Dates and events to inspire assemblies - Bodhi Day

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What's it all about?

Bodhi Day, December 8, is traditionally the day that the Buddha achieved the state of enlightenment.

Assembly ideas

This is a good way to introduce primary pupils to Buddhism, as it is a fantastic story to tell.

You could start by talking to the children about where the best ideas come - is it best to think in the heat of the situation or find a quieter place to ponder? It would then be good to tell the story of how the Buddha achieved the state of enlightenment he was seeking.

Tell them that Prince Siddhartha had everything he could want, but he could not understand why there was suffering in the world. He left his palace and family, and lived an uncomfortable life while trying to discover the truth. He became ill but as he did so heard some beautiful guitar music - which, he worked out, sounded that way because the strings were neither too loose nor too tight.

He understood then he had not understood the truth by living a life of luxury or a life of poverty, and that the middle way would be best. He decided to sit under a tree until he found the answer himself - and one morning he did. He realised that selfishness, stupidity and greed lay behind everyone's unhappiness and that change would always happen.

Some Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day with a meal of rice and milk, which was offered to the Buddha to help him become strong. Children may make biscuits shaped like the tree or its heart-shaped leaves.

Help, I don't have enough time to prepare

There is a readymade primary assembly at

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