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This book is an outcome of nearly three years of study of the functioning of mirambika by the NCERT between 1995-1997. The research undertaken during these years has focussed on the role of the ideology of free progress in shaping the various processes in the school, the social milieu and the interactions amongst its participants. The book helps to build a detailed understanding of schooling at mirambika and to know what a mirambika child is like. It also helps to understand how a mirambika child transitions to a curriculum centric way of education and adapts to the world outside.

The Mother explains Free Progress as ‘A progress guided by the soul, not subjected to habits, conventions or preconceived ideas’ – this is mirambika’s aspiration. A small step towards fulfilling this aspiration is to encourage learning through project work. The children are guided to choose a project that would strengthen their exploration and learning from within rather than following a rigid curriculum. Children define the scope of their project and also the means to fulfil its aim. Experiential learning in an integral way is the essence of project work. This book offers insight into how project work can empower children and facilitators to grow integrally.

A colourful and well lay out and full of interesting experiences of children, this book is a memory of visit to the snows of Shoja in Himachal Pradesh. The book tells of the comfortable warm home and the long and interesting treks one can go on. This special colour book was made as a memento of their visit to this beautiful spot.

Games, as we would each have experienced are an excellent way to learn and grow. Playing together can help establish an immediate rapport bringing joy to everyone. Sri Aurobindo helps us to understand that to play a game with the right spirit is to grow into learning important life lessons – good humour, tolerance, self-control, friendliness towards competitors, equal acceptance of victory or defeat being some of them. He emphasizes the significance of developing the right spirit – the sporting spirit in the life of an individual, nation and the world at large.

This book is a compilation of some easy to play learning and physical skill development games for children from the ages of 4 to 12. These games are good for older children, teachers and parents too and they can be played in small or big groups. We hope that the book inspires all of us to play, learn and grow towards a more harmonious world.

Śarīram khalu dharmasādhanam the old Sanskrit adage…Sri Aurobindo and the Mother help us to understand that for a total perfection of the being, the body too must attain to a supreme capacity. How does one begin this journey of the perfection of the body? This book brings to us writings on this subject. It helps us to learn about physical culture and how to develop it. It also offers us practical guidance to learn about each child’s and our own physical abilities, capabilities and skills. Various activities including fun games, minor and major games, age-specific games are documented in this book that lead us towards our goal. We hope that this book can be of help to teachers, parents, educationists and researchers in the field of Physical Education.

So often the question has been asked: “I want to live a true spiritual life, but how do I combine this with my work?” Indeed, it is not easy to stay focussed on one’s aim while living an active life in society with all its demands, entertainment and distractions. It seems almost as if the society does everything to make us forget our deeper aims in life. How can one help oneself not to forget? The first part of this book could provide some answers and exercises to those who would like to pursue their spiritual quest more actively in every area of their lives.

More specifically, the book was born in answer to a need often expressed in mirambika, an integral education school with a teachers training in New Delhi. Many questions have been asked by teachers from all over the world “What is Integral Education and what does it really mean?” “How to put it into practice?” “What is the psychic being?” The second part of this book deals with education. It is meant for those who want to prepare themselves in an active manner to facilitate Integral Education in the classroom. It may be of interest also to parents and to those who guide others in their workplace.

‘Psychic Education’ is a workbook developed in the light of the writings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. In addition to giving information and the Mother’s exercises, it intends to help one to assimilate the information through introspective questions, worksheets, checklists and tips to stay focussed on one’s aim in the midst of daily life.

This book is a loving effort made by a group of 11 year old children with the help of their teachers to study the trees, creepers, shrubs and seasonal flowers growing in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi branch. These children were surrounded by plants, trees and flowers – some even creeping into their classrooms and they felt naturally drawn towards them. They strung the flowers and leaves together, wore them around their necks, gave these a name, ate their fruit, used these for decorations, climbed their branches, enjoyed the squirrels, ants and the birds, found their nests and learnt about how they bring up their young. In the course of this journey, the children began to love the trees as much as the trees and flowers bore a silent witness to their activities. In what began as a simple project on plants, slowly widened in its scope and the children spent several months observing, gardening, learning in-depth about this gift of Nature. This book and everything in it is their own and they present it proudly to all of us.

Integral Education as envisaged by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo attempts to guide learners to develop all parts of the being – the mental, vital and physical as instruments for the expression of the inner psychic and spiritual presence. In mirambika, a free progress learning atmosphere hopes to facilitate this all-round progress through several reflective practices. Self-reflection, self-observation, introspection are some practices that help one to undertake the journey within, to walk the path to self-discovery.

In mirambika, it has been experienced that this process of self-discovery can begin at a very young age. This book shows how reflection can be woven into learning, primarily for children. It also shows how these practices are integrated by facilitators. They open new possibilities for parents or anyone who may want to learn about one’s inner self. Blended with stories, role-play, class work, project work, and many other activities, these practices help one to grow aware and open to the deeper ranges within. It is our hope and prayer that each of us learns to live a life governed by an inner Light.

How often do we open our hearts and minds to Nature and her beautiful treasures? A labour of love of a small group of children aged 12+ may help us to do so! These children chose to befriend birds, in the beginning, simply observing them. They realised that just like them, birds too have a world of their own, where they can talk, fly, eat, sleep, sing, dance and do everything together with happiness and joy. They accept love and care from other beings who can offer them true friendship. Enchanted by their beauty and brilliance, the children spent many hours, days and months walking around the Ashram (Sri Aurobindo Ashram-Delhi Branch), visiting sanctuaries and parks, spotting and identifying the birds, listening to their calls and trying to make sense of their moods and behaviours. This they did lovingly for over 60 species of birds. The illustrations, poems and pictures reveal the beautiful friendship between the two. This book is offered by the children as a field guide to anyone who may feel drawn to these feathered friends.

This book draws its inspiration from the writings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The Mother says: ‘Education to be complete must have five principal aspects corresponding to the five principal activities of the human being: the physical, vital, mental, the psychic and the spiritual.’ Guided by these five aspects, numerous activities have been undertaken to explore and grow conscious in the field of our senses and mental faculties. Both of these according to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are instruments of knowledge, intimately connected, and it is important for us to develop, sharpen and perfect them. In doing so, we prepare and equip the mind for all learning rather than only for academic study.

This book offers activities, games, worksheets and reflections developed by teachers for children and adults over a span of 30 years to engage and challenge our senses and faculties.

How to develop a love for mathematics? This book offers insight into building a relationship with mathematics from a young age. In the light of the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, the book delves on developing a deeper understanding of the human psyche. Young children are intuitive and it is this that needs to become a basis for developing their relation with numbers. It is only as they grow that the basis can change from intuition to reason. This step-by-step approach asks for a re-orientation of the teachers and parents towards facilitating (not teaching) mathematics.

The book offers practical guidance with examples of activities that can be undertaken with children across various ages within the framework of Integral Education. Mathematics is a language and it is our hope that we grow to have fun and feel the joy of learning it.

This book is an offering made by the facilitators of two schools, mirambika and The Mother’s International School (MIS), both based in the premises of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch. Over the years, a project-based approach to learning has been practised from Nursery to Grade 8 in mirambika and between grades 1 to 4 in MIS. This approach, it has been found has helped the children and the facilitators to grow integrally.

Through numerous examples of projects undertaken by children from the age of 3+ to 12+, the book helps to develop an understanding of how learning can be child-centered and how the role of a facilitator is to create an environment for the flowering of the child. The project method is flexible and it is this that lends itself to evolve towards living the philosophy of Integral Education as given by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.