, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 591–606 | Cite as

Whole Mind education for the emerging future

  • Rama ManiEmail author
  • Scilla Elworthy
  • Meenakshi Gopinath
  • Jean Houston
  • Melissa Schwartz
Open File


At a time of unprecedented multiple crises threatening life on earth, the wholesale transformation of cultures and societies has never been more imperative. This article draws on insights and experiences of a group of women leaders who met in Oxford in October 2013, for five days of intensive thinking and discussion on the emerging future. They concurred that more than any other single factor, transformed educational institutions, curricula and methodologies could help meet the challenges of the 21st century and shape a positive future for the earth. They use the term Whole Mind education for the central feature of transformed educational models and posit three components of it as providing the greatest benefit: integration, creativity and peace. This article draws especially on the research and insights of a subset of the Emerging Future group, who have pioneering experience in innovative education, at all levels, across much of the world.


Mindfulness Whole mind education Curriculum Conflict transformation Non-violence Human potential Creativity 


  1. Baer, R. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 125–148.Google Scholar
  2. Bohm, D. (1980). Wholeness and the implicate order. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Bush, M. (2011). Mindfulness in higher education. Contemporary Buddhism: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 12(1), 183–197.
  4. Civic Enterprises, & Peter D. Hart Research Associates (2013). The missing piece: A national teacher survey on how social and emotional learning can empower children and transform schools. Chicago: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
  5. Durisch, A. (2014). Education and suicide. Global Education Magazine.
  6. Elgin, D. (2009). The living universe. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  7. Ettlinger, M., Margulis, E. H., & Wong, P. C. M. (2011). Implicit memory in music and language. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 211. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fadiman, D. (1990). Why do these kids love school?. Santa Monica, CA: Pyramid Film and Video.Google Scholar
  9. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gandhi, M. K. (1960). All men are brothers. Ahmedabad: Navajivan.Google Scholar
  11. Gandhi, M. K. (2007). Hind Swaraj and other writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. (1996–2014). Conflict and peace studies graduate programs in the United States.,html.
  13. Harijan Journal, 31 July 1937. Poona, India.Google Scholar
  14. Holt, J. (1964). How children fail. New York: Pitman.Google Scholar
  15. Houston, J. (2004). Jump time: Shaping your future in a world of radical change. Boulder, CO: Sentient.Google Scholar
  16. IB [International Baccalaureate] (2005–2014). World school statistics. Geneva: IB.
  17. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2013). Mindfulness in education. Talk at the Askwith Forum, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.
  18. Langer, E. (1997). The power of mindful learning. Cambridge: Capo Press.Google Scholar
  19. Lillard, P. P. (1996). Montessori today: A comprehensive approach to education from birth to adulthood. New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
  20. Lutz, A., Slagter, H. A., Rawlings, N. B., Francis, A. D., Greischar, L. L., & Davidson, R. J. (2009). Mental training enhances attentional stability: Neural and behavioral evidence. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(42), 13418–13427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mani, R. (2011). Creation amidst destruction. In R. Mani & T. Weiss (Eds.), Responsibility to protect: Cultural perspectives from the Global South (pp. 96–130). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. McCown, D., Reibel, D., & Micozzi, M. S. (2010). Jon Kabat-Zinn’s teaching mindfulness: A practical guide for clinicians and educators. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Miller, R. (2011). Higher education and the journey of transformation. Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice, 4(3).
  24. Montessori, M. (1932/1989). Education for peace. Reprinted as The Clio Montessori series. Oxford: ABC-CLIO.Google Scholar
  25. O’Brien, L., & Murray, R. (2008). Forest School research summary. Farnham, Surrey: Social and Economic Research Group.$FILE/SERG_Forest_School_research_summary.pdf.Google Scholar
  26. Omer, A., Schwartz, M., Lubell, C., & Gall, R. (2012). Domains, levels, and approaches: Exploring the diversity within transformative learning praxis. Paper presented at the Tenth International Conference on Transformative Learning, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  27. Oppenheimer, T. (1999, September). Schooling the imagination. The Atlantic Monthly, 284(3).
  28. Palmer, P. (1993). To know as we are known: Education as a spiritual journey. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  29. Peat, D. (2005). Blackfoot physics. York Beach, ME: Red Wheel/Weiser.Google Scholar
  30. Roeser, R. W., Skinner, E., Beers, J., & Jennings, P. A. (2012). Mindfulness training and teachers’ professional development: An emerging area of research and practice. Child Development Perspectives, 6(2), 167–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Roeser, R., & Zelazo, P. (2012). Contemplative science, education and child development: Introduction to the special section. Child Development Perspectives, 6(2), 143–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Hymel, S. (2007). Educating the heart as well as the mind: Why social and emotional learning is critical for students’ school and life success. Education Canada, 47, 20–25.Google Scholar
  33. Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Hymel, S. (2010). The effects of a mindfulness-based education program on pre- and early adolescents’ well-being and social and emotional competence. New York: Springer Science and Business Media. doi: 10.1007/s12671-010-0011-8.Google Scholar
  34. Scofield, B. (2012). Why the Dalai Lama is wrong to think meditation will eliminate violence. Blog entry, Tikkun Daily, 15 Nov.
  35. Seldin, T. (2000). Montessori 101: Some basic information that every Montessori parent ought to know. Tomorrow’s Child, 7(2), 7–8.Google Scholar
  36. Shor, I., & Freire, P. (2002). What are the fears and risks of transformation? In A. Darder, M. Baltodano, & R. D. Torres (Eds.), The critical pedagogy reader (pp. 53–74). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Siegel, D. (2007). The mindful brain. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  38. Siegel, D. (2010). Mindsight. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
  39. Siegel, D. (2012). The developing mind (2d ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  40. Singhvi, L. M., Rai, M. R., & Ramakrishnan, (Eds.) (1937). Nani Palkiwala: Selected works. New Delhi: Bhawan’s Book University.Google Scholar
  41. Suid, M. (1991). Why do these kids love school? A film by Dorothy Fadiman. Study guide.
  42. Taylor, E., & Cranton, P. (Eds.) (2012). The handbook of transformative learning. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  43. Thakkar, U. (2004). Mohalla committees of Mumbai: Candles in the ominous darkness. Economic and Political Weekly, February 7.Google Scholar
  44. Winfrey, O. (2012). Interview with Jean Houston, broadcast on Super Soul Sunday. Video.
  45. Zelazo, P. D., & Lyons, K. E. (2012). The potential benefits of mindfulness training in early childhood: A developmental social cognitive neuroscience perspective. Child Development Perspectives, 6(2), 154–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information


Authors and Affiliations

  • Rama Mani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Scilla Elworthy
    • 2
  • Meenakshi Gopinath
    • 3
  • Jean Houston
    • 4
  • Melissa Schwartz
    • 5
  1. 1.HotonnesFrance
  2. 2.GloucestershireUK
  3. 3.Lady Shri Ram CollegeNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.The Jean Houston FoundationAshlandUSA
  5. 5.Meridian UniversityPetalumaUSA

Personalised recommendations