“My hope and wish is that, one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call education of the heart. Just as we take for granted the need to acquire proficiency in the basic academic subjects, I am hopeful that a time will come when we can take for granted that children will learn, as part of the school curriculum, the indispensability of inner values such as love, compassion, justice and forgiveness.” - Dalai Lama
The Heart-Mind Summit was held in Vancouver British Columbia last October.
The Dalai Lama has inspired and challenged British Columbians to "be the village" that educates the hearts of children and youth in our lives. Heart-Mind learning has been proven to not only improve the well-being of children, but it also improves academic performance.
The Dalai Lama says that our care for others is rich and powerful when we are young because we see no differences between those around us and ourselves. We care for others as we would care for ourselves. However, somewhere down the line as we go through school and enter adulthood we lose this innate sense of compassion. He wonders why.
He argues that in the past, this perhaps made sense. Practically, it may have once been wise to focus on yourself rather than others as a matter of self-preservation. But the Dalai Lama believes that this time has passed. Today, not only is it unecessary to think only of yourself – we don't face the same day-to-day dangers we once did – but it is imperative that we build a deep caring for others.
The Dalai Lama says this begins at home and in the schools. He believes parents and educators have a unique ability to nurture the positive human qualities children are born with – affection, sense of community, a sense of social responsibilty.
He knows it can't be done with a flip of a switch, but the Dalai Lama suggests that if even one person takes this message of "educating the hearts" into his or her everyday life, then that one person can turn into 10, then into 100 and so on. He believes we all have the power to start this ripple effect.
The Dalai Lama paints a powerful picture when he says this is not just a well-intentioned ideal. It is the very essence of the "survival of humanity".
-- Watch The Heart-Mind Youth Dialogue at John Oliver Secondary School in Vancouver
-- Read the "Reflection Journal"
At the 2014 Heart-Mind Summit, the Dalai Lama and Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl discuss the many benefits of incorporating programs and practices that promote Heart-Mind well-being into the education system, and the great work that has already been done in British Columbia.