During the final class on August 6, each group had to participate in a skit. The provided script was prewritten, so all the students had to do was to get props, costumes, and memorize their lines. The performances were creative and meaningful, and everyone had a great time acting their parts out.
Performance: Respect - The Filial1 Son
Long, long ago, there was a filial son who respected the Buddha, his teachings, and his disciples. Unfortunately, his mother always made fun of him when he bowed to the statue of the Buddha. She always disrespected him reading books about the Buddha's teachings about the Dharma.
One day, the filial son's mother passed away. He wished to know the place of his mother's rebirth as he made offerings to his mother at the temple. In response, he heard the Buddha's voice telling him to meditate. He decided to all day and night until suddenly he was brought to Hell, where he saw the great suffering of beings in Hell. Because his mother often showed disrespect to the Buddha, his teachings, and his disciples, she was to be reborn in Hell. But because of her filial son's good deeds and respect for his mother, she was reborn in Heaven instead.
He snapped out of meditation into the present and understood what had happened. He realized the sufferings of sentient beings in Hell and vowed not to become a Buddha until all sentient beings in Hell are saved.
The filial son in this story is now the present Di Zang bodhisattva.
1 When the original Chinese title is translated into English, the meaning is different; but filial has the closest meaning to the original.
The original 'filial' in the Chinese title means: Children who listen to, respect, and please their parents. They also never make their parents sad or worried, and take care of them until death.
Performance: Kindness - Cutting the Flesh to Feed the Eagle
A King who once loved his children and kingdom did not want anyone to suffer. One day, a poor dove hid behind the King for protection from a hungry eagle. The King did not allow the dove to be eaten, so he made an offer: the eagle could eat the King's flesh only if the weight of his flesh was equal to the weight of the dove. Although hesistant at first, the eagle agreed.
So, the King sliced off a bit of flesh from his arm. The dove was clearly heavier than the King's flesh. He decided to cut some more flesh from his other arm, but again, the dove was heavier. The King continued to cut off more and more of his flesh until he decided to sacrifice his entire body and life so it could equal the weight of the dove. But it was all a test -- the dove and eagle revealed themselves to be ministers2. They realized that the King, with his kindness, truly cared about his people, and with many apologies, let him go.
2minister: A representative with a high position in the government
Performance: Harmony - The Tolerant Celestial Being
In a peaceful forest, a wayfarer was meditating under a large tree. He was not bothered by his surroundings and sat perfectly still. Suddenly, out of the silence, laughter broke out, and to his surprise, the wayfarer found a group of imperial concubines3 right in front of him.
The concubines asked the wayfarer if he was afraid if any poisonous snakes or beasts would attack him. He told them that no creature could hurt him if he maintained a mind of compassion. Just then, King Kaliraja noticed the concubines near the wayfarer, and grew extremely jealous. The wayfarer tried to explain that he was only talking to the concubines, but the king did not believe him. To see if the wayfarer could tolerate pain, the king cut off the wayfarer's arms, legs, eyes, ears, and nose. However, because of his mind of compassion, the wayfarer's body became whole again.
The tolerant celestial being later on attained Enlightenment with wisdom and blessings.
3concubine: A woman who has a relationship with a man, but isn't legally married to him In China, a concubine is a secondary wife).
Performance: Truthfulness - The Lying Son
John, a senior in high school, was planning to hold a party right after school ended. In the meantime, Jim and Danny, two popular high school freshmen who wanted to attend it, first asked his parents for permission. Danny asked his parents if he could attend the party until 10:30. His parents agreed, but only if he returned home by 10. Angry that he could not stay past his curfew, he went to the party anyway. Meanwhile, Jim's parents agreed to let their son go and returning by 10 o'clock. Jim agreed without argument.
Time flied by at the party, and it quickly became 10:00. Danny ignored his parents, and decided to to stay past 10, but Jim didn't want to get into trouble so he went straight home. Several college students then arrived at the party, announcing a drinking contest to which Danny joined in. After chugging down many, many drinks, Danny fainted. The college students dragged his body to the entrance of the hospital and left him there, where Danny woke up the next morning to find his worried parents standing over him. Realizing the life-threatening consequences he had gotten into from lying, he apologized to his parents and promised he would never do it again.
Click here for pictures of the performances.