This news update is a continuation from Essential Education’s updates from the January-March 2011 issue of Mandala located on page 26.
The last four months have seen the 16 Guidelines and Essential Education work their ways into many different venues.
Transformative Mindfulness and the 16 Guidelines were introduced to academics, activists, therapists and educators at two conferences in the spring of 2010 in Toronto. Using Transformative Mindfulness as their primary tool, participants explored issues of social and environmental justice that they face and the wisdom needed to approach these issues with compassion and embodied understanding. It was an intense hour and a half, with sharing and some deep insight about how to act from the heart when faced with complex global issues.
In September and October I had the privilege of training 18 Grade 9 and 10 teachers as well as the vice-principal of Westmont Hilltop High School in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. What an amazing group of dedicated teachers and a really ambitious program!
As mandated by the state education board, Grade 9 and 10 spend half an hour per week devoted to personal and community growth. The high school wanted a comprehensive program to offer its students and teachers that could create some positive cultural and personal change. In two one-day workshops the teachers learned how to access some of their own wisdom and compassion in order to create a more open, peaceful and effective learning environment. Through the 16 Guidelines, they also learned some of the tools and experiential exercises developed by Essential Education to work with youth in groups, using the 16 Guidelines at Pine River manual. The feedback from the workshop was extremely positive and the teachers developed a new level of awareness and intention towards their school environment.
This program will run for the next two years as a pilot program with another follow-up training next fall. That’s 360 students in one school, all learning about themselves and their community through one of the 16 Guidelines every week!
Also this fall, the 16 Guidelines have been incorporated as a structure for a peer learning and support group in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. A group of 10 graduate students studying social work are exploring one guideline a week, taking them into their field placements where they work with clients who suffer from addictions or are in hospitals and homeless shelters.Tags: 16 guidelines for life, essential education, transformative mindfulness, uecw