A new take on leadership training

In November 2018, a unique group of people came together in Den Bosch for a new leadership training series in Neohumanist form. We arrived in Den Bosch from Norway, Germany, England, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia. Our covenant was the desire to grow as human beings and to grow in our leadership. Each in their own way and their domain was an idealist. Many of us work in education and childcare. The form in which we met these four days was a journey through a workshop in 16 parts.   Satya Tanner & Dr Marcus Bussey led this workshop series.

In this workshop, the spiritual dimension of leadership was essential on all layers. Because this element of leadership is often overlooked in training; this key element made a complete shift in Perspective, “Look” and “Feel”. Consequently, this workshop brought in specific terms from the yogic tradition to stimulate reflection on leading. It also included daily meditation sessions to charge the days with a spiritual flow.
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Leadership Matters ~ 2e edition 2019

Date: 1-4 May 2019
Time: 8:30 – 17:30
Locatie: Den Bosch, Netherlands
Language: English
Price: €550,-

The spirit of leading – the art of leadership

This workshop and training series explores leadership as an art form which engages us both as individuals and also communities. It moves through four stages looking at leadership contexts, exploring tools for leading (and following), recognises that leaders are many and varied and that understanding our leadership style is key to facilitating strong compassionate leading and turns finally on the last day to the calling of leadership in the 21st Century.

Leiderschapskwesties; Visies en Capaciteiten van de 21e eeuw Artikel

The second edition of this workshop recognises that leadership has a spiritual dimension and that this element of leadership is often not recognised in leadership studies. Consequently, this workshop brings in specific terms from the yogic tradition to stimulate reflection on leading. It also includes daily meditation sessions to charge our days with a spiritual flow. One aspect that is key to this workshop series is the role that the collective plays in leader development. Positive leadership works on developing one’s internal reflective abilities along with a deep commitment to serving the world.
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Focus-training 2018

The Lotus Focus training for teachers lays a foundation to be confidently able to teach from wisdom and trust. The aim of the training is to develop your empathic and altruistic qualities and 21-st century skills; so that a positive impulse can be given to the challenges you face in the classroom. The training focuses on self-awareness and increased relational awareness.

Every human has a natural need for growth. On an individual level we need to express ourselves fully through work, movement, feeling, creating, thinking, reflecting, making decisions, and so on, in order to experience happiness. This need for happiness is the most important motive in life, which cannot be deflated by material possession. Continue reading “Focus-training 2018”

3&4 Feb. Urban Permaculture & Forest Gardens!

Social, Vegan, Permaculture in Den Bosch, the Netherlands.

These are the days during the Permaculture Design Course which will be open to public during the 2nd part of the PDC:

  • Day 1 is a stand alone one day about Forest Gardening.
  • Day 2 is a stand alone one day about Urban Permaculture.

You can attend either of these one day sessions or both, cost of which is by donation (suggested range between €20 to €50 per day). Please also bring some food to share with you.

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Social Permaculture design course

leaflet permacultuur training den bosch november 2017
Social permaculture design training – den Bosch

Date A: nov 4-11 2017
Date B: feb 2018
Time: 9:00 – 18:00
Location: Den Bosch, NL
language: English
Attending: email Rakesh Rootsman Rak

Fully certified course (certified by Permaculture Association Britain) will delve deep into how we can use permaculture to create rich beneficial relationships between people, communities and their surroundings, including how to grow food, build houses and create economies, while also enriching and taking care of nature.

Special emphasis will be put in creating a temporary community for the duration of the course, where we use social permaculture tools to make sure everyone’s needs are met, so we can all enjoy living together in a joyful, supportive learning environment.

This 90-hour experiential workshop runs in two sections with part A being in November and the second part in February. Each week is spread over 8 days, with one day off in between.
Teaching will be in English.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a design system for creating abundance in all aspects of our lives. Permaculture teaches us how to build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more.

The ultimate goal is to create systems that create abundance for all humans, creatures and mother earth, without exploitation of humans, animals or earth’s non-renewable resources.

With permaculture insight we can design our inner tranquillity, it can be applied to creating integrated and supportive communities, building or retrofitting houses to be more energy efficient, creating ethical businesses and livelihoods, as well as creating rich abundant low maintenance food growing spaces.

PDC Course Syllabus

Part 1

Day 1 –  [Sat 4th Nov] – Introduction to social permaculture and collaborative decision making (sociocracy).
Day 2 – [Sun 5th Nov] – Introduction to social permaculture.
Day 3&4 – [6th&7th Nov] – Water management, plants and soil and permaculture design, with hands on.
Day 5 –  [Tue 8th Nov] – Day off
Day 6-8  – [9th-11th Nov] – More on soil, plants, and design, with hands on.

Part 2 [TBC Feb 2018] Day 1 – Introduction to forest garden design.
Day 2 – One-day permaculture in practice (day long hands on practicals). This is a one-day session that is also open to the public.
Day 3 – Designing and retrofitting low impact, energy efficient houses. For the core PDC students only
Day 4 – Day off
Day 5-8 – Urban permaculture; Alternative economies; Livelihoods; Children and youths in permaculture; Teaching permaculture; Design presentations. For the core PDC students only

The cost for the training is based on the gift economy, where participants are invited to contribute what they can afford and are willing to pay. The cost of putting on the course means we need to raise on average €290 per person FOR ALL 14 DAYS

Partially attending:

 (For those who cannot make the full course)

Nov 4 is a stand alone one day introduction to sociocracy (collaborative decision making), which is now fast becoming the tool of choice for collaborative working throughout the world

Nov 5 is a stand alone one day introduction to social permaculture

Nov 9 evening talk on outdoor classrooms and ‘children and permaculture, open to public.

You can attend either of these sessions

More info: Facebook eventpage

Workshop Aura-soma and Mandala

Aura-Soma Workshop – 20 October

We are, in essence, beings of light or living energies. All matter is light vibrating at different frequencies. Human beings are, at the cellular level, biophotons, taking in and giving out light. Aura-Soma is a non-intrusive, self-selective colour therapy designed to facilitate the connection between our light being, the soul, and the light of our physical body.

In our workshop, we will create a safe and welcoming space from which we will embark on such a profound journey! Through a process of selecting from over one hundred possibilities the four Equilibrium bottles to which we are most drawn, we will learn which frequencies of light pertain to us. We will explore the language of colour and practice to be in alignment with our true purpose. Because our choices are made from a place of inner calling and superconscious knowing, they reflect a soul choice, not simply a momentary attraction. They are an opening to our potential, our birthright, our gifts and our obligations.

Our afternoon will be dedicated to building the link between our personal experience and our work as educators. For every person but for a teacher in particular, it is essential to understand this process and be able to guide students toward a greater understanding of themselves and toward expressing their potential in the world.

Mandala Workshop – 21 October

This workshop will be linked to the Aura-Soma workshop since we will create our mandalas(geometrical patterns) based on the colour combination choices from the previous day. The way colours are just different frequencies of the light, various shapes and forms are also just different frequencies of a transcendental formless essence.

We will dive into the world of shapes and forms and invite the sacred shape of our heart to the surface of the white paper. We will learn how and where to infuse the colours of our already made choices. An amazing process of “shaping” our life will unfold in front of our eyes. Many surprises and unexpected turns will add excitement to this adventure. After the predominantly analytical process of the previous day, this one would be of an integrating nature. It will also lead us to an understanding of how to manifest, materialize, embody and bring the wisdom from the soul sphere into here and now.

The afternoon will serve as a platform for networking, cooperation, sharing, being of service to the community. This is also an important aspect of the educational process.


Trainer of this workshop-training is Tatjana Popov from Switzerland
Tatjana is an educator and the former director of Sunshine progressive school for early childhood education. She has a passion for beauty and creative enterprises; especially music, dance and colour.

group picture workshop mandala
Tatjana Popov training Aura Soma Mandala

Download flyer from the training[English].

flyer link training Aura-soma and mandala
Download flyer from the workshop Aura-soma and mandala [English].
For this workshop, registration is required.

Masterclass in Neohumanist Philosophy for Education

group picture Lotus Training Masterclass september teacher training
At the Lotus Training Center, Den Bosch, Netherlands

How does one get a deeper understanding of some of the key concepts in the teachings of Shrii P. R. Sarkar for inspiring Neohumanist Education & educators in Europe? In Den Bosch, Netherlands, as an effluence of the wish to get more clarity and experience on this topic, a three-day philosophy masterclass was conducted for Neohumanist educators by Dada Shambhushivananda at the Lotus Training Centre. This article is written to give an idea about what was discussed and the approach that we took. But it also covers some of the educational insights that resulted from this approach.

Why a masterclass?

When expressing some of the core concepts of Neohumanist philosophy to new people, you are always at risk of coming across as narrow minded, dogmatic or preaching. Many of the concepts are better understood by ‘showing’ rather than by ‘telling’; for instance, ‘showing’ your understanding of the Yamas and Niyamas (moral principles) instead of ‘telling’ about them. But particularly in an educational context it is besides showing also important to be able to verbalise your understanding as a teacher or a trainer, and to express to parents, teachers and children why you are doing what you do as a teacher. For instance, you might ask, “Can you explain the relevance of Satya to a five-year-old?”
Society is changing faster than ever and education is changing with it at a evenly rapid pace. A day in our normal life is no longer comparable to a day in the time that Patañjali wrote down his 8 limbs of Yoga. Even after Shrii P. R. Sarkar last expressed his understanding of the mind much changed in daily life under the influence of technology and developing futures. And even much more change is natural and necessary to cope with our future society’s needs.

How can we find new ways today to relate to these philosophies that have their roots in old scriptures? Ofcourse these concepts still have big significance in modern-day life in Western Europe, but how can we relate to them in modern society? How can they help us now? And what bridges do we need to overcome in a European context, where everything needs to be proven and understood before it can be experienced or accepted? Eg. In a very secular context, where almost everything that is said about spirituality is considered dogmatic and basically not to be trusted. That is quite a challenging context for these philosophies.

    The aims of masterclass were therefore:

  • Exercising expression of the basic philosophical concepts
  • Getting firmly rooted teachers who can train/help other teachers
  • Growing the understanding of core concepts in Neohumanist philosophy
  • Fuelling clarity for (new) educational endeavours

To increase our trainees’ rooting in this philosophy and to grow their understanding, we focussed on approaching three big concepts of Neohumanist philosophy; Brahma Cakra, the Yamas and Niyamas, and the Kosas, or Layers of the Mind. We did this with a practical take on Neohumanist philosophy. The angle taken was not so much an academic analysis of what was written and said, but it was more about how to implement the core concepts of Neohumanist philosophy in a training or a lesson or a spoken expression.
The topics/concepts were approached from an educational perspective by a group of teachers that were willing to express this philosophy to other professionals in training and education. The sessions were mainly conducted by Acharya Dada Shambhushivananda and soon became enriched and fuelled by the input and experience of teachers and trainers with combined decades of experience in education.
The masterclass in chronological order
On the first day of the training we shared our personal situations as teachers and trainers. Where do you work, and what is the relevance of this philosophy for your work in education? Why are you attending this training, and what are you hoping to gain from this? After this we dove into the topic of mind.

Day 1 – Layers of the mind

Dada started by refreshing the concepts and philosophy of the realms of the mind. The Kośas were one by one unraveled, and attached to more familiar topics and concepts. Also the connection between the witness mind (Marat) and the layers was clarified. Because all trainees already were involved in Neohumanist Education for some time, they already knew quite a bit about the topic. But it was, in substance and in depth, a useful refresher of known concepts—at first. And by asking questions, there were also many new discoveries and neural connections made in this session, judging from regular cries of “Aha” as a sign of increased understanding.
We took all this refreshed understanding and addressed questions interactively in the afternoon session to increase understanding and the practical application of this theoretical knowledge.

    We answered questions like:

  • What teacher qualities are needed in helping children to grow at the Atimánas Kośa (creative layer of mind)?
    “Creative thinking / playing drama / understanding emotions”
  • What are inner and outer expressions of the Manomaya Kośa (intellect) in children at several age groups? “Understanding, exploration of objects and qualities” and “Sorting, combining, and associating”, at a certain age.

We related that to necessary teacher qualities for age-related needs of the children to grow (things like discernment of needs, facilitating experiences and encouraging investigation).

Day 2 Yama and Niyama for teachers

In approaching the Yamas and Niyamas, a slightly different approach was taken by asking the trainees to come forward to share their understanding of a particular Yama or Niyama limb of their choice, for example, “How would you explain Ahimsa to a parent who does not know anything about this topic yet.”
Getting more understanding by expressing this in front of a group was clearly a valuable exercise. These small stories about Ahimsa/Satya/Tapah… became the subjects of an interactive discussion supplemented by other teachers and trainers. Finally Dada added an extra layer of clarity to the topic by explaining the true intention and refinement from a deeper understanding.
This understanding became firmly rooted when Dada made a connection between the Meta-level (big picture) and the role of Yama/Niyama in forming Wisdom Teachers, and the realisation of higher truths, the broad perspective. Afterwards the teacher qualities that are needed for the development of Yama/Niyama in children were addressed.

    Here are some examples:

  • What teacher qualities are needed for cultivating Tapah in children?
    “Willingness to sacrifice” / “Endurance” / “Devotion to duty” / “Putting children first”.
  • And what about qualities needed for Aparigraha?
    “Sharing and a philanthropic attitude” / “Contentment” / “Inner trust” / “Take only what you need” / “Maximum utilisation”.

Day 3 Brahma Cakra & the big picture

In about fifty minutes, the Yogic understanding of the creation cycle of the cosmos was explained; From the triangle of static, mutative and sentient forces to the development of the human beings, up until their final realisation. This continued in a fascinating and inspiring talk from Dada about the implications Brahma Cakra for education, including the social cycle and the future of civilisation. This touched us all and we listened with a great deal of interest.

    The three-day masterclass ended with the topic of enlightened leadership qualities—leadership as personal capability – by asking and answering big questions like:

  • What can your educational organisation do better to develop a sense of purpose in children?
  • If we look at Brahma Cakra and Yama/Niyama, what can we do better at an organisational-level?

Conclusion and fruits…

Offcourse we ran out of time – discussing the entire universe and education in a broad philosophical way. That did matter mainly to the people waiting outdoors for us. We on the other hand were focussed on the fruits and applications of this Philosophy; passing of time seemed relatively unimportant.

Looking at the core of Neohumanist Philosophy in depth, the fruits are many and they are ready to be harvested. For instance, by adding an extra layer of perspective and clarity to understanding ourselves and the world we live in better. But the applicational value for education is much wider. From the understanding of the necessity of broadening education and curricula – for inspiring societies children to learn more – and infuse them with a sense of wonder to get to know the contents and layered structure of their most used tool…the mind.
Realising this, you can’t be anything but joyful because of the inherent added value that this philosophy has for the modern secular society and more particularly because of the added value for education. The sources that can be tapped in this philosophy are deep and rich, also for the west European context – today. Maybe even more than ever before.

Looking specifically at Yama/Niyama in depth one can easily flow into a regained understanding of the valuable and irreplaceable role of a good example in a moral value teacher. A teacher that is unified in expressing and living these values as an example.

Looking specifically at Brama Cakra helps to focus us on the bigger picture. What do you love most in this world – and what is worth fighting for – to you? What do you wish for this world? And after getting a deeper understanding of these philosophies – and yourself; How can you best be of service?
These realisations can subsequently be transferred from a deeper understanding to the children that you guide – To awaken a flame in them. A feeling of belonging to a bigger context, a love for the Universe in all its diversity, and a feeling of wanting to contribute your best possible work and self.

Follow-up “teach the teachers – philosophy in action”.
During this philosophy Masterclass, plans were finalised for follow-up training. This training was given one week later – as a knowledge integration assessment – by the trainees of the Masterclass. The trainees gave this training to a group of 40 teachers. You can read more about this training in the article “Philosophy in action – three day teachers training” in this newsletter.
Both the masterclass and the follow-up training were infused by Lotus Training, Den Bosch. This Lotus is a Dutch Neohumanist training and knowledge centre with a specialisation in spiritually aware and evidence based educational reform. We have international aspirations. In September 2017, we have planned a similar Masterclass with Dada Shambhushivananda.

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Workshop Colours of the mind

„You are the colour that you choose“. VICKY WALL

Date: may 13 – 2017.
Time: 9:30 – 16:30
Den Bosch, Waalstraat 52 Netherlands.

Colour touches our lives every day, either consciously or unconsciously. We can be sitting in a car at a traffic light, automatically responding to its message, or bathing in the beauty of a glowing sunset, thrilled by the experience.
What is it within us humans that responds to colour? Why do we prefer one colour or shade to another? Our colour appreciation or preference is really an expression of our intuition, and by understanding the significance of it, we gain an insight into our Self. This workshop will provide practical experience as well as an intellectual explanation behind our choices.

In this workshop/training – “colours of the mind” the aim is to increase the self-awareness and colour- awareness of the participants. What does colour do to you and to the children that you guide? You will learn therefore to better use colour for educational purposes – as a (new) tool in your educational toolbox. Especially relevant in this case is to learn how to use colour in the classroom to make a positive change.

Trainer of this workshop-training is Tatjana Popov from Switzerland
Tatjana is an educator and the director of Sunshine progressive school for early childhood education. She has a passion for beauty and creative enterprises; especially music, dance and colour.

group picture workshop mandala
Tatjana Popov training Aura Soma Mandala

Download flyer from the training Colours of mind [English].

download flyer training colours of the mind.
For this workshop registration is required.

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