Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Waldorf and Buddhism

I was in my meditation class last week and the teacher spoke about how she has really connected with Zen Buddhism (Mahayana Buddhism). The reason being that while some Buddhist practices will focus on enlightenment of the individual being, Zen Buddhism is about the enlightenment of all beings. It's about recognizing that we are all part of a whole and we are all connected.

While I was listening to her, it struck me how similar our experience of Waldorf education has been. From the beginning the children are introduced to a rhythm of the classroom that is based on an inbreath and an outbreath, not unlike breathing, night and day, the ins and outs of the seasons...through storytelling and seasonal celebrations the children recognize that they are part of a greater universe - the sun, the stars, the earth. They sing blessings before every meal to thank mother earth for their bounty. In the later education, they are taught from the perspective of where they are in relation to the subject they are learning. They never lose the sense of "my being" on this Earth. In this way, they have ingrained in them a respect for the world around them (people, animals, plants, earth). It's really a wonderful perspective, in my opinion.

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