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Abiding Heart's Experiential Buddhist Kindergarten Curriculum

Abiding Heart’s Experiential Buddhist Kindergarten Curriculum is designed primarily for Buddhist communities of different Buddhist traditions and heritage from around the world. At the heart of our kindergarten curriculum is the recognition that we all have innate goodness or Buddha Nature ready to be re-discovered. This curriculum rests on both Waldorf pedagogy and the Buddhist view, meditation, ethics, rituals, loving kindness and compassion practices. We immerse and anchor our curriculum in the universal understanding of interdependence and virtues. ​ The aim of our kindergarten curriculum is to lay a foundation for wholesome early childhood experiences, and protect childhood. We also, through our curriculum, keep children connected to a sense of place and heritage, their own traditions. Our curriculum is a fusion of Waldorf early childhood education, Buddhism and local heritage. The curriculum uses the principles of Waldorf Education that are integrated with Buddhism and local culture to customise an early childhood curriculum specifically for the community it is intended for.   ​ The focus in our experiential Buddhist kindergarten curriculum is to provide children with a safe, positive, nurturing and joyful environment in their early years. The curriculum reflects our commitment to protecting childhood where children are embraced with love and warmth. In Abiding Heart, young children learn through play. Play is the "work" of early childhood, so we create a purposeful and beautiful indoor and outdoor space that is a joyful and happy place for children to be. The mood we nurture through our kindergarten curriculum is true to Dr Rudolf Steiner's indications of gratitude, reverence and wonder. When children in their formative years encounter a positive and encouraging environment, they naturally gain self-confidence and self-esteem. All this equates with fostering resilience in children. ​ Our curriculum is available through our kindergarten teacher training course where trainees are introduced to the fundamental and philosophical basis of early childhood education; contemplations on gratitude, reverence and wonder; experiences of wisdom and compassion; curriculum and lesson planning; artistic activities such as drawing, painting, desining and making puppets, dolls and learning heritage crafts; practical techniques such as circles, games, stories, puppetry, fingerplays and songs; early childhood education theory; child development; how children learn from birth to age 6; and meeting local government requirements. Our trainees receive a foundation in Experiential Buddhist Studies by engaging in meditation and understanding and Buddhist philosophy throughout their training.

 Curriculum Overview

Experiential Buddhist Kindergarten Curriculum

Our curriculum content is a fusion of: • The kindergarten teacher's depth of understanding of the Buddhist view and meditation and their commitment to their own personal development;  • A bespoke curriculum content that brings together both an inclusive generic Buddhism together with a specific Buddhist tradition, such as,  Theravada, Zen, Tibetan/Himalayan Buddhism;  • Cultivating a ense of place and local heritage brought through a Buddhist worldview and the Waldorf learning approach;  • The Waldorf Transformative pedagogy and wholesome understanding of early childhood

Curriculum Content 

The Buddhist Year 

At the heart of our Buddhist Year curriculum is Experiential Buddhist Learning. Teachers provide young children with experiences of the Buddhist Year using the Waldorf methodology, for example: • Daily Buddhist offerings and rituals • Monthly Buddhist auspicious ceremonies and rituals • Yearly Buddhist auspicious ceremonies and rituals • Buddhist festivals throughout the year


Rhythms are experiences we wish to offer young children through and throughout our curriculum. Our daily rhythm is designed to offer children a natural in-breath and out-breath inner experiences and a balance of teacher-directed and child-directed activities, such as, being, quiet activities and expansive, learning through doing and imitation activities.   Our carefully designed curriculum enables children to experience a sense of interconnectedness and rhythms of nature and the Buddhist year. We interweave into the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities Buddhist rhythms together with nature, the seasons, the pulse of life and decay experienced in wilderness and the cycle farming. We also integrate local heritage and cultural celebrations as an important part of our kindergarten content. In this way, we construct a physical, emotional and social environment for young children to flourish and learn in a way that respects and honours their developmental phase.  We do this through our play based curriculum where children learn through imitation and adults who serve as role models to nurture gratitude, reverence, love, kindness and compassion. Naturally, our pedagogical approach to learning in kindergarten is different than the one we have for primary education, that is we designed a curriculum where teaching and learning happens indirectly with a strong focus on children learning through play, imagination, joy and just being.

Awe, Wonder and Reverence 

• Treading lightly on the earth: Buddhist ecology and nature filled experiences that follow the seasons, weather, rhythms of nature, be it wilderness or the farming year;  • Heritage experiences, for example, Himalayan Buddhist and other cultural festivals from other traditions to nurture in children that diversity is part of a human experience; • Celebrating children’s birthday using our own unique Experiential Buddhist style; • Celebrating auspicious Buddhist days and auspicious Buddhist events in a developmentally appropriate way; • Buddhist offerings and rituals: daily, monthly and yearly developmentally appropriately designed experiences; • Meditation with young children: Developmentally appropriate awareness and mindfulness experiences  for kindergarten children;  • Experiencing Buddhist ethics and view through storytelling, puppetry and the teacher being a role model worthy of imitation; • The teachers are committed to their own personal development as part of their teaching practice  to engage in regular meditation and contemplation practices relating to Buddha nature and innate goodness, impermanence, karma, interdependence, loving kindness and compassion, non violence, Buddha nature, and the four immeasurable; • Stories and puppetry relating to Shakyamuni Buddha’s life;  • Storytelling: Folk tales and fairy tales from around the world; Nature stories; Buddhist stories and circles; • People at work and heritage learning: i.e., salt traders, trade caravans; mule men, farmer, weaver, monk, lama, omze, shrine master for kindergarten of Himalayan Buddhist communities; • Language teaching and learning (native language and additional languages): the bilingual/trilingual classroom; • Arts and crafts with young children; • Buddhist related craft; • Heritage arts and crafts; • Cooking with young children; • Gardening with young children;

A Day in an Abiding Heart Kindergarten 

Educating the Will: Forming Positive Habits and Inner Experiences

Mindful compassionate care: By nurturing the child's sense of warmth, touch, smell and life, such as,  washing children’s face and hands using essential oils and warm water, we foster in them a feeling of trust that the world is good via: • Daily rituals, mantras, chants and meditation experiences throughout the day, for example, beginning and ending the day with aspiration, reverence, rituals and dedication; • Free play child-directed play; • Dramatic play​/home corner • Construction corner; • Quiet corner (reading corner; pre-literacy and pre- numeracy corners); • Making choices (with some guidance from teacher), such as: • Baking and cooking​ • Crafts • Arts • Outdoor play  • Gardening • Nature based experiences: nature walks; forest activities; farm activities on the farm  • Celebrating festivals • Circle time • Storytelling (nurturing oral traditions) • Story time (reading to the child) • Puppet shows • Dressing up stories • Songs, and playing musical instruments • Verses and poetry recitations • Care for the environment: Tidy up time • Body care: Toilet/washing time • Rest and quiet time  • Sharing meals and snacks and learning the art of conversation and being together • Individual group learning activities (pre-literacy and pre-numeracy) - optional (teacher directed) learning • Learning languages • Building a strong foundation for native language learning • Introducing a second language • A bilingual classroom • Additional language in small groups - optional (teacher directed) • Whole class additional language learning

Teacher as Role Model

By following the Waldorf education approach and the Buddhist view, engaging in meditation and practicing virtues (ethics), our kindergarten teachers cultivate the following qualities and practices essential to deliver our curriculum. Each teacher • Committed to their own inner development and meditative practice; • Holds the view of Buddha Nature, Bodhicitta, interdependence, karma and reincarnation;  • Begins their day by setting motivations/intentions and making aspirations; • Ends the day by dedicating the merit of educating their pupils for the benefit of all children and all beings; • Is committed to morning and evening mediation practices for the children; • Continues to develop insight into the Buddhist understanding of nature of reality and human development; • Teaches the children with the understanding that abiding Heart Education aims to: • Sow seeds of reconnection with our innate basic goodness, our Buddha nature; • Nurture healing: from unhealthy self towards a healthy sense of self; • Guide (indriecty) children to work through their karma; • Respect each child has come to us bringing with them great deal of potential for awakening they brought with them into this birth; • Contemplate the preciousness of human life; • Strive to understand and meditate informally on the nature of reality being impermanent, multiple and interdependent​; • Committed to life-long learning and continues to deepen with their pedagocigal understanding;  • Sees each child as a unique individual and that all children have the same innate goodness, Buddha Nature; ​ • Is able to practice what they understand as a path of inner development towards freedom and how that can be put into practice when teaching young children; • Creates a harmonious sense of community with colleagues and parents where there is respect for individual and group needs and processes;  • Takes deep interest in their pupils' background heritage; Culture; •  Engages in daily reflective and contemplative practice relating to their pupils, compassion and insight; • Enages in or model meaningful work and artistic activities for the children to imitate; • Is committed to the protection of childhood • Cultivates attitudes of reverence, gratitude, joy, wonder, positivity and generosity;​ • Ensures the development of a healthy rhythm in their lives by leadin a balanced healthy lifestyle, both in body and mind; • Remains in awareness and mindfulness throughout the kindergarten day and holds her class in awareness; • Practices classroom management with equanimity, gentleness and kindness.

Bespoke Curriculum

The Abiding Heart's Experiential Buddhist Curriculum is holistic and localised, taking into consideration diversity, inclusivity and social justice in the design of the whole approach. Our curriculum is devised to be flexible to slot in bespoke content meeting the specific needs of the community for which it is intended. The following areas in our curriculum are designed to be bespoke and include: • The specific geo-socio-cultural-climate and environment of the region in which our curriculum is implemented. This includes traditional cultural knowledge processed through a Buddhist ecology-based sustainability paradigm, specifically; • The specific Buddhist tradition, lineage, master/guru, specific prayers, rituals and practises our curriculum is implemented. Within Tibetan Buddhism there are four main lineages. Taking the Kagyu lineage, as an example : Within the Kagyu lineage there are several lineages, such as Karma Kagyu, Drukpa Kagyu, etc. Within each one of these there are different masters with their own specific practices. We take all of this into consideration when designing and implementing our Experiential Buddhist Curriculum. In our kindergarten teacher training course, the trainees learn to use our pedagogical approach and curriculum and design specific content for the specific tradition, lineage and (women and men) teacher/master they belong to. In addition, our curriculum includes the foundational Buddhist content that is in common with and practiced by all Buddhist traditions and their spiritually accomplished women and men;  • The specific language of instruction that the curriculum be taught with the content of our curriculum and resources translated into that language. We believe, as much as possible, children should use their native language to learn. Additional languages are also introduced as a second language to create a bilingual class;  • The Abiding Heart Education Approach is designed to create bespoke curriculum for all faith based traditions (such as Hinduism, Islam, Judism, Sikhism, Pagen, Christian, B'hai, etc) by resting on the contemplative traditions' worldview of interdependence and on contemplative science and the specific community's heritage, faith, cultural and traditional knowledge processed through the Waldorf methodology. For more information, please visit Abiding Heart's Experiential Contemplative Education: www.abidinghearteducatio.nnet

Bespoke Kindergarten Curriculum

Experiential Buddhist Kindergarten Curriculum for the Karma Kagyu Tradition

The Abiding Heart Education Buddhist Kindergarten Yearly Curriculum: From Losar to Gutor:   In the following yearly plan we focus in on the Karma Kagyu lineage and Nepalese high Himalayan culture and way of life to include specifics such as a Buddhist lineage within a specific tradition, a teacher, a culture. The curriculum also includes generic aspects of Buddhism that form the foundation and the frame for the kindergarten curriculum. It has the flexibility to design and create specific aspects of the curriculum to meet unique, cultural, geographical and specific Buddhist traditions and practices.  Celebrating the Buddhist Year • Losar • Sutra Resounding • Chotrul Duchen  • Sagadawa • The Buddha’s birth • The Buddha’s enlightenment • The Buddha’s Paranirvana • Choker Duchen  • Purnima • Gampopa’s birthday  • Guru Rinpoche’s birthday  • Celebrating the living masters’ birthdays according to one's own tradition • Yarne-Rainy season retreat • Nilog  • Nagkso Drubchen • Monlam  • Drubchens/Drubchu • Guru Rinpoche Tsechu Karcham (Guru Rinpoche lama dance day) • Monthly pujas: Shakyamuni day, Guru Rinpoche day, Dakini day • Daily developmentally appropriate sadhanas (Tara, Shakyamuni, or Avalokiteshvara) • Celebrating Tsongkhapa day • Celebrating Milarepa day  • Celebrating Sakyapa day • Lhabab Duchen

In Pictures: A Taster of Abiding Heart's Experiential Buddhist Curriculum


                                            © Meyrav Mor 2000-2023. All rights reserved. 

In Words: A Taster of Abiding Heart's Experiential Buddhist Curriculum


 Curriculum Overview
curriculum Content 
The Buddhist Year 
Awe Wonder and Reverence 
Educating the Will: Forming Positive Habits and Inner experiences.
Teacher as a Role Model
Bespoke Curriculum
Experiential Buddhist Kindergarten Curriculum for the Karma Kagyu Tradition
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