The closing ceremony of Buddha’s Light Hsi Lai School Autumn Children’s Chan Tea Course was held on November 20, with 14 students successfully completing their final assessment at Hsi Lai Temple. Learning Chan Tea does not only allow children to learn meditation in a fun way, but also helps them to cultivate their bodies, and enhance their concentration and patience. This course adopted a mixture of online and physical teaching methods, so parents and children who live far away could practice at home without having to travel.
The curriculum was designed by Ven. Hui Shiuan, teacher Jing Jing, and teacher Jennifer. They carefully wove together teaching contents for elementary and advanced Chan Tea courses, and conducted final assessments on the last day of the course. On test day, the venerable and the teachers arranged a unique testing room, with six kinds of tea leaves, traditional tea cakes, exquisite teapots and a musical instrument called a Tank Drum. Students were able to immerse themselves in a serene and tranquil environment which supported and stimulated each child's artistic mind.
The assessment process was intense and interesting. In addition to the mastery of steps in meditation and tea making, students in the elementary Chan Tea class needed to identify and name the different components of a tea set; whereas, the advanced class needed to understand the six major kinds of tea leaves, distinguish the types of black tea, and master the skills of using lidded cups. After the assessment, the students ran to joyfully share their achievements with their family members who were waiting outside.
Students, also, happily received their certificate of completion and were delighted with the pipa instrument performance by Ji Tian Lin, a student from the advanced class. Lin’s parents expressed how they truly enjoyed accompanying their child in the weekly online Chan Tea class from home. From the meditation session before class to the well-arranged lesson content, they could see and feel the growth of their child. They commented that Chan Tea classes are very helpful to Asian American children.