Studying Buddhism in Year 8

On Monday 16th November the Religious Studies department were delighted to welcome our visiting Buddhist, James Cormack, to Year 8 classes during their study of Buddhism.

James is from the Nichiren strand of Buddhism which places emphasis on the Buddha’s teaching: The Lotus Sutra. This year James brought his son, Tom, and fellow Buddhist Michelle. The visit was particularly important this week and encouraged interesting and thought-provoking questions from students following the tragic events in Paris and further afield.

Mrs Malcolm, RS Teacher, explains: “Nichiren Buddhists believe that, whilst everyone has the potential to achieve enlightenment, there are also three poisons which pollute the world and have the potential to destroy individuals and great civilisations across continents. The Three Poisons are greed, anger and ignorance. Our students have been keen to apply their knowledge and understanding of Buddhism to seek to understand world events to a deeper extent.

If countries retaliate to terrorism with the use of further violence, to what level does that perpetuate greed, anger and ignorance? Surely this impedes our happiness and potential from being achieved? But what of the solution to terrorism: is peaceful negotiation enough?

Year 8 have been insightful in their responses to Buddhism and discussions of terrorism and retaliation. They appreciated the words of Gandhi; “If everyone took an eye for an eye, the whole world would be blind.”

The lesson ended with the students feeling inspired to capture these thoughts, using their iPads to document various artefacts James had brought with him.

Click here to read more about Nichiren Buddhism.