Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tibetan Prayer Flags


This week homeschooling has been very slow because Little BBQ has been sick. When Little BBQ is sick, he does not want to do anything but sleep. It really stresses and freaks me out when he is sick because he is such an active little kid. He is the type of kid that can barely sit through dinner, and when he is sitting, he is fidgeting. Now that Little BBQ is feeling better we can continue on with our schooling. We started a small unit study on Tibet. Little BBQ picked some books about Tibet from the library last week, so we have been enjoying some Tibetan folklore.


One of the stories that we read was “Yeshi’s Luck” from the book Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas. The lesson in the story is that we don’t know what life is going bring us; things that at first might seem bad can be good and vice versa, so we should just take life as it comes at us. I really wanted to focus on this story this week because Little BBQ has an explosive temper because he is a very passionate child. While I love his passion, I need to teach him different ways to cope with his temper other than throwing things or hitting things. Contained in the story is a chant, “Om Mani Padmé Hung” that is pronounced OHM MAHnee peMAY hoong. The chant means, “the jewel is in the lotus blossom.” Every time an event occurs in the story the father repeats this chant to clear his mind. I am trying to teach Little BBQ to do the same thing whenever he feels a temper tantrum coming on. Little BBQ really likes the chant and says it really slowly to really annunciate the different sounds in the chant. So far he has said the chant after he has a temper tantrum and not before, but it is a start.

The other cool thing that the story highlights at the end is prayer flags. In Tibet, people write prayers on pieces of bright colored cloth and put them on a string and hang them outside (Rose, 2004, p 4). We obviously don’t know any Tibetan prayers, so we put things that we are thankful for on our Tibetan prayer flags. Some things that Little BBQ included on his flags were, “mommy, daddy, little sister, pink, food, kitties, and sun.” I also wrote a poem on one flag that was contained in the story. The poem is posted below.

Life is like a potter’s clay
changing shape from day to day.
As stars sparkle in the sky
light and dark go quickly by.
What’s the future, no one knows.
Be at peace with how life goes.

(Rose, 2004, p 23)

I am having Little BBQ memorize the poem. When things upset him, we discuss the poem. The poem is really beautifully and speaks to us all on those hard days when life seems to take a turn for the worse. I think our whole family can learn a lot from the Tibetan culture. I hope you enjoy our paper version of Tibetan prayer flags.

1 comment:

  1. Your flags are lovely! I really like your adaptation.

    ReplyDelete

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