Do you feel joy when using your physical skills to learn and grow and experience life? Perhaps you lead with your heart and feel most alive when you are in a beautiful natural setting, or caring for animals or babies. Maybe you live for a challenge – such as tackling a new project, or raising money for a cause or finding a solution to a problem. Then there are those who love to make lists and use their mind to discover and learn.
Body, Feeling, Will and Intellect – those are the four tools of maturity that Swami Kriyananda describes in the book Education for Life, which is the foundation of the Ananda Living Wisdom Schools.
I teach at the Living Wisdom School in Beaverton, Oregon. We recently had a workshop for parents and experienced the tools of maturity in a fun, interactive way. Learning through direct experience is an important tenet of Education for Life and Living Wisdom Schools. So we didn’t sit around all evening talking about the tools of maturity; we played games, built towers out of blocks, looked through animal pictures, wrote about our feelings and had a great time.
The parents went home with a real understanding of how we teach and how Living Wisdom Schools approach education differently than the mainstream schools. They were all smiling and laughing and asking for more classes as they left. I could tell that the evening they had anticipated – important perhaps, but an imposition on other, more entertaining activities – had turned into an engaging and enlightening time with people they enjoyed.
Education for Life will change the way we learn and teach all over the world. The technology available now is making it possible to share with other educators and parents who are not near a Living Wisdom School, or who really want to create one. With online classes teachers in India can share with those in Wisconsin.
In joy and friendship,