Purpose and Outcome

The Focus
The mission of SHEN is to promote the thinking and findings of those enlightened beings (prophets, sages and seers), who have spent their lives studying the nature of humankind and its relationships in the universe. They are called mystics in English, although their tireless search for spiritual secrets are no more mystical than scientific pursuits. SHEN considers them as spiritual scientists.

The peak spiritual experiences of these noble exemplars comprise the core spirituality of all religions and is totally unifying. By its very nature, it is inclusive of all beings and it is meaningful to all human beings, irrespective of faith or the lack of it.

In keeping with the mission of SHEN, this workshop will focus on mystics from different traditions. Reflection on their insights will set the stage for consideration of spiritual education curricula with a view to seeking solutions to the grave human and environmental problems of global proportions facing humanity today.

Nature of the Spiritual Education
Core spirituality of religion is totally unifying. It proclaims the underlying oneness of all beings. Disciplines such as natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and humanities also affirm our underlying oneness. The post-secondary curricula for teacher education at the post-secondary level therefore, are expected to integrate multi-religious and multi-disciplinary content. All forms of knowledge that affirm unity in diversity are relevant in this context.

Intellectual concepts can teach spirituality. They cannot transform people by making them spiritual. Being spiritual requires setting one’s narrow selfishness aside for the common good. Being spiritual requires overcoming our fears, our likes and wants, our dislikes and aversions, our sense of limited identities and our feelings of isolation. When we learn and practice contemplation and meditation, we assimilate spiritual wisdom deep into our consciousness and transcend our limitations. Thus, curricula for spiritual education are both theoretical and practical in nature.

The Purpose
The workshop aims to reach beyond a mere spiritual dialog in setting the stage to seek educational solutions for the grave human and environmental crises of global proportions facing humanity today. The specific purpose is to develop ideas for inclusive spiritual education in general and for post-secondary curricula in particular for the education of a large number of teachers required to teach it at the secondary and the primary levels.

Expected Outcomes for Participants

  1. Understand how religions are simultaneously unifying as well as divisive,
  2. Build a better understanding of core spirituality,
  3. Understand the commonality of core spirituality across religions,
  4. Explore together how the unifying core spirituality can be harnessed for better education,
  5. Build a network of like-minded people,
  6. Grow spiritually,
  7. Be inspired, and
  8. Make a difference by cooperating in related research and curriculum development.

Expected Outcomes for SHEN
SHEN hopes to:

  1. Explore together education to develop an over-arching global human identity,
  2. Raise awareness of the need and relevance of the SHEN goals in today's global environment,
  3. Build a network of parties with shared interest in propelling the SHEN goals,
  4. Contribute to mutual spiritual development, and
  5. Foster cooperation in related research and curriculum development.

Who should attend?
This event is meaningful to everyone interested in promoting global unity through education. Come and meet others interested in education to bridge wide chasms between our hearts and minds.

Recommended Reading
Shah-Kazemi, Reza, “Paths to Transcendence According to Shankara, Ibn-Arabi, and Meister Eckhart”, World Wisdom, Bloomingdale IN, 2006.