Teaching Self Awareness & Emotional Intelligence to Students

by Manoj Krishna

Key ideas

  • A passion to bring transformation and make the world a better place by encouraging wisdom, which comes when we understand ourselves and how our minds work.
  • Just like different computers have different contents in their memory but share the same operating system which works in the background, our brains too store our unique memories, but behind the scenes, hidden from our view, our mind functions the same way in all of us so we can study it together.
  • For example, we may all be conditioned in different ways but the process of conditioning is the same, or we may have different fears, but the mechanism behind it is the same in us all. We can therefore explore this together.
  • It is important to understand both the content of our memory and the way our mind works.
  • We can do this by just observing our thoughts, and explore what lies behind them.
  • The book is a mirror is which we can see ourselves clearly and not based on any belief system, ideology or philosophy.
  • This understanding cannot be given to another person like knowledge, but we need to help people to discover it for themselves. We can do this by asking questions then exploring the answers together.
  • It is important that we do not label what we find as good or bad, but just accept what we find and keep our opinions about the facts to one side.

Key benefits

  • This understanding leads to emotional intelligence, which leads to emotional health. This is essential if we want to be healthy, as stress contributes to more than 50% of health problems.
  • Emotional awareness leads to resilience, and we can meet life’s challenges without getting stressed. It also leads to a sense of inner peace.
  • By exploring conditioning and its effect on our lives, we can realise that we do not have to be slaves to our past, and can live in freedom and forge our own path through life.
  • If we understand ourselves, we can understand others, and this leads to happier relationships.
  • In all fields of work emotional intelligence is valued by employers, and essential if we want to work with others, so contributes to our success.
  • It leads to compassion and empathy for others, because we can see that others also act from their conditioning, and their minds function in the same way as ours.
  • Since most problems first begin in the human mind, the solution must also begin there. In the light of this understanding many of our problems can dissolve.
  • By giving students the skills to question their conditioning and the life they live, they can live with freedom and a deep intelligence, and with a sense of being comfortable in their own skin.

Key links 

Proposed project

  • Children are smart. They understand things quickly, if they are asked the right questions. It is worth respecting that.
  • The key is to make them discover the truth of something by themselves. That has far greater significance, than just giving it to them as information, on a platter. Make them work it out by asking questions.
  • The questions you ask should lead them from the particular to the universal- to how our shared minds operate.
  • Make it clear there is no good or bad, or right and wrong as far as the enquiry is concerned – it is an enquiry into what is- and each one of us is a scientist. See the chapter on Obstacles to Enquiry, in the book, for more pointers.
  • I would make it clear that everyone in the group, including the facilitator shares the same mind, so is on the same level as everyone else.
  • It is also helpful to focus on just uncovering the facts. They then act in the background and bring their own change.
  • Try and get everyone to contribute, particularly the silent ones. This may mean getting the ones who want to speak all the time, to hold back.
  • Allow the enquiry to take its own direction. Follow it. Bring people back to exploring the universal, by asking questions.

Our goal

  • To set up several pilot projects and learn from them.
  • Share this with other schools/colleges.
  • Long term, this study of the way our minds work and the way this impacts our lives, should be part of the curriculum.
  • Every student should leave education equipped with the tools to question their conditioning, and understand how the way their minds work.
  • This will not only transform the life of each student, but also lead to a better world.
  • The project is non-profit, and delivered free of cost.