Harmony and Primary Education
Richard Dunne and Emilie Martin – Ashley CofE Primary School
The greatest challenge that humankind faces in shaping a sustainable future is separateness. Without developing a deeper understanding that we are connected to and dependent on each other, and that we are not only connected to the natural world but also a part of it, we will not succeed in diverting humankind’s present destructive course. Education today needs to rise to this challenge, not just in terms of the content that is taught in classrooms but in terms of the way in which we think about the very structures of learning. How can we teach children about interdependence and the nature of relationships in the world around them if we compartmentalise learning into rigid subject silos?
This essay will look at how principles of Harmony can be applied to create a shift in our education system away from separateness and towards connectedness.
Harmony in Food and Farming
Patrick Holden – Sustainable Food Trust
The food system is analogous to a living organism, which despite its vastness is nevertheless one connected whole. If the organism is healthy then its organs and cells will be healthy too, but if it is diseased it will not function properly. This is of course the situation we find ourselves in at the moment, with a deeply unsustainable and unhealthy food system at both a global and local level. This essay represents the state of my current journey, the purpose of which is to explore how the philosophy and principles of harmony manifest in my world of food farming practice, including for example, the soil as the stomach of the plant, the cow microbiome, the pond as an ecosystem, the circular economy and self-sufficiency, communities of practice and mindfulness.
Health and Harmony
Michael Dixon – GP and Clinical Lead for Social Prescription NHS England
Harmony is about wholeness – about mind and body – neither a sick body nor a sick mind can be part of an individual in harmony. Harmony demands health in both and even at a spiritual level because being at peace with oneself, one’s surroundings and the planet is important and goes beyond the concept of simply having no explicit mental or physical illness. Even in the latter circumstances, it is possible to feel an unease, when everything seems alright and yet you know it isn’t. Mind, body and spirit must be in harmony otherwise disease is almost inevitable. In this way, balance and wholeness become intrinsic parts of harmony as far as the individual is concerned. medicine needs to respect the patient him/herself and their beliefs, hopes, challenges, assets, fears and perspective. It is a concept of medicine that puts harmony of the individual first and then applies clinical opinion and the knowledge of science to him/her.
Harmony and Geometry
Khaled Azzam – Director, School of Traditional Arts
This paper offers an introduction to the ethos and methodology of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in terms of a holistic understanding of the universal principles that underlie the traditional arts of the civilisations which define humanity. This will be mainly presented through the understanding of the order of nature and its reflection through the discipline of sacred geometry. The concept of tradition and the integration of the awareness of harmony as the path of continual renewal will be investigated as the means for contemporary artists and designers to seek timeless inspiration for their creative journey and work.
Photograph: Richard Dunne