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Interviewing in the live show of Radio Free Asia Listen
(November 5, 2006)

Family Base Education
Direct link: http://www.rfa.org/khmer/kammakvithi/neatiabrumvicheamephteah/2006/11/04/whats_out_and_in_education_system/

Today, education program for householder facilitated by Mrs. Sariratana, will pick up the addressing of Preah Dejkun Sophan who is a Cambodian student monk in East West Center of United States to broadcast mainly focusing on the children education in the families in present Cambodia society.

Sarirattana’s introduction:
In Cambodia, the families that have many children, parents and relatives always complained that their children have not been well educated. Some children who are lack of education caused many difficulties for families and they fell evil and evil eventually to make society faced dangers. The getting away from home and the stubbornness of children happened in the variety of characters. Many children in Cambodia are confronting starvation, sexual exploitation and over hard labor to find revenue to sustain family. To educate Cambodian children in present society which is anarchy with deficits of living behavior and moral codes especially drug addictions are spreading out entirely the country and education institution is likely weak. How do the parents or guardians learn the applicable knowledge to instruct their children and what are the essential points? Preah Dejkun Sophan Seng, a Khmer student monk of East West Center addressed us that “education can divide into two aspects: formal education and non-formal education. Formal education is the system that can provide professional knowledge for the future’s jobs, but the important education is the non-formal education based on family that is the foundation of society. When we say about family, Cambodia is the family system society.” Preah Dejkun addressed that in developed countries, when their children are 18 years old and up, national law doesn’t allow parents to have full rights to instruct and guard. Children have full rights to destine their life and future. But in Cambodia, parents still take in accountability of their children. “Cambodia society values family which had the root in the kingdom of the splendor Angkor period and it has continued to the present. They have warmness and confidence in living together although the children are older than 18 years old; parents still extend empathy and guard their children. Children also extend empathy and caring their parents by helping and supporting them. This is the key non-formal education system connecting to culture that bear fruits in providing non-formal education of Cambodia. So how can we utilize this concept which is the core factor of family base in society to bring happiness, prosperity, unity and progress, parents have to develop methodology.” When we say about the word “methodology”, they always refer to the teachers but in reality it is not, methodology refers to all citizens while they have responsibility that every body genuinely has all of them, no body has no accountability at all. “So education in family, the key method is that, parents have to take accountable to provide education to children. In the Tipitaka scripture of the Buddha’s teachings, He emphasized that parents must have compassion and they are recognized as the Brahma god of children. Brahma god of children means we have to love our children truly and not loving without wisdom. We love our children that this love must flow out from both our heart and brain. Love that flows from heart is the natural, genuine love between parents and children, but love that flows from brain is the love that parents have to instruct and direct the children to build capacity that they can stand by themselves when parents are perished. This is very important that parents have to develop pedagogy or methodology to do whatever to make our children, sons and daughters can sustain themselves, have self-reliance and pay attention with the maters of their own lives to achieve the goals of their future.” Preah Dejkun pointed out the five types of moral that children must have: “importantly, in our Khmer society has always given the values that good person has to have five good that means that good children must have these five good. First is good child who respects parents and their advices, second is the good student for teachers, third is a good friend of friends because in society we cannot live without having friends because individuals have to associate with friends, so we have to make ourselves as a good friend to them, fourth is the good member of society because we have society constituting of rule of laws, and on behalf of religious follower, we must observe and study the principles that Buddhism has opened to all.” Preah Dejkun Vojirakunto Som Sinan, president of Buddhist Moral Instruction Center addressed the issues relating children education that “family constitutes of more than two people or a group of people that assemble together as a family; and offered aids and caring each other, especially every body has become parents must have children although they are male or female. So if we want to be good parents and raise our children in a productive way that they can be recognized and valued by society unless parents must have Four Sublime States of the Mind and Five Aids Assistances to all.” According to the addresses of Preah Bhikkhu Sovanratana, professor of Buddhist Sihanouk Raja University, Phnom Penh added that breeding and instructing of both male and female children well in the future are the duty of parents and teachers.

Interviewing of Khmer Radio Free Asia: Listen

Interviewing date: October 22, 2006 at RFA Office, 2025 M Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036
Broadcasting date: October 25, 2006 of both morning(5:30-6:30AM) and evening(7:30-8:30PM) after the national and international news.
Duration: 7 minutes
Original interviewing link: http://www.rfa.org/khmer/batsampheas/2006/10/25/monk_east_west_center/

The whole theme of interviewing is translated as follow:

Moderator’s introduction:
In the previous times as well as in present time, East West Center has provided fellowships and scholarships of both Graduate degree and PhD degree to Cambodian students including Cambodian Buddhist monk. Preah Dejkun(Venerable) Seng Sophan is a Khmer Buddhist monk of this center will describe about the importance of some EWC’s programs for you all(listeners) following interviewing of Mrs.Moeung Tuom:

Firstly, I would like to ask Preah Dejkun about name, place and purposes to come to United States?

My name Preah Bhikkhu Seng Sophan stayed in Watt Khmer Samakii Calgary, Canada, Alberta province. I have received fellowship/scholarship from (Hawaii University or) East West Center to study in graduate school called Asia Pacific Leadership Program; and come to field trip in New York and Washington DC for ten days. I will return back to study normally at the University of Hawaii.

What generation that Preah Dejkun is participating, how many foreign students and what are their countries?

In the program, they need forty-eight students but this year we have forty-four students coming from twenty two countries around the world such as Asia: East Asia, Middle Asia, Asia Pacific, South-east Asia; Australia, Europe and there are many students are from North America. I am in generation sixth.

What are the purposes and important objectives of East-West Center to instruct students from around the world; and what importance to those students’ country as well as to Cambodia?

Yes, East-West Center as we can see the word East and West that they want people living in the region of eastern named Asia and western named America understand each other specifically the relationship of culture. That why there is Buddhist monk coming to study too. Last year we had a Cambodian monk too, this year we have three: I and other two Cambodian students, one is female and another one is male. The important purposes of East-West Center is to develop human resource focusing on leadership capacity building specifying on education that always called education leadership in which they think that in each society must have youth who create willingness to develop themselves to become a leader. This leadership mainly origins in the self-leading/learning, when we can lead ourselves we can lead our family; when we can lead our family well we can lead the whole community as well as the whole world. They pay attention on three subjective courses: Regional Core Issues including economic, culture, religions, politic, environment, information, social and health etc. In present time, they mostly debate on the regional terrorism. Second course is the Leadership Seminar that focuses on the effectiveness of leadership in the future. The last one is Professional Leadership Seminar that emphasizes on duties that we are taking in accountability although we are in official institutes, private companies or non-profit organizations have to obtain the education of leadership. East-West Center has emphasized on these three subjects. Their important purposes are to develop human resource especially young generation in order to leverage them to be the effective future leaders. This initiative is very critical for Cambodia particularly those youths including Bhikkhu Monks to perceive that they want to help us very much.

How long will Preah Dejkun study at East-West Center?

The study program provided by East-West Center has two options: Degree and Non-degree. If we choose to learn Degree, it will take two years. But for me, I chose Non-degree or it is called Graduate Certificate. This non-degree has two options: five months program and nine months program. Five months program is an intensive course consisting of theoretical and practical studies which keep all students busy. If any students want to do internship, they can choose nine months program; and if they don’t want to do internship, they just choose five months and they also can graduate. This year there are many field trips scheduled such as in many places in Hawaii, New York, Washington DC. And at the end of the November, the field trip will spend almost three(four) weeks by passing Taiwan and finally to participate the East-West Center(Hawaii University) Alumni Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam which is the significant conference lasting to almost 10 days(?). So the inclusive learning of APLP emphasizes on concrete experiences: learning, visualizing and implementing. This is the program which I have chosen, the full time course five months.

East-West Center is the organization or institution belonging to any countries? And how other Cambodian students who have ability can apply for this fellowship as Preah Dejkun has done?

East-West Center is the governmental organization that has been approved by United States congress for almost forty years(?), and the congress of America funds this center as well as other Americans organizations. In United States has the biggest East-West Center office located majestically in Hawaii Island, Honolulu city. Hawaii Island is the island that connects Asia and America together in the middle. In this island, most people are Asians that seems more than Caucasians. The easy way to approach the East-West Center address is through website: www.eastwestcenter.org or go to Yahoo or Google search machine by typing East-West Center. In the website there are more informations that you can learn in details than what I have mentioned. Thank you!

Meditation and Leadership

Almost four months in Asia Pacific Leadership Program course that has provided me the realization of how important of individuality in supporting sustainable development. Three lessons are mainly to value the individuality that has full potential to impact the whole compounding society. In Leadership Seminar have the core ideas that center on individual’s motivation. Started its class with silent lesson had inspired me very much to explore my inner strength and ability. Culture and diversity also emphasized the existence of self to extend to other beings, environment and culture through the prospects of respecting, tolerating and compassionating. Visioning the future and personal action plan (PAP) also intensified self-centered, self-innovated, self-projected, and self-oriented. In Professional Development Leadership Seminar has encouraged individuals to improve self-resume and curriculum vitae through self-experiences, community services and orientations. Egonet and networking classified self as the most important component to create networking effectively. Through self-effort, self-intelligence, self-awareness and self-responsibility should bear fruits to success in exposing with other people and tasks. When we can create ourselves as a stable pole or a big island, there will be many people trust and want to take refuge. In Regional Core Issues have the concept that economics, politics, environment, culture, social formation and information are circle and spinning around the word “I.” “I” is the essence of these core issues. Bad or good originated from “I”. So how can we refurbish “I”, “Self” or “Individual” to be more proactive and essential milestone leading to success?

The self and its relationship with nature according well-known scholars
Both Mechanical Universe of Isaac Newton and Quantum Mechanics of Albert Einstein have clarified that self or individual is very essential to respond to the whole society, world and universal under a certain natural law which called original interdependent or inter relativism. Buddha was the first researcher who found this theory and taught everybody about this inter relation and pointed out the way of middle path, self-reliance and enlightenment.

Why meditation should be important to develop leadership?
When we discuss about self-reliance; it must come from inner individual discovery through meditation practice. Good leader aims at those who can lead themselves, endure to serve others and initiate self-orientation. Richard Davidson, Neuroscientist of Wisconsin University had found that meditation is the important tool to develop happiness and other abilities especially leadership . This factual statement inspires us to look inside and explore this tool together.

What is meditation?
Meditation is the method to explore self-strengths, peace, wisdom, compassion, motivation and innovation. Meditation doesn’t distinguish the practitioners by race, religions, language, traits or location. It is not the faith or belief but the discovery of self-enlightenment. It is not the spiritual rites, but the developing center of wisdom, compassion, dedication and leadership. There are two types of meditation: concentration meditation and insight meditation. Concentration meditation is the practice concerning the establishing of calmness, stillness and peace of the mind while Insight Meditation focuses on the cultivation of mindfulness and consciousness.

Concentration Meditation
Meditators (Yugin) can use simple things to practice this method.
• Chanting mantras or reciting any words or poem. Now, most people use hymns, songs or music that doesn’t stimulate craving, surprising or amusing as their instrument to calm their mind and body.
• Watching one certain thing or item by focusing on its entity, size, color or characteristic to still the mind with it without paying attention with other things or mind-thought. In the present, they prefer to travel and spend time at the mountains, rice-fields or quiet natural sites.
• Praying to what we believe to empower ourselves as the center of all things including the relationship of ourselves to the higher beings. Every religion has their basic meditation by going to pray in the temples, churches, mosques or synagogues; and through this praying they can experience self- emotional comfort. But this temporary comfort is easily affected by the outside impermanent things. So, if we need it more permanent, just take time to find meditation instructors or other reliable sources to develop ourselves at more higher level accomplishment.

Insight Meditation
This method directs practitioners to stay in focus and being mindful. There is the different between mindfulness and peacefulness but these both are basically interdependent. Mindfulness can be cultivated through Four Bases of Mindfulness:
• Mindfulness practice based on body by being aware and mindful with our four main positioning: sitting, standing, walking and sleeping. Present time, physical mindful base has been practiced widely the breathing meditation by concentrating on abdomen’s rising and falling. Rising inhales and falling exhales.
• Mindfulness practice based on sensation is the effort to neutralize our judgment through the controlling of six senses such as eyes, nose, ears, tongue, bodily tangible and mind. Normally, ordinary people are always indulgent of extremes with their six sense experiences. For example, when our eyes see the forms, we are always judgmental with good and bad, and these two biases that lead to suffering and discrimination in our mind because we do not see them as they are. To be not judgmental and biased, we have to train our mind to be mindful and see all things around us as the reality they are.
• Mindfulness practice based on the investigating of the mind that wanders near and far. Our mind is naturally like a monkey that moves all the time. It is restlessly, so they always called it monkey-minded. Different from the Concentration Meditation, Insight Meditation doesn’t need us to try inducing thought but to be aware of all movement of the thought.
• Mindfulness practice based on Dhamma mainly focuses on the righteousness operating through body, emotion and mind. Practitioners can experience through the awareness of body movement, sensing emotion and restless monkey-minded.

In our modern industrialized and competitive society, people experience depressions and stresses from busy works and pressured environments. This reality leads them to understand the importance of having peaceful mind. Of course, meditation has been practiced in our daily lives as the basic awareness and we can accelerate it to higher levels of more beneficial we should get.

November 1, 2006


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