Saturday, August 4, 2012

How to teach Gongyo!

There is nothing, nothing, nothing that makes me happier than introducing people to this incredible key to happiness. I spent several hours today with the new friend I introduced last week. Today we chanted together this morning. This evening we spent some time learning gongyo. It's so easy to teach gongyo. All I do is start with the first part. I teach using a method I call echo gongyo.

First I explain that the characters above the words represent beats.
There are a few exceptions,
Shari of shari-hotsu is fast, even though it has two beats above it.

I also talk about how each vowel and each consonant always have the same pronunciation: y is always ye, g is always guh etc.

Then we start what I call Echo Gongo.

The pace is not speedy, but is also not as slow as when we do "Slow Gongyo". Since it's echo gongyo we can go a little faster. Anyone who has ever taught using the "slow gongyo" method (where both teacher and student slowly recite together) knows how torturous it can be, both for the teacher and the learner. It is harder for the student to learn correctly and very difficult for the teacher to stay awake!

Teaching gongyo using "Echo gongyo" is fun. 
It's like learning music.
And it's easier to learn it perfectly the FIRST TIME. Relearning incorrect gongyo is mighty difficult, and perfect gongyo is so much fun to do!!!

Here's how I teach Echo Gongyo - and this can be done one-on one or in a group:

I slowly recite a line while moving my finger under each syllable.

Then the person I am teaching recites the same line along with me.
When we finish the page we do the whole page together.

We do the next page the same way.

When we finish the section we do the whole section all the way through together.
It is amazing how fast people can learn using this method!

If someone is having a particularly hard time in a section, I recommend they circle it or make a note they will understand...just like learning music!  

I do the second section at another time. Learning each section at a time is a good way to do this. It is so much easier than it looks. Using echo gongyo really helps people feel gongyo and enjoy doing it from the very beginning!

I will be making a video for you of echo gongyo.

Do you have any questions?

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