New Video – Buddha’s First Teaching

New Video - Buddha's First Teaching

Four Noble Truths for Kids

The teachings of The Buddha are timeless, but we are not!

Every generation and society has their own special circumstances which govern how we live and learn. So, while the timeless teachings remain as fresh and current as ever, the method of delivery has changed over the millennia.

Dharma Kids Collective strives to bring ancient wisdom to this generation of children in ways that they find entertaining and relevant.

We are delighted to present the first video in the series from our trusted partner Funfetti_art: Four Noble Truths.

What an auspicious place to begin!

Funfetti Art are also known for their posters and joyfully illustrated children’s books which are available in many languages. Click here to find out more.

Stay well and safe.
Kind regards,
Simon Thomas: Director, Dharma Kids Collective.

About Dharma Kids Collective
Dharma Kids Collective is a global hub for artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers who create high quality content for children influenced by Buddhist wisdom.
Contact: simon@dharmakidscollective.com

New Video from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Dear Friends,
Funny story!
In order to celebrate today’s global launch of the Blue Lion album – Buddhist songs for every child, I prepared this short video from a clip which Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche sent to the creators of the book Little Hero.
A few days ago, I put it on YouTube for my global collaborators to check. I didn’t really expect anybody else would notice, so I failed to make it private at first. After a couple of days, I noticed that it was suddenly getting plenty of views, so it looks like I leaked my own video by mistake! 
So, you may well have seen it by now even though this was supposed to be the premier. I watched it dozens of times while I was editing and it still stayed so fresh and fun.
Thank you so much Rinpoche!

https://youtu.be/taGrzo0KGvs

Artists Unite!
Following up on Rinpoche’s suggestion, a group of students have created a modern children’s book named Little Hero, which delivers Shantideva’s timeless messages in catchy, child-friendly verse along with colourful and entrancing illustrations. Thanks to a generous grant from Khyentse Foundation, this delightful volume is available in English, Spanish, French, Polish, German, Italian and Russian!
Click here for more details.

FYI the Blue Lion album (Buddhist songs for every child) is now live! You can hear it on Spotify and all the usual channels or better still click here to get your copy now and you can name your own price!
thanks so much to you all for your ongoing support. 
Simon Thomas
www.dharmakidscollective.com
www.simonthomasmusic.com
Dharma Kids Collective is a hub for artists, musicians, writers and film makers who create high quality content for children influenced by Buddhist wisdom.

Buddhist Songs for Children

BUDDHIST SONGS FOR CHILDREN

Shortly before I left Australia at the beginning of the year, I was approached at a Buddhist gathering by a woman who was preparing to open a new preschool ( named Blue Lion) in Singapore under the auspices of our common teacher Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. She asked if I might write a few songs specifically to fit into the curriculum of their new school.

“Sure,” I agreed. I mean….how hard can it be? Write a couple of ditties for small children.

Zoom calls are the flavour of the year, and it was on one of these strange methods of communication that I learned the full scope of what I had agreed to. An old friend of mine, Heather Sanche from Vancouver Island, is designing the curriculum and has big ideas when it comes to music.

“Well, we need one for packing away the toys, another for lining up, and another one before they eat their lunch,” she explained.

“Okay so three songs….that should be okay.” I replied

“Oh no, we need one for each theme as well, like impermanence and community. And then we want some for the ceremonies too.”

By the time we had isolated every nook and cranny of the curriculum which required a song, we were at a count of 16. I remember muttering something about it being a 70’s double album, however having worked with a committee some years back trying to establish a Buddhist primary school in Lismore, I know how difficult it is to get something like that off the ground.

I was happy to volunteer, but that is a lot of songs!

Home studio

Wherever I travel in the world, I bring the bare essentials to do home recordings, but I need help to produce a song to professional quality. I enlisted my mate Gary Dyson from London, well-known for his beautiful voice and innovative dance tracks, to help in production. He was happy to assist, but strapped for time as the UK was just opening back up from Covid suspension. That was when we learned that all the songs were to be translated into Chinese, so we would have 16 more versions to record!

I needed some help, so applied to the Khyentse Foundation in the USA for a grant, given that they were already supporting the preschool. Luckily, they could see the value of the project and approved my application….on condition that I write a few more songs for the Middle Way School near Woodstock.

With a modest payment available, I approached a young musician and producer in New York named Max Milner, who is bringing his huge talent to the project.

Even though the team in Singapore are translating the songs into Chinese, and we can use the same music track, I still need somebody to record the Chinese versions. I decided to contact a rap artist/comedian from Shanghai named Tadi, who magically appeared in Bodh Gaya, India a couple of years back, when I needed somebody of just his talents for a big show I was running. Tadi wrote straight back to me saying, “You won’t believe this! Two weeks ago, I opened a new recording studio designed especially for children and families. I have kids coming in to sing every day and we are looking for original material for them to record.”

So, despite the Covid doom and gloom, the future of Buddhist songs for children is looking bright! If you would like more information, please follow my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/simonthomasmusic/ or visit me on Bandcamp https://simonthomasmusic.bandcamp.com/. I will make all the songs available by donation when they are ready.