by R. Taminga
Taiwan is a can-do nation: earthquakes and typhoons annually destroy houses, bridges even entire villages, but the Taiwanese people just stand up, look for a way out and go on with life. Much of the work of the NHE community has been inspired by this can-do spirit: step by step we have focused on practical ways to implement the grand vision of a yoga inspired education.
Aid for Developmentally Challenged Children
Two years ago, Miss Yang, opened a classroom for children with developmental problems. She applies a variety of teaching methods, but fundamentally makes her children do daily asanas, practice quiet time, follow a vegetarian diet and sing Kiirtan. This combined with many sensory integrating activities have transformed not only the lives of her students, but many of their parents as well. She is the originator of the Peace Mama program, whereby mothers take their yoga and meditation experiences to the classrooms and teach the children meditation and moral stories.
Little Star Kids Yoga
Lun I-huei is a professional kids yoga teacher. After typhoon Morakot in 2009 destroyed several entire mountain villages, she guided weekly meditation sessions to help children deal with the trauma of loss of family. Her ability to help children through silence get in touch with their deepest inner selves has encouraged the government to consider funding her future work. Together with Yang and several others, teacher trainings are held and in the past five years over 150 people have become qualified kidsyoga teachers.
Lien Ching Fa has focused on encouraging the handicapped community with NHE inspired concepts. In spite of himself having suffered from polio in childhood, he tirelessly travels around the island to give classes, TV interviews and inspire others to teach handicapped people too. He recently formed an association which receives government funding for this amazing work.
Yoga for Teenagers
Melody Li has been organizing Peace Education through Yoga workshops for over one year. She focuses on the junior high school students and in winter and summer camps she offers them the chance to learn yoga and meditation, while the teachers have special camps to develop NHE concepts in their off time. She is also the organizer of the monthly Parents and Kids Yoga Touch workshops which are offered free of charge to parents of children with learning difficulties.
Publications and Training in NHE
Over the years the NHE working community has published several books ranging from story telling, character education songs, kids yoga, quiet time exercises, to further the public’s interest in education. One company published an entire KG curriculum based on Circle of Love concepts and is currently preparing this for digital use throughout the country, with the hope that we can inspire many more schools to adopt NHE ideals.
One thing we have learned over the years is that if you want to teach NHE you have to be ready to learn to listen to understand the problems in the local education community, and see how from your NHE vision you can respond to them. One example is our work with the English teacher community. They wanted to learn story telling techniques. Luckily I have some interest in this and over the years have offered many workshops in this field, often inspiring the teachers for a different approach to education.
Moha Mukta has been the principal of a kindergarten with 80 children for the past fifteen years. The whole school is vegetarian. Through regular festivals, weekly kidsyoga and QTE (Quiet Time) she inspires her students and teachers for the holistic education vision of NHE. There are also regular parents meetings to inspire the parents for the same.
At other schools there are several programs and activities to promote NHE and moral education. Especially at Ananda School in Taipei, much wonderful work is being done.
All in all we see the gradual maturing of NHE in Taiwan’s society. Several academics, government officials and professionals are taking notice of our work and with time we are developing a more and more professional skills to translate this deep inner vision into a practical reality!