Inspiring the Next Generation of Chinese Young Women

DSC_3124What can bring together rich and poor, Caucasians and Asians, local people and international jet-setters, young and old, people of strong religious convictions and those without, together into a harmonious and purposeful group? The answer: the universal desire to offer hope to the next generation, especially young women. Continue reading

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Service Summit 2014: Initiating a Path Towards Adulthood

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 4.29.23 PMTaking Humanities I in Action is a journey. From day one students are confronted with issues that they find not only mentally and emotionally challenging, but even personally troubling.  Yet we take some comfort in Krishnimurti’s well-known, if startling, observation, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” The dis-equilibrium that we feel is an honest and compassionate reaction to the current state of the planet. Continue reading

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Envisioning the Expanded Self: My Favorite Books and Videos of 2013

DSC_3218Christmas holidays allow time for reading. The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein was a thrilling ride, and I also enjoyed reviewing Chris Bache’s The Living Classroom, a paradigm-shifting book for me in 2013. Continue reading

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Room for Compassion: Finding Presence in a Chinese Orphanage

DSC_3906Yash with one of the children at the Foshan Orphanage

Introduction

“Perpetual sacrifice. It is an ideology that invades nearly every aspect of our lives. What is being sacrificed? What is the common thread? Most fundamentally, it is a sacrifice of the present for the future.”

- Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity, p. 12

The highlight of Humanities I in Action for most students is a four-day, three-night trip to an orphanage in the southern Chinese city of Foshan.  For many students, it is a massive reality check, as they step outside of their affluent bubbles and into the lives of children who rarely leave the institution that cares for them. When students return to school, they inevitably feel both gratitude for all that they have and guilt for taking so much for granted. Beauty and shame are a shared experience. Continue reading

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Discovering Reality and Empathy in a Chinese orphanage

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The first two sections of Humanities I in Action visited the Foshan Orphanage November 8-11, and the other three sections will visit Foshan during this month.  Every year the Humanities I in Action classes visit the Foshan orphanage as a vital experiential dimension of our curriculum.  For many students, the Foshan trip is the highlight of the course.  Continue reading

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The Journey of Social Conscience: Putting Transformation at the Heart of Education

DSC_3863On October 23 I had the privilege of delivering the 2013 Kieschnick Lecture at the Global Symposium held the day before the 11th Triennial Lutheran Education Association conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Continue reading

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The Second Quest for Wholeness: The Necessity of Spiritual Practice in Social Conscience Education

screen-shot-2013-04-06-at-8-03-58-pmStudents in my “Service, Society, and the Sacred” class beginning one of our sessions with a 21 breaths meditation, a practice students find refreshing and stabilizing.

“Every spiritual tradition that holds a vision of human transformation at its heart also claims that a practice of intentional silence is a non-negotiable. Period. You just have to do it . . . .  There is a universal affirmation that this form of spiritual practice is essential to spiritual awakening.” Continue reading

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