This past week, Lake Tahoe School fifth through eighth grade students had the opportunity to hear a Buddhist monk share about his personal background and his work at his temple in Chicago. Bhante Sujatha – known as the “Happy Monk” – travels the world speaking to various groups including students and sharing his message of loving kindness and meditation.
For our students, Bhante spent the beginning of the assembly simply taking questions as he was asked about the teachings of Buddha, his own youth and growing up in Sri Lanka, as well as what convinced him to become a Buddhist monk. Other questions varied widely from how early he got out of bed each day to meditate – 4:00 am, if you were wondering – to what life was like in Sri Lanka and everything in between.
Near the end of his presentation, Bhante spent a few moments teaching the students basic meditation techniques as well as a simple chant – a simplified version of “Namaste” – “Namo,“ meaning respect. Finally, he taught all of us a simple meditation – “I am well. I am happy. I am peaceful.” Who could argue with that?
All in all, the students appreciated learning about another culture and belief system. As always, none of the LTS students were at a loss for words and eagerly and respectfully listened to our guest. Special thanks to parents Mary Berns and Rebecca Kassekert for helping arrange Bhante’s visit.