Lord Buddha’s teachings contain a total of 84,000 topics. As a school teacher, which parts of the teachings I should lecture to the school students at the primary and secondary levels?

We have always known that the Lord Buddha’s teachings contain a total of 84,000 topics. For me as a school teacher, I would like to ask which parts of the Teachings I should lecture to the school students at the primary and secondary levels. https://dmc.tv/a3469

Dhamma Articles > Question and Answer for Life
[ Aug 30th, 2004 ] - [ read : 13614 ]
Question:
I would like to ask Luang Por, Sir, that business these days is comprised of competing by means of pricing, trading-in, presenting a gift and offering something as a giveaway in order to beat the competitors.  In doing so, is it considered exploiting the opposite sides?
  

Answer
by Venerable Dhattajeevo Bhikku  

Dear Director, looking closely into the matter of teaching the Buddhist principles to the school children, you will find it isn’t complicated at all, but the adults have made the matter complicated themselves.  The Dhamma Teachings contain as many as 84,000 topics, and they all have primarily the same one main subject, that is the matter of karma or cause and effect.

If the students understand how cause is built up and in which ways it can be totally eradicated, it means that they have already understood the entire body of Teachings.

 Meanwhile, the Lord Buddha introduced that the most appropriate way to teach moral principles to others is to start by cultivating the Right Understanding (Samma Ditthi) in their minds.  The question remains, in what ways must the students have the Right Understanding?  They must have the Right Understanding regarding the karmic results from the ones first easy to understand approaching then to the more serious ones.

In another words, in order to instill virtues into students, the teacher must first impart much interest in the cultivation of Right View within their hearts.  The Lord Buddha clarified the ten categories of Right View as follows:

1)    Sharing is a desirable activity, for we live our lives through generosity.

2)     Welfare work is also necessary.

3)    Virtues should be honored.    This practice will lead persons to respect each other and not be critical towards each other.

Once teachers have secured these three types of Right View in the students’ minds, they will then be able to easily teach the students any other additional virtues.

Teach them the value of sharing, welfare work, respectfulness for others’ virtues, and liberality to others’ feelings, as well as praising the honor of their goodness.

 
Once the three fundamental virtues have been well cultivated to students to the extent that they are willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in times of need, have gratitude towards their parents and teachers, and have honor in others’ virtues, teachers can then encourage them in much more virtuous developments, which are consistent to the individual’s nature.

I would like to emphasize that although parents and teachers may like to foster a broader range of virtues in children, such as teaching them to chant, to donate, to offer alms, to observe the precepts and so on, they should never neglect training children in sharing, honoring the virtues of others and respecting others.

If we can successfully establish the moral teachings accordingly, students will be able to possess the righteousness in themselves forever.

 
One important thing that teachers and parents must always bear in mind is that every single thought, action and speech produces karmic results.

 
Once the events created by false thought, speech, and action are negatively imprinted in the children’s memory it will cause them to display the destructive attitudes towards others.

 
On the contrary, adult’s goodness and creative speech before the children’s eyes will be positively absorbed into their minds accordingly, all the way through until they become grown-up.

 
Therefore, I would like to emphasize that being a good role model to children is necessary.  If parents love their children and teachers love their students, they should be a good example for them.

 
If the right role models are there in front of the children, I will never ever worry about the children’s lack of capacity for memorizing all of the Lord Buddha’s Teachings, for they will be able to pick up and absorb the virtues from the good examples being displayed as their own automatically.

 
On the contrary, if parents and teachers make the mistake of not even trying to set an example, such a moral lesson is of no value to the children.

 
Moreover, parents and teachers must realize that regular thinking, speaking and doing develops childrens’ habits.

 
Regular negative thinking, speaking and doing will produce bad habits.  Similarly, regular positive thinking, speaking and doing will bring about good habits.

 
Therefore, parents must be careful of their own performance behavior in front of their children, if it is correct or not.

 
When children do something wrong, parents must immediately correct their behavior, while it’s still fresh in their minds. If not, wrongdoing will continue to be repeated, and eventually developed into a bad habit, which is then hard to re-establish.

 Thai forefathers took great care in training daily disciplines associated with eating and drinking for children.  They were quite conscious that eating each gulp of rice and drinking each drop of milk and water produces a habit.

 If parents fail to instill eating and drinking disciplines to children, they will be liable later on in life to having created a wrong eating and drinking nature.  But, if children have good disciplines with regards to eating and drinking, they will start to make progress in wisdom with every gulp of rice and every drop of milk and water they take.


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