Cultivating a Precious Mind: A Case Study Of “The Elementary School Mind Training Program” by Zizhulin Dharma Center
廿一世紀是全球化的時代，當世界已成為全球社區（global community），聯合國教科文組織提出「心智成長」的培育越來越重要。近代教育的發展趨勢，從講求邏輯的資訊時代漸漸轉化為重視創新、同理心與整合力的感性時代。世人關注心智（mind）的健康成長，著重高感性（high concept）與高體會（high touch），重視為自他創造喜樂，並且從「單一、封閉」的學校教育，朝向「多元、開放」的家庭、學校、社會教育的結合。
佛教在世間，不離社會，關懷當代，尊重每個生命的價值，倡導「人成即佛成」的教育。因此佛陀特別注重心智的培育，其修習總綱即是「三學」──戒學、定學、慧學。以戒為首，由戒生定，再由定發慧，以洗滌心智的躁亂不安，進而培育心靈的專注力和智慧，長養出和諧的人生觀，以化解生命的無明衝動、暴力傷害等。香光尼僧團紫竹林精舍，秉承佛陀的關懷並實踐終身學習，以「三學」為教學方向，訂定了「心智教學」。此課程之目的，並非要宣傳佛教信仰使青少年成為佛教徒，而是要開展出人的四種心智功能（思考、感受、感官和直覺thinking，feeling，senses and intuition），以長養關懷生命的器度。
【Abstract】The 21st century is the era of globalization. As the world developed into a global community, cultural conservation organization such as UNESCO have presented various researches indicating the rising importance of how society should obtain the essential ability of nurturing individual’s mental growth. In the recent trend of educational development; instead of focusing on technological and logical training, intuition now focused more on creativity, empathy and integrated organization skills. This gives an emphasis on healthy intellectual growth with the high conceptual skills incorporating with hands on skill creating a happy atmosphere for oneself and others. The trend departs from a “Single and Closed” school education to a “Multi and Open” education in form of family, school and society.
In 1998, the Ministry of Education in Taiwan had planned out “The General Guidelines of Grade 1-9 Curriculum” and introduced “Ten Core Competences” while replacing the old approach of subject learning by “Seven Learning Areas”. In the guidelines, it states that the subject of the civil education is for the student to focus on living experience in order to establish essential core abilities of modern citizen. Later, in the year of 2004, the Ministry of Education promotes “Character-Building Movement.” The movement launched in schools and practiced in the society, focus on aiming to develop a modern civilization with healthy minds while individual developed to be “ethical with valuable ability and high-quality living.”
In a Buddhism base society, “when human-hood is fulfilled enlighten is also achieve.” Hence, many Buddhist instructors emphasized the nurturing of mind. “The Three Studies,” a core Buddhist training, includes: discipline, meditation and insight. This training starts from discipline, then approach to meditation and finally reaching insight, while three of them are linked to each other. The aim is to purify the mind by developing the ability to focus. Meanwhile, it also practice peaceful and positive attitude in order to keep the harmony between oneself and as a group. The main purpose is to resolve irrational impulse, violence, and anxiety towards others.
Fowling the Buddha’s teaching of love and compassion, Zizhulin Dharma Center of Luminary International Buddhist Society. supports the life long learning of “The Three Studies” as the teaching principle. The program also knows as “Mind Teaching.” Besides training it followers, it also extends to the local schools. The focus is not to convert students to Buddhism but to promote the four mind functions, and nurture the ability of life-caring through Buddha’s teaching.
Since 1999, Zizhulin Dharma Center and Hsiang Kuang Social Welfare Foundation has been working together to build the Luminary (Hsiang Kuang) Volunteer Team. The team visits eight academic institutions, including Kaohsiung elementary schools, charities and community center. In total, the team promotes “Mind Teaching” that is guided by the living practice to 42 classes and 1,500 teenagers every semester. The Three Studies training is connected to the moral, physical and the intellectual education. The “Mind Teaching” program is designed to include: Discipline- general moral education by encouraging good behaviors; Meditation-education of physical and mind fitness; and Insight-education of mind wisdom by reduce self-centeredness. This is to inspire the self-awareness of teenagers’ and to nurture the mind ability to love selves and others. The program has been put into practice for 16 years and is recognized as a good supplement to pubic school education. By using the strength of life and moral education, it gradually enhanced the students’ intellectual mind and creating a whole new enlightened generation.
The case study of “The Elementary School Mind Training Program” by Zizhulin Dharma Center is an example of how a Buddhist organization builds up a volunteer team and promote life long learning, to inspire the precious mind development, and to take care of student’s mental growth. The goal of the program is to bring love and happiness to the world.