Yesterday, the Alice Project organised an event to present the Alice model to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It was an auspicious and meaningful event in which His Holiness discussed ‘Universal Ethics in Education’. The students from all three Alice schools, including Sarnath and Deban (Aru nanchal Pradesh) travelled to Bodhgaya for this extraordinary experience. Over 12,000 students attended the event from various schools of Bihar and multiple local dignitaries were present.
The event began with a beautiful and emotional rendition of the Alice Project song. Composed by Mr. Valentino Giacomin, the song was sung by the children at Sarnath when His Holiness last visited the Alice Project in 2013. The song initiated the event’s discourse about suffering, compassion and non -duality. Valentino expressed his deep gratitude as in the midst of numerous proposals from other schools, His Holiness chose the Alice Project to organise this event.
After 30 years of practical research and pilot projects in both Italy and India, the method has produced exceptional results both academically and regarding emotional intelligence. His Holiness acknowledged the amazing results achieved by Valentino as he was able to implement an educational system that His Holiness dreamed of. Valentino’s first copy of his book, “Universal Ethics”, was presented to and officially unveiled by His Holiness. His Holiness has written many books and given speeches around the world on his vision of Universal Education which he insists must include study of the inner self and an analytical approach to learning. He pointed at Valentino and said, “You are actually implementing what we want!”
His Holiness spoke about the importance of ancient Ind ian wisdom which emphasizes morality, interdependence and self -reflection. He expressed the belief that Western education and culture, so sought after in India, does not produce inner peace but strives merely towards materialism. He pointed out that Valent ino has transcended his Western education by bringing back the ancient wisdom of India into the methodology of the Alice schools. This ancient wisdom based on the concept of Karuna (compassion) and Ahimsa (non -violence) helps us understand our emotions and gives us a key to overcome the suffering caused by distorted projections of the mind. His Holiness emphasized the need for “emotional hygiene”; just as physical hygiene gives health and happiness to the body, emotional hygiene gives health and happiness to the mind.
After the speech there was time for questions and answers. The students asked His Holiness profound and philosophical questions relating to the mind, religion and atman (a Hindu word for the soul). His Holiness spent an additional 25 minutes responding to the student’s questions despite an engagement elsewhere.
The event concluded with Saraswati prayers and the entire auditorium stood up to thank His Holiness the Dalai Lama . Katas (Tibetan scarves) were presented to the founder of the Alice Project, Mr. Valentino Giacomin, the President Mr. Tsewang Tenzin la, the Ambassador of the project, Mrs Graziella Zanoletti and thecoordinator, Miss Ilaria Gambino.
Facing his young audience, His Holiness declared that “The future is on your shoulders”. The Alice model encourages students to be happy, compassionate and wise, ready to face the problems of the world today. We, at Alice, are confident that our students will create a better world. We are humbled by the recognition and praise that His Holiness gave to Valentino, the Ali ce model and our schools.