Soul Work

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When sparks of excitement fly in the classroom, when tears emerge, when laughter erupts, when students from previous years send notes of gratitude, these moments touch the soul and remind teachers of the reasons they entered the profession. Those ‘moments of being’, as Virginia Woolf once described them, that sense of connectedness, convince  you that there is a deeper life of the soul to explore.

The art of knowing oneself, knowing others, and knowing the sacredness of all life are the skills of spiritual literacy and are vitally important to the development of the whole child. Students can nurture a personal spirituality or philosophy that is wise, empathetic and mindful. Teachers and students awaken senses and creativity, foster relationships and community, and value intuition, silence and spiritual diversity. Teachers who do so know they are creating havens of peace and understanding that provide stillness and perspective outside the frenetic pace of modern life.

We thank all those former teachers who have been our guides and those students who have been our teachers, and who like ourselves know in their hearts that education must first nurture the soul. Teaching is an ongoing pilgrimage toward the self and as a mentor once told us, ‘ We teach most what we need to learn.’ “Soul work”, the truest work of any education, is a lifelong journey for teachers and students.

Excerpts from The Compassionate Classroom- Lessons That Nurture Wisdom and Empathy

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About Friends of Likir

An initiative to nurture & educate children in isolated villages of Ladakh. Once upon a time a traveller wandered into the high altitude mountainous folds of Ladakh in India. She meandered into a magical village in a valley which had an old monastery on top of a hill. She was enchanted by the serenity of the picturesque village and by the cherubic 'Chungjungs' - the novice monks of the ancient monastery. She noticed that they were really happy but needed some help with their reading. The traveller had to go back home but decided to return soon. Back home she told her friends about the magical village of Likir. She kept her promise .. Friends of Likir a.k.a FoL, is an initiative to nurture and educate children in isolated villages of Ladakh. FoL was born in Likir and so the name remains as a metaphor for acts of loving kindness, creativity, connection and compassion and our children's right to education. Since then, Friends of Likir has joined hands with other isolated and neglected schools in the Ladakh terrain, Indo-China & Indo-Pakistan borders. Thank you for becoming a ‘Friend of Likir’. This year, Friends of Likir branches out to 10 isolated and neglected schools in the Ladakh terrain, Indo-China & Indo-Pakistan borders. Plans for 2012, 15th April onwards: Sourcing and collection of children's books and setting up libraries in 10 schools. Re-designing reading spaces in existing schools Conducting learning modules, art and drama workshops over the next 6 months Providing children with games, toys, sports equipment, art & stationery supplies Medical Camps for vaccinations and treatment of respiratory and skin infections Sponsorships: Their tuition fee, boarding and annual expense. Educational Assistance to schools in remote and drastic environments Supporting Ladakhi teachers with educational resources, teaching aids and training programs. FoL aspires to organically build an integrated network of like-minded individuals that can extend their support through care, love, time, effort, their skills or monetarily. A few ways in which you can help: -Spreading & sharing -Collecting and gifting children's books Please visit the wish lists- http://www.flipkart.com/wishlist/friendsoflikir-4769 http://www.flipkart.com/wishlist/friendsoflikir-1285 -Sponsoring a school library -Sponsoring a child. If you are an individual who would like to volunteer your skills, creativity and time, have training in Montessori methods, experience with young learners, consider yourself a selfless nurturer, love children's books or are a natural story-teller, please write to friendsoflikir@gmail.com with the subject-Volunteer with FoL.

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