“My hope and wish is that, one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call education of the heart. I look forward to a day when children and students will be more aware of their feeling and emotions and feel a greater sense of responsibility both towards themselves and towards the wider world. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?” ~ H.H. the Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama is among the first thinkers of the 20th century to recognise that the gravest challenge facing humanity was not nuclear weapon or world war but the silent erosion of the core human values that could over time trigger a global emotional crisis. We are already witnessing its flagrant manifestations in political and social spectrums.
Envisioning a human society with genuine sense of concern for each other and collective responsibility for global welfare, His Holiness the Dalai Lama proposed an educational transformation grounded in the perspective that the 7 billion human beings are completely equal in wanting to be happy, not wanting to suffer and together in cooperation, we stand to gain for ourselves and our community.
Towards this effort, His Holiness minted the idea of universal secular ethics; enshrining the values of compassion, human dignity, empathy, warmheartedness, genuine sense of concern for others in our vision of prosperity and progress.
Through the years, as His Holiness officiated the introduction of Secular Ethics Curriculum in scores of universities and schools in India, North America and Europe, he noted that fostering love and compassion with human intellect held the key to human flourishing.
In his latest and most distinguished contribution to the world, His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Emory University developed a comprehensive framework for the cultivation of social, emotional and ethical competencies for children in Kindergarten to students in secondary education as well as higher education and professional education: The SEE Learning.
A long cherished dream of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the innovative program is based on the universal secular ethics and is driven by his vision for a compassionate and ethical world for all.
In his keynote address at the international launch of the SEE Learning program this Friday in the presence of over 900 educational and policy leaders from around the world, His Holiness remarked that the results of the curriculum would not be seen in immediate future, but the next generations will surely see more compassionate human beings, happier individuals and families.
Experts and key speakers from Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Minister of Education Manish Sisodia, Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, Dr Lobsang Tenzin, Emory University to others including Veer Singh of Vana foundation and Tempa Tsering of the Dalai Lama Trust chimed in admiration as they celebrated the Dalai Lama’s enlightened approach to education and his practical vision for the future of humanity.
In line with His Holiness’ long-echoed message, the SEE Learning is grounded in the idea that education can and should be expanded to foster the values and competencies that lead to greater happiness for both individuals and society at large.
Through the program, future generations can move forward in realizing their tremendous potential for being a force for good: their own good, the good of others, and the good of the wider world.
“The intention is for compassion-based ethics to be incorporated into existing curricula, where it will permeate and enhance each school’s pedagogy,” said Dr Lobsang Tenzin Negi, executive director of the new center and professor of practice in the Emory Department of Religion.
The SEE Learning framework is organized into three dimensions which broadly encompass the types of knowledge and competencies it seeks to foster in students: (1) Awareness, (2) Compassion, and (3) Engagement. Furthermore, these three dimensions can be approached in three domains: that of (1) the Personal; (2) the Social; and (3) Systems—all of which should take place within an educational context that is based on compassion and with teachers who strive to embody this underlying value.
More than 600 educators in various countries have attended SEE Learning workshops. A high school curriculum is planned for 2020.
An online platform is available for educator preparation, and the curriculum is currently being translated into fourteen languages including Hindi, English, French, Russian, German and Chinese.
The global launch of the SEE Learning in Delhi was hosted by Emory University, in partnership with The Dalai Lama Trust and the Vana Foundation of India.