.  Being kind to others is important.  Don’t forget to look at simple things – butterflies, clouds and enjoy honey.  Always be kind to all creatures – big and small.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

Piglet: “How do you spell love?”

Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”

“It is hard to be brave, when you’re only a Very Small Animal.

“There’s the South Pole, said Christopher Robin, and I expect there’s an East Pole and a West Pole, though people don’t like talking about them.”

“It’s so much more friendly with two.”

“- What day is it?

– It’s today, – squeaked Piglet.

  • My favorite day, – said Pooh.

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.” 

Face Painting: Lots of Fun for Kids and Adults

Face painting is a lot of fun and here are some ideas.  Always use care when face painting.  Keep your eyes safe and have an adult watch or help.

“Non-Toxic” does not mean “safe for skin.” Acrylic craft paints are not meant to be used on the skin – nor are watercolor markers or pencils.

There are many brands of safe face paint readily available ( Snazaroo, Wolfe Brothers, Fardel, Paradise, Mehron, Kryolan, and Ben Nye).

 

WATER BASED FACE PAINTS

Start with at least the three primary colours: red, yellow, blue, plus a black and white. From these you can mix colours to make other colours.  For example:

red + yellow = orange

red + blue  = purple

Using Sponges are Great for Painting

Brushes often leave streak marks, but sponges get better coverage.  You can cut up sponges to give different effects.

BRUSHES Add Finer Details.

Most people recommend Snazaroo brushes for face painting as they give more control.

BOWL OF WATER

Keep refilling a bowl or bowls of water  to rinse your sponges and brushes.

Glitter comes in gels and dust and are beautiful.  Make sure to keep them out of your eyes.  Use hairbands and clips so that your hair does not have paint on it or glitter. Be clean when using paints – have a small hand towel or paper towels ready to mop up spills.

Not an Artist ?   Use Stencils.  There are also theme packs that on the website of Snazaroo.

Have fun!

 

More on Architecture, Buildings and Design for Kids –

This is the second article on architecture, buildings and design.  I think this is important for school kids.  Perhaps, you have built with Lego.  Perhaps, you have made furniture for a dolls house and helped your parents choose furniture. Maybe, you are good at art and like designing things or making things out of wood or clay.  Girls and boys have wonderful choices.

A Career for the Future?

Some students know at an early age what career they might like in the future.  Students often change their minds – all of this is o.k.  Here are some more    buildings.  At one time, a young girl or boy sat in a classroom like you and later went on to have a career connect with buildings.

Girls and boys can become architects, designers, furniture makers, painters or large murals inside buildings, etc. etc.  You don’t have to choose now.   Here are more interesting buildings – beautiful outside and decorated inside.

Good at Art – Would you Like to Design Bridges?

Bridges have been built for many, many years.  The early people needed to bring their goods over bridge by horses, mules and oxen.   Some bridges were simply made just so people could walk across them.

Here are some stunning bridges – from the old to the new.  Many have been designed by men and by women.  Perhaps, one day – you may decide to design a bridge.  Some of the bridges you may recognise – some you may have driven or taken a train across.

Good at Art – Why Not Design Buildings in the Future?

Everyone has needed a place to live.   In the early days, it may have been a cave or a tent.  Later, simple homes were put together made of mud or wood or a combination of trees, leaves and mud.

When humans became more sophisticated they had glass and metals.  Now, we have computers that can provide 3D photos of designs for homes, government buildings, hotels, palaces and homes for the rich.

Perhaps, you will become an architect or designer for the insides of buildings.  Today, girls and boys and school can become architects, builders, designers and real estate persons.  The sky is the limit.

Here are examples from old to modern.

 

Shodo: Japanese Calligraphy in Schools Done With Pride and Time

SHODO:  CALLIGRAPHY ART THAT TAKES TIME

World-wide, many students have to work quickly and get classwork done.   Work is done using pencils, ballpoint pens,  felt-tip pens or even computers.  Sometimes, with all this rushing, there is often little time to pay attention to handwriting skills.

Japanese Culture: The Art of Shodo

In Japanese schools, Shodo requires the use of a brush that will be dipped in ink.  While Western schools use the alphabet to form wo words are formed by characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOU PROBABLY HAVE SEEN EXAMPLE OF SHODO! 

You have probably seen many examples of Shodo in frames.  The art of Shodo originated in China where the Chinese use characters for words.  Next time that you are in a Chinese or Japanese restaurant look for the calligraphy of thick black characters.  A person familiar with either language would read down to up and maybe smile or nod.  The characters might be a greeting, blessing or kind words of wisdom.

SHODO MUST BE DONE CAREFULLY

Black paint is not slapped on quickly.  There is a design.  The white spaces must balance the black characters.  Each character must be centred and blend nicely with the other characters.  Students learn that there are different strokes to vary the characters and add designs that are pleasing to the eye.  You may wish to examine this art further in a book or looking at examples in restaurants or furniture stores.  You might even like to experiment with it.

Mrs. Claus and the November Visit: Winner Canadian Library Competition

mrs-claus-small

The above ebook for children is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple iBooks.  This book was a winner in the Canadian Library Association’s Competition and was published in Winners’ Circle 6 (anthology of short stories).

Here is a wonderful look into the person of Mrs Claus.  It outlines how she met Mr. Claus and how on their wedding day, they vowed to make a difference in the world.

Oliver: New York Boy With Problems

Mr. Claus hands his wife a letter from Oliver.  He intends to runaway.  Santa is very busy in November with toys to make.  He asks Mrs. Claus to take care of the problem.  Mrs. Claus climbs into the sleigh and Rudolph take off across the North Pole.  Below them is Santa’s workshop.  They head south and cross the aqua-blue ocean with its crystal icebergs glistening in the light of the moon.

Can Mrs. Claus solve Oliver’s problem?   This is a award-winning ebook waiting to be placed in the hands of a child.