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palace of learning

a group of children, arms linked, facing camera

Paradoxes abound in the world of mindfulness, a confusion one learns to be relaxed about.

Being mindful, I return to the present moment, where all life resides. But sometimes, on a good day, I have one foot in the future, what we can be. I see your best you. I see our best us. I see our potential. The more I practice mindfulness, the clearer the view.

The rest is a wax on a beautiful future school, not too far away...

Schools are places we can’t wait to get to, where we explore the world and what it means to be human, what it means to flourish as a part of nature and part of a wider community, what it means to find your inner voice and passions and a part to play that makes you come alive, and how to develop those talents and dispositions, alongside the flourishing of others.

Where we learn what it means to respect ourselves and to respect others, what it means to 'do no harm', to your self, to others, to all life and the planet we call home.

And what ‘do no harm’ looks like ‘lived’ day to day, and lifelong, in the world inside and outside school.

Where we learn what it means to look after the amazing body and mind we were born with, and to challenge ourselves, to open to learning, with our minds, and with the inner wisdom of our bodies. What it means to live a whole life, and the importance of play and laughter and music and friends and family (however we define family), and rest, nutrition, exercise, good sleep, calm, time alone, and a genuine connection with nature, alongside purpose and meaning and the zing of productive life.

How we can respond skilfully to life's challenges, pain, fear, hardship, crisis, breakdowns in understanding, and the demands of life. What does it mean to build resilience and how can we develop this in a healthy way. How increasing resilience over time makes us feel.

How can we be open to and respectful of difference in all its manifestations? What does that mean?

What does it mean to genuinely forgive, ourselves and others, to feel and express gratitude and appreciation, to really listen, to be fully present, to tune into our inner wisdom, to be mindful. What do we learn by enjoying a meal mindfully, walking mindfully, interacting mindfully?

What does it feel like to experience the joy of accomplishment and the development of our skills, while remaining alive to the beauty of the present.

What does it mean to be financially responsible? What are good habits we can learn that will serve us through life? What does money mean, what does it represent?

For when we leave school, what does work mean? What kinds of work are there? What are you drawn to? What do you dream about? What do you care about? What are your strengths? What do you need to work on? What help do you need? What do you think would be important to you for you to feel well about your work?

What does it mean to be a teacher, an elder, to be a parent, a grandparent, a daughter, a son? How important are these roles? Why and how do we show respect and appreciation? Is it meaningful?

What do we mean by life and death? What does it mean to be human? What do we remember of our beloved who have passed? How do we honour them? What do we think is a good life? What do we think is a good day?

What can we learn from history and the gifts of past generations, from different cultures, and different ways of seeing and thinking.

What is it to create and be creative?

What does it mean to have an independent mind, and to engage constructively and collaboratively in our communities and citizenry. Why do we engage? How does it make us feel?

What does it mean to love, to love ourselves, to love one another and to love and appreciate the gift of life and all that is alive.

If we all go to a school like this, what kind of world do you think we would live in?

What kind of community? government? society? planet?

Now I can rest. Thank you. Thank you for reading this far. Good wishes to you.

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