Buddha At Bedtime

Buddha at bedtime
Buddha at Bedtime. What we are currently reading.

What does it mean to be Buddhist?  What does it mean to be Buddhist in Japan or the US?  These are questions we have been exploring.

This summer we plan to visit several Buddhist temples, especially in Kyoto, Nara, and Nagano. (Kyoumizudera, Kinkakuji, Todaiji, Zenkoji to name a few)  In Japan, the main religions are Shintoism and Buddhism.  Statistically speaking there are more than twice as many practitioners of religion in Japan than there are citizens!  Nearly every Japanese citizen  considers themselves both Shinto and Buddhist, unlike here in the USA where we often identify ourselves with one or none.

As a family we have been reading Buddha at Bedtime each night. Wabi and Sabi really enjoy the stories and the moral lesson at the end of each one.  In a couple of days they will provide their own review of this book.  I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say about it.

2 thoughts on “Buddha At Bedtime”

  1. I appreciate this post! I’m teaching my 2-4th grade religious education class about Buddhism this Sunday. Looking forward to hearing more about this subject from you all since we’ll be covering it over the next month.

    1. Thank you Cynthia! I like how this book explains what it means to follow Buddhism. 1) the 4 Noble Truths and 2) the Eight-fold Path. It is similar to the 10 commandments, but broken up into two sections. Sometimes Buddhist writings do not take into account that children are not yet ready for such heavy contemplation. Buddha At Bedtime uses a child-friendly way of teaching these without seeming to talk down to them.
      When there is some discord in our house between Wabi and Sabi we often have them repeat what the 4 Noble Truths are:
      1) Everyone suffers (suffering because they want to play with the toy the sister has… right now)
      2) Suffering is caused by our own selfish and greedy minds (why are you crying right now? Because you want the toy she has?)
      3) Suffering can be overcome (Stop fussing… let’s see if we can figure out how to get over this)
      4) Following the 8-fold path will help you do this.

      Then we ask what some of the 8-fold path items are. We don’t really expect them to say them all, just want really matters at that point. Some books say it is Right Understanding, Right thought, Right speech, Right Action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, and Right Concentration. The Buddha at Bedtime breaks these down into simpler ways for children to understand.

Please leave a comment