For the first time since COVID lockdowns Year 11 embarked on an excursion to the Nan Tien Temple and Berkeley Mosque on Wednesday 10th May. While basking in the healing rays of the Unanderra sunshine the boys sought mindfulness and tranquillity in the practice of Tai Chi on the steps of the grand shrine on the grounds of the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Students then learnt about the rich symbolism, peaceful rituals and beautiful devotion of adherents within the shrines of the temple before moving to the temple conference room for an insightful ‘dharma talk’ from one of the Buddhist Reverends. Students and staff were also warmly welcomed by the staff and volunteers at Berkeley Islamic Mosque and enjoyed a halal barbecue lunch, providing an opportunity to take a moment to discuss all we had encountered so far. Inside the Mosque itself Imam Ali expertly educated the students on the beliefs, symbols, ethics and rituals of Islam and answered the many questions the boys had about the faith. Overall, the excursion was enjoyed by all, was a wonderful learning experience and a great opportunity to strengthen interfaith connections in our local community.
Some comments from the students:
My friends and I took great interest in the Q & A with the various leaders. It allowed us to have insight on our individual questions and things we originally didn’t understand – Kalani
Overall, this excursion broadened our understanding of religious diversity, emphasizing the shared values of faith and harmony. It helped us remember the significance of appreciating other beliefs and practices that unite humanity – Connor
I enjoyed the whole experience and by the end of the day, I came out with a greater understanding of the faiths that no website or book could ever give us – Tom
The trip was nice and I was very grateful that I got to participate in the experience – Harry
Head of Religious Studies