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Cub Scouts trip to Buddhist centre is a transcendent experience

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: November 14, 2012

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MORE than two dozen cub scouts were given a taste of Zen when they visited Brentwood's Buddhist centre for an educational and fun visit.

Teacher, or Sifu (to give Jane Ward her proper title), welcomed 26 cubs and their leaders from 3rd Brentwood to the Buddhist Centre in Merrymeade House.

The cubs, members of the only Catholic Scout group in Brentwood, which was originally formed in the 1930s, had a simple lesson in Buddhism and meditation.

Ms Ward said: "My message to the youngsters was simple – respect everyone especially your parents."

The youngsters were all allowed to light a candle and make a prayer for another person which was then put on the altar during their Tuesday night outing last month.

The cubs also experienced chanting and meditation, a big part of the discipline in Buddhism.

Ms Ward said: "I recently heard a quote from the Dali Lama which is, if every child at the age of eight was taught meditation then violence in the world would be eradicated within one generation.

"Our mission is exactly this: to teach as many children as possible at the centre and in local schools on how to practise meditation correctly and to give them continued support."

The group is currently busy fundraising towards building a new Scout Headquarters so that it can be reunited under one roof with all its equipment.

The old scout hut was demolished last year after 40 years of service.

The Buddhist Centre in Merrymeade House, Merrymeade Chase opened this year in June and has already attracted over a thousand visitors.

If you have a local group, school or club who would like to visit or know more about meditation or Buddhism, call the centre on 01277 212600.

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