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Oct 25
Wednesday

The Sweeper, A Buddhist Tale

Filed under Arts and Poetry

Writing a dharma story for children

by Becky Hazell

Writing about dharma for children can be tricky. The story can’t be too simplistic or moralistic because it won’t engage a child, but you also want to offer something meaningful. I remember a sweet book someone gave us when I was pregnant with my first child, called something like Growing Up Buddhist. It was so well intended but so preachy that I couldn’t get through it myself, much less expect to read it to my child.

So when I wrote The Sweeper, A Buddhist Tale, I kept my audience clearly in mind, along with Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer’s take on what literature is about: “To instruct and entertain.” I’ve written award-winning nonfiction books for young readers based on Shambhala principles before, but this is my first fictional story for children. It’s based on a famous anecdote about the Buddha giving meditation-in-action instruction to someone who would never find time to do sitting meditation. Some say the story is about a monk, but that made no sense to me; why become a monk if you never ever get to meditate? Other versions say the Buddha gave the instruction to a woman servant, which made more sense to me. So I wove a story around a busy servant girl who dreams of greatness. Who was she, and what was her life like before and after his instruction? Continue…

Entries filed under Arts and Poetry


International Shambhala Arts Day Festival

International Shambhala Arts Day Festival

“A work of art is created because there is basic sacredness, independent of the artist’s particular religious faith or trust.  Sacredness from that point of view is the discovery of goodness, which is independent of personal, social, or physical restrictions.”   Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche continue
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Shining - Brillance

Shining – Brillance

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