Welcome: Dr. Sid Jordan and Dada Shambhushivananda Ananda Marga Gurukula celebrates its 25th Anniversary with this global conference at Prama Institute. The theme of the celebration is Neohumanism in Action: Educating for a Sustainable and Compassionate Future. As educators, researchers and neohumanist activists we share in working to create a sustainable and compassionate future. Through this conference we hope to strengthen our global network of neohumanist educators (GANE) and invigorate and expand our neohumanist institutions and projects. This expansion includes developing the newly formed P. R. Sarkar Institute (PRSI), the Neohumanist College for online courses, as well as the emerging Gurukula Campus in Asheville.
Setting Our Course – Dr. Marcus Bussey and Dr. Sid Jordan
This one hour opening program will include fun activities to loosen us up followed by a reflective space in which to align passion and purpose and to consider what we would like to achieve over the coming days.
AMGK University Futures – Dr. Marcus BusseyA reflection on the journey of the university from the past to the present which then moves to consider university futures and the role that Ananda Marga Gurukula can play in revitalizing higher education.
PR Sarkar Institute – Tom Barefoot P.R. Sarkar has given many innovative ideas. How can we preserve these for the future generations? How can we spread these ideas so that we can all participate in a sustainable future of wellbeing and happiness for people and the planet? Ananda Marga Gurukula has recently inaugurated a new initiative called the PR Sarkar Institute.
July 13 – Monday
Neohumanist Education: Introductory Remarks and Moderator – Marcus Bussey
The Neohumanist Education Network spans more than 50 countries. Early childhood, kindergarten, primary and secondary schools are based on the holistic philosophy of Neohumanism. Neohumanism is a relational and spiritual philosophy that takes the insight of humanism, that human beings are of value and worthy of a full and meaningful life, and extends it to all of the Cosmos. The consciousness that we are all connected is something that lies deep within us all. Neohumanist Education fosters this consciousness and relational approaches to each other and our world based on love, respect, benevolence, and service.
What Neohumanist Schools are For – Eric Jacobson Early Childhood Education: 25 Years Ago and Today – MahaJyoti Glassman Neohumanist Strategies in Diversity and Inclusion – Didi Ananda Devapriya Bringing Neohumanism to Educational Management – Dr. Jareeporn Naksamrit
July 14 – Tuesday
Scope of Ananda Marga Gurukula and Life Long Learning for All: Dada Shambhushivananda, Didi Anandarama and Dr. Sid Jordan
Ananda Marga Gurukula serves as the Board of Education for the Neohumanist Educational Network of educational institutions and activities around the world from infancy through university level. This Network includes PreK-12 Schools, Daycares, Community Centers, CNSs (Centers of Neohumanist Studies & Actions), Institutes and Colleges, as well as the upcoming P. R. Sarkar Institute, NH College Distance Learning and AMGK Global Campuses at Anandanagar (India) and Asheville (USA), among others. The all-round self-development of the students is fundamental across all areas and levels of learning.
Ananda Marga Gurukula is coordinating with all educational activities whether undertaken by PROUTIST Universal, Master Units (Intentional Communities), Yoga Teachers, Medical Centers, AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Teams) or Women’s Welfare volunteers. AMGK/NHE is working in collaboration with AMURT’s Child Friendly Spaces and other educational initiatives undertaken by AMURT in disaster relief areas. The periodic trainings conducted by “Ananda Marga Yoga Wellness Center/Institute” in Cebu (Phillipines) in collaboration with the Naturopathy Faculty of AMGK is hastening the development of Wellness Centres around the globe. AMGK also is closely knit with all educational initiatives in master units on every continent. The Women’s’ Studies faculty is developing courses to support Women’s empowerment & self-reliance projects around the world.
The blueprint for Ananda Marga Gurukula includes over fifty faculties spanning the arts and sciences: from fine arts, literature, languages and history to physics, biology, medicine and engineering as well as non-traditional subject areas such as intuitional science, morality, astrophysics, astrology, biopsychology and parapsychology etc. Both theoretical and applied study is included in all disciplines with a focus on the application of learning to contemporary problems facing society: political, economic, social, educational, environmental, psychological, etc.
The concept of “life long learning” in AMGK activities embraces the Neohumanist concept that we remain “students” throughout our lives with the spiritual goal of expanding and transforming our knowledge and awakened conscience into service, devotional love and self realization.
A Necessary Romance: Integrating Elements of Neuroscience and Intuitional Science: Dr. Richard Maxwell
In our 21st century world, science is commonly used to explain phenomena that we experience. When phenomena are in the realm of human behavior, neuroscience has provided many fascinating insights into the importance of the brain, and more recently into changes in the brain during meditation. Neuroscientific truth is limited by its solely physical nature, but must be included in any comprehensive explanation of meditation. This presentation provides an example of how neuroscience can be found to be consistent with the apparently disparate system of understanding present in the intuitional science of Ananda Marga tantric yoga. It will be proposed that these different perspectives are expressing aspects of the same truth through different languages. It is important for educators, as they share ideas and knowledge with their students, to understand that contrasting approaches to truth may not be contradictory.
Coordinated Cooperation and Cooperatives: Women and Work in the New Economy – Mirra Price Ushering in a new economy based on economic democracy and social justice will restore balance and holism in society by making women more significant economic stakeholders and thus freer to determine their own destinies and achieve their life goals in a climate of economic decentralization. What is essential for the true liberation of women is to become equal partners in a fairer Prout paradigm based on coordinated cooperation through the creation of women-owned and managed cooperative businesses. Raising the status of women, will, necessarily, also raise the status of men and children in society, who are all integral, intertwining parts of family, social and political systems.
July 15 – Wednesday
Yoga Studies as an Academic Discipline: Dada Vedaprajinananda The interdisciplinary, academic study of Yoga has blossomed in recent years. The study of yoga now spans historical and philological research, philosophy, religious studies, art history, cultural studies, sociology, psychology, exercise science, medicine, and more. This presentation will review recent developments, and reflect on the future of Yoga Studies in higher education.
Cooperative Spiritual Ecovillages: The new paradigm for a healthy body, mind and planet: Peter Fleury|
For several decades dedicated yoga-meditation practitioners have been developing models of service project communities in harmony with the natural environment. These projects include research and teaching new ways to the local communities in the fields of education, health, agriculture, energy, cooperatives, and yoga-meditation practices. These spiritual eco-villages are models for future generations, showing how we can live in a dynamic harmonious balance with the natural environment, our societies and our person body-mind-spiritual health. For our mental and physical well-being we practice a yoga-meditation lifestyle which includes giving service to those in needs. Each of these communities is unique, specializing in different services according go the local needs, and indigenous architecture and agriculture.
Beyond Green Capitalism – Roar Bjonnes
Green capitalism is being hailed as the answer to our environmental problems. Since Karl Polyani in the 1940s and E. F. Schumacher in the 1970s pointed out that capitalism treats nature as a free commodity, environmental economists has attempted to create a more nature-friendly capitalism, a green economy. In this presentation, Roar Bjonnes will explain why capitalism will never be quite green enough to create a truly sustainable economy—why comprehensive systtems change is needed and why Prout economics holds that possibility.
Schools in the Local Economy – Dr. Howard Nemon
As a reaction to corporate capitalism, localities across the globe have been moving towards a local economy model, based on local production, purchasing, and hiring. This trend is supportive of economic decentralization and democratization, which are core strategies in Prout. Educational institutions, as key players in the local economy, are uniquely situated to contribute to this movement towards local self-sufficiency. This presentation will discuss opportunities for educational institutions to promote sustainable, local solutions for their communities.
The first two afternoons will be divided between time for workshops and time for interest and working groups to meet in parallel. (See tabs on the left or links below for details).
The third afternoon will offer an Open Space for those wishing to offer other workshops.
The last afternoon a reconvening and synthesis of the week’s work.
Afternoon Working Groups , July 12 & 13 – and – Afternoon Open Space, July 14
Bringing it All Together: Growing the Gurukula Community – The Next Ten Years Time for Synthesis: The last afternoon, led by Dr. Marcus Bussey and Dr. Sid Jordan, will be dedicated to a reconvening of all together and a synthesis of the previous days’ activities. We will begin by having a World Cafe session in which we mix with others from different faculty groups and then move to an activity that helps us focus on where would like our AMGK Community to be in ten years and what we as individuals and teams can do to help us get there.
The the first three evenings will feature presentations by the schools, institutes and projects represented at the Conference, so far numbered at fifteen. Didi Anandarama will be our host.
The last evening will be a cultural program hosted by Jacob Dickie and James Steen.