This section is willingly created for kids from 6 to 15 years old in order to help them
understand much better the basic steps of Buddhism in English.
The objective aim focuses mainly on Buddhist children who wish to learn something
spiritually useful for their life.
Some portions are withdrawn from the text book of “Sangha Talk” by Shenpen Zangpo
and Francis Huang written for the beginner and intermediate level of studying Buddhism in Taipei.
The other ones are created by Vietnamese monks and nuns and lay disciples.
Thank you for all support and may the Buddha bless everyone.
Bhikkhuni TN Minh Tam
If we just listen to the Dharma teaching but don’t practice, we’re like a ladle in
a pot of soup.
Everyday the ladle is in the pot, but it doesn’t know the taste of the soup. You
must contemplate and meditate.
· Brief history of Buddhism
· Life of the Buddha
· Buddhist tales
· Sacred words
Brief History of Buddhism
(from ‘What Buddhists Believe’ by K.Sri Dhammananda)
Gautama, The Buddha
The Founder of Buddhism
Buddha, the founder of what came to be known as Buddhism, lived in Northern
India in the 6th century B.C. His personal name was Siddhattha,
and family name Gautama. The name ‘Buddha’ was given to Him after
He attained Enlightenment and realized the Truth. It means the ‘Awakened’
or the ‘Enlightened One.’ He generally called Himself the Tathagata, while
His followers called Him Bhagava, the Blessed One. Others spoke of
Him as Gautama or Sakyamuni.
A Jataka Tale:
The weather is fine. The prince and his companion are out hunting.
He enters a forest.
The deer sees this. He is sad because the prince is in pain.
He is suffering. The deer
The prince hearing the deer speak is surprised. He is ashamed. He asks the deer to help him.
First the deer carries rocks on his back. He is practicing to carry
the prince. Finally, he
Questions to kids:
1. Is the prince hunting alone?
Like The Moon
A young monk
Who diligently practices
Illumines the world
Like the moon that
Breaks through the clouds.
From The Dhammapada
Our defilements are like fertilizer for our practice.
Chicken manure and buffalo dung is filthy stuff, but it’s fertilizer for trees.
It makes the fruit sweet.
In suffering, there is happiness.
In confusion, there is calm.
The Waves of Impermanence
When we ride in a boat, we think that the shore is moving then we observe the
boat, and know that it is the boat that is moving.
Likewise, because we are confused, when we see things around us we believe
that out mind and nature are permanent.
When we practice and settle on the self, we realize that all things are
impermanent and constantly changing.
Zen Master Dogen
How Does A Trapper Catch A Monkey?
How does a trapper catch a monkey? He takes a coconut and makes a
small hole in it. He then puts some peanuts inside and outside the
A Buddha story
1. What does the trapper use to catch monkeys?
Buddha sacred words
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Good Deeds, Good Consequences
The master of the monastery could see into the future. One day he
saw that one little novice monk called Sakmi would die in seven days.
He told him to visit his parents for a week.
An Agama Tale
Looking at the moon
When talking about the moon, we sometimes say it looks happy, sometimes we say it look sad; sometimes we enjoy ourselves drinking sake while looking at it. Each moon that is seen by a human being corresponds to his karma and none of them are real.
Kodo Sawaki Roshi
1. Does the moon appear the same to everyone?
Still The Forest Pool
Be mindful and let all things naturally occur.
Your mind will then become quiet in any situation.
It will become like a clear forest pool and all kinds of wonderful
and rare animals will come to drink from it.
You will then clearly see the nature of all phenomena.
You will see many wonderful and strange things coming and going.
But you will be still.
This is the joy of the Buddha.
Only Reflection of Mind
Look outward at the appearing objects,
And like the water in a mirage,
They are more delusive than delusion,
Unreal like dreams and illusions,
They resemble a reflected moon and rainbows.
Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche
can find any house where there is no one died
Kisa Gotami’s son died. She loved him dearly, so she could not accept
his death. Carrying the corpse, she went from house to house to find
medicine. Of course, nobody could help her.
Dogen Zenji taught that our attitude should be one of diligent practice
in every situation that we encounter. If we fall into hell, we just
go through hell; this is the most important attitude to have.
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi
Just sit in the reality of life,
Seeing heaven and hell, misery and joy,
Life and death all with the same eye.
I believe if we sincerely recite the name “Amitabha Buddha” then we will
be reborn in the Pure
We are the boss of our life.
I definitely choose the Eternal Way to Freedom, how’s about you?
Relativity and Interdependence
When there is beauty, there is ugliness.
Right cannot exist without wrong.
Wisdom and ignorance are dependent.
And illusion and enlightenment and inseparable pair.
This is not a new concept, but an ancient truth.
Wanting this and that is mere stupidity.
I’ll let you know a secret
All things are impermanent.
Zen Master Ryokan
"Turn Away from Suffering"
When I was just a
boy in Nepal, a strange man in orange robes arrived in our village. He
was a monk who spoke of the holy Buddha, a great man who had achieved enlightenment
under a fig tree.
"Buddha said that suffering is the lot of men," he said, as everyone in the village began to cluster around him. "Men suffer as long as they cling to desires. You suffer when you don't get something you want or when something you like is taken from you. You even suffer when you have to endure something you do not like."
The crowd nodded in agreement. They certainly knew what suffering was.
"Turn away from suffering. Give up your attachments to the world," he urged us. He told us that his order wanted to start a monastery here in our mountains so that more people could learn about Buddha's Way.
A few days later several more monks appeared begging for their food. When we saw them, my friend BHARAT and I ran to his mother GANDHARI and asked her to cook some extra rice for them.
"Tell the monks to cook their own food!" she retorted.
"Please, mother," Bharat asked.
"All right. But just this time."
We brought a bowl of rice to the men in orange robes. "What is it like to be a monk" I asked one of them.
"We live a simple life together," he said "Whatever food is given to us we share with each other. We spend our lives in prayers and meditation."
I was attracted to what he said. When the monks opened a school for boys, I asked my parents if I could go there. Shortly after that, my parents delivered me to the head monk DHARMA, and I joined the monastery as a novice. My head was shaved, and I put on their orange robes.
We boys studied the words of the Buddha and learned how to chant special prayers. When the time came, I chose to join them. I vowed to give up the world and put the welfare of others before my own. I was given the name ANANDA, one of the Buddha's close companions.
One day when I was begging, I came across my friend Bharat. "How are you?" he asked.
"I'm all right," I answered. "It's a different life, but I've gotten used to it."
"We miss you," Bharat said. "My mother was just saying what a shame it was that you joined the monastery. She thinks all this worship is foolishness."
"Have you ever thought of becoming a monk?" I asked.
He thought for a moment. "Sometimes," he said.
We spoke for a while. I told him about Buddha's teachings and how kind the other monks were. "You know, Bharat, sometimes you just have to break away from home and go your own way."
A few days later his mother appeared at our gates demanding to speak with the head monk. Bharat reached the gates just behind her.
Dharma invited them into our main hall. "What exactly is the problem?" he asked Gandhari calmly.
"My son wants to leave me and join your monastery!" she yelled. "I am a widow. Who will take care of me in my old age?"
"Is this true?" he asked Bharat.
"I am thinking about it. Ananda tells me how nice it is to be with you."
"But how will you care for your mother?" Dharma asked. "She has no other way to support herself."
Bharat looked ashamed. Dharma spoke to him kindly. "You know, our path is the Middle Way. You do not need to become a monk to practice it."
Then he turned to me. "And, Ananda, what's all this about your trying to influence Bharat?
"He's my friend," I answered. "Being a monk would be a better life for him."
"That is for him to decide. You have taken vows." Dharma reminded me. "You must give up this desire for his friendship. You must put his mother's welfare before your own."
Now I looked down. I also felt ashamed.
"Beg the forgiveness of your friend and his mother. Then spend the rest of this day meditating on what has just happened."
I saw his point and did as he requested.
After a long life, I
passed into that state between death and birth. I saw how my little self
had kept me from reaching Enlightenment. I still had to take birth, but
the wisdom of the monks would help me...
Never seek happiness outside yourself.
Life is not about what happens to us; it’s about how we perceive what happens to us.
Master your past in the present or the past will master your future.
From Taro Gold
in “Open Your Mind, Open Your Life”
Never let life’s hardships disturb you. After all, no one can avoid
problems, not even saints or sages.
If you want one year of prosperity, plant corn. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, educate people.
Our past and our future simultaneously exist in our present.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue; cowardice the greatest vice – non-violence springs from love, cowardice from hate.
Truth has the power to dispel the darkness of ignorance – just as a candle has the power to light a cave that has been dark for a million years.
By Taro Gold
Your actions are simultaneously the result of past karma and the creation of new karma. Action creates memory and memory creates desire. Desire produces further action, which continues the cycle of karma. To be aware of this reality and to master your actions are the keys to creating the karma of happiness.
By Taro Gold
The idea that life and death are separate is the reasoning of dreams, deluded and inverted. If when wide awake we examine our true nature, we will find no beginning that requires our being born and no end that requires our dying. What we will find is the essence of life, which cannot be burned by apocalyptic flames or worn away by flood or cut down by sword or pierced by arrow. It is not too large to enter the seed of a flower without the seed expanding. It is not too small to fill the entire universe without the universe contracting.
The Parable of the Impoverished Son
The boy’s father loved his son very much, but had no idea where to find him. As time went on, the father became very rich.
Fifty years passed. One day, the son showed up at his father's estate. He did not know whose grand home this was, but wondered if he could find a job there. The father recognized his son, and set messengers to greet him. The father was overjoyed that his son had returned.
But the son misunderstood. He thought the messengers were trying to arrest him for doing something wrong.
The father saw his son’s fear and confusion. He realized his son was not ready to accept the truth, so he told the messengers to leave his son alone.
Later the father had some of his servants dress in rags. He had these servants go to his son and offer him a job shoveling excrement. The son had been living so poorly for so long, he saw this job as a wonderful opportunity.
Over the years, the father showed an interest in his son. He praised him, increasing his pay, and gave him better jobs. But he never told him his true identity.
After twenty years, the father was old and near death. By then the son was in charge of all of the wealthy man’s business. The son had become a responsible but humble man.
Finally, just before his death, the father gathered all of his friends and all the powerful people of the city to his bedside. He told them all the true identity of his son. He said his son was heir to all his fortune.
Our Religion: Buddhism
is a religion – a very great religion. People who follow this religion
are called Buddhists. We are Buddhist because we practice Buddhism.
Two Virtues That Protect The World
social animals, so it is said. When we live together in the form
of society, we need a body of laws to keep peace and ensure justice for
all members, without which it would be impossible for the society to function.
We can say, therefore, that all of us are under the protection of law.
But the Buddha speaks about a different kind of protection, a far superior
It is the moral protection that he so often stresses.