How to "Teach Peace?" - Guest: David Rycroft
European Buddha Podcast Nr.36

In a world often fraught with discord and conflict, the pursuit of peace becomes paramount. But where do we begin? How do we nurture the seeds of tranquility in the hearts and minds of individuals, especially in the bustling environments of our schools? The European Buddhist Union’s latest podcast episode delves into these questions, featuring a conversation with David Rycroft, the director of Teach Peace and Mind With Heart.

At the heart of Teach Peace lies a fundamental understanding: the cultivation of peace begins with cultivating the heart. From a Buddhist perspective, this extends beyond mere facts; it encompasses the wisdom of nurturing the heart. Schools, whether they realize it or not, play a crucial role in shaping values and fostering an environment conducive to flourishing.

David Rycroft, with over two decades of experience in training mindfulness instructors and educators, advocates peace-building. In the Teach Peace initiative, the focus is on empowering teachers to embody principles of social connection and compassion, thereby creating an environment where peace can thrive.
One key principle highlighted in the podcast is the notion that students absorb these values almost effortlessly, like osmosis, through the way educators communicate and interact with them. Thus, by empowering teachers with the tools to cultivate peace within themselves, we pave the way for a more harmonious society.

But theory alone is not enough. David Rycroft introduced a practical exercise called BBB (Body, Breath, Being), aimed at cultivating peace even in challenging environments such as schools with restless teenagers. This simple yet effective practice emphasizes the connection between physical sensation, breath awareness, and present-moment awareness, fostering calm and clarity amidst turmoil.

Ultimately, the Teach Peace initiative invites us to consider: How can we contribute to the flourishing of peace in our communities and beyond? The answer lies in education, not just in the traditional sense of academic knowledge, but in the cultivation of the heart. Join us in learning about the Teach Peace initiative!

David Rycroft is director of Teach Peace and of Mind With Heart, an international charity training teachers and students in sustainable wellbeing, emotional health and social connection.

David has 20 years experience in training mindfulness instructors and school teachers in tools for emotional health and in sharing these with teenagers.

Educated at Eton College and Edinburgh University, he taught art in a London secondary school for ten years before co-founding Mind With Heart. David is also a practising artist.

The "European Buddha podcast" inquires how the wisdom of buddhism is lived and practiced in the „West“. Every last Friday of the month, Emilia Raunio and Martin Landschein welcome guests from various traditions on different topics. See more

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