“Meditation has been part of the human tradition since time immemorial. The Quiet Time approach is based on the Transcendental Meditation(TM) technique, so what is unique about TM?” – Ashley Deans, a professor of Education and Physics at Maharishi University of Management, started his speech during the Final EUROPE (Ensuring Unity and Respect as Outcomes for the People of Europe) project conference “Tolerance and Respect: Education for Social Inclusion”.
While over 120 participants interested in the Quiet Time /Transcendental Meditation approach and in the results of the project were listening, Ashley continued: “The Transcendental Meditation technique is natural, is effortless. Transcending means to go beyond, go beyond thoughts to that field of pure silence, happiness peace that is within us, at the source of thought. TM allows us to turn our attention within, experiencing a new state of greater alertness and very deep rest. This deep rest allows to start eliminating deep stresses and worries. TM is natural because it uses the natural tendency of the mind to go towards greater happiness, fulfilment and peace. If you dive deep into the ocean you would discover that always under the wavy surface, in the depth there is silence. Let our mind dive within.”
The final EUROPE conference was held on the 29th of November 2018 at the Royal Library of Brussels meeting centre and was attended by teachers, policy makers, educational authorities from all across Europe, representatives from the European Commission, and all those interested in the Quiet Time based on Transcendental Meditation programme, in education and in social inclusion. The conference saw the big presence of school representatives also from countries not included in the project, such as Spain, Latvia, France and Germany, and interested to expand the implementation of the QT/TM project approach in their countries for reducing violence and promoting social inclusion. Very important was also the presence in the conference of all the partners and participating schools and institutions of another ongoing EU Erasmus+ co-funded project, the FRIENDS project, which is scaling up the same approach in new countries, involving new target and age groups, and including non-formal education.
Teachers and school principals from Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands talked about their experiences during the EUROPE project and scientific results from the EUROPE implementation were presented. Evaluation revealed that implementing the QT/TM approach within the school environment contributes to decreasing violence in schools and society and increasing tolerance and social inclusion by promoting students’ and teachers’ well-being.
The project is developing Policy Recommendations for policy makers at national and EU level. So what EU could do to bring the results of the EUROPE project further and contribute to the development of a more favourable school environment and more peaceful society?
One of our main recommendations to the EU is to add “Well-being of young people and teachers” as a specific priority for Education as well as going beyond cognitive/ intellectual approaches, allowing innovative cost-effective self-balancing techniques, as the Transcendental Meditation technique on which the Quiet Time approach is based, to be implemented in schools. The conference was closed by Fabrizio Boldrini, president of Foundation Villa Montesca, coordinator of the EUROPE project: “ The EUROPE project underlines our great duty to increase the well-being of students and teachers – that is of greatest importance and we are moving in the right direction”.
We are sure that the EUROPE project will continue its activities and that the impact will stay well beyond the official conclusion in December 2018! Many teachers and students have already been trained and have been experiencing the Quiet Time/ Transcendental Meditation approach in their schools and after seeing the positive impact in their lives and well-being, and in the whole school environment, they are now motivated to continue their journey towards a more inclusive and tolerant education and a more peaceful society, thanks to the EUROPE project co-financed by the Erasmus+ KA3 programme.
As Fabrizio Boldrini added: “This final conference is not the end of a project…but a new beginning” for a new experience to continue to bear fruits.
We want to thank all the participants who have attended the EUROPE project final conference, and all those that were not able to join us this time!
For further information, please visit our EUROPE project website, Facebook page, or contact the project coordinator Ms. Nicoleta Susanu or any of the project partners in Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden or the UK.