Didi Ananda Devapriya: Yoga and Meditation Teacher in Romania

A Breath of Fresh Hope for Women’s Groups in the Camps in Haiti

With quick efficiency, the camp committee in the Sitron camp in Haiti announced our arrival for a women’s gathering. Soon the women were spreading  large grey tarps on the bare ground, and to our surprise, a microphone and amplifier were waiting in the middle of the space. I was amazed to see that already the camp had wired electric lines throughout the site, and indeed, a bulb was shining in a hut on the hill. Two months have now passed since the earthquake, and people have begun to settle and adapt to the circumstances with characteristic resilience. The construction of latrines was nearing completion, and groups of men were busy chopping poles to construct a large community tent for clinics, meetings, religious services and other collective events.

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Building Catherals – Learning by Imitation

In Neo-humanist education, we all know that children learn best by imitating the example of the teacher. However, it is not only small children learn well by imitation and example – it is one of the most effective ways adults learn as well. Have you ever experienced the difference between just hearing or reading about how to do something and then actually seeing it done? For example, there was a particular difficult yoga posture called peacock that I had read had many benefits for overcoming fear, anger, and improving digestion, cravings and some other benefits and I really wanted to try it, but from the picture and the book, it looked simply impossible – it is a difficult balancing posture where all of the weight is supported by the elbows on the navel area. I tried a few times, but was immediately discouraged. Then a friend of mine showed me how she had learned, breaking it down into a few simpler stages. Within a month of practice, I amazed myself that I actually had learned how to do it. Read more

Foreign Language Aquisition in Early Childhood

Date: 16 July 2006 15:09

The mind of children is already in a state of creative problem solving all the time as they constantly absorb new information about their world and how to interact with it, making it easy and natural for them to learn new languages.

Language acquisition is even easier for children than adults when presented in play way format because they have no inhibitions about learning something new.  They naturally parrot-imitate new things. Often you can find small children babbling new words to themselves as they gain mastery over them during moments of free play. Read more

Healing Narratives – the Magic Mirror

According to Neo-humanist philosophy, human life is an ideological flow. Our lives are not just made of a chronological series of events, but rather of stories that give those events meaning and color. Human life is an endless quest for meaningfulness, without which life is a dry and barren desert. We are trying to discover where we have come from, who we are, and where we are going. This quest leads us ultimately towards spirituality, and discovering a spiritual perspective with which to understand, interpret and direct our lives.

Stories, and story telling are an important part of this process. As our understanding and perspective evolves, we continually reinvent our own stories, and look for inspiration in stories other that mirror our inner hopes, dreams and values. In fact, stories are a type of magic mirror, in which we seek to know ourselves and our world. Read more

Challenging Stereotypes – Neo Humanist Diversity Curriculum

Challenging stereotypes in Neo-Humanist Diversity Curriculum Small children are spontaneous scientists, gathering information, making hypothesizes, testing them, and drawing conclusions that eventually crystallize into a belief system that then embeds itself deep in the unconscious mind. When these beliefs remain unchallenged, and are confirmed by repeated experience, they harden and set like plaster, and become difficult to reshape in later life. Consciously seeking opportunities to introduce themes that address human diversity in an inclusive way is a key feature of successful Neo-humanist early childhood education. When diversity curriculum is appropriately designed, it can help to correct and prevent the solidification of stereotypes and blind prejudices in the formative mind of the child. Read more

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