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What is education?

Do we ever ask this question seriously, sincerely, lightly, so we can find out for ourselves what education actually is, without taking it as it is handed to us by society or the supposed experts?

Society seems to defer the responsibility of education to institutions. I wonder if we can inquire into this question, together, to find out for ourselves what education may actually be, and allow this understanding to transform the way we perceive education.


How do we approach this question of what education is?


Would it make sense for us to first find out what education is not? Let us begin there. Education cannot be a mere pursuit of skills preparing one for a job, or the cultivation of a narrow set of faculties like problem solving and analysis. 


But this is what education has become. We seem to go to schools and universities, and send our kids to the same or “better” institutions, not to discover what it means to be a whole human being, but to be educated to fit into a narrow groove of life. Education seems to have become a process of desensitizing humans from the real world by concerning them with a theoretical understanding of an arbitrary set of things about the world in the confines of classrooms, moving them away from the world itself. 


How do we educate ourselves and our kids?

Education must be a process of deepening our sensitivity to all aspects of existence, ranging from plants, animals, and the land, to our thoughts, emotions, and feelings. It must bring us closer to the fact of the wholeness of the world, and hence make a person whole instead of fragmenting them inwardly. Here is the question we are asking: do we want education to be a process that makes us inwardly whole, or are we only interested in training humans, who may become experts outwardly, but fragmented inwardly, lacking any sense of wholeness. We want to find out how we can cultivate our sensitivity to all aspects of the world, not just a narrow set. 

Can we educate ourselves and our kids about the outer and the inner cosmos at the same time?

The cosmos is a single living organism, of which we are an ever changing part. While an outward education of the cosmos has led to immense progress in science and technology, it falls short in helping us perceive the wholeness of the cosmos without an exploration of the inner world of our minds. The lack of such an integration is the cause of immense fragmentation in our lives, which causes immense suffering in the world. Our society is being increasingly powered by competition, greed, and ambition, and gives very little care to the inner lives of our hearts and minds. In this environment, how do we engage with the question of what the role of education is: do we want to educate ourselves to free end this fragmentation, or do we want to push ourselves deeper into it, knowing that it will only deepen over time?


The intention of exploring the question of education is to break through this fragmentation and rise into the ever present wholeness of the cosmos. How do we do this? By cultivating our minds such that we perceive the wholeness of the cosmos directly, seeing the fact that the cosmos is in a perpetual state of dance: this dance is a movement of physics, mathematics, art, music, plants, animals, water, mountains, clouds, and most importantly our minds, without any boundaries between these expressions of nature. By dancing lightly through different conversations and activities, we can discover together that life is a movement of relationships between all parts of the whole, and understanding the immensity of these relationships is the art of living, which is the true meaning of meditation, the fountain of love. 

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