Teaching as If Your Life Depends on It
Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D.
Students and nonstudents everywhere need help to awaken to what Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn calls “ the miracle of mindfulness.” We must awaken to the wonder, the beauty, the awe, and the suffering of the world around us. When students get over the initial shock and fear of this reawakening, and it is frightening to awaken to what Thich Nhat Hahn calls “the sound of the Earth crying,“ once the suffering has been acknowledged and we have developed the compassion within us, a great inner peace is possible and a space is created to appreciate the awe of our universe. To be mindful of our actions, our surroundings and ourselves, to reclassify the earth, the air, the water and all the planet’s contents as sacred, and to realize the importance of appreciation of the present moment will help reintegrate our lives with the universe around us. For the last five hundred years, our educational system has evolved into a mass producing, creativity stifling, awe-dampening process that educators must reform and restructure to bring the human (and nonhuman) spirit back for ourselves and our children.