The Abiding Heart Education™ Approach
Abiding Heart Education™️ offers an approach to children’s kindergarten and primary (class 1-8) education that embraces the Buddhist path of inner development. In this new, unique approach, all subjects taught from kindergarten through to class 8 from are fully immersed within the Buddhist paradigm, view, meditation and how that informs everyday life activities and being.
The primary purpose of the Abiding Heart Education™️ approach is to (re)connect to our Buddha Nature according to each individuals’ capabilities. We are guided by the Buddhist path of learning and inner development; a process that is both experiential and transformative. We do this through the content of the children’s curriculum, the teacher training courses and the methodology or skilful means. By immersing ourselves in this way of being and process of learning, teachers and children alike, discover a space within themselves that is open, soft and radiant. The essence of this openness is love, which is at the core of all true spiritual endeavour and ultimately transcends desire and concern for oneself. It is the very heart of enlightened wisdom.
The Buddhist path is transformative. It is a process of re-discovering our inner well-being. The path to such determination begins with understanding and deepens through direct experience. In this approach, we learn to apply our insights or heart understanding in everyday life, gradually forming new habits that are motivated by bodhichitta. This style of learning is in common with Steiner’s children’s pedagogy that engages the head, heart and doing, and teaches us to learn about life from life, in a process towards spiritual awakening.
The Abiding Heart Education™️ approach rests on the understanding that spiritual development, from a Buddhist perspective, means the spirit of enlightenment motivated by love and compassion for the individual (for oneself and others) or by the power of goodness. The Buddhist’s wholesome way of learning through engaging the head (understanding/knowing) and the heart (experiential/meditation), promotes and nurtures healthy habits and ways of being in every aspect of our lives. True transformation occurs when our innate qualities of wisdom and compassion are fully expressed, enabling us to care deeply for ourselves, for each other, and for the world.
A teacher trainee doing experiential arts in the Experiential Arts Class as part of our 2022 teacher training.
A teacher trainee working on a Thangka painting in the Himalayan Buddhist Arts class as part of our 2022 teacher training. This forms part of the Abiding Heart Education™ curriculum for primary class 6-8.
With the Abiding Heart Education™️ approach, the teacher is central to the quality and relevance of the education that a child receives. The process by which teachers are being prepared for this task is a critical indicator, not only of the future quality and depth of learning but the potential for self-transformation and healing. In this way, our educational approach encourages accumulating merit with the heart's wish that the right causes and conditions allow children and teachers to remain and progress on the path to liberation. To support this, Abiding Heart’s pedagogical approach and curriculum content encourage a celebration of our common humanity and inspires creativity, curiosity, kindness and contemplation, all in the service of nurturing children’s and teachers' inner awakening.
Trainee teachers at the Abiding Heart Education™️ training courses are engaged in an approach to learning that is situated in the Buddhist view, meditation and practices and which has been translated into a unique children’s Buddhist pedagogical approach. The needs of the child are considered in relation to each phase of their development and in doing so, the Buddhist learning and teaching methodologies are translated through the Waldorf transformative methodology and progressive education approaches.
The Waldorf transformational learning approach includes Steiner’s insights into the child’s changing consciousness and how this knowledge is translated into pedagogy and used to nurture the child’s inner development. This is interlinked with Steiner’s children’s pedagogical tools and that aim towards supporting their spiritual development towards inner freedom.
Education, from the Buddhist perspective, can be understood in relation to uncovering the very nature of our mind. Our innate basic goodness is not merely an empty vessel that requires filling with endless information. Rather, our innate goodness, replete with qualities and wisdom, is waiting to be expressed and to shine through the cracks in our (seemingly) solidified sense of self.
How We Implement The Abiding Heart Education™ Approach
The Abiding Heart Education™ Curriculum
The Abiding Heart Education™ Teacher Training
Supporting schools to implement The Abiding Heart Education™ Curriculum