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Buddhist beliefs

Invite a faith leader to visit your group and find out about Buddhism.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Chairs
  • Pens or pencils
  • Scrap paper
  • Specific activity equipment, as needed

Before you begin

  • Contact a local Buddhist temple. See if they have any faith leaders or members of the community who would be able to visit your regular meeting place. If it’s not possible, you could arrange to visit them at their place of worship. Read Interacting with faiths and cultures for more guidance.
  • If you’d like the guest to give a short talk or presentation, give them plenty of notice. Consider sharing the Scouts World Faith Activity Badge requirements if you want them to cover specific topics.
  • Risk assess the activities you’ll run alongside the visit from the guest.

 

Welcome your guest

  1. Prepare for the visit by setting out chairs.
  2. Welcome the guest, offer them some refreshments if you can, and introduce them to the group.
  3. Invite your guest to give a short talk as an introduction to the Buddhist faith and how it has impacted their life. If your group aren’t familiar with Buddhism, this is a great chance to talk about the faith’s core beliefs and values.

Run the activities

  1. Set up the activity bases.
  2. Everyone should get into smaller groups and work their way around the different activities. Involve your guest in the activities if they want to lead or participate.
  3. After completing the activities, everyone should come back together. Give out pens or pencils and paper.
  4. In smaller groups, everyone should write down a question to ask your guest. Think about:
    • how the guest’s faith has impacted their life
    • Buddhism’s core beliefs, values and important texts
    • how the teachings of Buddhism can affect daily life.
  1. Every small group should participate by asking questions. Small groups could have a nominated spokesperson or take turns asking.
  2. Give the guest the chance to ask any questions they might have.
  3. Everyone should thank the guest before the end of the session.

Reflection

This activity was about helping to develop beliefs. Everyone heard how the teachings of the Buddhist faith can impact our daily lives. Everyone should spend a couple of minutes thinking about their own beliefs, values and attitudes. These could ideas based on their own faith or could be values like integrity, care or cooperation. Think about some of the ways that these personal beliefs affect the way we act, or other aspects of our lives.

This activity was also about learning to communicate. Everyone listened to the guest and thought about some questions they wanted answered. Asking questions can help people to find out more about a topic, and whether our ideas align with it. Challenge everyone to share some thoughts or questions from the session with a friend. Or, if they’re comfortable, share them with the wider group. 

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.