BETWEEN a busy schedule of meditation, public talks and even a cricket game, a group of Tibetan monks visiting Fremantle found time to entertain children through a number of fun cultural workshops.
Children of all ages were given a rare opportunity to work alongside the Gyuto Monks, creating traditional Tibetan art and craft including trees of life, pet yaks, Tsampa belts and mandala tapestries out of everyday materials such as newspapers, buttons, string and dead branches.
Gyuto House Australia director Maureen Fallon said since the workshops began in 1995, thousands of children had met the monks and many continued to visit year after year.
“The Dalai Lama was delighted when we told him way back in 1996 that we go out into the community and that part of our programs were working with children,” she said.
“Our intention is simply to impart the idea of being kind and compassionate and to think of others.
“Children benefit from being accepted as they are, not judged, and in our experience children are drawn to these qualities in the monks, enabling them to offer tips and techniques for getting by in difficult situations whether it be at home, school or in the wider world.
“Our workshops are also fun and the gentle presence of the monks seems to act as a magnet.”