Cynthia teaching at Lake Cowichan’s “Luminous Wisdom” Wisdom School
in April, 2019
One of the most impactful teachings I’ve come across recently is David Hawkins’ map of consciousness, which assigns energy values to various negative (low scores) and positive (high scores) emotions, as seen in the figure below:
The lowest scores – shame, guilt, apathy, grief, and fear – lead to inertia, while those a bit higher on the scale – desire, anger, and pride – generate hyperactivity. All of these, however, keep us stuck in the red zone of negativity. All of us, one would assume, prefer to be in the higher energy states of trust, optimism, and forgiveness, or higher yet – love, gratitude, joy and peace. How do we get there?
The gatekeeper emotion between the lower and higher energy states, according to Hawkins, is courage. What does it mean to deal courageously with negative emotions? Continue reading
My students’ apathetic response to a clip from the movie “The Corporation” about a day trader’s enthusiastic response to the devastation of 911 and the invasion of Iraq in 1991 prompted inner soul searching about the efficacy of teaching elite international school students. Continue reading
Even back in 2011 I was grappling with how to teach for purpose in my “Service, Society, and the Sacred” class. This blog entry shares some new insights I’ve had recently about how to facilitate student growth towards this most vital of life tasks.
Most of us would probably agree that gaining a life purpose is among the most important ingredients of a life well-lived. It appears so fundamental to personal fulfilment and social progress that it seems imperative that we teach about it in our schools. But last semester when a classroom conversation segued my Humanities I in Action curriculum into a 3-day exploration of purpose, a brief survey of the internet and reviewing resources I read during my doctoral studies left me fairly clueless how to teach towards this goal. Indeed, my own daughter, Christa, who is working with a leading researcher in the field, explains that we are only at the beginning of understanding purpose from a research perspective. Thus, we educators are left in a quandary: how do we teach students about this all-important goal of purpose? Continue reading
Llewellyn Vaughan – Lee is a Sufi teacher who has had mystical experiences since his teenage years. As a Sufi, he focuses on connecting to God through the yearnings of the heart, which when realized turn everything on its head. I was particularly taken by a teaching video on love in which he eloquently – even rapturously – explores his own experiences in the context of the Sufi understanding of love. Continue reading
Holding aloft a yellow-tinted orb, the masterful presenter dramatically finished the Griffiths Observatory planetarium show “Centered in the Universe” with a final word: “Looking through a telescope, we are coming to know our home.” This was his response to those universal human questions with which he began the show: who am I, where did we come from, and why are we here? As he slowly delivered his final archetypal line, he brought the glowing sphere from above his head to his torso, where it came to rest as a darkened globe at his heart. I sat motionless, contemplating this act of educational theatre that spoke to me of my whole pedagogical philosophy in a simple gesture. Continue reading