Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:11 pm

Vienna International School
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/8/19



When I first arrived in Vienna, I had left Gesar in Boulder. He stayed at the Court with Pat because I didn't know if my living situation in Europe was going to be stable enough for him. It was difficult for him to be separated from me. He used to ask Pat to call me so that we could talk on the phone. He was quite concerned about when he could join me. After about six months, I found a nice house to rent, with a garden with plum trees and a beautiful lawn.

When I moved into my little house in Vienna, on Roterdestrasse, I arranged for Pat to bring Gesar over to live with me. (By this time Jeanine had returned to the United States.) Pat and her new husband, Tom Adducci, both lived in the house with us. Soon after Gesar arrived, I took him to a performance at the Spanish Riding School, which he loved. It gave him some idea of what his mother was doing all this time in Vienna.

When he was four-and-a-half [end of 1977], Gesar enrolled in kindergarten at the British Diplomatic School in Grinzing, a very nice area of Vienna. Although his school was conducted in English, he also learned German during his time in Vienna. I think this was a positive time in Gesar's life. He found it exciting to live in Europe. However, the other children sometimes teased Gesar on the bus to school. They called him Quasar, and then they called him Gay-sar. For the winter, I bought him a Russian-style fur hat, and he looked very cute in it. The kids would steal his hat and throw it around the bus.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian

Vienna International School
Location: Vienna, Austria
Coordinates: 48°14′41.45″N16°25′54.74″ECoordinates: 48°14′41.45″N 16°25′54.74″E
Type: Private
Established: 1959
Faculty: 174
Grades 1-12 (ELC 4-5, ELC 5-6)
Enrollment: 1400
Average class size: 17-24
Student to teacher ratio: 1:8.3
Campus type: Suburban
Color(s): Blue/White
Athletics conference ISST, SCIS, DVAC, CEESA
Mascot: Panthers

Vienna International School (VIS) is a non-profit international school in Vienna, Austria. The school was built to accommodate the children of United Nations (UN) employees and diplomats when the UN decided to locate one of its offices in Vienna (at the Vienna International Centre), and it remains affiliated to the UN. About 50% of students are children of UN employees and receive education grants, while much of the remaining students are children mainly of embassy staff and company staff. The school has an enrollment of 1700 students, from pre-primary to twelfth grade.


International Community School

The first English language medium school in Vienna was set up in August 1955 as the International Community School. Previously, it had been the 'British Army School' in Schönbrunn barracks and catered for the children of the British occupying forces in Vienna. The Austrian State Treaty signed in May 1955 resulted in the occupying forces leaving Austria, so the school transformed into the International Community School under the patronage of the British, American and Indian Missions.

It opened on 1 September 1955 in the 18th district of Vienna. By the end of the year, 150 students between the ages of 3 and 15 years attended the International Community School. Soon the building proved too small for the expanding school, which moved into the 19th district. By 1959, 300 children represented 25 different nationalities in ICS. However, most of the children were American or Canadian, so the British and Indian Embassies started a separate British style school in 1959, the English School, while the ICS changed into the American International School.

English School

The English School moved into Grinzinger Straße 95, a premises found with the help of the British Ambassador, Sir James Bowker, the legal advisor at the Embassy Walter Rhodes, and Vienna's Deputy Lord Mayor, Hans Mandl. The English School quickly expanded and was visited by the British Minister of Education in 1961. Some of the first staff of the International Atomic Energy Agency sent their children to the English School in 1959. The school year 1961-62 saw the introduction of William Kirk as director. In May 1969, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the English School on a state visit to Vienna. In 1974, some families of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) started sending their children to the school.

Vienna International School

In September 1977, Maurice Pezet was invited by the Austrian Government to start the project of developing a Vienna International School on the model of the Geneva and New York United Nations Schools in preparation for the expansion of the United Nations to Vienna. {Vienna is one of the four headquarters of the UN, along with New York, Geneva and Nairobi. The Vienna International Centre (UNO City) is leased to the United Nations for 1 Austrian schilling (7 euro cent) per year.} It was anticipated that there would be two years of preparation for the small existing English School to be incorporated into the school development plan for the Vienna International School (VIS).

The Vienna International School officially opened its doors on 11 September 1978 to pupils of 60 nationalities. Primary and Secondary were accommodated on Grinzingerstrasse and Kindergarten was located on Heiligenstädter Strasse. A part of Secondary moved briefly to Zollergasse and then Schloss Pötzleinsdorf. A year later, Secondary School moved to Peter-Jordan-Straße, where it remained until the custom built present campus was opened in September 1984 with Maurice Pezet as Director. The then Chancellor, Dr Bruno Kreisky had initiated the idea of a new, specially built school and the campus was entirely funded by the Austrian Government. Dr. Kreisky employed Maurice Pezet, formerly associated with the UN School in New York (UNIS), to manage the project and he became the first Director of the new Vienna International School. Dr. Kreisky was present at some of the opening events at the VIS. The new building was constructed in the 22nd District, two U-Bahn (underground) stops from the VIC, and opened in September 1984. It is located on Straße der Menschenrechte, two hundred metres away from the U1 Kagran underground station and the Donau Zentrum Shopping Mall.[1]


The school is divided into 3 wings. A Primary and Secondary area, an administrative wing and a separate building for Pre-Primary.The school also has an outdoor ecology area. Facilities include:

• 5 gyms
• 1 Theater (The William Kirk Theatre)[2]
• 2 well-stocked libraries (one for primary school, and one for secondary school)
• Numerous computer labs and a wireless network to support work on laptops for Secondary students.

Outside facilities include:

• Artificial turf field
• 2 grass courts
• 1 large paved court
• 380 meters Athletic track
• 3 playgrounds


The school is recently undergoing a refurbishment project, modernizing many parts of the campus. These have included (list not complete):

• Construction of students study lounges 2012
• Theatre renovation project 2013
• Major investment in bathroom facilities 2010 - 2013
• Upgrading of 6 science labs with a donation from Borealis, July 2008.
• Preparing an adjacent field to be used for PE lessons, July 2008.
• Establishing a pond, May 2010
• Upgrading of 2 computer labs, April 2009
• Refurbishing the athletics track, May 2008.

School Day

The school day starts at 8:30 for Primary 8:27 for Secondary and ends at 14:55 for the Primary school and at 15:15 for the Secondary school. For Grade 11/12, some subjects last until 16:00. In the Secondary school, there are 8 periods per day, each 40 minutes long, with 3-minute intervals to get to class to class, a 20-minute break at 10:00 and a 45-minute lunch break from 12:20-13:05. Grades 6-8 have separate lunch breaks than 9-12. Grades 6-8 have lunch breaks from 12:21- 13:04 and 9-12's have lunch breaks from 13:04-14:49. The Primary School has 7 periods a day, with a rough 1-hour lunch break at 11:40- 11:45 and a 20-minute break at 10:00-10:20.


VIS offers all three programs of the International Baccalaureate (IB) - International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP), International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) and the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP). The school has offered the IB Diploma programme since 1984.


The school has an IB World School. It is also accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).

Graduation requirements and courses

For the IB Diploma, students must select one each from the following groups. The following subjects were offered at VIS as of 2015:

Group 1: Language 1

• English A Literature HL & SL
• English A Language and Literature HL & SL
• German A Literature HL & SL
• German A Language and Literature HL & SL
It is also possible to study a privately taught mother tongue as Group 1 language at HL or SL

Group 2: Language 2

• English B HL & SL
• German B HL & SL
• German ab initio SL
• French B HL & SL
• Spanish B HL & SL

Group 3: Individuals and Society

• Economics HL & SL
• Geography HL & SL
• History HL & SL
• Psychology HL & SL
• Information technology in a global society (ITGS) HL & SL

Group 4: Experimental Sciences

• Biology HL & SL
• Chemistry HL & SL
• Physics HL & SL
• Design Technology HL & SL
• Computer Science HL & SL
• Environmental Systems and Societies SL (transdisciplinary course)

Group 5: Mathematics

• Mathematics HL & SL
• Mathematical Studies SL

Group 6: The Arts

• Music HL & SL
• Theatre HL & SL
• Visual Arts HL & SL
• Film HL & SL

Rather than taking an arts course, students may opt to take another subject from Groups 1 to 5 as their 6th subject

Camps & trips

Additionally to one-day excursions starting in Pre-Primary, the school offers yearly whole-grade camps from Grades 2-9 and specialized trips from Grade 10-12.

• Grade 2: Applehof
• Grade 3: Annaberg
• Grade 4: Illmitz
• Grade 5: Radstadt "Ski Week"
• Grade 6: Hallstatt
• Grade 7: Wagrain "Ski week"
• Grade 8: Wagrain
• Grade 9: Murau
• Grade 10: French: Champagne-Ardenne, Humanities: Mauthausen
• Grade 11: Spanish: Barcelona, French: Paris, Biology/ESS: Lunz am See, Drama: London, Art: Venice

School magazine

The school magazine is called the Spotlight. It is published four times yearly, with additional issues for student council elections or other special events. A primary school magazine known as The Mole was also started under the guidance of secondary students during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Famous visits

• March 2012: Ernst Fuchs, one of the founders and member of the "Vienna School of Fantastic Realism"
• 19. May 2009: Jane Goodall
• 15. June 2009: Sr. Lucy Kurien, founder of MAHER

Famous alumni

• Salam Pax
• Tobias Ellwood, Foreign Minister, United Kingdom



VIS offers the following teams during the year,[3] in addition to other sports:

• Season 1: Soccer, HS Volleyball, Cross Country
• Season 2: Basketball, Alpine Skiing, Swimming, Sr Rugby
• Season 3: Golf, Softball, Track & Field, MS Volleyball, MS & Jr Rugby, HS Tennis


VIS participates in the following athletics conferences:

• Danube Valley Athletics Conference (DVAC)
• International School Sports Tournament (ISST)
• Sports Council of International Schools (SCIS)
• Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA)

In addition to this, VIS traditionally organizes the annual Hauser Kaibling Race in Haus im Entstal between international schools in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.


The school has a strong engagement in local and global charital events. One of its main charities is Maher.

2004 Tsunami Disaster Response

The school responded to the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and focused their efforts on helping to rebuild a school in Indonesia which had been hit hard by the disaster.


VIS also operates a Fairtrade group aiming to promote the purchase of products that tries to guarantee a better return and quality of life for farmers in lesser economically developed countries.


There are multiple alumni pages. These include:

• a reunion section on the website
• a dedicated website
• a Facebook page


Vienna International School is the home of Vienna International Scout Group 88 (German: Wien 88-Internationale Pfadfindergruppe). The Scout group is affiliated to Boy Scouts and Girl Guides of Austria. It is one of a few English-speaking groups in Vienna but the only one within the Austrian Scout Association which is part of the world associations (WAGGGS and WOSM). It was founded in 1980 and was offered as an afternoon free time activity to pupils and students of the VIS of primary and secondary level first. Over the years children from other bilingual schools around joined in. Meanwhile, the scouting meetings happen offsite but the VIS still supports the group and the volunteer leaders team.


1. VIS School History
3. "VIS Competitive Sports Programme". VIS Website. Vienna International School. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.

External links

• Official website
• Scouting Group Site
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:00 pm

Ashoka Mukpo
Accessed: 8/8/19



Ashoka Mukpo
Brooklyn, New York
Journalist and researcher currently working as a staff reporter at the ACLU. Formerly freelance in West Africa - experience in documentary news production and investigative reporting, background in human rights research and advocacy. Publication list includes narrative feature writing, breaking news, and analysis pieces. Fieldwork experience across West Africa, research and advocacy contract work for aid and peace-building organizations including the United Nations, International Alert, Action Aid, and others.

Research Consultant - International Development and Peace-building Policy
Dates Employed 2013 – Present
Employment Duration 6 yrs
Freelance field researcher and program evaluation consultant for international aid organizations, including the United Nations, International Alert, Action Aid, Education International, and others. Specialization in conflict dynamics, livelihood mapping, agriculture, and natural resource management. Experience designing and executing field research in remote/challenging areas, running focus group discussions, and carrying out stakeholder interviews with government officials, community leaders, and local organizations to map impact of aid programming among different groups at various socio-political levels. Practical familiarity with conflict analysis tools, baseline research, gender analysis, and OECD DAC Criteria for evaluations. Specialization in West Africa.

Investigative Researcher
Company Name Sustainable Development Institute
Dates Employed Sep 2012 – May 2014
Employment Duration 1 yr 9 mos
Location Monrovia, Liberia
• Worked as investigative researcher and project manager for Liberian watchdog organization that publicizes corruption and abuse in mining, plantation expansion, and logging projects.
• Worked closely with Silas Siakor, winner of the 2005 Goldman Environmental Prize.
• Covered community rights and corporate governance in the oil palm, forestry, oil, and mining sectors.
• Led field investigations to rural areas, compiled findings into briefing papers and advocacy reports.
• Managed M&E for multiple projects and supervised small team of staff members
• Acted as media contact for Western journalists.
• Led rapid-response missions.

Senior Associate
Company Name Human Rights Watch
Dates Employed Apr 2006 – May 2009
Employment Duration 3 yrs 2 mos
Location Greater New York City Area
• Logistical support provided to two units within Human Rights Watch: one that operated as a rapid response team to crises and humanitarian emergencies, and another that focused on conditions inside prisons in the United States
• Drafted letters, op-eds, and policy briefing papers.
• Proofread reports up to institutional publication quality.
• Designed a mechanism for responding to prisoner mail, successfully found representation for a number of inmates facing egregious abuses.

London School of Economics and Political Science
Degree Name Masters in Public Administration
Field Of Study Political Economy
Dates attended or expected graduation 2011 – 2012

Columbia University - School of International and Public Affairs
Degree Name Masters in International Affairs

Field Of Study Human Rights and International Conflict Resolution

Dates attended or expected graduation 2010 – 2011

Licenses & Certifications
AKE International
Hostile Environment Training
Issuing authority AKE International
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:02 pm

Is Human Rights Watch Too Closely Aligned With US Foreign Policy?: It has ignored repression by regimes close to Washington and dismissed criticism—by Nobel laureates—of its conflicts of interest.
by Mark Weisbrot
The Nation
September 23, 2016



Supporters of Dilma Rousseff demonstrate after she was stripped of the country’s presidency by a Senate impeachment vote in São Paulo, Brazil. (Cris Faga / NurPhoto via AP Images)

Human-rights organizations are supposed to defend universal principles such as the rule of law and freedom from state repression. But when they are based in the United States and become close to the US government, they often find themselves aligned with US foreign policy. This damages their credibility and can hurt the cause of human rights.

Recent events in Latin America have highlighted this problem. On August 29, the Brazilian Senate removed the elected president, Dilma Rousseff, from office, even though the federal prosecutor assigned to her case had determined that the accounting procedures for which she was being impeached did not constitute a crime. Moreover, leaked transcripts of phone calls between political leaders of the impeachment showed that they were trying to get rid of Dilma in order to protect themselves from investigations into their own corruption.

Michel Temer, who has already been banned from running for office because of campaign finance violations, replaced an elected president who had committed no crime. Everything about the process was political—and now the new government is trying to implement a right-wing agenda that was defeated in the last three presidential elections.

HRW didn’t offer the slightest criticism of the impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Part of that right-wing agenda is a close alliance with the United States and its Cold War strategy of “containment” and “rollback” with respect to the left governments in Latin America. And that is where Human Rights Watch, the most prominent US-based human-rights organization—its Americas Division in particular—comes in. HRW abstained from offering the slightest criticism of the impeachment process; even worse, the executive director of its Americas Division, José Miguel Vivanco, was quoted in the Brazilian media—on the day that the Brazilian Senate voted to permanently oust the president—saying Brazilians “should be proud of the example they are giving the world.” He also praised the “independence of the judiciary” in Brazil. Sérgio Moro, the judge investigating the political corruption cases, has been far from independent. He had to apologize in March for leaking wiretapped conversations to the press between former president Lula da Silva and Dilma; Lula and his attorney; and between Lula’s wife and their children.

Vivanco also appeared to endorse the political persecution of Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, while praising her replacement, the right-wing, US-backed Mauricio Macri. “An institution gains credibility when it is able to confront whoever it may be,” he said, referring to the current prosecution of Fernández. Of course, investigations into corruption of any government official, including a former president, can be perfectly legitimate. But Fernández, her former finance minister, and the former head of the central bank have been indicted for conducting what any economist knows is nothing more than a normal central-bank operation. This is clearly a case of trying to remove from politics a leftist former president who, together with her predecessor and late husband, Néstor Kirchner, presided over an enormous increase in living standards over a period of 12 years. This kind of political repression should be a serious concern for human-rights organizations, but there has not been a word about it in Washington.

Of course, all of this behavior aligns closely with US foreign policy in the region; for example, the Obama administration has clearly demonstrated its support for the Brazilian coup. On August 5, Secretary of State John Kerry met with the acting foreign minister of Brazil and held a joint press conference with him about the positive future of US-Brazilian relations. By making these joint statements and acting as if this was already the actual government of Brazil, when the Brazilian Senate had not yet decided the fate of the elected president, Kerry made it clear where the US government stood. The State Department had already sent a similar signal in May, just three days after the Brazilian lower house voted to impeach Dilma.

And President Obama made very clear his preference for the new right-wing government of Argentina, with the Obama administration lifting its opposition to loans from multilateral organizations that it had imposed during the prior left government, which of course contributed to the country’s balance-of-payments problems.

When asked why HRW hadn’t issued any statement about the Brazilian impeachment, Vivanco responded:

We don’t get involved in critiquing impeachment proceedings and other local political developments, except when they pose a significant threat to human rights and the rule of law. So, for instance, we denounced the coup d’état that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, as well as the one that briefly ousted President Hugo Chavez in 2002. But the situation in Brazil is not like these. Whether one agrees with the outcome or not, this [is] a political process occurring in a country with an independent judiciary capable of determining whether the laws governing that process are being respected.

But the impeachment process raised very serious questions about the independence of Brazil’s judiciary, as well as the rule of law, as noted above and elsewhere. And when the Honduran military overthrew President Zelaya, HRW’s Americas Division did very little. It posted a few statements on its website in the months following the coup, but these were largely pro forma. HRW has access to the most important US media, in opinion and news, and can usually place effective, high-profile op-eds when it chooses to make the effort. Yet, in the months following the Honduran coup, there was nothing in the media from HRW. And HRW, unlike the OAS, the UN, and the rest of the world, never called for the restoration of the democratically elected president. During this time, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked successfully to prevent Zelaya from returning to office (which she admitted in her 2014 book).

When the Honduran military overthrew President Zelaya, HRW’s Americas Division did very little.

Although it sometimes denounces human-rights violations by pro-US governments, the Americas Division of HRW has also at times ignored or paid little attention to terrible crimes that are committed in collaboration with the US government in this hemisphere. Some of the worst examples include the overthrow of the elected government of Haiti in 2004, after which thousands were killed and officials of the constitutional government were jailed.

The OAS also has a checkered history with regard to human rights—it even played a significant role in the ouster of Haiti’s elected president in 2004 and reversed Haiti’s 2010 election results at the behest of Washington. But the OAS’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a statement in September expressing its concern over Dilma’s impeachment, and the OAS secretary general—a staunch US ally—issued a detailed denunciation, in much stronger terms, when the impeachment process began. All this is in sharp contrast to Vivanco’s statements on behalf of HRW’s Americas Division.

HRW has repeatedly and summarily dismissed or ignored sincere and thoroughly documented criticisms of its conflicts of interest. These include letters from Nobel laureates, former high-ranking UN officials, and scholars asking HRW to “bar those who have crafted or executed U.S. foreign policy from serving as HRW staff, advisors or board members,” or even to bar “those who bear direct responsibility for human rights violations” from participating on the boards of directors of independent human rights organizations like HRW.

Governments that commit human-rights abuses—and this includes just about every government in the world—often attack Western human-rights organizations or their (sometimes US-funded) domestic allies as tools of Western governments. This helps them degrade the legitimate struggle for human rights and even rally nationalist support for authoritarian governments, or for abuses committed by democratic governments. It is therefore vitally important that human-rights organizations stick to their avowed principles and defend human rights without regard to the objectives of US foreign policy.

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, and president of Just Foreign Policy. His latest book is Failed: What the "Experts" Got Wrong About the Global Economy (2015, Oxford University Press).
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:12 pm

Transmuting Blood and Guts: My Experiences in the Buddhist Military: Why did a conscientious objector choose to join a Buddhist military organization? Kidder Smith looks back on his time with the Vajra Guard.
by Kidder Smith
Summer 2001



-- A Zen Nazi in Wartime Japan: Count Dürckheim and his Sources—D.T. Suzuki, Yasutani Haku’un and Eugen Herrigel, by Brian Victoria

-- Buddhism and Disasters: From World War II to Fukushima, by Brian Victoria

-- Corporate Zen in Postwar Japan, Chapter Eleven, [Excerpt] from "Zen at War", by Brian Daizen Victoria

-- D.T. Suzuki, Zen and the Nazis, by Brian Daizen Victoria

-- Other Zen Masters and Scholars in the War Effort, Chapter Nine, [Excerpt] from "Zen at War", by Brian Daizen Victoria

-- The Emergence of Imperial-State Zen and Soldier Zen [Chapter Eight], [Excerpt] from "Zen at War", by Brian Daizen Victoria

-- The Formation and Principles of Count Dürckheim’s Nazi Worldview and his interpretation of Japanese Spirit and Zen, by Karl Baier

-- The Postwar Zen Responses to Imperial-Way Buddhism, Imperial-State Zen, and Soldier, Zen, Chapter Ten, [Excerpt] from "Zen at War", by Brian Daizen Victoria

-- Was It Buddhism? Chapter Twelve, [Excerpt] from "Zen at War", by Brian Daizen Victoria

-- Zen as a Cult of Death in the Wartime Writings of D.T. Suzuki, by Brian Victoria

The author’s great-grandfather, Wilbur Eliot Wilder, who began a family lineage of military involvement © Kidder Smith

It was an unanticipated homecoming for me, addressing a West Point audience on military matters a few years ago. My original connection to the United States Military Academy runs through my great-grandfather, class of ’77, who’d gone on to win the Congressional Medal of Honor for action against a Native American uprising in the Southwest. His son, my grandfather, graduated from the Academy in 1907; his only son, my uncle, went from Harvard to military intelligence in Korea, and from there to the CIA. But I became Buddhist soon after leaving high school, and I graduated from college as a conscientious objector, refusing the draft because of religious opposition to war of any kind. Yet, paradoxically, it was Buddhism that brought me back to West Point.

In 1975 I began studying with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan meditation master who, in addition to retreats, schools, and monasteries, had his own military organization. This was the Dorje Kasung, or Vajra Guard, a group based on Buddhist principles of nonaggression—no one was armed, and we didn’t even practice the martial arts. Instead, this military was a means by which Trungpa Rinpoche taught dharma to a self-selected subset of students.

The very notion of a Buddhist military is itself rife with paradox. Yet this is an army whose aim is victory over aggression, rather than victory through warfare. Its fundamental principles respect the Buddhist precept against taking life, but they also respect all people and things. Instead of focusing on combat, then, this army is a form of Buddhist practice. Like all Buddhist practice, it is a form of mind training.

The Boulder guru keeps a household protection squad, known as the Vajra Guard. They are the Beefeaters of Buddhism. When the guru goes out in public, so do they. (In between times, they meditate.) The rumor is, they're armed with M-16's. Others say it's submachine guns....

Q. You've said you've lately been pretty upset over this whole issue. Did you go to see Trungpa specifically because of this?

[Allen Ginsberg] Well, I was blowing my top a few weeks ago, so I went to see him. I said, "What happens if you ask me to kill Merwin?" That was my idea.

Q. You shouldn't put ideas in his head.

A. It was in my head, so why shouldn't I? I mean, the whole point is that that's precisely what you should consider.

Q. If you make a test out of it--

A. Ah.

Q. Was he reassuring?

A. Yeah. Well, he was somewhat reassuring. He was sitting there really sweet, actually. I'd gone to see this monster.

Q. This what?

A. Well, I'd built up this monster in my head. And he explained what -- "I was just talking about my roots, with Dana." But I'd built up this monster. That was my paranoia, the kind that builds up in precisely this kind of situation.

Q. So rather than dispel that situation by making a clear statement on it to his disciples, he feels that they should just work their way through it by themselves?

A. No. When I went to see him I asked him exactly that question. You see, the nature of the teaching and the teaching methods is such that it's very hard. How do you talk about Vajrayana teachings in public? It's very hard to do. And it's made even more difficult by the American situation, where everything is slowly coming out anyway.

Q. Undoubtedly all this is coming out.

A. The point I guess that most struck me was -- you see, Merwin was free to leave or free to stay. Trungpa encouraged him to stay, and went out of his way to put himself in danger, in a sense. So I don't know what the rights and wrongs of it are, but I find more and more my consideration of it is not so much that Trungpa was wrong, but that he was indiscreet. So I say to myself, he was indiscreet. And then I realize what a shitty viewpoint that is. You know, that's a political viewpoint. And you know, the worst charge I have against him is he was indiscreet, and put me in a situation where I have to be here and explain it and go through all of this scandal. As if I haven't had enough with L.S.D. and enough with fag liberation, now I've got to go through Vajrayana, and pretty soon they're going to have articles in Harpers by idiotic poets that I never hired to begin with! About Merwin whose poetry I don't care about anyway! With Ed Sanders freaking out and saying it's another Manson case! Because Ed's paranoia, actually -- Ed has a large quotient of paranoia too. Anything that reminds him of secrecy -- he's been all his life studying black magic and Aleister Crowley and playing around with all that on the sidelines. I mean, getting into the Manson thing, and then getting into Vajrayana and Trungpa and Merwin, is just sort of made for Ed Sanders. And all of Ed's paranoia. And it's made for my paranoia, because half the time I think, "maybe Trungpa's the C.I.A., and he's taking over my mind." Much less all the poets, who want the supreme egotism of poetry -- that poetry should be the supreme individualistic reference point, that nobody should be above the poets, and that if anybody is they'll get the American Civil liberties Union after them! The poets have a right to shit on anybody they want to. You know, the poets have got the divine right of poetry. They go around, you know, commit suicide. Burroughs commits murder, Gregory Corso borrows money from everybody and shoots up drugs for twenty years, but he's "divine Gregory." But poor old Trungpa, who's been suffering since he was two years old to teach the dharma, isn't allowed to wave his frankfurter! And if he does, the poets get real mad that their territory is being invaded!

And then I'm supposed to be like the diplomat poet, defending poetry against those horrible alien gooks with their weird Himalayan practices. And American culture! "How dare you criticize American culture!" Everybody's been criticizing it for twenty years, prophesizing the doom of America, how rotten America is. And Burroughs is talking about, "democracy, shit! What we need is a new Hitler." Democracy, nothing! They exploded the atom bomb without asking us. Everybody's defending American democracy. American democracy's this thing, this Oothoon. The last civilized refuge of the world -- after twenty years of denouncing it as the pits! You know, so now it's the 1970's, everyone wants to go back and say, "Oh, no, we've got it comfortable. Here are these people invading us with their mind control."

And particularly, most particularly, people who suck up to Castro and Mao Tse-Tung. That's the funniest part. All the people, even myself who'd had all sorts of hideous experiences with Marxism. Or who put up with Leroi Jones. It's never questioned, you'd never publicly question that -- write an article about Leroi Jones in Harpers! You know, pointing out the contradictions in his democratic thought. Or anybody's, for that matter.

So, yes, it is true that Trungpa is questioning the very foundations of American democracy. Absolutely. And pointing out that the whole -- for one thing, he's an atheist. So he's pointing out that "In God we trust" is printed on the money. And that "we were endowed with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." That Merwin has been endowed by his creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Trungpa is asking if there's any deeper axiomatic basis than some creator coming along and guaranteeing his rights.

Because one of the interesting things that the Buddhists point out is that there's always a sneaking God around somewhere, putting down these inalienable rights. Urizen is around somewhere. And they're having to deal not only with the Communists, and the fascists, and the capitalists, they also have to deal with the whole notion of God, which is built right into the Bill of Rights. The whole foundation of American democracy is built on that, and it's as full of holes as Swiss cheese.....

Q. You read for us some of the poems to the aggressive deities, the ones Merwin didn't like. They had lines like, "as night falls, you cut the aorta of the perverter of the teachings," and "you enjoy drinking the hot blood of the ego."

A. Right. So he didn't like "drink the hot blood of the ego."

Q. Or, "cut the aorta of the perverter of the teachings"?

A. That would be Chogyam Trungpa if he was perverting the teachings.

Q. Trungpa would get his aorta cut?

A. Well, the aorta's the life-blood.

Q. So that's just metaphorical?

A. Oh, I suppose so. You might take it literally. Who knows. If I were Burroughs I would say, "of course it's literal."

-- The Great Naropa Poetry Wars, With a Copious Collection of Germane Documents Assembled by the Author, by Tom Clark

It was a flowering such as had never been seen before. Naropa University opened its doors. Every major city in the United States and Europe had a Vajradhatu meditation center and ambassadors were sent out from the Court of Shambhala. When the Prince gripped my arm for support he guided me through the halls, streets, and airports. His step was sure and firm. It was as if I were the crippled one instead of him. The Court was filled with activity.

In one week I had a schedule of over 150 volunteer servants: guards, drivers, cooks, cleaners, nannies, gardeners, servers, secretaries, shoppers, and waiters. All were wanting to participate in the flowering energy that filled the Court, which made it indeed seem to stretch over several miles with a park in the center on the top of a great circular mountain. What had been created was an openness where everything could be explored. We were encouraged to practice, study, and investigate our inner and outer worlds and examine any resulting pain or pleasure.

In the midst of this creative turmoil the Prince challenged me on my military propensities with a casual remark made into the bathroom mirror one morning.

"When we take over Nova Scotia, Johnny, you will need to attack some of the small military bases there."

''Attack military bases!" I said with surprise. "Me?"

"Well, not alone," smiled the Prince, still looking into the mirror examining his freshly brushed teeth. "You could have a commando unit of Jeeps and halftracks." He was looking at me in the mirror as he continued, "You had a halftrack once, didn't you?"

"Yes," I replied, remembering the olive drab army vehicle I owned at the farming school I once ran, seemingly a hundred years ago.

"Well?" the Prince's voice sounded.

My mind activated like a World War II movie as our intrepid band in Jeeps and halftracks raced along the curved snake-like back roads of Nova Scotia toward the unsuspecting enemy. My khaki wool uniform blended with the green countryside, I gripped the metal frame of the Thompson machine gun in my capable hands. On my head was the red beret bearing the Trident badge and the motto "Victory Over War." I smelled the engine oil fumes mixing with the flower perfumes of the country lane as we whipped along on our desperate mission. The sun glinted on our bayonets, or wait, perhaps it was night ...

"Well?" asked the Prince again.

"Oh, oh," was the reply, as I returned from the battle to the bathroom. "Yes, yes, Sir," I said. "We could do that."

"Good," continued the Prince. "You might have to kill one or two.

Kill one or two? What's that mean-kill one or two? was my silent response.

"But I thought we are not supposed to kill," I said, somewhat alarmed.

"Just a few resisters," said the Prince.

Resister, what the fuck is a resister? ran through my mind. Out loud I asked, "Resister? What kind of a resister?"

"Someone may resist enlightenment," stated the Prince.

"Oh, those. Well, yes, we could take care of them," I reassured him.

"Good, good," said the Prince, turning to leave the bath­room. As he opened the door he concluded with, "Well, Major Perks, perhaps you could put all of that together."

I spent the next several hours studying Army surplus catalogs and The Shotgun News. At the local gun store I picked up copies of Commando and SAS Training Manuals. I made a list of equipment and concluded that this "invasion" was going to be costly. I went to the Prince.

"Where will we get the money to organize this armed com­mando force, Sir?" I said, almost saluting.

"Perhaps we could steal the equipment," he suggested.

"Wow," I exclaimed. "You mean like a covert operation." The words and idea thrilled me.

"Exactly," said the Prince. ''And we need a code name for it." He contemplated for a moment and then said, "How about Operation Deep Cut?" As I turned the words over in my mind he continued, "Yes, what is needed here is a surgical strike."

I excitedly repeated the code name, "Operation Deep Cut, covert operation Surgical Strike." This was going to be worth killing just one or two!

"Yes," said the Prince with delight. "Buy some books on tactics and strategy. We should all study them. And you, Major Perks, will be in command." I could hardly wait to take my leave and get started on the campaign. I put on my military hat, saluted the Prince, and ran out of the room, tripping and falling down half the stairs in my haste. The Prince's head popped out of his sitting room doorway. ''Are you okay, Major?" he called down to me.

"Yes, Sir, fine, Sir. I just missed a step," I replied, pulling my uniform straight.

"Good," he said. "Jolly good, jolly, jolly good. Carry on, Major." I saluted again and rushed down the remaining stairs.

I could not wait to tell the other officers in the military about my secret mission. They were all amazed. "Have you told David yet?" was Jim's response. "Not yet," I replied. David was the Head of the Military, now that Jerry had dropped out. I could not fathom why the Prince had chosen David for this position. David was a very unmilitary, slight of build, a Jewish intellectual. He looked more like Mr. Peepers in a uniform -- nothing like Montgomery or Patton.

"I bet his balls shrivel up like raisins when I tell him about this," I scoffed. Indeed, David was quite alarmed at my description of "killing one or two resisters."

"Let me talk to Rinpoche before you do anything," he said anxiously, falling back in his chair.

"Okay," I said, adding with a tone of command, "go ahead, but it's all set. The Prince said so."

Later the Prince called me into his sitting room. I explained that David seemed hesitant about killing a few resisters.

"Oh, he's such a Jewish intellectual," said the Prince.

"Why, that's exactly what I think," I agreed.

"Really?" said the Prince, looking at me with curiosity. "Good, jolly good. You carry on, Major. I'll take care of David and tell him you have a free hand." I left hurriedly to tell the other officers the latest news on my secret commando operation....

Lady Diana, the Prince's wife, had confiscated his Scottish Eliot Clan kilt some months back because she felt he did not look good in Scottish regalia. It was rumored that the missing kilt was hidden at the mother-in-law's house.

"What we need is a practice run," said the Prince to me one morning. "Major, here's a job for your new commando group. We will invite Diana and my in-laws to the Court for dinner and while everyone is here your group will retrieve my kilt."

I saluted with a very big "Yes, Sir" and ran off to inform my comrades-in-arms.

The mother-in-law's house was situated in a small field near the edge of town. On the night in question we waited in our darkened limousine on a side road by the Court. There were four of us, dressed in black. We watched in nervous excitement as the mother-in-law's car pulled up to the Court. and the occupants entered the building. "Let's go," I commanded in a hushed military tone, and the driver sped toward our goal. Near the house he shut off the headlights and silently rolled to a stop in the shadows. We rolled out into the grass ditch and crawled on our bellies across the lawn. I pushed at one of the dining room windows. It opened and I was halfway through when Walter hissed, "The front door is open."

It was too late, however, as I was already pinned in the open window frame by the top window which had slid down on my back. My legs were dangling outside and my arms and head were inside the dining room. The others entered the dark house in a more upright fashion and hauled me through by yanking on my arms....

Triumphantly we returned to the Court. Dinner was finished and dessert was about to be served. I placed the kilt on a silver tray and presented it to the Prince and the seated guests. Lady Diana cried out laughingly "Oh no, Darling" to the Prince, who beamed and gave me the thumbs up sign. The other guests were delightedly amused.

In the following weeks we undertook other commando operations with odd code names: Operation Awake, Operation Blue Pancake, Operation Secret Mind, and Operation Snow White. "Why Snow White?" I asked the Prince. "Because she has to be woken up," was the reply. That made no sense to me. Why did you need to wake up a military operation when we were already totally awake and combat ready? I labeled the answer as crazy and added it to the collection.

During this time I started to have flashbacks to my childhood during the war. I had dreams of the bombing, the bodies in the yellow shrouds, the news footage of concentration camps. I began to feel confused about which was real, my remembrances of things past, the present military operations and the Court, or the future takeover of Nova Scotia. My uneasy feelings returned as did the panic attacks.

I did the same old stuff to avoid confronting any of it. I immersed myself in work, sex, entertainment, alcohol, and food. I knew I was okay, if only I could get myself together. I poured out my woes to the Prince, who was no help. In fact, he did not seem to understand at all and was quite unsympathetic. The more I freaked out the more demands he made on me....

"How are things going for the military encampment?" he asked....

-- The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perks

This year of building the kingdom:
Dealing with the four seasons,
Studying how millet grows
And how the birds form their eggs;
Interested in studying how Tampax are made,
And how furniture can be gold-leafed;
Studying the construction of my home,
How the whitewash of the plain wood can be dignified,
How we could develop terry cloth on our floor,
How my dapons can shoot accurately

-- First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungpa

Trungpa Rinpoche was born in eastern Tibet in about 1939 and came to America by way of Oxford University, in 1970. He established a series of meditation centers across the United States and Europe and founded Naropa Institute (now Naropa University) in Boulder, Colorado. Though he died in 1987, the institutions he founded still flourish today under the direction of Shambhala International, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His students have been in many ways a conventional church group—people who hold day jobs and share variously in the community’s religious activities, keeping the books, maintaining the mailing list, teaching or taking a class at a local center, doing a solo meditation retreat. Some might also participate in the military, wearing blue blazers and gray skirts or trousers as they drive visiting Tibetan monks to the airport, escort a teacher to a talk, or act as security guards at public events. Here their practice has been the basic firmness of good manners, rooted in alertness and thoughtfulness, ready to say “No, you may not” or “Of course I will.” As such, it is an extension of training in mindfulness, awareness, and kindness, from which also arises the confidence to resist being pulled away from one’s center.

Many of us were doubtless working through difficult relationships with power and hierarchy—why else had we been drawn to this military?

Since the late 1970s members of this military have been invited to apply for a week-long summer encampment held in the Colorado Rockies or the hills of rural Nova Scotia. About eighty of us attended in any year. The style of practice combined monasticism with a boy—or girl-scout outing: khaki uniforms where one would traditionally find robes, individual pup tents in the place of cells, bugles or bagpipes instead of church bells, and drilling in formation in addition to more traditional forms of contemplative practice.


My own motives for participating? The desire to get into the outdoors with good old friends and to satisfy my curiosity about this odd practice.

In early years we’d rise at 6:30, wash or shave in hand mirrors, eat breakfast from our mess kit, and sit in meditation—outdoors, on the ground, in our jungle boots—for an hour. One afternoon there was a wedding. Trungpa Rinpoche might give a talk in the evenings. Gradually, further Buddhist practice forms seeped through the encampment. In 1979 he introduced oryoki, the Zen style of eating from three nested bowls. Meals began with chants and were conducted in silence; formal hand gestures indicated when one wished more food. After eating, each soldier was served hot water with which to clean his or her bowls. Thus oryoki became our new mess kits. Later Shibata Sensei, a Japanese archery master, designed an outdoor shrine room for us, where the decorum of indoor meditation could flourish on the rugged earth.

But it was marching that distinguished the encampment from anyone’s previous experience of a meditation retreat or camping out in the woods. Much of the morning and afternoon, especially at first, was given over to the practice. It was real army drill. Our sergeant major was a white South African, trained in their army before becoming Buddhist and emigrating to North America. The physical movements, the commands, and our responses were as close to that form as we could manage.

Only a few of us had had previous military experience, and at first we weren’t especially good at drill. I in particular had difficulty getting my arms to swing right—they were always too tight or too loose, too controlled and stiff or too woggly. As a college freshman I’d been inducted by my Chinese teacher into the local ballet school’s Christmas production, which had a chronic shortage of males. As “court dancer” I’d walked through simple steps with a beautiful costumed young woman on my arm. Drill was less romantic, but as I mimicked the steps, it rather resembled klutzy open-air ballet.

The tone, though, was different from both ballet school and the conventional military. The sergeant would yell at me (“Peas in a piss-pot” and other bits of nifty foreign military slang). But it was not possible for him to insult or demean me, to soil the place—his authority was transparent, fictive, created by our participation in this creation of our teacher. So I worked hard to make drill beautiful, sharp, and powerful. If I didn’t get it right, it really didn’t matter very much. And if I did get it right—which by the end of the week I had somewhat accomplished—it didn’t matter very much either. Each way was equally perfect within that vast space, that expanse, unstated, unstatable, of which the mountain atmosphere was a tiny simulacrum.

From that space, we Buddhists say, arises dance, thought, compassion, mind, everything. It was the experience of that huge space that particularly marked and defined our activity, that distinguished our drill from that of other military organizations. It was the container, and also the foundation, and also the inseparable nature of these forms that we practiced and thus transformed.

The author’s teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, created the Vajra Guard, an unarmed Buddhist military group, in the 1970s. He is seen here surveying an encampment

And in the process drill became meditation. Sharp attention to the details of physical movement. A clear awareness of the expanse around them. As with meditation on the breath, such movements defined our attention only in the moment, disappearing as they occurred. However demanding the details, they did not fully occupy our minds, which remained precisely focused and widely opened—at once alert and relaxed. And nothing was accomplished, except mind arising unobstructedly within our activity. Thus meditation in action.

One of my reactions was to feel grounded in simplicity, nothing to gain or lose.
I recalled the image of Fudo, the fierce, enflamed Zen deity whose name means “unmoving”—unable to be thrown off my seat, I was fully connected but at the same time imperturbable. No one could fuck with me. Nor had I any wish to fuck with anyone. At the same time this certainly wasn’t my power, neither originating from, nor located in, any familiar sense of myself. It was rather a quality that had become publicly and generally available due to our practice. Bound by attention to the forms of practice, each of us, relinquishing smaller aims, discovered that self-existent field of power.

Another reaction was wonderment, as when something seeming solid shows its transparent nature and an unexpected vista falls open before you: the dearness of all creatures, rocks and earth, the huge life-force of the waterless highlands of our midcontinent. Accompanying this was a light and generous absurdity. As Trungpa Rinpoche put it in the slogan he bestowed on his military: “If you can maintain your sense of humor and a distrust of the rules laid down around you, there will be success.” Absurd, but also most precise and dignified, the unfolding of our dance, no star performers, only movement, mountains, the power of gestures, a naked ritual with no reference point outside itself.

And so the military forms of my forefathers were purified and transformed. In that moment aggression became superfluous, untenable—I had lost all inclination to it. Nor could traditional military hierarchy find a purchase on me. It was a first step toward victory over war.

In chapter 2, "Sources of Bushido." Nitobe clarified the relationship between Bushido and Zen as follows:

I may begin with Buddhism. It furnished a sense of calm trust in Fate, a quiet submission to the inevitable, that stoic composure in sight of danger or calamity, that disdain of life and friendliness with death. A foremost teacher of swordsmanship, when he saw his pupil master the utmost of his art, told him, "Beyond this my instruction must give way to Zen teaching."3

Nitobe offered little detailed explanation of Zen teaching, but he did write that:

[Zen's] method is contemplation, and its purport, so far as I understand it, [is] to be convinced of a principle that underlies all phenomena, and, if it can, of the Absolute itself, and thus to put oneself in harmony with this Absolute. Thus defined, the teaching was more than the dogma of a sect, and whoever attains to the perception of the Absolute rises above mundane things and awakes "to a new Heaven and a new Earth."4

-- The Emergence of Imperial-State Zen and Soldier Zen [Chapter Eight], [Excerpt] from "Zen at War", by Brian Daizen Victoria

One sunny afternoon our squad was policing the camp — thirty people in a single rank, double arms’ length apart, searching the ground for cigarette butts and trash. The officer in charge, somehow displeased, yelled that we’d have to do this all afternoon if we didn’t do it properly, to which we responded that it was such a beautiful day it would indeed be wonderful to do so.

That response wouldn’t work in most other environments, military or not. Aggression is plenty real, gritty and full of sorrow, all around us. And victory over war means learning how to work with all of it.

We’d rise at 6:30, wash or shave in hand mirrors, eat breakfast from our mess kit, and sit in meditation—outdoors, on the ground, in our jungle boots—for an hour.

How well did we do? We learned, sometimes, to spot parts of our aggression, loud and raw against this background of space, and let it pop with an embarrassed twitch, dissolve. But like that officer, we weren’t always able to tune into the generosity of something large beyond thinking. Many of us were doubtless working through difficult relationships with power and hierarchy—why else had we been drawn to this military? Encampment was physically inconvenient, and some city guys never got used to sleeping on the ground in their clothes. Combined mild irritants enhanced our basic ego-tendencies, strengthening our habitual patterns and sometimes reconverting those military forms we thought we had transmuted. On one occasion Trungpa Rinpoche reviewed the troops, each of us standing stiffly at attention beside our pup tent as he walked round the camp circle. Gathering us together just after, he remarked, “It makes me sad that none of you soldiers was brave enough to smile when I walked past.” Thus while encampment intensified our neurotic reactions, it also provided a space in which these distortions of our true nature became apparent to all.

Trungpa Rinpoche also found ways to heighten our paranoia, and then release it. In Colorado our entire water supply rested in a large, wheeled tanker, hauled up creaking from the valley below. I was on sentry duty late one sagebrush-scented night, when a shout rattled through the camp: someone had cut the tanker’s hose, and four days’ water had flowed away. Had anyone spotted a lurker? Was a saboteur concealed among us? The whole camp was roused, soldiers fell out in uniform and stood at attention, while busy officers sought intelligence from the groggy night. Orders came from somewhere for drill. Then we were before Trungpa Rinpoche, presenting ourselves one by one for interrogation. As I approached him, I was given a splosh of Tabasco in my palm to lick as a kind of truth-oath. Then in his Oxford-accented tenor he asked me, “Kidder, did you cut the hose?” “No, sir!” I replied, and gave him a wet kiss on the cheek. And eventually we were all back to bed.

At some point in that goofy midnight exercise it occurred to me that only one person would have enjoyed cutting the hose: Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. It perfectly disrupted our normal sense of things, giving him and us the occasion for a joyful confusion, as soldiers sought earnestly for external enemies—a traitor? pranksters? militant pacifists?—only to find nothing there but the habits of our own mind. Still more, we met him eye to eye for a brief meditation interview, snatched out of our normal time for sleep. No perpetrator was ever identified, and nothing explained. It was left to each of us to figure out what had happened or to hear it from a friend, like the secret punch line of an intensely practical joke. And thus our paranoia was self-liberated.

Members of the Vajra Guard gather to celebrate the opening of a camp in the 1979s © Marvin Moore.

But other teaching situations demand other means. In the front lines of daily life, long after encampment ends, and long before it ever began, we are surrounded by great swirls of our own and others’ aggression. How to meet it? It’s essential to maintain forms of practice—forms of kindness and attention—so that our harmful impulses can find ways to be re-formed. I once asked a Buddhist friend why he thought Trungpa Rinpoche had instituted the military. “Well,” he said, “how would you work with X?”, naming someone widely regarded as an impossible asshole. Hence the creation of an institution that could accommodate not only someone like me, a mild-mannered college professor, in the full range of my X-rated manifestations, but that also possessed the widest emancipatory power, with practice forms capable of shaping people of varying temperaments, abilities, interests, even using an obsession with authority or violence as bait in the transformation of some men and women who might never bring dharma to their lives through any other means. But the military was much more than a means of working with the unworkable. It was a provocation of the full gamut of our karma, like tossing a vajra (Tibetan symbol of the indestructible and indivisible reality) into the aggressive heart of America.

There was no real Tibetan precedent for these military forms. Instead, they were Trungpa Rinpoche’s own response to the energy of this country, his reshaping of pieces of our past and present. What guides the teacher in his or her creation of form? Is there a set of ethical principles that might contain it? An early Indian text, the Digha Nikaya, offers a hint to why there isn’t. The following passage, from Wm. Theodore de Bary’s The Buddhist Tradition, describes the Buddha (referred to as “the monk Gautama”) in his relationship to five moral fields—taking life, theft, improper sexual relations, lies, and slander:

The monk Gautama has given up injury to life, he has lost all inclination to it; he has laid aside the cudgel and the sword, and he lives modestly, full of mercy, desiring in compassion the welfare of all things living.

He has given up taking what is not given, he has lost all inclination to it…

And so the text continues through sexual relations, lies, and slander.

He has lost all inclination. He desires in compassion. That’s all it says. There are no commandments or guarantees, no higher authority. The foundation of all Buddhist ethics, then, is only the propensities of Buddha-mind.

Ultimately this is your mind. Before we’re fully confident of this, though, before our own actions emerge unobstructedly from space, before we discover our own power to create form, how do we make choices? How do we decide if it’s good to join the military, or to follow our teacher’s commands? After all, the Tibetan Buddhist master is very much a guru, someone to whom the student in varying degrees entrusts his/her life. And this hierarchy can be as severe as that of any military.

There is no certainty within this relative truth, and we are stuck here several ways at once. We rely on our basic decency, yet we must also step out of habit. We learn to trust ourselves, yet we wonder if that self exists and how far it’s reliable. Our teacher is steeped in lovingkindness, but her compassion may sometimes seem opaque and therefore may not quite reach our hearts . From practice, we get hints of something hugely good, but in fragments. Gradually we may come to fully trust our guru, but how can we do this before we know his mind and ours is the same? This is relationship with a spiritual teacher. The military practice intensifies it, reminding us how much is at stake, and of the traditional efficacy and danger of the tantric path, which works not only with the milder forms of human life but also with the ungainly, the disturbing, with alcohol, sex, and, in this case, with raw aggression, turning that fierce energy into a means to free all beings.

Today I live in Maine, in a small town that shares its space with the vast and open runways of a naval air station. Among the moms and dads of my daughter’s friends are several military people with whom I feel a profound yet uncertain fellowship. I suspect that, like my great-grandfather, they may have found the American military ennobling. I wonder if it has also allowed them to purify their own aggression until, seeing through the disciplines of form, they can offer protection to all beings in need.

Kidder Smith teaches Chinese history at Bowdoin College, where he also directs the Asian Studies Program. He has written extensively on the military texts of ancient China and on issues of Buddhist practice.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:31 am

Mahasi Sayadaw
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/15/19



Mahasi Sayadaw U Sobhana
The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
Title Sayadaw
Born Maung Thwin
29 July 1904
Seikkhun, Shwebo District, British Burma
Died 14 August 1982 (aged 78)
Rangoon, Burma
Religion Buddhism
Nationality Burmese
School Theravada
Lineage Mahasi
Education Dhammācariya (1941)
Occupation Buddhist monk
Senior posting
Based in Mahasi Monastery, Yangon, Myanmar
Predecessor U Nārada
Successor U Pandita, Dipa Ma

Mahasi Sayadaw U Sobhana (Burmese: [x], pronounced [məhàsì sʰəjàdɔ̀ ʔú θɔ́bəna̰]; 29 July 1904 – 14 August 1982) was a Burmese Theravada Buddhist monk and meditation master who had a significant impact on the teaching of vipassanā (insight) meditation in the West and throughout Asia.

In his style of practice, derived from the so-called New Burmese Method of U Nārada, the meditator lives according to Buddhist morality as a prerequisite for meditation practice. Meditation itself entails the practice of satipatthana, mindfulness of breathing, anchoring the attention on the sensations of the rising and falling of the abdomen during breathing, observing carefully any other sensations or thoughts. This is coupled to reflection on the Buddhist teachings on causality, gaining insight into anicca, dukkha, and anattā.


Mahāsi Sayādaw was born in 1904 in Seikkhun village in Upper Burma. He became a novice at age twelve, and was ordained at the age of twenty with the name Sobhana. Over the course of decades of study, he passed the rigorous series of government examinations in the Theravāda Buddhist texts, gaining the newly introduced Dhammācariya (dhamma teacher) degree in 1941.

In 1931, U Sobhana took leave from teaching scriptural studies in Moulmein, South Burma, and went to nearby Thaton to practice intensive Vipassana meditation under Mingun Jetawun Sayādaw (also rendered Mingun Jetavana Sayādaw), also known as U Nārada. This teacher had practiced in the remote Sagaing Hills of Upper Burma, under the guidance of Aletawya Sayādaw, a student of the forest meditation master Thelon Sayādaw. U Sobhāna first taught Vipassana meditation in his home village in 1938, at a monastery named for its massive drum 'Mahāsi'. He became known in the region as Mahāsi Sayādaw. In 1947, the Prime Minister of Burma, U Nu, invited Mahāsi Sayādaw to be resident teacher at a newly established meditation center in Yangon, which came to be called the Mahāsi Sāsana Yeiktha.

Mahāsi Sayādaw was a questioner and final editor at the Sixth Buddhist Council on May 17, 1954. He helped establish meditation centers all over Burma as well as in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and by 1972 the centers under his guidance had trained more than 700,000 meditators. In 1979, he travelled to the West, holding retreats at newly founded centers such as the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, U.S.
In addition, meditators came from all over the world to practice at his center in Yangon. When the Mahāsi Sayādaw died on 14 August 1982 following a massive stroke, thousands of devotees braved the torrential monsoon rains to pay their last respects.


Mahāsi's method is based on the Satipatthana Sutta, which describes how one focusses attention on the breath, noticing how one breaths in and out. Practice begins with the preparatory stage, the practice of sila, morality, giving up worldly thoughts and desires.[1][2][note 1] The practitioner then engages in satipatthana by mindfulness of breathing. One pays attention to any arising mental or physical phenomenon, engaging in vitaka, noting or naming physical and mental phenomena ("breathing, breathing"), without engaging the phenomenon with further conceptual thinking.[3][4] By noticing the arising of physical and mental phenomena, the meditator becomes aware how sense impressions arise from the contact between the senses and physical and mental phenomena,[3] as described in the five skandhas and paṭiccasamuppāda. This noticing is accompanied by reflections on causation and other Buddhist teachings, leading to insight into dukkha, anatta, and anicca.[5] When the three characteristics have been comprehended, reflection subdues, and the process of noticing accelerates, noting phenomena in general, without necessarily naming them.[6]

Notable students

Freda Bedi
• G. V. Desani
Joseph Goldstein
• Anagarika Munindra
• Achan Sobin S. Namto[7]
• Sayādaw U Paṇḍita (Panditārāma)
Sharon Salzberg
• Jack Kornfield [8]

• Chanmyay Sayādaw (U Janakabhivamsa)
• Ashin Jinarakkhita


Mahāsi Sayādaw published nearly seventy volumes of Buddhist literature in Burmese, many of these transcribed from talks. He completed a Burmese translation of the Visuddhimagga, ("The Path of Purification") a lengthy treatise on Buddhist practice by the 5th century Indian Theravadin Buddhist commentator and scholar Buddhaghosa. He also wrote a volume entitled Manual of Vipassana Meditation. His English works include:

• Sayadaw, Mahasi (1971). Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation.
• Sayadaw, Mahasi (1983). Thoughts on the Dharma.
• Sayadaw, Mahasi (1991). Practical Vipassana Exercises (PDF). Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 978-9552400896.
• Sayadaw, Mahasi (1998). Progress of Insight: Treatise on Buddhist Satipathana Meditation. Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 978-9552400902. Archived from the original on 2000-12-08.
• Sayadaw, Mahasi (2016). Manual of Insight. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 9781614292777.


1. Jeff Wilson notes that morality is a quintessential element of Buddhist practice, and is also emphasized by the first generation of post-war western teachers. Yet, in the contemporary mindfulness movement, morality as an element of practice has been mostly discarded, 'mystifying' the origins of mindfulness.[1]


1. Wilson 2014, p. 54-55.
2. Mahāsi Sayādaw, Manual of Insight, Chapter 5
3. Jump up to:a b Mahasi Sayadaw, Practical Vipassana Instructions
4. Bhante Bodhidhamma, Vipassana as taught by The Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma
5. PVI, p.22-27
6. PVI, p.28
7. "Our Teacher -". Retrieved 2008-05-04.
8. "About". Jack Kornfield. Archived from the original on 2013-12-22. Retrieved 2013-12-21.


• Wilson, Jeff (2014), Mindful America: Meditation and the Mutual Transformation of Buddhism and American Culture, OUP USA

External links

• A Discourse on Paticcasamuppada by Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
• Biographical Sketch of Mahāsi Sayādaw from
• The Practical Dharma of Mahasi Sayadaw
• The Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw's Discourses and Treatises on Buddhism
• Books by Mahāsi Sayādaw
• Biography of Mahāsi Sayādaw from the American Burma Buddhist Association
• A Discourse on Satipatthana Vipassana by Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw from
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:42 am

Insight Meditation Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/15/19



The Insight Meditation Society (IMS) is a non-profit organization for study of Buddhism located in Barre, Massachusetts.[1] It was founded in 1975, by Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, and Joseph Goldstein and is rooted in the Theravada tradition.[2][3] Its first retreat center in an old mansion in Barre, Massachusetts was opened on February 14, 1976.[4]

Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, Massachusetts in the backdrop amidst blossoming trees.


IMS offers Buddhist meditation retreats at two facilities – the Retreat Center and The Forest Refuge – in rural central Massachusetts. The Retreat Center is one of the two IMS centers in the United States. However, all the centers teach vipassanā.

From 1996-2006, IMS offered a correspondence course developed by its founders Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg entitled Insight Meditation which consisted of 12 audio cassettes and a workbook.[5] The course later evolved into Insight Meditation: An In-Depth Correspondence Course, with 24 audio CDs and an 88-page workbook.[6]

Vassa is a basic practice for Buddhist monastics. During this three-month retreat, monks seclude themselves and follow a tight regimen of meditation and dharma study. Every year, the Insight Meditation Society runs a three-month course that has been called the "marathon of meditation". Save for triweekly interviews with instructors and nightly lessons, the retreatants observe full silence. In Theravada tradition, after lunch, they do not eat another meal, but are allowed snacks and drink tea, which is not accepted by many Buddhists as proper practice.[7] The center's courses provide instruction and practice in vipassanā or mettā meditations.[4]


"When a Retreat Center course is in progress, anyone who is not already participating in the retreat is welcome to attend the evening talks about the teachings, known as dharma talks. Those with insight meditation experience are also welcome to attend group sittings." [8] Dharma talks are available for free download, a service provided by Dharma Seed.


1. Jayakrishna, Nandini; Ornish, Dean (2009-09-08). "Being young, here, now". The Boston Globe.
2. Latin, Don (2005-01-23). "Bridging Eastern and Western Buddhism". San Francisco Chronicle.
3. Fronsdal, Gil (1998). "Insight Meditation in the United States: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," in C.S. Prebish & K.K. Tanaka (1998), The Faces of Buddhism in America, University of California Press.
4. "FAQ about IMS". Insight Meditation Society. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
5. Goldstein, Joseph (1996). Insight Meditation. Boulder, CO: Sounds True. ISBN 9781564559067.
6. Salzberg, Sharon (2004). Insight Meditation: An In-Depth Correspondence Course. Boulder, CO: Sounds True. ISBN 1591790727.
7. Goleman, Daniel (1993-03-21). "A Slow, Methodical Calming of the Mind". The New York Times.
8. "IMS Retreat Center General Information". Insight Meditation Society's Official Website. Insight Meditation Society. Retrieved 25 February 2012.

External links

• Official website
• Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Society -Retreat Center
• Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Society -Forest Refuge
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:41 am

Carl Götze (educator): German educator and school reformer
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19

Carl (Karl) Johann Heinrich Götze (born January 2, 1865 in Pinneberg , † May 2, 1947 in Cuxhaven ) was a German educator and school reformer.

Life and work

Carl Goetze attended from 1884 to 1887 a teacher training for elementary school teachers in Hamburg, where he subsequently found a first job as a teacher. In 1906 he married Gertrud Scheel, with whom he had two children. From 1914 to 1919 he taught at the school in Brödermannsweg in Groß Borstel. He then took over the management of the experimental school Telemannstraße in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel. In 1920 he moved to school board, where he led the elementary school as a high school board. His service ended with retirement in 1930. He positioned himself early Social Democratic, but was only after 1918 a member of the SPD .

As a school reformer Götze engaged from the end of the 19th century, first in the company of the Friends of the fatherland school and education system. He wanted to change the aesthetic education comprehensively and lead from a technically oriented, theoretical drawing theory to creative design. For this he attended English schools, where the drawing lessons had been reformed and worked with the New Paths to the artistic education of youth, a related standard work by James Liberty Tadd, which appeared in 1900 on the German book market. As part of his efforts, he met the director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle , Alfred Lichtwark. They organized in 1897 in the Kunsthalle an exhibition of free children's drawings, which gained national recognition under the title "The child as an artist". Götze initiated the art education days that took place in Dresden in 1901, in Weimar in 1903 and in Hamburg in 1905. From 1905 to 1914 he published the art magazine Der Säemann and became involved from 1908 in a leading position in the federal government for school reform. The educator worked closely with Georg Kerschensteiner and the Prussian Central Institute for Education in Berlin.

During Götze's service in the Weimar Republic, comprehensive school reforms took place in Hamburg. These included the self-administration of the schools, a working school, free forms of teaching and practical teaching methods. In addition, the Institute for Teacher Training was launched. Together with school senator Emil Krause, Götze was able to protect the four experimental schools in elementary school against attacks by conservatives. As a representative of the school reform in Hamburg, he participated in numerous domestic and foreign congresses and events.

Since 1991, the Carl-Gotze-Schule in Groß-Borstel reminds of the former pedagogues.



Reiner Lehberger: Götze, Carl. In: Hamburg Biography. Volume 1, Christians, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-7672-1364-8, pp. 107-108.

Heinrich Kautz: Götze, Carl Johann Heinrich. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1964, ISBN 3-428-00187-7, p 595 ( digitized ).
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:47 am

Society of Friends of the Fatherland Education System
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



The Society of Friends of the Fatherland Education is one of the oldest teaching associations in the world. [1]


The founding of the company goes back to Peter Breiß, who in 1805 suggested in the Journal Hamburg and Altona to set up a "Journal for Hamburg Schools, their Teachers and Friends". Johann Carl Daniel Curio took up the idea and founded in Hamburg with Breiß and others in the same year the company, whose chairmanship Curio took over. The purpose of the society was to improve the material supply of the teachers (income, pension, widowhood) and the training of the members.

On November 4, 1911, the office moved to Curiohaus.

On April 27, 1933, an extraordinary general meeting of the company decided to join the National Socialist Teachers Association (NSLB). 1937 followed the transfer of the total assets of the society to the NSLB. [3]

In 1945, the company re-founded under Max Traeger and Anne Banaschewski. In 1948, the company, under its chairman Wilhelm Festing (1877-1958) joined the newly founded trade union Education and Science (GEW) as a member and formed in her the National Association of Hamburg. Festing's portrait, which originally hung in Curiohaus, can be found today in the Museum of Hamburg History .

Until 1976, the original name of the company remained in the first place, followed by trade union education and science, regional association Hamburg, then the order turned around in union education and science, national association Hamburg, society of the friends of the fatherly school and education system. In this form, the name has been preserved to this day, the GEW see it as a result of the Society of Friends of the fatherland school and education system.

Reading circle

The reading circle had the function to provide the members with educational new releases. These - initially books, then only magazines from 1852 - were to circulate among the members. In 1903 it was dissolved, because he was perceived in the face of the mass of educational new publications and the structural difficulties that brought the circulation of the reading material, as no longer up to date.


After only one year of existence, there were already 70 volumes in the library of the society. As in libraries of other teacher associations, the first books were purchased almost exclusively through gifts. The first printed catalog of 1828 contains 160 entries. It was only from 1831 onwards that an annual amount was made available, which allowed a systematic stock-building, at least as a starting point.

The Hamburg fire of 1842 also destroyed the library. However, a new stock could be quickly established through donations, which in 1845 again comprised 1,100 volumes and grew to 2,500 volumes by 1866. Until the middle of the 19th century, it had the largest inventory of all teacher associations, but thereafter the members' interest in the library seems to have diminished. 1872 only 1430 books are noted, of which a further 639 volumes should be deleted. Removed were "all outdated and all incomplete works, as well as manuals and textbooks" [4]. For the future it was planned to purchase only works that could not be purchased by the members due to the high price.

In 1887/88 the inventory with 1620 volumes again included more than before the separation action and in 1904 there were already 5657 volumes in the library. The changed task compared to the beginnings of the library was clarified by a member of the library committee in a programmatic lecture in front of the society:

It is no longer the immediate practice-oriented literature that has priority in the collecting activity, but the scientific training. "The most necessary and important discipline of a teacher's library is, of course, the pedagogy, first because it is our science, and then because it is little or no representation in other libraries." Therefore, should primarily be purchased works that "pedagogy as Treat system". Selection should avoid any one-sidedness", so that colleagues have the opportunity to compare, to test and to choose the best of all ... The most important phenomena in the field of auxiliary science of education must continue to exist; in particular, such writings are to be considered here, which try to give us information about the emotional life of the child." [5]

However, the library has lost importance after 1945, because the training of members in the sense of the club founders is no longer as an objective in the statutes of the GEW-Landesverband Hamburg since 1951. So it was in the early 1970s book sales, until the mid-1970s, a new perspective for the library was found in the form of a newly founded foundation. In 1995, the library was first handed over to the University Library Lüneburg . At the beginning of 2001, the handover to the Library of Educational Historical Research took place. On October 11, 2001, the BBF invited to a solemn handover event. [6]

Web links

• Report on the Handover of the Library to Historical Education Research Online


• Hermann Stoll: History of the Society of Friends of the Patriotic School and Education in Hamburg. Festschrift for the centenary celebrations 1805 - 1905, Hamburg 1905.
• Hermann Stoll / Hermann Kurtzweil: Society of the Friends of the Patriotic School and Education in Hamburg 1905 - 1930. On the anniversary of its 125th anniversary on November 3, 1930, Hamburg 1930.
• 150 years Society of Friends of the Fatherland Education. Hamburg 1955.
• Jürgen Bolland: The "Society of Friends" in the change of the Hamburg school and educational system, Hamburg o. J. [1955].


1. F. Kopitzsch: By Johann Carl Daniel Curio, Peter Breiß, the "Society of Friends" and their library . In: Bulletin of the Library of Educational History Research 2002 , H. 1, pp. 10-15.
2. Franklin Kopitzsch: Breiß, Peter . In: Hamburg Biography . Volume 2, Christians, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-7672-1366-4 , p. 67.
3. The Curiohaus 1911-1961. A contribution to the history of the society of the friends of the patriotic education in Hamburg . Hamburg 1961.
4. H. Stoll: Festschrift for the centenary celebrations 1805-1905 . Hamburg 1905, p. 249.
5. J. Studt: The necessity of designing our library. In Educational Reform , Supplement to No. 42. 26 (1902).
6. G. Gehlen: The library of the Society of Friends of the Patriotic Education is adopted . In: Bulletin of the Library of Educational Historical Research 2002 , H. 1, p. 7-10; P. Göbel: Address on the occasion of the handing over of the GEW library to the Library of Educational History Research . In: Bulletin of the Library of Educational History Research 2002 , H. 1, pp. 15-18; Tagesspiegel of October 29, 2001
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:41 am

Beatrice Ensor
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Beatrice Ensor

Beatrice Ensor (1885–1974) was an English theosophical educationist, pedagogue, co-founder of the New Education Fellowship (later World Education Fellowship)[1] and editor of the journal Education for the New Era[2].

Early years

Born in Marseille on 11 August 1885, Beatrice Nina Frederica de Normann was the eldest child of Albert Edward de Normann and Irene Matilda (née Wood). Her father was in the shipping business and her early years were spent in Marseille and Genoa, hence her fluency in Italian and French. She was greatly influenced by a theosophical book that a visitor to her home had left. This led in 1908 to her joining the Theosophical Society, which came to play an important part in her life. She had two brothers - Sir Eric de Normann (K. B. E., C. B) and Albert Wilfred Noel de Normann ("Bill").

Coming to England to complete her education, she trained as a domestic science teacher and for a short while taught the subject at a college in Sheffield. This led to her being appointed Inspector of women’s and girls’ education by Glamorgan County Council. She became disenchanted with the regimented and passive teaching she saw but when she inspected a Montessori school in Cheltenham, she became very interested in the ideas of Maria Montessori whom she met and corresponded with. She attended a conference in East Runton in 1914 organised by the New Ideals in Education group; the topic of the conference was 'The Montessori Method in Education'. She was a vegetarian and anti vivisectionist.

Theosophy and St Christopher School

In the early months of World War I she was appointed by the Board of Education as H. M. Inspector of domestic science in South West England based in Bath. But she found civil service work uncongenial and, having played a major part in founding the Theosophical Fraternity in Education, she was invited to become Organising Secretary of the Theosophical Education Trust in 1915. In this role one of her main tasks was the consolidation of the Society’s educational work at Letchworth Garden City into St Christopher School[3], which was co-educational and boarding, with Isabel King as its Headmistress. One of the teachers at the school for a while was V. K. Krishna Menon[4]. She worked closely for a time with George Arundale who became the President of the Theosophical Society Adyar.

Robert Weld Ensor

In 1917 she married Robert Weld Ensor, of Northern Irish/English descent, who had served in the Canadian North West Mounted Police [5] and was then a Captain in the Canadian Army coming to England, fighting in France and then going on the Murmansk Expedition. It was theosophy that brought them together. They had one son, Michael, born in 1919. Annie Besant, Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa and Harold Baillie-Weaver were his godparents.

New Era in Education

Beatrice Ensor with (left to right) Ovide Decroly, Pierre Bovet, Édouard Claparède, Paul Geheeb and Adolphe Ferrière

In 1922 through the auspices of the Save the Children Foundation she helped to bring under nourished Hungarian children to Britain for a spell to recover their health. She travelled to Budapest and returned with the first party. For this she was awarded a medal by the Hungarian Red Cross [6]. But a more enduring role to her Theosophical role was the production, with A. S. Neill for a time as joint editor, of the Journal Education for the New Era[7], which still flourishes some 90 years later. Co-operating magazines in French and German followed edited by Adolphe Ferrière fr:Adolphe Ferrière and Elisabeth Rotten de:Elisabeth Rotten respectively.

Hungarian Red Cross

The New (World) Education Fellowship

Beatrice Ensor and Professor Carl Jung - Montreux 1923 - Second International Conference of the N.E.F.

In 1921, together with Iwan Hawliczek, she organised a conference in Calais on the ‘Creative Self-Expression of the Child’, with attendance of over 100. Although this was inspired by theosophists anxious to prevent another world war, what emerged was the New (later World) Education Fellowship [8], an entirely non-political and non-sectarian forum for new ideas in education. It was not to advocate any particular method but to ‘seek to find the thread of truth in all methods’. It still has active sections in some 20 countries. Beatrice Ensor, together with the editors of the other two journals, formed the initial organising committee of the N.E.F., which held international conferences at two yearly intervals, presided over by distinguished educationists and pedagogues.

The second conference of 1923 was held in Montreux, Switzerland and there she met Professor Carl Jung whom she invited to speak at a meeting in London (where she introduced him to H. G. Wells), Emile Jacques-Dalcroze, Professor Franz Cizek and Alfred Adler.

In 1929 the conference was held in Kronborg Castle, Helsingör, Denmark and amongst the delegates and speakers were Maria Montessori, Rabindranath Tagore, Jean Piaget, Kurt Lewin, Adolphe Ferrière fr:Adolphe Ferrière, Ovide Decroly, Helen Parkhurst, Pierre Bovet fr:Pierre Bovet, A. S. Neill, Elisabeth Rotten, Franz Cizek, Dr Harold Rugg, Professor T P Nunn, and Paul Geheeb de:Paul Geheeb.

Other conferences were held at Locarno (1927), Cheltenham and Heidelberg (1925).

She was a member of the Education Advisory Committee of the Labour Party for a short while but her utopian views clashed with those of R. H. Tawney and resigned her position.

The N.E.F. and Unesco

Just as theosophy had a profound influence on the N.E.F. so the N.E.F. had a profound influence on the creation of UNESCO[9]. It was described as "the midwife at the birth of UNESCO" (Kobayashi) and has been an NGO[10] of UNESCO since 1966 (Hiroshi Iwama). It changed its name to W.E.F. that year.

Frensham Heights School

Meanwhile, problems were building up within the Theosophical Education Trust leading to tensions in the Letchworth community in which the termination of her husband’s appointment as Secretary of the Trust played a part. In 1925 Isabel King and Beatrice Ensor left to establish Frensham Heights[11], a co-educational school in Surrey, from Montessori to university entrance level, for which Mrs. Edith Douglas-Hamilton (one of the Wills tobacco heiresses) provided the capital. Some of the St Christopher staff and children moved to Frensham to form its nucleus. However, two years later, Mrs. Douglas-Hamilton died unexpectedly without having established the financial independence of the school that she had intended. The dramatic change produced a situation where Beatrice Ensor and Isabel King did not feel they could work. They both left but the break was without bitterness and they both remained on the board of governors for several years.

Lecture Tours and South Africa

Beatrice Ensor then concentrated her work on the New Era and N.E.F. and undertook two lecture trips to North America in 1926 and 1928, speaking on new movements in education in Boston, New York City, Detroit, and Chicago. She was also one of an educational group that was invited to tour Poland and visited South Africa in 1927 and 1929.

Her husband had moved to Louterwater in South Africa where he acquired a large farm in a little developed valley, recently found to be suitable for the growing of deciduous fruit. The orchards he planted were just beginning to bear by 1933 when he died. This meant that Beatrice had to move to South Africa and take over the farm. This greatly restricted her educational work. She was one of a group invited to lecture in Australia in 1937, where she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Western Australia, Perth. She helped the South African section of the N.E.F. and financed and had built on her farm a school for mixed race children, for whom no provision existed in the area.

When it became clear that her son would be pursuing a civil service career, just as her brothers had done, and did not want to take on the farm she sold it and moved to a house on the coast at Keurboomstrand near Plettenberg Bay. But when her family were settled in England she moved there to be with her grandchildren, living first at Blackheath, then in London, at Dolphin Square, where she died in 1974.

Michael Ensor, Beatrice Ensor and Paul Geheeb, date 1927?


• An Investigation into the Origins of UNESCO (The Genesis of UNESCO, the New Education Fellowship and the Theosophical Fraternity in Education) - by Hiroshi Iwama - Orion Printing Company, Tokyo 20 December 1998
• St Christopher School 1915-1975 Letchworth, Aldine Press by Reginald Snell - first published in 1975
• A New Education for a New Era: Creating International Fellowship Through Conferences 1921-1938. Paedogogica Historica Volume 40, Numbers 5-6/October 2004, pp. 733–755(23) by Professor Kevin J. Brehony
• de Normann, B. and G. Colmore (1918). Ethics of Education. London, Theosophical Publishing House
• d e Normann, B. (1917). The educational aspect of infant welfare work. in Report of the Conference of Education Associations. London: 210-215
• de Normann, B. (1917). "Educational Reconstruction (1) The Present Position of Education in Great Britain -- Beatrice." The Herald of the Star 6(March): 121
• de Normann, B. (1917). Brotherhood and education. London, Theosophical Educational Trust.

External links

• Institute of Education, University of London (abstract)
• University of Geneva
• Professor Kevin J. Brehony[permanent dead link]
• Association Montessori Internationale
• Informaworld on the WEF
• The World Education Fellowship International
• The New Era in Education
• Margaret White
• Frensham Heights School
• Paedagogica Historica
• Naruto University of Education, Japan
• ERIC (Education Resource Information Center
• German section: Weltbund für Erneuerung in der Erziehung
• The Archives of the World Education Fellowship are held by the Institute of Education Archives:
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:07 am

Maria Montessori
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Schocken books had been started by my grandfather, my mother’s father, originally in Germany before the war. And then in New York City starting in about 1946.

Q. What was his name?

A. Salman Schocken.

Q. And what was the nature?

A. It started as publishing books of Jewish interest, both some classics and some contemporary writing about Judaism. He was very close with Martin Buber, and published some of Buber’s writings, and other important Jewish thought leaders of the 30s, 40s, 50s. And then after he died, my father, Herzl Rome, took it over and expanded the list so that it continued to publish Judaica, but it broadened to become a general publisher of trade books. Not so much fiction, but a lot in different academic disciplines, and my mother introduced one of the first important series on women’s studies, and also a series on education. She was the person who brought back the writings of Maria Montessori, who had been virtually forgotten at that time.

-- A Conversation With David Rome, by The Chronicles

It is essential to realize that while the outer forms of irrationalism had penetrated political Establishments, the interior content of Underground systems of thought had begun to penetrate academies. The widest breach in the rationalist front was inevitably in the terrain of psychology and psychiatry, because of the nature of the subjects studied and the historical circumstances in which that study took place. Theories deriving from psychoanalysis, or developing parallel with it, have absorbed some of the same influences. Of these the most significant has been the New Education.

The builders of the brave new worlds of the Progressive Underground were most naturally concerned with the education of the children who would one day inhabit their Paradise. Doctrines of "spiritual revolution" found their natural outcome in attempts at reeducation; of "spiritual evolution," a good analogy in the educational progress of the child.

The pioneer of the altered attitude to education was Maria Montessori (1869-1952) whose vision of a race of Superchildren bordered on the apocalyptic. "The outcome ... is the New Child, a superior being, giving promise of a New Humanity, with powers of mind and spirit hitherto unsuspected." Many of the developments already discussed were part of the movement toward the New Child. In Germany, Langbehn's Rembrandt als Erzieher was followed by Carl Gotze's Child as Artist and Gotze's educational work based on the principle that the child was a natural creative artist who must have his powers liberated through education. The youth movements, and the groups with which Rolf Gardiner and the Springhead Ring were in contact, also formed parts of the movement for "liberated" education -- that is, designed to evoke the powers of the child rather than imposing adult standards upon him. In America the "Junior Republics" in which children governed themselves were set up. The idea was also tried in England with a "little Commonwealth" in Dorset. The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry and the Kibbo Kift were very much part of the educational movement and embodied a commitment to reestablishing "natural man." [141

The theories of the psychologists provided added impetus.
Freud's conclusion that neuroses were produced by repressions fitted excellently with the ideas of those who wanted to recreate natural man; while Jung was a central figure in the minds of educational reformers after the First World War, as his psychology was particularly favorable to ideas of "spiritual evolution." Jung accepted the Biogenetic Law and may have been more influenced by his contact with G. Stanley Hall than he cared to admit. He lectured at conferences of the New Educators in 1923 and 1924, and his views on educational development very closely coincide, for example, with those of Ernest Westlake of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry.

Occultists and religious reformers also concerned themselves with the children of the future -- for they, after all, were the custodians of the idea of "spiritual progress." Johannes Muller and Heinrich Lhotzky both put forward educational theories. The leading exponent of occult ideas of education has been Rudolf Steiner; and in 1962 there were almost seventy schools run on Anthroposophical principles in various parts of the world. Steiner himself also lectured to the New Educators, and (according to the Manchester Guardian) a conference attended by Steiner at Oxford in 1922 found in him "its central point." Steiner's principles were based on his occult theories, and it is easy to see how these could coincide with less esoteric ideas of evolution. "We must know on what part of the human being we have especially to work at a certain age, and how we can work upon it in the proper way," he wrote. "We can awaken what is in the child, but we cannot implant a content into him." [142] Such a coincidence of ideas makes it comprehensible that the organization that carried the flag of the New Education throughout Europe sprang from the Theosophical Society.

In 1914 a committee of Theosophists under Bishop George Arundale of the Liberal Catholic Church -- a former tutor of Krishnamurti -- decided to start a Theosophical School. The site chosen was -- where else? -- Letchworth Garden City. To the Theosophical tenets of karma and reincarnation were added the more generally "progressive" ideas of Arts and Crafts, Montessori theory, and Dalcroze Eurythmics. A general vegetarian diet was the rule and the pupils governed themselves through a "moot." The Theosophist Beatrice Ensor, an inspector of schools, was inspired by the Letchworth experiment and founded the Theosophical Fraternity of Education in 1915. She established a magazine to propagate enlightened ideas; and in 1921 she held a meeting of her fraternity in Letchworth, when it was decided that next year they should organize a general conference of educators at Calais which the Theosophists would run, although themselves keeping in the background. In 1921 the Calais conference was held, the name of the Theosophical paper changed to The New Era, and the New Educational Fellowship established. Its first object was "to prepare the child to seek and to realize in his own life the supremacy of the spirit." [143]

The New Era secured contributions from both occultists and educators. Beatrice Ensor shared the editorship with the celebrated A. S. Neill, and the entire spectrum of the Progressive Underground contributed to its pages. There was Isabelle Pagan of Racial Cleavage and Cloudesley Brereton, who wrote for G. R. S. Mead's Theosophical magazine Quest. There were articles by the Jungian therapist Esther Harding and the ubiquitous Patrick Geddes. The president of the Arts and Crafts Association joined the leader of a new French youth movement and Wilhelm Stekel -- a friend of Neill -- in a remarkable synthesis of "advanced opinion." Beatrice Ensor and the Theosophists were never quite submerged by the more practical educators. In April 1923, Mrs. Ensor contributed an editorial that noted approvingly the efforts of A. Conan Doyle and E. L. Gardner to capture the fairies.

We have recently come across other children who see fairies, and we are trying to obtain more photos. It is a very beautiful idea that Nature's laws are operated through the cooperation of beings who, while not belonging to our human order of evolution, are nevertheless working side by side with humanity in the building up of our world ... it would seem as though we were now beginning to reawaken at a higher level the sense organs which enabled the folk of yore to see clairvoyantly "the little people." [144]

-- The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

Maria Montessori
Portrait of Montessori, artist and date unknown
Born Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori
August 31, 1870
Chiaravalle, Marche, Italy
Died May 6, 1952 (aged 81)
Noordwijk, South Holland, Netherlands
Resting place Noordwijk, Netherlands
Nationality Italian
Education University of Rome La Sapienza Medical School
Occupation Physician and educator
Known for Founder of the Montessori method of education
Children Mario Montessori Sr.

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori (Italian pronunciation: [maˈriːa montesˈsɔːri]; August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. At an early age, Montessori broke gender barriers and expectations when she enrolled in classes at an all-boys technical school, with hopes of becoming an engineer. She soon had a change of heart and began medical school at the Sapienza University of Rome, where she graduated – with honors – in 1896. Her educational method is still in use today in many public and private schools throughout the world.

Life and career

Birth and family

Montessori was born on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. Her father, Alessandro Montessori, 33 years old at the time, was an official of the Ministry of Finance working in the local state-run tobacco factory. Her mother, Renilde Stoppani, 25 years old, was well educated for the times and was the great-niece of Italian geologist and paleontologist Antonio Stoppani.[1][2] While she did not have any particular mentor, she was very close to her mother who readily encouraged her. She also had a loving relationship with her father, although he disagreed with her choice to continue her education.[3]

1883–1896: Education

Early education

The Montessori family moved to Florence in 1873 and then to Rome in 1875 because of her father's work. Montessori entered a public elementary school at the age of 6 in 1876. Her early school record was "not particularly noteworthy",[4] although she was awarded certificates for good behavior in the 1st grade and for "lavori donneschi", or "women's work", the next year.[5]

Secondary school

In 1883[6] or 1884,[7] at the age of 13, Montessori entered a secondary, technical school, Regia Scuola Tecnica Michelangelo Buonarroti, where she studied Italian, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, accounting, history, geography, and sciences. She graduated in 1886 with good grades and examination results. That year, at the age of 16, she continued at the technical institute Regio Istituto Tecnico Leonardo da Vinci, studying Italian, mathematics, history, geography, geometric and ornate drawing, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, and two foreign languages. She did well in the sciences and especially in mathematics.

She initially intended to pursue the study of engineering upon graduation, an unusual aspiration for a woman in her time and place. However, by the time she graduated in 1890 at the age of 20, with a certificate in physics–mathematics, she had decided to study medicine instead, an even more unlikely pursuit given cultural norms at the time.[8]

University of Rome—Medical school

Montessori moved forward with her intention to study medicine. She appealed to Guido Baccelli, the professor of clinical medicine at the University of Rome, but was strongly discouraged. Nonetheless, in 1890, she enrolled in the University of Rome in a degree course in natural sciences, passing examinations in botany, zoology, experimental physics, histology, anatomy, as well as general and organic chemistry, and earning her diploma di licenza in 1892. This degree, along with additional studies in Italian and Latin, qualified her for entrance into the medical program at the University in 1893.[9]

She was met with hostility and harassment from some medical students and professors because of her gender. Because her attendance of classes with men in the presence of a naked body was deemed inappropriate, she was required to perform her dissections of cadavers alone, after hours. She resorted to smoking tobacco to mask the offensive odor of formaldehyde.[10] Montessori won an academic prize in her first year, and in 1895 secured a position as a hospital assistant, gaining early clinical experience. In her last two years she studied pediatrics and psychiatry, and worked in the pediatric consulting room and emergency service, becoming an expert in pediatric medicine. Montessori graduated from the University of Rome in 1896 as a doctor of medicine. Her thesis was published in 1897 in the journal Policlinico. She found employment as an assistant at the University hospital and started a private practice.[11][12]

1896–1901: Early career and family

From 1896 to 1901, Montessori worked with and researched so-called "phrenasthenic" children—in modern terms, children experiencing some form of mental retardation, illness, or disability. She also began to travel, study, speak, and publish nationally and internationally, coming to prominence as an advocate for women's rights and education for mentally disabled children.[13]

On March 31, 1898, her only child – a son named Mario Montessori (March 31, 1898 – 1982) was born.[14] Mario Montessori was born out of her love affair with Giuseppe Montesano, a fellow doctor who was co-director with her of the Orthophrenic School of Rome. If Montessori married, she would be expected to cease working professionally; instead of getting married, Montessori decided to continue her work and studies. Montessori wanted to keep the relationship with her child's father secret under the condition that neither of them would marry anyone else. When the father of her child fell in love and subsequently married, Montessori was left feeling betrayed and decided to leave the university hospital and place her son into foster care with a family living in the countryside opting to miss the first few years of his life. She would later be reunited with her son in his teenage years, where he proved to be a great assistant in her research.[3][15]

Work with mentally disabled children

After graduating from the University of Rome in 1896, Montessori continued with her research at the University's psychiatric clinic, and in 1897 she was accepted as a voluntary assistant there. As part of her work, she visited asylums in Rome where she observed children with mental disabilities, observations which were fundamental to her future educational work. She also read and studied the works of 19th-century physicians and educators Jean Marc Gaspard Itard and Édouard Séguin, who greatly influenced her work. Maria was intrigued by Itard's ideas and created a far more specific and organized system for applying them to the everyday education of children with disabilities. When she discovered the works of Jean Itard and Édouard Séguin they gave her a new direction in thinking and influenced her to focus on children with learning difficulties. Also in 1897, Montessori audited the University courses in pedagogy and read "all the major works on educational theory of the past two hundred years".[16]

Public advocacy

In 1897 Montessori spoke on societal responsibility for juvenile delinquency at the National Congress of Medicine in Turin. In 1898, she wrote several articles and spoke again at the First Pedagogical Conference of Turin, urging the creation of special classes and institutions for mentally disabled children, as well as teacher training for their instructors.[17] In 1899 Montessori was appointed a councilor to the newly formed National League for the Protection of Retarded Children, and was invited to lecture on special methods of education for retarded children at the teacher training school of the College of Rome. That year Montessori undertook a two-week national lecture tour to capacity audiences before prominent public figures.[18] She joined the board of the National League and was appointed as a lecturer in hygiene and anthropology at one of the two teacher-training colleges for women in Italy.[19]

Orthophrenic School

In 1900 the National League opened the Scuola Magistrale Ortofrenica, or Orthophrenic School, a "medico-pedagogical institute" for training teachers in educating mentally disabled children with an attached laboratory classroom. Montessori was appointed co-director.[20] 64 teachers enrolled in the first class, studying psychology, anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, anthropological measurements, causes and characteristics of mental disability, and special methods of instruction. During her two years at the school, Montessori developed methods and materials which she would later adapt to use with mainstream children.[21]

The school was an immediate success, attracting the attention of government officials from the departments of education and health, civic leaders, and prominent figures in the fields of education, psychiatry, and anthropology from the University of Rome.[22] The children in the model classroom were drawn from ordinary schools but considered "uneducable" due to their deficiencies. Some of these children later passed public examinations given to so-called "normal" children.[23]

1901–1906: Further studies

In 1901, Montessori left the Orthophrenic School and her private practice, and in 1902 she enrolled in the philosophy degree course at the University of Rome. (Philosophy at the time included much of what we now consider psychology.) She studied theoretical and moral philosophy, the history of philosophy, and psychology as such, but she did not graduate. She also pursued independent study in anthropology and educational philosophy, conducted observations and experimental research in elementary schools, and revisited the work of Itard and Séguin, translating their books into handwritten Italian. During this time she began to consider adapting her methods of educating mentally disabled children to mainstream education.[24]

Montessori's work developing what she would later call "scientific pedagogy" continued over the next few years. Still in 1902, Montessori presented a report at a second national pedagogical congress in Naples. She published two articles on pedagogy in 1903, and two more the following year. In 1903 and 1904, she conducted anthropological research with Italian schoolchildren, and in 1904 she was qualified as a free lecturer in anthropology for the University of Rome. She was appointed to lecture in the Pedagogic School at the University and continued in the position until 1908. Her lectures were printed as a book titled Pedagogical Anthropology in 1910.[25]

1906–1911: Casa dei Bambini and the spread of Montessori's ideas

The first Casa

In 1906 Montessori was invited to oversee the care and education of a group of children of working parents in a new apartment building for low-income families in the San Lorenzo district in Rome. Montessori was interested in applying her work and methods to mentally normal children, and she accepted.[26] The name Casa dei Bambini, or Children's House, was suggested to Montessori, and the first Casa opened on January 6, 1907, enrolling 50 or 60 children between the ages of two or three and six or seven.[27]

At first, the classroom was equipped with a teacher's table and blackboard, a stove, small chairs, armchairs, and group tables for the children, and a locked cabinet for the materials that Montessori had developed at the Orthophrenic School. Activities for the children included personal care such as dressing and undressing, care of the environment such as dusting and sweeping, and caring for the garden. The children were also shown the use of the materials Montessori had developed.[28] Montessori herself, occupied with teaching, research, and other professional activities, oversaw and observed the classroom work, but did not teach the children directly. Day-to-day teaching and care were provided, under Montessori's guidance, by the building porter's daughter.[29]

In this first classroom, Montessori observed behaviors in these young children which formed the foundation of her educational method. She noted episodes of deep attention and concentration, multiple repetitions of activity, and a sensitivity to order in the environment. Given free choice of activity, the children showed more interest in practical activities and Montessori's materials than in toys provided for them, and were surprisingly unmotivated by sweets and other rewards. Over time, she saw a spontaneous self-discipline emerge.[30]

Based on her observations, Montessori implemented a number of practices that became hallmarks of her educational philosophy and method. She replaced the heavy furniture with child-sized tables and chairs light enough for the children to move, and placed child-sized materials on low, accessible shelves. She expanded the range of practical activities such as sweeping and personal care to include a wide variety of exercises for care of the environment and the self, including flower arranging, hand washing, gymnastics, care of pets, and cooking.[31] She also included large open air sections in the classroom encouraging children to come and go as they please in the room's different areas and lessons. In her book[32] she outlines a typical winter's day of lessons, starting at 09:00 am and finishing at 04:00 pm:

• 9–10. Entrance. Greeting. Inspection as to personal cleanliness. Exercises of practical life; helping one another to take off and put on the aprons. Going over the room to see that everything is dusted and in order. Language: Conversation period: Children give an account of the events of the day before. Religious exercises.
• 10–11. Intellectual exercises. Objective lessons interrupted by short rest periods. Nomenclature, Sense exercises.
• 11–11:30. Simple gymnastics: Ordinary movements done gracefully, normal position of the body, walking, marching in line, salutations, movements for attention, placing of objects gracefully.
• 11:30–12. Luncheon: Short prayer.
• 12–1. Free games.
• 1–2. Directed games, if possible, in the open air. During this period the older children in turn go through with the exercises of practical life, cleaning the room, dusting, putting the material in order. General inspection for cleanliness: Conversation.
• 2–3. Manual work. Clay modelling, design, etc.
• 3–4. Collective gymnastics and songs, if possible in the open air. Exercises to develop forethought: Visiting, and caring for, the plants and animals.

She felt by working independently children could reach new levels of autonomy and become self-motivated to reach new levels of understanding. Montessori also came to believe that acknowledging all children as individuals and treating them as such would yield better learning and fulfilled potential in each particular child.[32] She continued to adapt and refine the materials she had developed earlier, altering or removing exercises which were chosen less frequently by the children. Also based on her observations, Montessori experimented with allowing children free choice of the materials, uninterrupted work, and freedom of movement and activity within the limits set by the environment. She began to see independence as the aim of education, and the role of the teacher as an observer and director of children's innate psychological development.[31]

Spread of Montessori education in Italy

The first Casa dei Bambini was a success, and a second was opened on April 7, 1907. The children in her programs continued to exhibit concentration, attention, and spontaneous self-discipline, and the classrooms began to attract the attention of prominent educators, journalists, and public figures.[33] In the fall of 1907, Montessori began to experiment with teaching materials for writing and reading—letters cut from sandpaper and mounted on boards, moveable cutout letters, and picture cards with labels. Four- and five-year-old children engaged spontaneously with the materials and quickly gained a proficiency in writing and reading far beyond what was expected for their age. This attracted further public attention to Montessori's work.[34] Three more Case dei Bambini opened in 1908, and in 1909 Italian Switzerland began to replace Froebellian methods with Montessori in orphanages and kindergartens.[35]

In 1909, Montessori held the first teacher training course in her new method in Città di Castello, Italy. In the same year, she described her observations and methods in a book titled Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica Applicato All'Educazione Infantile Nelle Case Dei Bambini (The Method of Scientific Pedagogy Applied to the Education of Children in the Children's Houses).[36] Two more training courses were held in Rome in 1910, and a third in Milan in 1911. Montessori's reputation and work began to spread internationally as well, and around that time she gave up her medical practice to devote more time to her educational work, developing her methods, and training teachers.[37] In 1919 she resigned from her position at the University of Rome, as her educational work was increasingly absorbing all her time and interest.

1909–1915: International recognition and growth of Montessori education

As early as 1909, Montessori's work began to attract the attention of international observers and visitors. Her work was widely published internationally, and spread rapidly. By the end of 1911, Montessori education had been officially adopted in public schools in Italy and Switzerland, and was planned for the United Kingdom.[38] By 1912, Montessori schools had opened in Paris and many other Western European cities, and were planned for Argentina, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Switzerland, Syria, the United States, and New Zealand. Public programs in London, Johannesburg, Rome, and Stockholm had adopted the method in their school systems.[39] Montessori societies were founded in the United States (the Montessori American Committee) and the United Kingdom (the Montessori Society for the United Kingdom).[40] In 1913 the first International Training Course was held in Rome, with a second in 1914.[41]

Montessori's work was widely translated and published during this period. Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica was published in the United States as The Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education in the Children's Houses, where it became a best seller.[42] British and Swiss editions followed. A revised Italian edition was published in 1913. Russian and Polish editions came out in 1913 as well, and German, Japanese, and Romanian editions appeared in 1914, followed by Spanish (1915), Dutch (1916), and Danish (1917) editions. Pedagogical Anthropology was published in English in 1913.[43] In 1914, Montessori published, in English, Doctor Montessori's Own Handbook, a practical guide to the didactic materials she had developed.[44]

Montessori in the United States

Main article: Montessori in the United States

In 1911 and 1912, Montessori's work was popular and widely publicized in the United States, especially in a series of articles in McClure's Magazine, and the first North American Montessori school was opened in October 1911, in Tarrytown, New York. The inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his wife became proponents of the method and a second school was opened in their Canadian home.[45] The Montessori Method sold quickly through six editions.[42] The first International Training Course in Rome in 1913 was sponsored by the American Montessori Committee, and 67 of the 83 students were from the United States.[46] By 1913 there were more than 100 Montessori schools in the country.[47] Montessori traveled to the United States in December 1913 on a three-week lecture tour which included films of her European classrooms, meeting with large, enthusiastic crowds wherever she traveled.[48]

Montessori returned to the United States in 1915, sponsored by the National Education Association, to demonstrate her work at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California, and to give a third international training course. A glass-walled classroom was put up at the Exposition, and thousands of observers came to see a class of 21 students. Montessori's father died in November 1915, and she returned to Italy.[49]

Although Montessori and her educational approach were highly popular in the United States, she was not without opposition and controversy. Influential progressive educator William Heard Kilpatrick, a follower of American philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey, wrote a dismissive and critical book titled The Montessori Method Examined, which had a broad impact. The National Kindergarten Association was critical as well. Critics charged that Montessori's method was outdated, overly rigid, overly reliant on sense-training, and left too little scope for imagination, social interaction, and play.[50] In addition, Montessori's insistence on tight control over the elaboration of her method, the training of teachers, the production and use of materials, and the establishment of schools became a source of conflict and controversy. After she left in 1915, the Montessori movement in the United States fragmented, and Montessori education was a negligible factor in education in the United States until 1952.[51]

1915–1939: Further development of Montessori education

In 1915, Montessori returned to Europe and took up residence in Barcelona, Spain. Over the next 20 years Montessori traveled and lectured widely in Europe and gave numerous teacher training courses. Montessori education experienced significant growth in Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

Spain (1915–1936)

On her return from the United States, Montessori continued her work in Barcelona, where a small program sponsored by the Catalan government begun in 1915 had developed into the Escola Montessori, serving children from three to ten years old, and the Laboratori i Seminari de Pedagogia, a research, training, and teaching institute. A fourth international course was given there in 1916, including materials and methods, developed over the previous five years, for teaching grammar, arithmetic, and geometry to elementary school children from six to twelve years of age.[52] In 1917 Montessori published her elementary work in L'autoeducazionne nelle Scuole Elementari (Self-Education in Elementary School), which appeared in English as The Advanced Montessori Method.[53] Around 1920, the Catalan independence movement began to demand that Montessori take a political stand and make a public statement favoring Catalan independence, and she refused. Official support was withdrawn from her programs.[54] In 1924, a new military dictatorship closed Montessori's model school in Barcelona, and Montessori education declined in Spain, although Barcelona remained Montessori's home for the next twelve years. In 1933, under the Second Spanish Republic, a new training course was sponsored by the government, and government support was re-established. In 1934, she published two books in Spain, Psicogeometrica and Psicoarithemetica.[55] However, with the onset of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, political and social conditions drove Montessori to leave Spain permanently.[56]

The Netherlands (1917–1936)

In 1917, Montessori lectured in Amsterdam, and the Netherlands Montessori Society was founded.[57] She returned in 1920 to give a series of lectures at the University of Amsterdam.[58] Montessori programs flourished in the Netherlands, and by the mid-1930s there were more than 200 Montessori schools in the country.[59] In 1935 the headquarters of the Association Montessori Internationale, or AMI, moved permanently to Amsterdam.[60]

The United Kingdom (1919–1936)

Montessori education was met with enthusiasm and controversy in England between 1912 and 1914.[61] In 1919, Montessori came to England for the first time and gave an international training course which was received with high interest. Montessori education continued to spread in the United Kingdom, although the movement experienced some of the struggles over authenticity and fragmentation that took place in the United States.[62] Montessori continued to give training courses in England every other year until the beginning of World War II.[63]

Italy (1922–1934)

In 1922, Montessori was invited to Italy on behalf of the government to give a course of lectures and later to inspect Italian Montessori schools. Later that year Benito Mussolini's Fascist government came to power in Italy. In December, Montessori came back to Italy to plan a series of annual training courses under government sponsorship, and in 1923, the minister of education Giovanni Gentile expressed his official support for Montessori schools and teacher training.[64] In 1924 Montessori met with Mussolini, who extended his official support for Montessori education as part of the national program.[65] A pre-war group of Montessori supporters, the Societa gli Amici del Metodo Montessori (Society of Friends of the Montessori Method) became the Opera Montessori (Montessori Society) with a government charter, and by 1926 Mussolini was made honorary president of the organization.[66] In 1927 Mussolini established a Montessori teacher training college, and by 1929 the Italian government supported a wide range of Montessori institutions.[67] However, from 1930 on, Montessori and the Italian government came into conflict over financial support and ideological issues, especially after Montessori's lectures on Peace and Education.[68] In 1932 she and her son Mario were placed under political surveillance.[69] Finally, in 1933, she resigned from the Opera Montessori, and in 1934 she left Italy. The Italian government ended Montessori activities in the country in 1936.[70]

Other countries

Montessori lectured in Vienna in 1923, and her lectures were published as Il Bambino in Famiglia, published in English in 1936 as The Child in the Family. Between 1913 and 1936 Montessori schools and societies were also established in France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, Serbia, Canada, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.[71]

The Association Montessori Internationale

In 1929, the first International Montessori Congress was held in Elsinore, Denmark, in conjunction with the Fifth Conference of the New Education Fellowship. At this event, Montessori and her son Mario founded the Association Montessori Internationale or AMI "to oversee the activities of schools and societies all over the world and to supervise the training of teachers."[72] AMI also controlled rights to the publication of Montessori's works and the production of authorized Montessori didactic materials. Early sponsors of the AMI included Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, and Rabindranath Tagore.[73]


In 1932, Montessori spoke on Peace and Education at the Second International Montessori Congress in Nice, France; this lecture was published by the Bureau International d'Education, Geneva, Switzerland. In 1932, Montessori spoke at the International Peace Club in Geneva, Switzerland, on the theme of Peace and Education.[74] Montessori held peace conferences from 1932 to 1939 in Geneva, Brussels, Copenhagen, and Utrecht, which were later published in Italian as Educazione e Pace, and in English as Education and Peace.[75] In 1949, and again in 1950 and in 1951, Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, receiving a total of six nominations.[76]

Laren, the Netherlands (1936–1939)

In 1936 Montessori and her family left Barcelona for England, and soon moved to Laren, near Amsterdam. Montessori and her son Mario continued to develop new materials here, including the knobless cylinders, the grammar symbols, and botany nomenclature cards.[77] In the context of rising military tensions in Europe, Montessori increasingly turned her attention to the theme of peace. In 1937, the 6th International Montessori Congress was held on the theme of "Education for Peace", and Montessori called for a "science of peace" and spoke about the role of education of the child as a key to the reform of society.[78] In 1938, Montessori was invited to India by the Theosophical Society to give a training course, and in 1939 she left the Netherlands with her son and collaborator Mario.[79]

1939–1946: Montessori in India

Main article: Montessori in India

An interest in Montessori had existed in India since 1913, when an Indian student attended the first international course in Rome, and students throughout the 1920s and 1930s had come back to India to start schools and promote Montessori education. The Montessori Society of India was formed in 1926, and Il Metodo was translated into Gujarati and Hindi in 1927.[80] By 1929, Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore had founded many "Tagore-Montessori" schools in India, and Indian interest in Montessori education was strongly represented at the International Congress in 1929.[81] Montessori herself had been personally associated with the Theosophical Society since 1907. The Theosophical movement, motivated to educate India's poor, was drawn to Montessori education as one solution.[82]

Internment in India

Montessori gave a training course at the Theosophical Society in Madras in 1939, and had intended to give a tour of lectures at various universities, and then return to Europe.[83] However, when Italy entered World War II on the side of the Germans in 1940, Britain interned all Italians in the United Kingdom and its colonies as enemy aliens. In fact only Mario Montessori was interned, while Montessori herself was confined to the Theosophical Society compound, and Mario was reunited with his mother after two months. The Montessoris remained in Madras and Kodaikanal until 1946, although they were allowed to travel in connection with lectures and courses.

Elementary material, cosmic education, and birth to three

During her years in India, Montessori and her son Mario continued to develop her educational method. The term "cosmic education" was introduced to describe an approach for children aged from six to twelve years that emphasized the interdependence of all the elements of the natural world. Children worked directly with plants and animals in their natural environments, and the Montessoris developed lessons, illustrations, charts, and models for use with elementary aged children. Material for botany, zoology, and geography was created. Between 1942 and 1944 these elements were incorporated into an advanced course for work with children from six to twelve years old. This work led to two books: Education for a New World and To Educate the Human Potential.[84]

While in India, Montessori observed children and adolescents of all ages, and turned to the study of infancy. In 1944 she gave a series of thirty lectures on the first three years of life, and a government-recognized training course in Sri Lanka. These lectures were collected in 1949 in the book What You Should Know About Your Child.[85]

In 1944 the Montessoris were granted some freedom of movement and traveled to Sri Lanka. In 1945 Montessori attended the first All India Montessori Conference in Jaipur, and in 1946, with the war over, she and her family returned to Europe.[86]

1946–1952: Final years

In 1946, at the age of 76, Montessori returned to Amsterdam, but she spent the next six years travelling in Europe and India. She gave a training course in London in 1946, and in 1947 opened a training institute there, the Montessori Centre. After a few years this centre became independent of Montessori and continued as the St. Nicholas Training Centre. Also in 1947, she returned to Italy to re-establish the Opera Montessori and gave two more training courses. Later that year she returned to India and gave courses in Adyar and Ahmedabad. These courses led to the book The Absorbent Mind, in which Montessori described the development of the child from birth onwards and presented the concept of the Four Planes of Development. In 1948 Il Metodo was revised again and published in English as The Discovery of the Child. In 1949 she gave a course in Pakistan and the Montessori Pakistan Association was founded.[87]

In 1949 Montessori returned to Europe and attended the 8th International Montessori Congress in Sanremo, Italy, where a model classroom was demonstrated. The same year, the first training course for birth to three years of age, called the Scuola Assistenti all'infanzia (Montessori School for Assistants to Infancy) was established.[88] She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Montessori was also awarded the French Legion of Honor, Officer of the Dutch Order of Orange Nassau, and received an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Amsterdam. In 1950 she visited Scandinavia, represented Italy at the UNESCO conference in Florence, presented at the 29th international training course in Perugia, gave a national course in Rome, published a fifth edition of Il Metodo with the new title La Scoperta del Bambino (The Discovery of the Child), and was again nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1951 she participated in the 9th International Montessori Congress in London, gave a training course in Innsbruck, was nominated for the third time for the Nobel Peace Prize. Montessori died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 6, 1952, at the age of 81 in Noordwijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.[89]


Montessori on a 1970 stamp of India

Maria Montessori and Montessori schools were featured on coins and banknotes of Italy, and on stamps of the Netherlands, India, Italy, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.[90]

Educational philosophy and pedagogy

Main article: Montessori education

Early influences

Montessori's theory and philosophy of education were initially heavily influenced by the work of Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, Édouard Séguin, Friedrich Fröbel, and Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, all of whom emphasized sensory exploration and manipulatives.[91][92] Montessori's first work with mentally disabled children, at the Orthophrenic School in 1900–1901, used the methods of Itard and Séguin, training children in physical activities such as walking and the use of a spoon, training their senses by exposure to sights, smells, and tactile experiences, and introducing letters in tactile form.[93] These activities developed into the Montessori "Sensorial" materials.[94]

Scientific pedagogy

Montessori considered her work in the Orthophrenic School and her subsequent psychological studies and research work in elementary schools as "scientific pedagogy", a concept current in the study of education at the time. She called for not just observation and measurement of students, but for the development of new methods which would transform them. "Scientific education, therefore, was that which, while based on science, modified and improved the individual."[95] Further, education itself should be transformed by science: "The new methods if they were run on scientific lines, ought to change completely both the school and its methods, ought to give rise to a new form of education."[96]

Casa dei Bambini

Working with non-disabled children in the Casa dei Bambini in 1907, Montessori began to develop her own pedagogy. The essential elements of her educational theory emerged from this work, described in The Montessori Method in 1912 and in The Discovery of the Child in 1948. Her method was founded on the observation of children at liberty to act freely in an environment prepared to meet their needs.[97] Montessori came to the conclusion that the children's spontaneous activity in this environment revealed an internal program of development, and that the appropriate role of the educator was to remove obstacles to this natural development and provide opportunities for it to proceed and flourish.[98]

Accordingly, the schoolroom was equipped with child-sized furnishings, "practical life" activities such as sweeping and washing tables, and teaching material that Montessori had developed herself. Children were given freedom to choose and carry out their own activities, at their own paces and following their own inclinations. In these conditions, Montessori made a number of observations which became the foundation of her work. First, she observed great concentration in the children and spontaneous repetition of chosen activities. She also observed a strong tendency in the children to order their own environment, straightening tables and shelves and ordering materials. As children chose some activities over others, Montessori refined the materials she offered to them. Over time, the children began to exhibit what she called "spontaneous discipline".[99]

Further development and Montessori education today

Montessori continued to develop her pedagogy and her model of human development as she expanded her work and extended it to older children. She saw human behavior as guided by universal, innate characteristics in human psychology which her son and collaborator Mario Montessori identified as "human tendencies" in 1957. In addition, she observed four distinct periods, or "planes", in human development, extending from birth to six years, from six to twelve, from twelve to eighteen, and from eighteen to twenty-four. She saw different characteristics, learning modes, and developmental imperatives active in each of these planes, and called for educational approaches specific to each period. Over the course of her lifetime, Montessori developed pedagogical methods and materials for the first two planes, from birth to age twelve, and wrote and lectured about the third and fourth planes. Maria created over 4,000 Montessori classrooms across the world and her books were translated into many different languages for the training of new educators. Her methods are installed in hundreds of public and private schools across the United States.[100]

Montessori method

Main article: Montessori education

One of Montessori's many accomplishments was the Montessori method. This is a method of education for young children that stresses the development of a child's own initiative and natural abilities, especially through practical play. This method allowed children to develop at their own pace and provided educators with a new understanding of child development. Montessori's book, The Montessori Method, presents the method in detail. Educators who followed this model set up special environments to meet the needs of students in three developmentally-meaningful age groups: 2–2.5 years, 2.5–6 years, and 6–12 years. The students learn through activities that involve exploration, manipulations, order, repetition, abstraction, and communication. Teachers encourage children in the first two age groups to use their senses to explore and manipulate materials in their immediate environment. Children in the last age group deal with abstract concepts based on their newly developed powers of reasoning, imagination, and creativity.[101]


Montessori published a number of books, articles, and pamphlets during her lifetime, often in Italian, but sometimes first in English. According to Kramer, "the major works published before 1920 (The Montessori Method, Pedagogical Anthropology, The Advanced Montessori Method—Spontaneous Activity in Education and The Montessori Elementary Material), were written in Italian by her and translated under her supervision."[102] However, many of her later works were transcribed from her lectures, often in translation, and only later published in book form.

Montessori's major works are given here in order of their first publication, with significant revisions and translations.[103]

• (1909) Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica applicato all'educazione infantile nelle Case dei Bambini
o revised in 1913, 1926, and 1935; revised and reissued in 1950 as La scoperta del bambino
o (1912) English edition: The Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education in the Children's Houses
o (1948) Revised and expanded English edition issued as The Discovery of the Child
o (1950) Revised and reissued in Italian as La scoperta del bambino
• (1910) Antropologia Pedagogica
o (1913) English edition: Pedagogical Anthropology
• (1914) Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
o (1921) Italian edition: Manuale di pedagogia scientifica
• (1916) L'autoeducazione nelle scuole elementari
o (1917) English edition: The Advanced Montessori Method, Vol. I: Spontaneous Activity in Education; Vol. II: The Montessori Elementary Material.
• (1922) I bambini viventi nella Chiesa
o (1929) English edition: The Child in the Church, Maria Montessori’s first book on the Catholic liturgy from the child’s point of view.
• (1923) Das Kind in der Familie (German)
o (1929) English edition: The Child in the Family
o (1936) Italian edition: Il bambino in famiglia
• (1934) Psico Geométria (Spanish)
o (2011) English edition: Psychogeometry
• (1934) Psico Aritmética
o (1971) Italian edition: Psicoaritmetica
• (1936) L'Enfant(French)
o (1936) English edition: The Secret of Childhood
o (1938) Il segreto dell'infanzia
• (1948) De l'enfant à l'adolescent
o (1948) English edition: From Childhood to Adolescence
o (1949) Dall'infanzia all'adolescenza
• (1949) Educazione e pace
o (1949) English edition: Peace and Education
• (1949) Formazione dell'uomo
o (1949) English edition: The Formation of Man
• (1949) The Absorbent Mind
o (1952) La mente del bambino. Mente assorbente
• (1947) Education for a New World
o (1970) Italian edition: Educazione per un mondo nuovo
• (1947) To Educate the Human Potential
o (1970) Italian edition: Come educare il potenziale umano


1. "Highlights from 'Communications 2007/1'". Association Montessori Internationale. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
2. Kramer, 24; Trabalzini, 13
3. Flaherty, T.
4. Trabalzini 7
5. Kramer 27
6. Kramer 31
7. Trabalzini 8
8. Kramer 32–33; Trabalzini 7–8
9. Kramer 34–35; Trabalzini 9–10
10. Kramer 40–41
11. Kramer 47–50
12. Montessori is often described as the first woman doctor in Italy, but in fact Ernestina Paper earned a medical degree in Florence in 1877 and practiced medicine beginning in 1878. (Trabalzini 14)
13. Kramer 52–58; Trabalzini 16–23
14. "Mario Montessori". Sweetwater Montessori School. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
15. Ball, Laura. "Maria Montessori". Psychology's Feminist Voices. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
16. Kramer 58–61; Standing 28; Trabalzini 16–17
17. Trabalzini 18–19; Kramer 73
18. Kramer 78
19. Kramer 84–85
20. Kramer 86; Trabalzini 21
21. Kramer 90
22. Kramer 87
23. Kramer 91; Trabalzini 23–24
24. Kramer 92, 94–95; Trabalzini 39
25. Kramer 95–97; Trabalzini 39–41
26. Kramer 110; Trabalzini 49, 52
27. Kramer 111
28. Trabalzini 53
29. Kramer 111–112
30. Kramer 113–116; Trabalzini 40–47
31. Kramer 115–121; Trabalzini 54–56
32. Montessori, M.
33. Kramer 123–125; Standing 53–54; Trabalzini 56
34. Kramer 126–131; Standing 47–50
35. Kramer 135–136
36. Kramer 137; Trabalzini 57
37. Kramer 147, 150, 155; Standing 58–61; Trabalzini 103–104
38. Kramer 155
39. Kramer 176
40. Kramer 172, 155
41. Trabalzini 107–108
42. Kramer 167
43. Trabalzini 106–107
44. Kramer 174; Trabalzini 103–104
45. Kramer 159, 162–5
46. Kramer 172
47. Kramer 181
48. Kramer 186–202
49. Kramer 212–215
50. Kramer 227–229
51. Kramer 230–231
52. Kramer 246–250
53. Kramer 249–250; Trabalzini 119–120
54. Kramer 269–270
55. Trabalzini 160
56. Kramer 331–333
57. Kramer 251
58. Kramer 267
59. Kramer 323
60. Kramer 305
61. Kramer 235–245
62. Kramer 272
63. Kramer 294
64. Kramer 280–281
65. Kramer 282; Trabalzini 127
66. Kramer 283, 285
67. Kramer 302–304
68. Kramer 326; Trabalzini 156–7
69. Trabalzini 158
70. Trabalzini 158–160
71. Kramer 246; Standing 64
72. Kramer 305–306
73. Kramer 311
74. Trabalzini 157
75. Kramer 330; Trabalzini 173
76. "Nomination Database – Peace". Retrieved June 4, 2011.
77. Kramer 337; Trabalzini 161
78. Kramer 339; Trabalzini 162
79. Kramer 340–341; Trabalzini 165
80. Kramer 342
81. Kramer 306–307
82. Kramer 341–342
83. Trabalzini 165
84. Kramer 345–346; Trabalzini 167–168
85. Kramer 348; Trabalzini 168
86. Kramer 348
87. Kramer 348–355; Trabalzini 169–170
88. Trabalzini 170
89. Kramer 360–367; Trabalzini 170–172
90. Montessori.
91. Kramer 59–67
92. Montessori (1938), 17–23
93. Kramer 76
94. Lillard 16
95. Montessori (1938) 28
96. Montessori (1938) 1–3, 28–29
97. Montessori (1938) 62
98. Montessori (1938) 62, 76–77
99. Montessori (1936) 126–138
100. Lillard, P. (1996). Montessori today: a comprehensive approach to education from birth to adulthood. New York: Pantheon Books.
101. Hainstock, Elizabeth G. (1997). The Essential Montessori: An introduction to the woman, the writings, the method, and the movement. New York: the Penguin Group.
102. Kramer 356
103. "A Montessori Bibliography". Montessori Family Alliance. July 13, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2019.


• Flaherty, T. "Maria Montessori(1870–1952)". Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society. Archived from the original on December 25, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
• Hainstock, Elizabeth (1978). The Essential Montessori. New York: The New American Library. ISBN 0-451-61695-2.
• Kramer, Rita (1976). Maria Montessori. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-201-09227-1.
• Lillard, Angeline (2005). Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516868-2.
• Lillard, Paula Polk (1972). Montessori: A Modern Approach. New York: Schocken Books. ISBN 080520394X.
• Lillard, Paula Polk (1996). Montessori Today. New York: Schocken Books. ISBN 9780805210613.
• Montessori, Maria. The montessori method: Scientific pedagogy as applied to child education in "the children's houses" with additions and revisions by the author. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
• Montessori, Maria (1948). The Discovery of the Child. Madras: Kalkshetra Publications Press.
• Montessori, Maria (1949). The Absorbent Mind. Madras: Theosophical Publishing House.
• Montessori, Maria (1914). Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company.
• Montessori, Maria (1912). The Montessori Method. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company.
• Montessori, Maria (1936). The Secret of Childhood. New York: Longmans, Green.
• Standing, E.M. (1957). Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work. New York: Plume. ISBN 0-452-26090-6.
• Trabalzini, Paola (Spring 2011). "Maria Montessori Through the Seasons of the Method". The NAMTA Journal. 36 (2).

External links

• Association Montessori Internationale
• American Montessori Society
• Centre for Montessori Studies (CeSMon), Roma Tre University
• The Maria Montessori No One knows and Maria Montessori in India
• The Centre for Montessori Studies in her native home in Chiaravalle, Italy
• e-text of The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori
• Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society
• The Montessori Foundation
• Photos of Maria Montessori (1913–1951)
• Works by Maria Montessori at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Maria Montessori at Internet Archive
• Works by Maria Montessori at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Newspaper clippings about Maria Montessori in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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