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21st Century Will Be The Century Of Non-Violence- His Holiness Dalai Lama

Emory University, in partnership with The Dalai Lama Trust and the Vana Foundation of India, is hosting the launch of Emory’s international SEE Learning (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning) program in New Delhi, India, April 4th-6th.

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Finally, after the hand and head economy revolution, the time is ripe to unpackage the power of the heart economy.

Imagine a world where the focus is on the heart economy?

Emory University, in partnership with The Dalai Lama Trust and the Vana Foundation of India, is hosting the launch of Emory’s international SEE Learning (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning) program in New Delhi, India, April 4th-6th.

Emory Presidential Distinguished Professor, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, is present today at the launch of the three-day event. He is presiding over the program that is featuring national and international experts and an invited audience of more than 1000 educational and policy leaders from around the world. The event includes children’s rights activist and Nobel Peace laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi; Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia; Ajay Piramal, Chairman of Piramal Group; and globally recognized experts in social and emotional learning Dr. Daniel Goleman, Linda Lantieri, Dr. Robert Roeser, and Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl. 

Formerly known as the Emory-Tibet Partnership, a program within the Emory College of Arts and Sciences (ECAS), the center was established as a result of a total gift of $11 million from Yeshe Khorlo Foundation and from the Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama. In addition, the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Fund donated $2.2 million dollars in operational funding for 2019-20 with a commitment to continue funding for two additional years. 

“We greatly appreciate the generous gifts that enabled us to develop a compassion-based, ethics curriculum that represents the culmination of more than two decades of academic cross-cultural collaboration between Emory and the Dalai Lama’s institutions,” said ECAS Dean Michael A. Elliott. “The intersection between health and science is very much part of Emory’s mission, and has resulted in contributions to the well-being and quality of life for our local and global communities.” 

“The Dalai Lama invited Emory to create a program in ethics and basic human values that would be grounded in common sense, common experience, and scientific evidence, and that would be equally acceptable to those of any religious faith and those without,” shared Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Executive Director of the new center and professor of practice in the Emory Department of Religion. “Scientific research has shown that ethical development, alongside social and emotional learning, contribute to a student’s physical, psychological, and social well-being, helping them to succeed not just academically, but in life.” 

SEE Learning provides educators with a comprehensive framework for the cultivation of social, emotional, and ethical competencies that can be used in K–12 education as well as higher education and professional education.  The program is part of Emory’s newly established Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics. 

Negi and his colleagues collaborated with internationally recognized experts in developmental psychology, education, neuroscience, and trauma-informed care in developing the program. This innovative program, known as SEE Learning™ (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning), includes important new topics such as attention training, the cultivation of compassion for self and others, resilience skills based on trauma-informed care, systems thinking, and ethical discernment. 

Initiated as a pilot program in 2015, SEE Learning has met with interest in the United States and worldwide, with partnerships to date in North and South America, South Asia, East Asia, and Europe. More than 600 educators in various countries have attended SEE Learning workshops, many of them providing ongoing feedback in evaluating, enhancing and refining the pedagogical framework for the program and contributing to the development of curricula designed for early elementary, late elementary and middle schools. A high school curriculum is planned for 2020. Following the global launch, an online platform will be available for educator preparation, and the curriculum is currently being translated into fourteen languages. 

With a vision of “a compassionate and ethical world for all,” The Emory Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics center supports a research-based approach to educating both heart and mind. In addition to SEE Learning™, the center houses two signature programs: CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) and the Robert A. Paul Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI). CBCT is a secularized and systematic approach to cultivating compassion that draws from the Indo-Tibetan lojong or “mind training” tradition. ETSI is a long-term project integrating a comprehensive modern science curriculum into Tibetan monastic education. 

His Holiness is of the belief that the current education system doesn’t educate the heart. According to him human compassion that is a key factor, is missing in the present academia. He stressed on the importance of emotional hygiene keeping it at par with physical hygiene. 

“From kindergarten, we should include some education about not only external knowledge but about internal basic human value. In today’s world problems are our own creation. No one wants a problem because of too much human emotion. All this is our own creation,” he said today. Talking to emotional regulation.

Highlighting that prayer alone cannot solve these things, only action combined with motivation can. 

His Holiness is of the firm belief that finally, 21st century will be the century of peace, the century of nonviolence, and that when problems emerge the method of facing the problems will be through non-violent means through dialogue. 

The launch of this curriculum holds great promise and hope for the emergence of practical ideas and a huge wave towards making this curriculum a worldwide movement.

India has been chosen as the venue because of being a secular nation, an ideal for the secular curriculum. Balancing on the fulcrum of the rich heritage of Indian knowledge and modern knowledge.

There is ample proof that such programs which work on self-awareness, self-management empathy and social skills are effective. Especially when it comes to troubled students. These skills help children make good decisions, something that Dr. Daniel Golemans work has corroborated through past SEL frameworks.

According to research SEL lowers anti-social problems by 10% and has known to boost academic achievements by 10%, amongst other benefits which have been tracked to last up till 18 years.

Dr. Goleman believes that, “The Emory SEE  learning framework represents an education system of the heart in addition to several crucial skills which are largely missing in existing systems including a focus on attention training care and compassion systems learning and the development of an ethical outlook. 

Dr. Kimberly Schonhert-Reichl who has worked on the curriculum shared that, “ This is truly a worldwide program, translated into 12 languages and free for teachers across the world. The curriculum is not only based on science but also includes the applied knowledge of teachers. It goes beyond mindfulness and embraces our common humanity."

“There is a need to cultivate not only children's minds, but their hearts and spirits as well,” according to Linda Lantieri. Focusing on our shared humanity, inner resilience in the face of trauma and the importance of interdependence, viewing each other as our brothers and sisters as part of huge human family. 

And what better place than the school to prepare children for the challenges and opportunities they will face. Equipped with this knowledge, our children will be in a better place for sure.


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