Self-less service is a part of all faiths and all traditions that uplift the human spirit. "It is in giving that we receive" as said in the famous Prayer of St. Francis. Action in the world is equally important to inner spiritual work - indeed it is a natural expression of it. Even modern science has revealed love hormones and brain receptors that prove physical health improvement when people sacrifice and when they give to others. The word sacrifice itself means to make sacred. The School of Life has chosen as its focal effort to support the healing of planet earth and bring peace through the practice of non-violence. Besides the work with Shanti Yoga and Spiritual Food, two non-profit organizations were inspired: Global Coalition for Peace after Sept 11th, 2001 and the Progressive Ecological and Alternative Church of the Essenes, also called The Essene Church of Peace in 2006. All ages are welcome to participate and young ones can acquire service learning hours for school if needed.
Currently, our most active programs are:
APARIGRAHA A NEW ECONOMIC PARADIGM FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE
THE ECONOMY OF FEMININE LEADERSHIP FOR INTEGRATION AND INCLUSIVENESS
Economy has permeated the fabric of society to the extent of being able to shape and establish behavioral patterns, which are proving damaging not only for the environment including all living species but for the human being; those who negate this reality are losing their voice.
Aparigraha, a Sanskrit word, means non-hoarding or non-possessiveness. The approach presented here not only considers the present conditions from all its aspects, physical, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual, but the necessary paradigm shift in agreement with Natural, Spiritual and Cosmic laws being activated in the New Era. Some call it the New Era of Enlightenment and we shall all hope that time will prove this to be true.
This new economic model offers a message that, as someone said, calls upon us to truly take on the responsibilities that we as a species have long been shirking. Our lack of will to take full responsibility for ourselves and as stewards of the planet has led us to this make-or-break moment in time of humanity.
THE WOMEN'S SELF RELIANCE PROGRAM (WSRP)
The Women’s Self-Reliance Program was initiated in El Remate, Guatemala in January of 2005. The purpose of the program is to bring to women in economically depressed areas, information and courses of action which, with due respect for their cultural and human values and when used in conjunction with their own skills and knowledge, will help them to provide a mentally and physically healthier and more conscious life for themselves and their families. The three main components of the program are nutrition education, intensive vegetable gardening and basic self-employment skills. Food security is the most critical goal and the gardens are the core of our program. In addition to El Remate this natural form of growing healthy, life-sustaining food has currently been taught in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Bolivia and Haiti. See this report from the 10th Anniversary trip to El Remate, Guatemala in April 2015. For more information contact Rose Mirabai Lord.
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me... Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self …”
Each Sunday, volunteers for the Essene Church of Peace meet from 7:30-10:00 a.m. in the Bethesda center to prepare a nourishing 3-5 course vegetarian meal for about 150 homeless men, women and children. See Feeding Out Brothers and Sisters. and Home Cooled Meals for the Homeless. Other volunteers gather downtown in DC’s Franklin Park to distribute the food from 10:45-12, along with donated clothing and often toiletries. A team of alternative healthcare practitioner volunteers offer acupuncture, reiki, homeopathy, and cellular regeneration therapy at no cost for whomever asks. A free yoga class is offered when weather permits. Finally, food for the mind and soul is provided in the form of sacred scriptures from Christian, Essene, and Vedic sources. We welcome all who want to serve! For more information on how to participate please contact Victor Landa.
The School of Life’s educational purpose in the area of Social Justice is especially emphasized through its two non-profit organizations Global Coalition for Peace and The Progressive Ecological and Alternative Church of the Essenes. To that end we dedicate a significant part of those websites.
The GCFP website offers informative and educational articles about what is going on in the world from our view point and the viewpoint of alternative information sources, rather than the corporate-controlled mass media that the general public normally depend on. Go to A New America Is Shaping.
The Essene Church of Peace website is arranged in such a way as to make the ancient practice and teachings of yoga and the Essene scriptures available to all. The Essenes are considered exemplary and exceptional models of human beings and their social organization probably has no parallel in the world today. They were really the embodiment of Social Justice. The School of Life community is benefiting from both the theory and practice of these teachings. Go to the link called Food for the Soul at theessenechurchofpeace.org