December 2001 – February 2002
Valentino Giacomin, writer, elementary school teacher, former journalist, nyung-nä practitioner, and educational innovator was the co-founder in 1983, together with Luigina de Biasi, of Alice Project, a totally new approach to education inspired by Lama Yeshe’s vision of Universal Education. Through the consultancy work of Luigina de Biasi, the Alice Project approach is now becoming an integral part of state teacher training in school districts around Treviso, Italy. Also, Alice Project School near Sarnath, India is a thriving center of education for children and adults of that area. Valentino wrote to us not long after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. His world is a microcosm of our bigger world, where only the Dalai Lama’s ‘religion of kindness’ can save us.
We are going through a very critical moment for both the school and the world. Gosel Lama, our president, had already warned us a year ago to be ready for war. “There will be terrible times for India,” said our elderly president. Once the terrible attack in New York had taken place, he called me to his office-gompa-bedroom to recall the prophecy. “The time has come.” “What can we do?” I asked. He replied, “Make sure you have enough food, enough medicines. There is nothing else you can do.”
Is there really nothing else we can do, I wondered? As usual, my mind has started working in opposition, so to speak, by accepting the challenge. Much the same as the way Universal Education – Alice Project started … by following the teachings of Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Song Rinpoche, Serkong Rinpoche, the dinosaurs of the pure and traditional Dharma. As well, Alice Project began as an impossible challenge to traditional teaching in a state school in a small village near Treviso, Italy where people considered even the word “yoga” blasphemy….engaged buddhism