Reflections on Educating the Heart

The Blue Man group  (loved their blue masks) were an engaging introduction to the Tuesday morning session of the Vancouver Peace Summit on Educating the Heart:  Creativity and Well-Being and Heart-Mind Education.  I hadn’t seen them before so was in for a treat in terms of their multi-media presentation and then the way they took the large audience at the Orpheum got us totally engaged.  The topic was around how to promote creativity — and the Blue Man group shared their process with us.  They enter a series of creative mind-sets that are opposites — the scientist and the shaman, the group member and the trickster, and the hero and the innocent.  One of the most fun moments was when everyone (except me because I somehow didn’t get one) had to put on their red clown nose and be “innocent” and playful.  It is all about how to focus your attention.  Another quote I like was:  Play with the rules instead of playing by the rules.

The session on Creativity and Well-being included an impressive cast of speakers — people like Sir Ken Robinson, Eckhart Tolle and so on.  I noted down points like…

…the power of the imagination…creativity is putting the imagination to work or applied imagination…relationship between economic development and creativity… its all about problem formulation… creativity needs to be sown into every part of the education process…

Similarly, the session on Heart-Mind Education had a stellar line-up — Stephen Covey, Clyde Herzman, Adele Diamond, Mairead Maguire.

There were some challenges for me in getting the most out of these sessions.  There seems to be a human propensity for trying to do too much in a defined amount of time.  180 minutes to fit in Blue Man, 7 speakers in the first session and  7 speakers in the second session.  And hear from the Dalai Lama — which was also an issue for me — I couldn’t hear him very well.  I really wished they had focussed on one panel and therefore had more time.  I also had issues with the space — we really don’t have an inspirational space in Vancouver for these types of numbers.  The Wosk Centre for Dialogue works so well for a smaller group — but going big presents challenges for us.

What I most enjoyed was the fact that we were talking about educating the heart and its importance in all part of our lives.  And the fact that the Dalai Lama left us to go and talk to 16,000 teenagers — I think that might have been his most important gig!

I missed the Women and Peace-building session in the afternoon.  It was probably amazing.  Partly because they allowed 30 minutes for just the Dalai Lama and Maria Shriver in conversation.

What a week — so great that Vancouver hosted the Peace Summit.  Hats off to Charles Holmes and all the folks at the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education.

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