Will my child have a secure career at the end?
Shibumi’s deepest concern is to bring up learners who are free, responsible and concerned with the whole of life. The intent is not to help learners find security through material comfort or by conforming to the current values and ambitions of society. It is, rather, to help them be free of fear and able to act sensitively in a world that is destructive and degenerating.
To be independent and to earn a livelihood is one aspect of being responsible. Shibumi is not merely adhering to some idea or philosophy at the expense of the children; nurturing each learner is our deepest concern. As a natural part of this concern, we shall equip young people with the skills to earn a livelihood. More importantly, Shibumi would like to help them discover what they love to do, and enable them to do it with all their heart.
Right education is to help you to find out for yourself what you really, with all your heart, love to do. It does not matter what it is, whether it is to cook, or to be a gardener, but is something in which you have put your mind, your heart. - J. Krishnamurti
It is difficult for this to happen if we, as adults, are constantly pressurising and limiting our children in our own fear and anxiety about the future. It is important for us to continually question the conclusions we have about security and success, and to be deeply examining our own fears and prejudices. Without this we shall not have the clarity to give the child the space and time to grow into a free individual.
Moreover, the relationship with Shibumi does not end with young persons being left to fend for themselves, in a harsh world. The centre will continue to help the alumnus whenever needed.
After such an education, will my child be able to fit into the real world?
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
In fact, it would be a mistake to separate the world that the learner is part of, from the ‘real’ world. At any point of time, the surroundings that the learner is in, is his world, and we would like him to function with clarity wherever he is. At Shibumi, though protected from the brutality he may encounter outside, a learner will not in any way be isolated from the world that is rampant with deprivation and suffering. And with sensitivity and confidence, we would like a learner to be able to question and step out of the violent, deadening systems of the world. We would like him to respond to the world wholly, with affection and awareness, instead of being preoccupied in trying to fit in and find a secure space for himself. It is this fearful preoccupation that makes the world as harsh and violent as it is today. We would like to bring into the world children who can stand up against society with clarity, a sense of freedom, and deep affection.
At Shibumi our intent is to encourage the learner to explore areas of interest so that s/he may discover what s/he really loves to do. They will be equipped with the skills to earn a livelihood. More important, our intent is to help them come upon the clarity and confidence to face life’s complex challenges. At Shibumi, learners will be part of decision making, learning to take responsibility for the community and for themselves. When they go out into the adult world with that sense of responsibility, we hope they will be able to respond sensitively to whatever comes their way.
Once my child is admitted to Shibumi, does that mean s/he can stay at the centre till the end of high-school qualifications?
Learners are individuals and many factors go into shaping their responses and reactions. When they are young, they are content if the environment is one of love and security. However, as they grow older, this might not be the case. They are looking at the world around; they are comparing themselves with other children of their own age. They are constantly being bombarded with media messages. All these can influence their thinking and attitude. There is no way to isolate them and protect them from all this. It may not even be healthy to attempt to do it. If any learner shows that he is not responding in a spirit of freedom and cooperation to the environment that Shibumi attempts to sustain, we will request the parents to put him or her in a school which is more suited to his or her temperaments.
We have noticed that these movements can be perceived from the age of 12 upwards. Generally, we find that we can work constructively with learners till at least the age of the normal school-leaving examinations of the 10th standard.
Only those who have no resistance to dialogues and self enquiry and the quiet life style that the centre offers will remain with us for their A levels or beyond the age of 17.
The second reason for possibly requesting a learner to leave the centre may be because the parents no longer genuinely agree with the education that Shibumi offers. Normally, such parents would withdraw their child on their own, but sometimes this is not a very clear step because many factors may play a role in a decision to keep the learner at Shibumi. We are committed to having thorough dialogues in such situations to clear up all misunderstandings and ensure that there is harmony in the way we adults, parents and teachers, are looking at education and the atmosphere that Shibumi offers. However, if it is seen that such harmony is not possible, we might request that the learner be withdrawn.