This summer for the first time, our Center is offering a day camp for teens. Teens face many challenges these days and often lack the skills needed to make good choices. All too often teens are the victims of domestic violence at home and gang-related violence at school and on the streets. In 2001, suicide was the third leading cause of death of 15 – 24 year olds in America. Bullying, as in the recent suicide of 15 year old Phoebe Prince of Massachusetts, is all too common.
I have spoken with many concerned parents about the need to help teens confront these challenges by showing them how to get to know themselves through meditation, how to discriminate right from wrong, how to develop self-confidence based on right ethics, and how to cultivate altruistic and loving relationships. By developing these abilities, teens can avoid being dragged into danger and can overcome all kinds of difficulties.
Ultimately, we hope to show them how to live a meaningful life — not by providing the answers, but by helping them frame questions that they can contemplate for many years to come.
We welcome teens of all faiths and backgrounds to attend, and we welcome diversity. As such, while the underlying theme is Buddhist practice, we will focus on concepts and values that are common to many spiritual traditions. The core principles that we’ll be discussing are agnostic, and are taken from the 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life (FPMT Essential Education Program). Many schools around the world have incorporated the 16 Guidelines into their curriculum. The meditations will focus on the breath and introduce basic mindfulness techniques. The main ethics we’ll discuss are non-violence, love and compassion for others. The main process or principle we’ll describe is cause and effect — how our actions give rise to consequences, and how we must accept responsibility for these results (either positive or negative).
Saturday, July 24, 31, August 7
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Unitarian Universalist Church 1625 Wiehle Ave., Reston VA 20190
We welcome your feedback.