Nurturing Dhamma Warriors
Pal International School is a school that recognises the value of ancient tradition and timeless humanistic values. We believe in imparting academic knowledge and cultivating the whole individual through wisdom, morality and diligence. Our school incorporates the Dhamma (the Buddha's teachings) into everyday teaching to help students nurture moral behaviour, virtuous character and wisdom.
When the Buddha attained enlightenment, the first discourse he expounded was the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta "The Turning of the Wheel". As the Buddha had been on a spiritual pursuit to end human suffering, he had come to the realisation that the four absolute truths were:
1) That suffering exists
2) That the cause of suffering is craving
3) That there is an end to suffering
3) That the path to ending suffering is The Eightfold Noble Path
Thus, inspired by this teaching, Mr Pal applied the doctrine and established it into an educational and relevant context for modern youths.
In the same way as there are training grounds for sports, he had created the first training ground for Dhamma Warriors.
To attain Right Understanding, we teach our students to never take the world as it is, and rather to apply, observe and refine until they come to absolute truths. Furthermore, we help our students see precisely what it is that they want to achieve, and the steps they need to take to seek deeper understanding.
As such, we have a training ground focused on S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) where our students innovate and build to solve society's problem.
Without foresight and hindsight, our students will live a life of ambiguity. We encourage our students to reflect on their actions, and on whether it was unwholesome or wholesome, that is whether the action hurts themselves, others or both. Ultimately, this way of thinking will aide them closer to their goals and aspirations. They can discern from right or wrong and will shape a harmonious environment for others.
Therefore, our training ground to cultivate this righteousness is our debating competition, Right Thinking. When our students can discern and articulate from right and wrong, they are filled with greater determination and passion.
"The tongue like a sharp knife, kills without drawing blood.”
It is imperative that students learn the benefit of truthful, concise and uplifting communication and the dangers of the invert. They are nurtured to use right speech to the betterment of the people and world around them.
Therefore, with the stimuli centralising around youth dilemmas, our public speaking training ground was established. Our students prepare and present a meaningful answer, using their understanding of the Dhamma and their good-will to benefit and inspire their fellow peers.
We teach our students the importance of right deeds, and to act upon deeds that are wholesome. In which, we ensure a community that is well-protected and guided. This means our students are encouraged to cultivate compassionate actions that help to alleviate the suffering of others, even if there are personal obstacles to overcome.
That is why our creative arts and performing arts training ground, Right Action, was introduced. All students are required to prepare, perform and compete in either drama, music or dance categories regardless of any discipline knowledge or experience, but they have to overcome the attached insecurities and fear to instil selfless-joy and compassion. Following the right action leads to greater consideration and respect for ourselves and the people around us.
A livelihood is defined by a person's way of living. For young people, they have two primary livelihoods - as a child and as a student. When one fulfils their responsibilities and accountabilities, one lives with a life of high discipline and benevolence to refrain from harming others in their everyday lives.
As such, our training ground to cultivate this is our cooking competition, Right Livelihood. Students prepare and compete in rounds to present their significant cultural fish. Though the intrinsic learning curve is not at the final presentation, but through the leadership, involvement and nurturement of their parents/guardians in the journey.
We inspire our students to cultivate and maintain enthusiasm towards their noble pursuits, and we help them understand and overcome negative states of mind that may arise to impede their progress.
The training ground to cultivate persistence and diligence is our sports competition, Right Effort. The student will lose at the moment of giving up, thus we instil discipline and persistence. By focusing on the right intentions behind their sporting pursuits, it will break their limitation of their esteem and allow them to change and adapt techniques and mindset of what was not wise.
Right Mindfulness translates to samādhi, which is cultivation of the mind. Whilst mindfulness is being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings at a given moment, but we encourage it to change their wrong perceptions. Perception is subjective, drawn from our surrounding environments and society, and may be used harmfully to others. Through Right Mindfulness, we seek for a higher and absolute truth.
Therefore, at Pal International School, our cleaning training ground was implemented for students to nurture and cultivate the four sublime virtues and the four bright attributes through the noble act of cleaning. By practising the noble action of selfless care for the ‘home' in which they co-exist, it is expected that they will develop responsibility and accountability, discipline, and integrity. Furthermore, through their noble cleaning service, it is expected that their compassion, lovingkindness, and selfless joy towards others will grow. As incidental learning, through the cultivation of Right Mindfulness, students should de-nourish hatred, selfishness, and delusion towards others, and nourish an equanimous mindset towards the hard work that comes with selfless wholesome actions. It is expected that students will recognise that having cleanliness and orderliness, directly impact the clarity of their thoughts and the quality of all their work in all areas of life.
Right Mastery (otherwise known as Right Concentration) is the last step of the Eightfold Noble Path, implicating that one must apply and be equipped with the previous seven attributes. Right Mastery means an equanimous mind, to focus on achieving their desired outcome.
At Pal International School, this training ground is an academic-based acceleration program. Conventionally at all schools, excelling academic students are given this opportunity, leaving many other students to be overlooked.
The success of a student is determined by their wisdom and morality. Therefore, Mr Pal offers this academic opportunity to any student who possesses or consistently walks on the path of the 8 qualities.