Discovering Basic Goodness
Lesson: Discovering Our Basic Goodness
Age group: 5-12 years old
Time: 1-1.5 hours
About the Lesson
Are we our thoughts and emotions? What is our basic nature? Does everyone have basic goodness? How does discovering our basic goodness change our relationship to other people?
- Discovering and finding trust and confidence in our basic goodness
- Understanding that our thoughts and emotions cover our basic goodness just like clouds cover the blue sky, but we are not our thoughts and emotions.
- Experiencing that meditation helps us to come back to our true home, our basic goodness.
- Check that children manage to do a simple practice of meditation.
- See if everyone understands that everyone has basic goodness and how this understanding can help in daily life situations.
Key points for educators
Thoughts and emotions appear and go, just like clouds in the sky. The clouds are not the sky. We are much bigger than our thoughts and emotions – we are like the sky. Our basic nature is goodness, our true nature is like the sky. We just need to take a plane in order to see that as soon as we go up very high, through the clouds, there is always an infinite blue sky.
Below you find different options for activities you can include in your lesson. Please choose what you feel is appropriate for your group and the time you have available.
Allowing children to settle down with a short meditation. Bringing to mind our kind attitude and good motivation for oneself and for others.
Inspirational Intro: “Geode”
Show a real geode. Let children look at it first only from outside, then open it or shine in it with a torch. Ask children to describe what they see. “This is a little like this geode, it looks like an ordinary stone on the outside, grey and plain, but inside are special, precious crystals. If we shine the torch in, we can see them sparkling and shining. We all seem ordinary on the outside, we have a body, but inside is this hidden jewel or inner goodness, basic goodness.”
Ask: “When do you feel this hidden jewel, your basic goodness shining through in your life? Maybe when you are very happy? When someone is very kind to you?” Let children describe situations in their life where they have glimpses of their basic goodness shining through.
Guided Contemplation: Who Am I Really?
Access a short guided contemplation by clicking here.
Guided Meditation Using Sound
Access a short guided sound meditation by clicking here.
Game: Passing the Parcel
Play pass the parcel with a representation of our “basic goodness,” such as a precious gem, wrapped in layers and layers of different coloured paper. When the music stops, unwrap a layer on which is written something that covers our “basic goodness” such as anger, anxiety, worrying, sadness, being jealous, etc. Once all the layers have come off, take time to read over all that has been written on them, but there in the middle is our basic goodness untouched by any of our thoughts or feelings.
Exercise: Shower of Compliments
Each child gets a paper plate stuck on his back, the other children of the group write or draw on the plate a “compliment” they have seen in this child.
Creative Activity: Handprint and Flowers
Children draw their hands on coloured paper and cut it out, cut petals and stem. Glue everything on the paper. Stick a photo of each child into the flower and draw or write a ‘kind action’ on each petal—it is these actions that help our basic goodness to actually flower.
Takeaway Activity: Daily Life
Give out a precious stone or jewel to each of the children and ask them to keep it in their pockets and whenever they touch it to remind themselves that everyone has a jewel inside them and that therefore everyone deserves our kindness and compassion.
Closing the lesson with a short meditation and dedicating everything we did towards the happiness and well-being of oneself and others.
Additional Resources and Materials
Story: “Now I know that we all have a jewel inside us”
Author: Sally Devorsine
Story “The Hermit and the Well”
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
This book about connecting with our basic goodness.
“Sky Inside”: click here to access audio and lyrics
“Sit like the Buddha” click here to access audio and lyrics
“You are enough as you are” click here to access audio and lyrics