Volume 13 - Issue 04
April 2015
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Posted on: Apr 19, 2015

SAI STREE SHAKTI series - 02

Finding Dharma Through Sathya Sai Education in Human Values


Sai Stree Shakti is Radio Sai special series that chronicles the forces of nature who incarnated as women of spiritual substance to serve as the chosen instruments of the Avatar, contributing significantly to the Sai Mission.

Bhagawan not only hailed their sterling virtues but also shaped them to be exemplars of duty, devotion and dedication, who stood out as ideals not only to other women but entire humanity.


To mark the auspicious 90th year of the divine advent, we salute these dynamic and divine Sai women whose contribution to the Sai mission has been strong and steady and largely silent.

Starting March 19, 2015, every month till November 19, 2015, Radio Sai will celebrate Ladies Day by highlighting the life and dedication of select Sai Stree Shaktis who will go down in history as the able and capable contemporaries of the Sri Sathya Sai Avatar, whom He chose as His instruments to achieve His Avataric goals. Their incarnation appears to be a planned part of Bhagawan's master plan.

On March 19, 2015, Radio Sai offered its first tribute to the late Mrs. Sarla Shah under this series.(click here)

On April 19, 2015, Radio Sai is pleased to feature Mrs. Carole Alderman of the United Kingdom as the pioneer who took Sathya Sai Education in Human Values to Europe, Middle East, Africa, North America and beyond, thereby reviving the heart and art of integrating the secular with sacred learning.

'I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles'

We are lucky if we know what our dharma is in this particular life. Mine is to spread the Sai Message of Education in Human Values. I once visited a nadi (palm leaf) reader in Bangalore in 2007, who described the most private aspects of my life with total accuracy, and went on to tell me that the purpose of my life was 'To unite the religions'. Of course, this is precisely what Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) does. The five values of Truth, Love, Peace, Right Conduct and Non-violence are the basis of all the major world religions and I have found, when giving SSEHV training workshops around the world, that everyone understands them to be the basis of their own religion.”

Carole Alderman


Having trained nearly 2000 adults including professional teachers through 60 and counting workshops in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Egypt, Morocco, Israel and Dubai, Carole Alderman's efforts to bring Sathya Sai Education in Human Values or SSEHV into the centre stage of learning has impacted tens of thousands of children and their families till date.

For instance, the Abbey Primary Community School in Leicester, UK with a student population of over 600 children, has been using EHV for years. Over 200 schools in the UK incorporate Education in Human Values or EHV in some form into their curriculum.

As a result of EHV workshops in Egypt, today all Primary Schools in Egypt use the technique to integrate universal human values into the secular learning experience.

The adults trained by Carole Alderman have, in turn, trained hundreds of teachers in groups of thirty at a time, and are currently training teachers to train other teachers/trainers.

Yet Carole Alderman's journey to train adults to draw out universal human values from within and incorporate them into academic and extracurricular learning experience began rather 'accidentally'.

It is said that when God created the world it began with a Big Bang. And that was, quite literally, how the British couple Carole and Bob Alderman began their relationship with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The Aldermans often travelled to the Italian or French Riviera for their holidays. In 1983, they rented a cottage in the Dordogne region of France. The weather was beautiful when they left England and crossed the Channel but, unusually for the time of year, it rained as soon as they set foot in France. Bound to the cottage, the holiday turned into a reading week for them. Providentially, Bob had borrowed a book from the public library for his wife for the first time ever - Howard Murphet's ‘Man of Miracles’ that he described as 'a little light reading'. Carole was immediately captivated. The teachings explained clearly the meaning of the Brahma Sutras, which she had struggled with at the philosophy school that she attended.

 
Ms. Carole Alderman
 

After three weeks in France, Carole and Bob arrived back in the UK. On a bend on a busy motorway just a few miles from their home, the car went into a skid, then started to zigzag and was about to hit a high concrete wall. “Now we are going to die," Carole thought, "but this will be interesting as I will find out if reincarnation is true." A fear crossed her mind of being badly injured and maimed as her daughter, Debbie, had been a few years before. Then words from the book came into her head, "By whatever name you call on Me, I will be with you".

"Sai Baba, I'm a Christian," she said and took the brace position as they headed for the concrete barrier, and prayed, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me". The car hit the wall and spun across the three-lane motorway and back again, then came to rest on the 'hard shoulder' beside the road.

To their amazement, Bob and Carole were totally unharmed. It was as if they had just been on the bumper cars in a fun-fair. Bob had a tiny scratch on his ankle, although the car was badly damaged. None of the windows had broken, the seats and doors were perfect, but the front and rear of the car were completely crushed. The road had been busy a moment before. Strangely it had cleared during the accident. Both Carole and Bob sensed a great feeling of calm. It felt as if they had been divinely protected, held in the palm of God’s hand.

Within the hour, Carole and Bob were back home telling their daughter, Debbie, and her friend, Ann, all about Sai Baba and His teachings!

The following year in 1984, Carole travelled to India with Bob to learn more about Sai Baba and His teachings. On returning to the UK, she immediately rang Victor Kanu to tell him about the miracles and experiences. He asked her to come over the next Sunday as he had a couple of friends visiting who would also be interested to hear what she had to say. On arriving at his house in South London at the appointed time, he whisked her off in his car to the local Sai Centre where she learned that she was the guest speaker! She had never spoken in public before and was extremely nervous and ill. She had no notes even if the experiences were vivid in her memory. During her talk, Victor refused to look at her, but later just said that anyone who knew Sai Baba would have to learn to talk in public about their experiences with Him.

THE ROLE PREORDAINED

Within a few weeks, Carole had volunteered to help Victor with his work in SSEHV. Her role was to provide administrative and moral support as she was not an academically trained teacher. In 1985, an International Conference on EHV was held at the Froebel Institute, London. Delegates from 19 countries, including Mr. and Mrs. Indulal Shah from India and Dr. Art-Ong Jumsai from Thailand attended the conference. 


In 1986, the first African conference on SSEHV and Community Service was held in Accra, Ghana, organised by Victor Kanu. Carole attended the event as his secretary and reporter. Several weeks after she got home, she realised she had been only one of three Caucasian persons there. Not noticing colour or race proved to her the true power of Sai Baba's EHV programme in practice.

In 1987, the 'Sathya Sai (UK) Society for EHV' became a registered Trust comprising Victor and Genoveva Kanu and 22 other members. Small seeds were sown in the UK regarding human values but in 1989, at Bhagawan Baba's advise, the Kanus moved to Zambia to start a school. SSEHV then ceased in the UK.

THE LESSON IS REPEATED TILL IT IS IMBIBED

Although Carole had heard about Swami in 1983 and within three weeks had booked a trip to see Him in 1984, it was only during her fourth trip in 1990 during her second interview that Swami started to talk to her. He asked, "Who is a teacher?" When no one replied, Carole said, "I am not a teacher, Swami, I am a counsellor." He then asked, "How many types of teachers are there?" Carole knew Swami had spoken about this but did not know the right answer, so kept quiet hoping Swami would expect someone else to answer. But, alas, He turned to her again and asked the same question. Carole took a wild guess and said, "Two. Good and bad."

There being no scope for bluffing Swami, He responded with a firm "No" and turned away.

The next year, Carole made sure she had studied about what He had said on the subject and when Swami asked the same question again, she replied, "Three. Complaining, explaining, inspiring." "No!" replied Swami, and repeated the answer in a different sequence, "Inspiring, explaining, complaining."

The following year, when He again asked her the same question again, Carole replied, "Three. Inspiring, explaining, complaining," "Yes," He said, "and you are the explaining type."

The next year, the same question was repeated for the fourth time and when she gave the same answer, Swami said, "Yes. And you are the inspiring type.” Carole was delighted that it was a step better than the last time. But, just before she got too happy, Swami said, "No. Made a mistake. You are the explaining type."

It was in 1996, on her tenth trip that, for the fifth time, He asked that question again. She had spent two months in the ashram and had enjoyed a lot of interaction with Swami during the Christmas play. Her mind was much calmer. "Three, Swami," she replied. "Good girl," He smiled, patting her on the head. Carole confesses it had taken five years for her monkey mind to stop its back-chat and for a little humility to prevail.

From 1988 until 2000, except 1993, Carole had interviews with Swami every year. These 12 interviews were all as part of a larger group, except two which were just with her and her husband Bob. One of these private interviews with Bob was on 18 January 1999, when Swami materialised a diamond and ruby peacock broach for Carole. Taking her and Bob into the inner room, He materialised a green diamond ring for Bob and slipped it onto his finger saying, "Look - perfect fit". He then performed a ceremony with a hand on each of our heads, blessing us. It was beautiful and ended with the words, "...a long and peaceful life."

The peacock broach and the necklace of 101 golden beads materialized by Swami for Carole.


TAKING THE SAI MESSAGE FORWARD

Baba's blessing of a long and peaceful life was also to serve Carole as a spring board to find her Dharma in life and to fulfil it as the prophecies had predicted.

In 1993, Aimé Levy re-established SSEHV in the UK. After a series of changes at the top, in 1995, Carole Alderman was appointed as UK National Convenor. As she was merely an 'intuitive' teacher, and not professionally trained, she agreed to cover the post until a qualified, candidate could be found. At Easter, a meeting was held in Rugby and it was agreed that as a birthday offering to Baba, Carole would compile 15 Lesson Plans by November - one for each of the five values for each of the three age groups.

 

But the following weeks proved challenging as she found that absolutely none of the material she was sent by the others would be useful for a Western or an international audience and, indeed, she could not even write one single Lesson Plan. Feeling utterly helpless and desperate, she prayed to Swami for help.

And did He ever respond! Help began to pour in and it came in many guises. People would ring her about something else, but would turn out to know a story or an activity that she needed for a Lesson Plan she was trying to complete at the time.  When she needed a song, she would wake up in the middle of the night dreaming of a great choir singing, and the words and basic melody remained playing in her head. She felt as if the creation was offering her what was needed. By November 1995, instead of the targeted 15 Lessons Plans, Carole had compiled a whole book with 50 Lesson Plans! This was taken to Swami.

As it was never easy to be granted an interview with Bhagawan, Carole had to wait for several days before she could present the first book to Him. At one point, she even thought that the work done over the previous eight months was not good, and mentally spoke to Baba, 'If you don't want this book, Swami, then I don't want it either. So I'll burn it.'

Two days later, on 2 November 1995, she was granted an interview and permitted to show the book to Sai Baba, who looked through it page by page. After many questions and comments on the symbolism of the fruit used and much teasing, Carole received His blessings and assurance that He was 'very happy' with her work.

Swami then asked her if she was going to promote SSEHV in the UK. "That's my intention, Swami," Carole replied. But in her mind, she thought, "But that's going to be hard. I will need Your help Swami". Before the thought had even fully formed in her mind, Baba moved His hand and produced a chain of 101 golden beads that He put over her head and around her neck saying, "Never take it off."

Although Carole had seen Him produce objects before, the fact that this time it was for her was quite overwhelming. Since then, she has never taken the chain off, not even for major surgery. “I am sure it keeps me safe and guides me,” she says.

In 1996, further Lesson Plans were added to the first book that was then divided into age groups to create Book 1 (ages 6 to 8 years) and Book 2 (ages 9 to 12 years) - each containing 26 Lesson Plans. Carole wanted to take these to Swami for His approval and blessing.


NO VALUES, NO HUMAN, ONLY ANIMAL

On 6 November 1996, Carole’s group from England was blessed with an interview. Carole sat at His left side waiting, anxious and eager, with the two new SSEHV books on her lap. After manifesting some wonderful white vibhuti for the group, Swami took them all into the inner interview room. He took the books onto His lap, carefully reading page by page, commenting and asking questions.

Swami then asked her to make an alteration in the introductory summary that had stated that the values were "an inherent part of the human being".  "Not part," said Swami, "No values, no human. Only animal.” So, Carole duly changed the text to values being, 'inherent in the human being'. Although the books had gone for printing and most had been done, when Carole contacted her husband in England regarding the change, she found that page 14 on which the error appeared was yet to be printed!

MULTIPLIER EFFECT OF SATHYA SAI EDUCATION IN HUMAN VALUES

In 1997, a teacher in the public school system, Mr. Dipak Kuman Fakey started a 'Good Values Club' using the SSEHV Lesson Plans at a school in Leicester. The school received a very good evaluation report from the UK Government's Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED), which was largely attributed to Swami’s teaching of values education. Many years later in 2013, Dipak received a medal - the Order of the British Empire (OBE) - from the British Queen for his work in Education and the Community.

Also in 1997, Book 3 (ages 12 to 15 years) was produced and again blessed by Swami - who held it on His lap throughout much of the interview.

Carole found that the schools wanted one book for each year, so she had to produce six more. She renamed the series 'Reception' and now it covered 'Year 1' (age 4 to 5 years) through to 'Year 8' (age 12 to 13 years).


The SSEHV programme was introduced to the primary schools in Coventry in 1998. The programme also began to spread in Ireland where Carole and her team had begun to provide training.

In 1999, the Sai Organisation in the UK launched a national website for SSEHV (now www.bisse.org.uk) and set up a limited company and registered charity to better support the training and other work of a growing band of volunteers.

In 2000, the Sai Organisation began to publish an e-newsletter on its website, which largely replaced the printed newsletters.

To render the program more inclusive, the text of Book 1 was recorded on CD to create a talking book for the visually impaired teachers who wanted to use SSEHV.

In 2001, volunteers started running 5-day holiday schools, which proved very popular. 108 children registered for the first such event, in Ilford in East London. 

SSEHV Holiday School, London

A national drama festival was held involving many schools from around the UK. Carole travelled to Israel with Isobel Ritchie from Scotland to deliver a one-week training course to 20 teachers. She was also a speaker on Ladies Day at Prasanthi Nilayam in November, 2001.

In 2002, the Sai Organisation set up a SSEHV telephone helpline for teachers. Training was held in Wales, and Zita Starkie started teaching in six small primary schools there.

In 2003, the ‘British Institute for Sathya Sai Education’ (BISSE) was set up to act as the UK's ISSE. The seven-day training, as blessed by Sai Baba, gained accreditation by the Open College Network (OCN), which is the largest independent course accreditation agency in the UK. Quite apart from increasing the credibility of BISSE in the eyes of the UK public and educational community, this accreditation meant that school teachers could gain 'credits' towards their professional development by attending BISSE's SSEHV training course.

In 2004, the first DVD was produced showing SSEHV in schools and Holiday Schools, whilst Dipak Kumar started producing values board games. Carole then travelled to Egypt to train volunteers working in a school in a poor area of Cairo. She later trained a large group of Muslim teachers, where SSEHV was very well received by them saying 'it came straight from the Koran'. In Morocco, the teacher training workshop was conducted in French by Christina Wilson and Pamela Nash while Carole accompanied them.

Carole Alderman Story telling with group at training in Egypt

When training Moslem teachers, Carole and her team translated the five values used in one of the exercises into classical Arabic. The whole of Lesson Plan Books 1 and 2 have been translated into Arabic and are on her website www.bisse.org.uk

Lesson Plans have also been translated into French, Spanish, South American Spanish, Mandarin and other languages, some samples of which are available on her website for free downloads.

By 2005, the mainstream acceptance of the program was evident as the teachers ran 14 'Holiday Schools' (five days of extracurricular activities for children during their school holidays), nine 'Parenting' courses, continued teacher training, and staged 19 other values events in the community including five exhibitions around the UK.

Carole also travelled to Toronto with Michelle White to deliver the seven day training course to 125 Canadians. The participants were teachers from various public and private school boards across Canada.

From 2005 to 2010, the SSEHV programme continued to grow and spread around the UK with regular training courses and more and more schools using the Lesson Plans. By now, the Lesson Plans Books were being printed in India and many thousands were sold in the ashram bookshop.

Wembley teachers & children

PURSUING DHARMA DESPITE CHALLENGES

Just when it seemed that the universe was completely in sync with the power and appeal of the SSEHV program, a challenge was awaiting Carole.

After decades of dedicating herself to furthering SSEHV on a global scale, in 2010, the International Sai Organisation requested that the British Institute of Sathya Sai Education cease operations. It was to be replaced with the 'Institute of Sathya Sai Education - UK' which would re-write all the training and Lesson Plans from scratch. This instruction was duly complied with, and the British Institute ceased all operations, including training and publication of new Lesson Plans. Carole was also informed that Swami had instructed that she should be invited to become one of the directors of the new Institute, but such an invitation never came.

Carole did not fully understand the decision to close the British Institute for Sathya Sai Education which had established itself and was doing admirable work; but as a true instrument of Swami, she accepted His will and thought that perhaps her work in SSEHV was now over.

However, during her next visit to the ashram she received many words of encouragement from devotees who had attended the training or were using the Lesson Plans, and who suggested that she really ought to continue working in SSEHV, Carole knew she had to continue pursuing her dharma. Since 2011, Carole resumed teaching Sathya Sai EHV to the public via an entity that operates as 'Sacred and Secular Education in Human Values'.

Training continues at her home in East Sussex once a year, which attracts participants from all around the world. Carole’s ninth, and final, book of Lesson Plans was published in 2015. This was definitely the last one, as there is now a complete set of Lesson Plans for every age from 4 years to 13 year old children.

Recalling a precious memory, Carole says Swami once called her an English pigeon. She realised that a pigeon is a bird that carries messages. As an instrument in His hands, she carried Swami’s EHV to educators everywhere. With each teacher inspired to bring universal human values into his or her classroom, and children and parents benefiting from the practice of more truth, peace, love, right conduct and nonviolence, it is clear that the pigeon has delivered!

GRATITUDE FOR DIVINE INTERACTIONS DURING CHRISTMAS PLAYS

One of Carole's greatest blessings came in the form of the downpour of divine interactions during Christmas play practices in Prasanthi Nilayam from 1996 - 2001. She was given the job of Girls Security Officer back stage in the Poornachandra Hall. The reason the opportunity was so precious was that backstage was where Swami's residence was at that time and He came out on to the stage where the group would be practising, to encourage them all.

Swami would speak to Carole every day, often several times, for those few days running up to the plays on each 24 December. When she first started, she was told He always crossed the stage on the boys' side. Carole thought, 'That's strange. An Avatar cannot have gender preferences. What can we do to get Him to come over to the girls' side? We will be disciplined and orderly and make space for Him however crowded it is.'

Swami in PC with Children after Christmas play
Swami posing with children after a Christmas play in the Poorna Chandra Hall

There were about 80 little girls and 50 little boys sitting behind the stage. At the centre back was Swami's double doors about four feet wide. Carole told all the little girls to make space for Swami by sitting in neat rows, back from the doors and leaving about 18 inches clear in front of them where the curtain was drawn across the stage. She told them that when Swami came out, they must place their hands together in the prayer or greetings position and not touch Him or speak to Him unless He spoke to them first, in which case they must answer. They were squashed up, but whenever Carole was on duty, apart from a couple of times when some adults pushed in and sat down and blocked Swami's path, He always walked on the girls side!

Carole’s job was to keep lists of every person who had anything to do with the play - sometimes as many as 1,200 people in many different teams, such as lighting, costumes, choirs, etc. He always seemed to ask her a question on whatever fact she did not know at the time. “Swami would joke and tease me and taught me so much, especially about accuracy. Being able to serve Swami directly and be close to Him was pure delight. The words of the song, 'I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles' became a reality.”

One day Swami asked Carole how many women volunteers (seva dals) there were. She gave the number and later discovered it was incorrect as there were an additional 40 ladies working in the Western canteen which she had overlooked. She wanted to own up her mistake but she was very nervous because, a month before, Swami had berated her for having advised incorrectly the number of people in her group when He called them for an interview. Nevertheless, when Swami came out, Carole stepped forward and delivered the message that there were an extra 40 lady sevadals that she had forgotten. He raised His arm as if to strike her and Carole cowered down trying to hide behind a statue. Looking up into His eyes, she saw He was laughing and so were all the children!

Carole’s 13th trip to Prasanthi Nilayam was in December 1998, working again in the play. On the morning of 24th, she had been arranging with the Play Committee ladies where they would sit that evening in order hopefully to take padanamaskar after the play. She never did that herself as padanamaskar was not a part of her culture. “But there must have been an acknowledgement in me that the others were fortunate because later, when I was alone backstage, Swami came out. I had been asked to request padanamaskar for the sevadals in the kitchen. So I stepped forward, hands together, indicating I would like to speak. Swami graciously stopped and I asked, "Please Swami, will You grant padanamaskar to sevadals working in the kitchen?"

"Yes, do," Swami said. Carole thought He had mistaken what she said. "Not me, Swami, the kitchen sevadals," she replied emphatically. "You do," Swami replied, equally emphatically. So Carole fell on her knees and touched His feet and touched her eyes. As she did so, He sent energy of pure bliss through her. “Never to be forgotten. I inwardly crumpled in submission and delight,” she recalls.

There were many other close interactions with Him such as in September 2000 when she received her EHV Diploma from His own hands at Prasanthi Nilayam. She was nervous because, although the course itself at the Institute of Sathya Sai Education in Thailand was excellent, the ten week stay there had presented many painful personal difficulties and tests for her. But all was well when Swami gave her a big smile and said, "Very happy."

He gave saris to the teachers from the Sathya Sai Schools in Africa and Thailand. Then He looked at Carole and said, "Teacher?" and threw a cream, red and gold sari to her. "London - very good lady", He said to Loraine Burrows, one of the founders and top teachers in the Thailand School, and Genoveva Kanu, the Head Teacher of the Zambian School. This cheered Carole up as it was a very supportive thing to say about the EHV programme in the UK. “Swami has blessed our programme so much and made it a great vehicle for personal growth,” she says. 

TEACHERS ARE LIFELONG LEARNERS

Summing up the impact of the Education in Human Values work on her life, Carole says, “It has been good company, directed my life and given it meaning and purpose. Through this work, I have met thousands of wonderful people and visited many countries and interacted with diverse people, only to realise that at heart everyone is an embodiment of the five human values. Baba's teachings are universal in appeal. That is why His SSEHV programme is so easily embraced by diverse groups and cultures. It has given me great opportunities for my own personal and spiritual development. I am very grateful to our Beloved Swami.”

Carole Alderman receiving that precious smile of appreciation after her talk during the Ladies Day celebrations 2001


Sample Feedback regarding The SSEHV Programme

 

 

I was delighted to discover the SSEHV programme ... As a psychotherapist and counsellor, I am constantly made aware in my work of the ‘missing component’ of spiritual guidance that is at the crux of a deep sense of loss, apathy and unrest in our society. It is also obvious, when listening to people, how much this stems from early childhood, and how experiences of not being heard, encouraged and loved can have far-reaching, damaging effects.

I hoped that by attending the SSEHV course I might find a way in which I could contribute directly towards making a difference to our future generations, by encouraging more positive values. The course fulfilled and went beyond my most optimistic expectations. I discovered through personal involvement in the programme how it promotes self-referring wisdom and practical ethical behaviour and outlook.

I found during the weeks of the programme that I became even more accepting of the complexity and diversity of all beings – and the wonderful loving potential that is there waiting to come into flower. Sharing in singing and group activities allowed us all to meet on a level, recognising our mutual hopes for the world we live in. Belonging to the SSEHV group also increased my sense of well-being and peaceful relaxation, through the exercises like Silent Sitting that were put into practice.

Focusing on the different values had a deep impression on me, and I found myself being more truthful, more loving, more peaceful and more aware of the consequence and impetus of my actions – with a greater sense of responsibility towards the wider world. I can see how the teaching components can be readily used with even very young children to a great effect.

The programme also played a part in raising my awareness about the environment – not simply with information, but with reminding me in a very simple, basic way, that I am part of it. As a result, I have become more appreciative of the beauty in nature, and more practically caring and actively protective of wildlife around me.

I have already mentioned the SSEHV programme to many of my colleagues, and to my Professional Association, and am recommending it to anyone who has involvement with children, whether as a parent or in a professional capacity, and who believes in the possibility – and the necessity – of transformation in our society.

I feel very grateful for the opportunity to engage in the SSEHV programme, and to find another way, beyond my therapy practice, of being of service in the world. It seems so simple, so possible, and encourages hope – to find that there is a group of people who are prepared to give of themselves freely in order to help bring about necessary spiritual changes in the world, and that I can become part of this, too. Just realising that brings about a sense of deep peace, reassurance, and security.

Lesley Hayes

Integrative Psychotherapist & Counsellor
26 Cherwell Street, St. Clements, Oxford OX4 1BG, UK


We asked for this training as I had seen the manuals and believed the approach of teaching children values by using story would work well in our school where all of the pupils have English as an additional language... The other reason we sought out SSEHV training was the importance it gives to raising the child’s self-esteem by using teaching and learning styles which accelerate their learning and by giving them opportunities for reflection – and thus time to internalise new learning.

I have used the SSEHV programme successfully particularly with year 6. The SSEHV learning made children think of previous learning from Mosque and Madrasa and share it in class. They felt valued because they could share things they may have otherwise felt unsure about offering (our school is 98% Muslim Asian). They followed the work and made their own links – such that we went on to study Martin Luther King, Richard Wright and Gandhi. This was a major breakthrough as the local community have difficulty in relating to anyone outside their immediate environment. SSEHV gives us an opportunity to tackle their monocultural experience of life. SSEHV addresses the need for spirituality without tackling religion.

The SSEHV programme and the training have fitted very well into our thinking school. It stimulates language development, is accessible, spiritual and works with teaching and learning styles which enhance pupils learning. I am looking forward to the new school year when we will continue introducing the programme across the age range. It is a good contributing factor in raising the attainment of our children.

Jayne Clarke

Ethnic Minority Achievement Co-ordinator
Field Lane School, Batley, West Yorkshire, UK

The SSEHV workshop with BISSE has been for me an exercise in spiritual awakening, allowing me to re-discover the Human Values within. The loved-soaked-environment, the inter-cultural mix of participants from different countries, the heart-to-heart EHV presentations, the living-in-the-present Awareness Exercises ... have all made this an unforgettable experience. I am deeply grateful to BISSE for this opportunity.

- Father Charles Ogada (Nigeria)

Everyone is terribly worried about children’s academic potential and their ability to contribute to the economy later in life and no one’s paying any attention to their souls. The EHV programme had had the greatest impact on all aspects of school life. This is very encouraging at a time when I worry that there’s no heart in education any more.

Jenny Drake, Education Consultant, mother, UK,

 

I feel so grateful for having been given the opportunity not only to learn more in order to teach better, but to learn more in order to change more about myself and truly integrate the teaching of life, so that I can teach from the heart.

A big thank you will not express enough of my gratitude.

Latifa Tbahriti, French Teacher, UK

The approach to teach human values in a secular method is most acceptable to me and its impact is going to be far reaching.

Usha Kapoor, Teacher
Martintown, Ontario, Canada

Since the first day of the workshop I experienced Sathya coming right from my heart. It was an amazing and powerful moment. From then I have felt so blissful. SSEHV will ever be with me and I’ll try all my best to share with whoever I am with. I think that is the best way to pay off my gratitude to the program facilitators.

Lilly Ngoc Pham, Toronto, Canada

I liked the silent sitting and Awareness exercises because they helped me to get in touch with my inner self. The strategies we learnt to use with children were most helpful and practical and I know for sure that from tomorrow, I will be using them in my classroom on a more practical basis. I also have seen the importance of being much more selective with my choices of stories for children and how to create a lesson plan around them.

Freng Romer, Grade 3 teacher, Brampton, Canada

Everything was beautiful and meaningful. Most of all the Awareness exercise was the best. The Learning to See You exercise was most touching.

Kefayat Dizajni, NorthYork, Canada

I found the course to be excellent, from all points of view including the content, the materials, the presentation, the location and the organisation. As well as focusing on the material and learning about it, I feel as though I have had during this week, an experience of the values being lived out amongst members of the group. The standard was excellent and the experience very enjoyable as well as inspiring. Many thanks.

Christina Wilson (ex secondary school teacher),
Shrewsbury, UK

I have found the course informative, inspirational and very thought provoking. It has helped me on a personal level, because the clarity and essence of the material and the way it was presented, has reaffirmed for me the belief in the importance of teaching and my commitment to my new job. I don’t feel I got this from nine months of teacher training.

Rachel Howcroft (primary school teacher)
Shrewsbury, UK

SSEHV - I have been looking for so many years for something like this and I have finally found it.

Christine Shirley (secondary school teacher) Shrewsbury, UK

Thank you for leading this illuminating and generous-hearted course. I have been touched by the warm, open minded service you and your team have offered... Commitment to lightening the global atmosphere by addressing the inherent capacities of individual people – especially children – shines out through the entire course and has been inspiring for me.

I very much appreciate the care and attention to detail that is apparent in the design of the course. You have managed to put together a package which covers a huge volume of material and range of opportunities for personal development in a well-balanced way. The lectures and exercises have been led in a professional, clear way and sustained a friendly, light-hearted approach throughout.

I look forward to working with the EHV material over the coming weeks and finding my own way of following your example and offering these skills to others. Bless you.

Hannah H-B, Tonbridge, Kent, UK



I learnt so much from the course... You offered a peaceful and trusting environment where learning and comprehension were easy to attain. Your personal ‘quietness’ as well as those of the other teachers set a wonderful example for me to follow. You showed and gave the example of respect and really made me feel that what I was saying was important to you.

What I liked most about the course was the reflective/receptive exercise which allowed me to get valuable insights into understanding the greater whole. The Awareness/hearing exercise has provided me with a tool to finally finding a way of how to still my mind.

The course books are for me a needed tool which will help me stick to a path at school, and the books will allow me to easily show what to do and how to do the teaching of values in their own classes. Thank you once again for providing me with this wonderful tool, ready-made. All I need to do now is pray and let God do His work.

Josselyn, Andorra, Kent, UK


This has been a truly uplifting experience for me. I came here because I thought the purpose behind the programme was a worthwhile one and had read and been very impressed by the book, ‘To Teach, Not to Punish’.

I have found a great deal more! Wonderful people; a real sense of connection; friendship; love; fun; profound moments of recognition, the silent sitting, the guided visualisation, the awareness exercise; surprise and delight; a reminder of the ‘buzz’ of storytelling – I have always believed stories came second only to love as the deepest thirst and need of the human spirit, because it is only through symbol, myth, legend, allegory that the Profound Truths can be told and understood.

Felicity, Gravesend, Kent, UK


When I first knew this course existed I said to people, “This will be the best thing I’ve ever done”. I have not been disappointed. The balance of each day has taken me forward on both a personal development and a practical way. In both ways it has excelled. As a personal development approach it is the best I’ve seen. Certainly, the Christian Quakers, although having the same values, have nothing like the course.

As a teaching course it does no exist in mainstream education; just in a few - Steiner, etc. In Secondary Schools (mine certainly) the values barely exist. Putting the values back into Secondary Schools will not be an easy task.

I can increasingly see myself running workshops of various kinds on spiritual leadership and helping to be a trainer for Sathya Sai. I can see myself attempting to develop an ethical maths text book, and developing the course in various ways as part of, for instance, Quaker development workshops.

I will continue to help with the Kent Group and support the SSEHV Values Alive Club. Thank you, Carole, for giving me the opportunity to take part in such a wonderful course.

John S, Gravesend, Kent, UK


Thank you for providing me with this great opportunity to reconnect with love again!

I will take with me the feeling of beauty, grace and eternal love I experienced, first in the silent sitting exercise, then from the group exercises, such as when we looked into the eyes of another.

I certainly will aim to transfer these values to my children. I felt safe and very encouraged and motivated.

Sarah A, Gillingham, Kent, UK


Initially I was concerned that there would not be enough material to fill six days and that I would end up bored. How wrong I was! The time has flown by, and I haven’t ‘clock-watched’ once. It is my opinion that even if the students do not ever use this as a teaching aid in schools, they will carry these precious teachings wherever they go throughout life which in turn will affect those around them creating the ‘butterfly effect’.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the generosity and hard work you have given to humanity, the world and universe. That is truly love manifesting through you.

Andrea G, Gravesend, Kent, UK


The course was all about creation and being. I learnt from it those values, such as Truth, Love, Peace, Right Conduct and Non-violence (so much being the talk of today yet not being practised as it should be) as they are the birth right of each and every human being. The technique of teaching is wonderful and they were each time drawing the values from within us. Very Good Shepherds: just tending their sheep with love and care and would never give them a chance to go astray!

I wish that they spread this knowledge of the Self far beyond the seas and in the universe as each being is craving to live up to that only, in this world of utter despair and frustration. It’s our own birth right to know about the values and they tapped it. May God bless them and all those willing to undertake the SSEHV programme. Thanks a lot! ”

Indira M, Mauritius


I found the SSEHV course very useful. Before I came, I had already read one of the UK lesson plan books by Carole Alderman.

On the course I realised how important it is to listen and practice the different teaching components. It made me understand how the children would feel during the lesson. The course gave me some idea how I can prepare lesson plans for the Hungarian children. Also these few days showed me the deeper side to the values. I was able to merge these into the study I have done in Hungary.

Bea Tapaszio, Molnar, Hungary


It is difficult to sum up in words, how truly inspiring this course has been! What stands out over many other courses I have taken over the years, is the Love and Integrity of all the facilitators – as shining examples of the five values, I do feel this is very rare.

It was like a glimpse of a reality that is truly possible when human beings can just be – a truly precious gift to all of us present. Inspiring, motivating and heart-warming! I have benefited personally in many ways. In believing in a new reality for all of us; in understanding what I can do to help myself and by my actions encourage others to join in. I feel I have been given lots of really practical ideas and approaches to living a life inspired by the five values I have been given hope that we really can finally move back to teaching children so much more than just academics and they will have the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling world.

Colette Savage, Northern Ireland


Well, personally for me, I feel that every day has been enjoyable. I can’t actually pin-point a specific day, event or activity. I really liked the lectures because they have hit me in my heart for me to change for the better.

The training course was excellent. Carole’s in-depth knowledge and presentation are amazing. All other facilitators are excellent.”

I like the openness of the course, the activities (stories, songs, pair share and games) associated with it. The reflective and self-awareness exercises are great. The five teaching components during the training programme give good examples of how these components can be effectively used in class room settings. The five values of SSEHV are practically incorporated, in all the activities.

The SSEHV course, to me is an eye opener ...This course is just not an academic achievement but a great qualification by itself; to develop a being to a better human being. I am just beginning to reflect on my own inner self and I am sure that one day I may be able to understand it better and perhaps I could contribute to society magnificently and this is just not a hope or dream but a constant effort in practice.

Indira Joshi, Hounslow, UK


I definitely experienced the ‘intense’ of this intensive course, ... I felt intense love, intense peace, saw the good around me and learnt a GREAT deal. It has been a reflective time and also a time of receiving so much knowledge.

I feel the values have always been a part of me and present all around in my life, but now I am much more aware of them and their importance. I will now implement them more consciously in my everyday life.

I feel very blessed to be given the great knowledge, truth and honour to be part of this training and part of this step in bringing peace, love, truth, non-violence and right conduct to those around me and, of course, the beautiful children.

Hanita Patel, Pinner, UK


The course was inspiring and life changing. The way it was presented with variety (songs, activities, silent sitting, meditation, games) made it more interesting and easy to take in.

I find the five values uplifting and the Jumsai diagram summarises the whole thing very nicely.

The Awareness Exercise on Manas and Buddhi, made things even clearer for me. However, my thirst for deeper knowledge on the Mind will be calling for more.

I hope with this training and information I will be able to convince my people (in Algeria) to introduce it to the national Curriculum in some shape or form.

I would encourage anyone to take the training if they want to see the light!

Many thanks.
Bashir Saoudi, Cambridge, UK


The SSEHV course has been the best training I have ever done. It is inspirational, full of love from all the facilitators and the participants... This course has empowered me with knowledge, skills, reflection, awareness and with love in understanding how to be the Human Values and teach others.

Nila Murday, Portsmouth, UK


By the end of the course, I started feeling that I was the values. I have benefited by becoming more aware about my whole being, my thoughts, my words, my actions, my feeling. It has contributed to a deeper feeling of inner peace and stillness. Also it has given me some tools that will enable me to continue my personal development and transformation, like the Awareness exercise, the Guided Light Visualisation and the Reflective exercises on each value.

Micaela Bianco, London, UK


- Radio Sai Team

 

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