The FCM Family Program is committed to fostering mindfulness, understanding and compassion in the lives of our families by providing a safe and mindful environment with activities for families. Program activities are described below and indicated on the FCM monthly calendar. Please discuss any special needs with the Family Program Coordinator.
Lotus Buds Program for Children Under 6 Years Old
Sunday mindful care and play is offered for children under age six, from 10 am - noon in the Education Building, one or more Sundays per month during the school year. Please check the FCM calendar. We call these younger children our “Lotus Buds.” Activities include free play, music, stories, movement and art. For the comfort and safety of your child, we ask that an adult (parent, guardian or grandparent) remain in the Education Building to participate with them.
For FCM members, who attend regularly with their children, the option is offered, on a case by case basis, to leave children under 6 years old in the Education Building while parents (or grandparents) attend all or part of Sunday Sangha in the Meditation Hall. Please discuss your child’s needs with the Family Program Coordinator to reach a mutually agreed upon arrangement, based on the comfort level of the child and the availability of adult supervision, as well as to discuss possible ways that parents can participate with other parents in providing cooperative care during Sunday Sangha and other events. To ensure quality supervision and care, check in with the Family Program Coordinator each week before leaving your child in the Education Building, as the number of adult supervisors available to care for your child each week may vary.
Dharma Buds Program for Children Ages 6-12
Sunday meditation and mindfulness activities are offered for children ages 6-12, from 10 am - noon in the Education Building one or more Sundays per month during the school year. Please check the FCM calendar. This program includes gentle meditation and other fun activities in an environment of mindfulness and loving kindness. Inspiration comes from the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village tradition with activities including mindfulness practice, art, music and movement. The name “Dharma Buds” was chosen by our inaugural class of children to refer to this age group.
Two Promises for Children Ages 6-12: The Two Promises, to develop understanding and compassion, are the mindfulness trainings or Buddhist ethical guidelines for children, developed by Thich Nhat Hanh. They are an integral part of the Children’s Program. Once or twice a year children will be offered additional classes to learn about the Two Promises and discuss what it means to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. They will then have the opportunity, if they choose, to receive transmission of the Two Promises in a formal ceremony with our Dharma teacher. The children receive a Dharma name and a certificate to remind them of their promises.
Teens Ages 13-18
Sundays for Teens: Teens are invited to attend Sunday Sangha in the Meditation Hall, or to contribute to the well-being of the community by helping in the Education Building with Family Program activities with the younger children. If you would like to help out, please see the Family Program Coordinator.
Teen Program: The FCM Teen Program supports mindfulness practitioners in their teen years who, inspired by the teachings of Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn, aspire to cultivate mindfulness and compassion in their lives. A regular monthly activity for teens to practice mindfulness and meditation will begin during the 2015-16 school year. In the spirit of inter-being and inclusiveness, we honor the diverse spiritual/cultural roots and religious traditions of our teens.
FOR MORE INFORMATION or to discuss special needs please contact the Family Program Coordinator. Ideas, feedback, and concerns are always welcome so that we can best support the needs of our families.