Flag Day Charity Fundraising: Student Entry into a Complex Psychosocial World

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 8.11.21 PM.pngIntroduction

We know that physiologically 14 year olds are just starting to wake up to their ability to exercise introspection. Students begin to view themselves and other self-reflexively, as they now are able to consider the inner psychologicalSCpedagogy.jpg reality and group sociological behavior of any situation. We place this emerging cognitive ability at the center of our pedagogical approach to Humanities I in Action where contemporary events are seen through psychological and sociological lenses, which then serve as evidence that they gather to make sense of the world, which we call a worldview, a working life philosophy.

Our first out-of-the-classroom activity in this course is deceptively simple. Students participate in a government-sanctioned method for fundraising called selling flags. Students carry a flag bag with them onto Hong Kong streets and solicit donations for a Hong Kong charity organization. A pair of hard-working students can raise $50 USD ($400 HK) in less than two hours. Multiple this by 50 pairs and our classes can make a significant donation to a Hong Kong charity with a small investment of time that, at the same time, serves our class purposes. Continue reading

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Education’s Most Needed Reform: An Orientation to the Universe

IMG_20161227_154505819This stunning image of the Buddha from the Golden Temple in Dambulla, Sri Lanka communicates the truth that spiritual growth is often associated with luminosity –  which I experienced, strangely enough, when grading my final World Religions papers earlier this year. Their brilliance affirmed for me that what education most needs is a coherent understanding of our place in the universe, which is the theme I explore in this entry. Continue reading

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Be Healthier Today: Recovering the Intelligence of the Body

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“How do we begin to seek the wisdom of the body? You do it one step Image result for The Transformational Power of Fasting,at a time – eating experience by eating experience. Every mealtime is another chance to feed yourself in a natural way, to take care of yourself as you have never done before, to love and trust yourself to answer your own call. This way of self-care moves out into all other areas of your life, but it starts with the precious act of feeding yourself meal by meal, day by day.”

-Carol Normandi and Laurelee Roark in Stephen Buhner’s The Transformational Power of Fasting, p. 60.

“We eat the way we live. What we do with food, we do in our lives. Eating is a stage upon which we act out our beliefs about ourselves.”

Geneen Roth

Dear Students,

Image result for superfoodsOur goal this semester is to search for wisdom and direction about your future through exploring the intelligences of the body, mind, and heart. We start then by paying attention to the body, which is mostly ignored by HKIS students in the all-out drive for academic achievement and success. The goal of this project, then, is to focus on an area of physical health – probably food – that you want to strengthen, study about, and establish a healthier relationship with in your life. At the end of the project, I want you to reflect on not only what you have learned about your body, but whether this focus has in some way helped you in terms of your total body-mind-heart self as well. Continue reading

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Homage to An Inner Voice: Remembering Pelle Andersson

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Introduction

It was one of the last Friday afternoons of the school year in June and I was relieved to put another one in the books, marking the countdown to summer holidays – and that’s when the email arrived. The Waveworks staff informed me and their patients that Pelle Andersson, a naturopath practitioner who had changed my life, had passed away. (Later I learned that he had died of cancer that he had quietly and valiantly tried to heal through conventional and alternative means.) Pelle at 46 – I thought he was in his 30’s – was not only the healthiest person I knew, but his bioresonance therapy and advice had moved me from a state of chronic sickness to progressively vibrant health. I attended his funeral the following Tuesday not knowing who would show up, only to find St. John’s Cathedral nearly filled with many of his patients who also came to pay their last respects to him. Continue reading

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How to Search for A Meaningful Life: Introducing the Tripartite Heart

Image result for meaning in the universeDear Students,

When it comes down to it, for all your hard work that will support an affluent lifestyle, I think that most of you would agree that ultimately happiness comes down to creating a meaningful life. And what that means long-term, I think you would say, is strong family relationships, an active social life, and a job that is not only stimulating and pays well, but somehow contributes something to the world. Continue reading

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What’s Wrong with Christianity? Reflections on a Buddhist-Inspired Christian Retreat

IMG_20170702_100046030_HDRThis is the majestic Christ Church in Dublin, Ireland, one of many architectural treats from Europe’s Christian heritage that I enjoyed this summer. However, with so many European churches feeling more like museums than vibrant centers of community life, my trip to the U.K. also made me think more deeply about what needs to be done to revitalize the Christian faith. 

Introduction

Where have we gone wrong? That’s the question that came to me this summer in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I discovered that church attendance has dropped from 75% in 1900 to 3% now? This question only deepened as I then headed to Dublin, Ireland, a deeply rooted Catholic city in which cynicism of the church is rampant. An article in a Dublin newspaper during my stay announced that there will be not enough priests to fill local parish vacancies in the coming two or three years. Continue reading

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Stop, Breathe, and Be: Re-Envisioning the Practice of Prayer

IMG_20170706_173240188_BURST000_COVER_TOPThe Sanctuary,” a retreat center in Dublin, Ireland, provided the venue for my recent Mindfulness in Schools Program “Dot B” workshop, a secular mindfulness training course which paradoxically provided me with a new understanding of prayer. We did some of our mindfulness practices together during the workshop in this intimate, bright chapel setting.  Continue reading

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