Before Yogananda went to the United States, he spent four years in India developing what he called ‘How-to-Live Schools’. In Chapter 27 of his Autobiography of a Yogi, he wrote: ‘The ideal of an all-sided education for youth had always been close to my heart. I saw clearly the arid results of ordinary instruction, aimed only at the development of body and intellect. Moral and spiritual values, without whose appreciation no man can approach happiness, were yet lacking in the formal curriculum. I determined to found a school where young boys could develop to the full stature of manhood. My first step in that direction was made with seven children at Dihika, a small country site in Bengal.’
What kind of education did you have? Has it served you well in life? Do you have fond memories of your schooldays? What kinds of rules did you have to follow? For some people the school-experience can be quite traumatic, even making a firm impression long into adulthood. Do you ever find yourself behaving habitually, hearing an old teacher’s voice within perhaps, rather than from your own inner integrity? This is what Yogananda sought to remedy – he wanted to create a space for children to become masters of themselves; living fully, free from unconscious habits and not being at the mercy of life’s storms!
Living Wisdom Schools, certified schools which employ the Education for Life method, present a very clearly defined set of rules for their students…but they may not be quite what you are used to! Take a look at the rules and decide for yourself how valuable you think they are in helping to prepare children for life’s experiences. How would your experience have been different if your school had implemented these rules?
You can even begin to live by some of them yourself now if you feel so inspired… it’s never too late to learn something new in the School of Life!