Ten Questions: 10. Are You Truly Nonsectarian?

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What about the spiritual aspects of Living Wisdom School? Is the instruction truly nonsectarian?

Helen: Parents generally accept that we are nonsectarian, but what they often wonder is how we do it. How do we infuse the school culture with spirituality, without being sectarian?

Children meditating at Living Wisdom School in Palo Alto, California
Students at Living Wisdom School learn non-sectarian, scientific breathing and concentration techniques for calming their bodies and minds and focusing attention. (Click to enlarge.)

We’re sharing principles and direct experience, rather than rules, and suspending the kind of judgments that come with dogma. It doesn’t leave room for the punitive to come in, which is so much a part of a dogmatic structure — you did it or you didn’t, and if you did or didn’t, you’ll go to hell.

Here at Living Wisdom, it’s “Oh, look at my direction. Look at how far I’ve come, and look at the successes I’ve had along the way. And I can do even better, so let’s keep going.” It’s a deeply spiritual attitude that most parents would want for their child, because they would want the child to “choose happiness.”

If an adult tries to “practice kindness” and “choose happiness,” they discover that it isn’t easy. But those rules are the basis for our school: “Practice Kindness,” and “Choose Happiness.”

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